Proposed EHS regulatory changes – July 2022

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By: Sydney Sybydlo

This is a list of select proposed EHS regulatory changes in Canada, the United States, and the European Union. We cover EHS legislation in over 100 countries and 200 jurisdictions. If you would like to track EHS legislation in specific regions, jurisdictions or countries, we are happy to help. Please send us a request for more information here and we will get in touch shortly.

Canada

United States

European Union

Canada

Federal

Notice of intent to renew the Federal agenda on the reduction of emissions of volatile organic compounds from consumer and commercial products

Published Date: 9 July 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to renew “the Federal agenda on the reduction of emissions of volatile organic compounds from consumer and commercial products”. Actions would “improve air quality in order to reduce adverse impacts of air pollution on health and the environment” and include:

Interested parties “are invited to submit relevant information or indicate their interest in being engaged in future discussions by emailing Produits-Products@ec.gc.ca.

Additional information is available here.

Manitoba

Proposed 2015 National Model Construction Code Adoption

Published Date: 29 June 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Manitoba announced its intention to “adopt the 2015 national model codes published by the National Research Council, including the 2015 editions of the National Building Code, National Plumbing Code, National Fire Code as well as the 2017 edition of the National Energy Code for Buildings.” According to the Manitoba Government, the adoption of the codes would notably:

  • “[allow] the safe construction of six-storey buildings using combustible construction (e.g., wood)”;
  • “[update] accessibility and associated design requirements”;
  • “[update] hazard values for seismic design”;
  • “[update] minimum requirements to address airborne sound between dwelling units in larger residential buildings”;
  • update the requirements concerning “housing and small buildings, mostly affecting stairs, ramps handrails and guards”;
  • “increase in design and material choices for plumbing”;
  • “[modify] water-efficiency requirements for plumbing”; and
  • “[modify] the classification of hazardous materials under the Fire Code.”

The adoption of the codes would replace the currently enforced Manitoba Building Code, Manitoba Plumbing Code, Manitoba Fire Code, and Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings.

Interested persons may make comments on the adoption of the codes. Additional information concerning the adoption of the National Codes is available here for the National Building Code of Canada 2015, here for the National Plumbing Code of Canada 2015, here for the National Fire Code of Canada 2015, and here for the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2017.

Additional information on the proposal is available here.

New Brunswick

Amendments to the General Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act – Phase II

Published Date: 24 June 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of New Brunswick announced its intention to amend workplace safety regulations, specifically concerning confined space, lockout for piping, critical lifts, hoisting apparatus, welding, laboratory safety, electrical safety, hot tapping, and pedestrian safety (near forklifts). According to the New Brunswick Government, the changes would notably:

  • modify requirements on the use, storage, handling, and transportation of compressed gas containers;
  • add the restriction for employees not to work close to a rock face until it has been examined and declared safe to carry out works;
  • add requirements for conducting critical lifts and hot tapping;
  • modify requirements concerning the use and operation of hoisting apparatus, mobile cranes, industrial lift trucks, powered mobile equipment, and personnel carrying devices;
  • modify and add requirements for works conducted in confined spaces and laboratories; and
  • modify requirements for works utilizing electrical equipment.

These changes would be implemented by amending General Regulation – Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Interested persons are invited to make comments until 19 August 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Northwest Territories

Have Your Say: NWT Mineral Resource Act Regulations

Published Date: 7 July 2022
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry, Construction Industry

The Government of Northwest Territories announced its intention to enforce rules concerning mineral prospecting, exploration, development, and production. According to the government, the rules would notably “administer all aspects of mineral tenure; from the exploration and discovery of minerals, through the development, construction and operation of a mine – and to its eventual closure and remediation”, including mining activities’ licensing, administration, reporting, and public notifications. It also intends to introduce measures to increase collaborative relationships with the local communities and indigenous groups, such as by enforcing benefit agreements with indigenous governments and requiring Prospectors to take an awareness course as a prerequisite for receiving a Prospector’s License.

The rules would be made by enacting regulations under the Mineral Resources Act. Interested persons are invited to submit their inquiries to the government of Northwest Territories.

Additional information is available here and here.

Yukon

Geothermal resources legislation engagement 2022

Published Date: 30 June 2022
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry, Construction Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The Government of Yukon is seeking comments on its development of the legislation to “administer and regulate geothermal resource exploration and development projects in the Yukon.” According to the Yukon Government, the new legislation would notably cover:

  • “the definition of geothermal resources in Yukon”;
  • “a description of where the legislation will apply”;
  • “a geothermal tenure and rights regime”;
  • “a regulatory regime that encompasses the full spectrum of potential geothermal exploration and development activities that follow principles of environmental sustainability”;
  • “prescription of decommissioning procedures and reclamation responsibilities”;
  • “measures to address liability”; and
  • “a royalty regime.”

Interested persons are invited to make comments until 16 August 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

United States

Federal

Proposed Rule for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Management Review: Blueprint for Restoration

Published Date: 18 July 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced its development of a restoration blueprint for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Proposed rules would notably:

  • revise the FKNMS boundaries by aligning the “seaward boundary with the northernmost Area to Be Avoided (ATBA) seaward boundary,” encompassing “the proposed modified Tortugas South Conservation Area,” and including “a non-contiguous area at Pulley Ridge”;
  • maintain “current exception for live rock aquaculture from sanctuary-wide regulatory prohibitions if authorized by a submerged lands lease” issued by the relevant state authorities;
  • “prohibit discharges of any material or other matter from a cruise ship, except cooling water,” including graywater, deck washdown, and cooling water mixed with any other substances, while in the sanctuary;
  • “remove the exception for ‘exhaust gas’ from [NOAA’s] discharge prohibitions”;
  • clarify “that cooling water, deck washdown, and graywater are allowable discharges from vessels other than cruise ships, but oily wastes from bilge pumpting are not”;
  • update “the existing regulations to allow for rapid, temporary rulemaking to facilitate time-sensitive, adaptive management and respond to emergencies”;
  • replace existing historical resource permitting categories “with a new, single archaeological research permit category,” define what is considered “archaeological research,” explain criteria to be met to obtain this permit, and prescribe conditions applicable to this permit;
  • “prohibit the feeding and attracting of fish, including sharks, or other marine species, from any vessel or while diving, [and] define ‘diving’ and ‘feeding'”;
  • prohibit “anchoring, mooring, or occupying a vessel at risk of becoming derelict, or deserting a vessel aground, at anchor, or adrift in the sanctuary”;
  • require “large vessels to use designated large vessel mooring buoys and small vessels to use regular mooring buoys”;
  • update the list of military activities exempted from the rules and clarify the process for obtaining an exemption for new military activities;
  • modify the boundaries of the Looe Key Management Area;
  • modify the boundaries and applicable regulations for various Conservation Areas, and Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs);
  • introduce a new Restoration Area zone type with two distinct designations: nursery zones (where fishing, anchoring, and discharges are prohibited and vessels are required to remain in transit throughout), and habitat zones (where fishing, anchoring, and discharges are prohibited, but access is permitted for educational opportunities);
  • designate nine nursery zone Restoration Areas and four habitat zone Restoration Areas;
  • modify the boundaries and/or applicable regulations for fifteen existing Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), add twenty-three new WMAs, and eliminate two existing WMAs;
  • “allow motorized personal watercraft (PWC) operation in a small portion of the Key West national Wildlife Refuge”;
  • eliminate “the exception allowing catch and release fishing by trolling in four SPAs”; and
  • eliminate “the practive of issuing bait fishing permits of any kind in SPAs in federal waters and the practice of issuing permits to bait fish using cast nets in SPAs in State waters.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 26 October 2022. NOAA will also host a virtual public comment meeting on 30 August 2022, and three in-person public comment meetings between 20-22 September 2022.

Additional information, including maps of proposed management zones, is available here and here.

European Union

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable use of plant protection products and amending Regulation (EU) 2021/2115

Published Date: 22 June 2022
Industry Sector: Agriculture Industry, Food Industry

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have proposed rules on the sustainable use of pesticides. According to the document, the proposed rules include:

  • the reduction targets for the use and risks of chemical plant protection products;
  • “requirements for use, storage, sale and disposal of plant protection products and for application equipment”;
  • the training, awareness-raising, and certification system for professional users, advisers, and distributors;
  • the application and implementation of integrated pest management; and
  • the use of alternatives to chemical pesticides.

Additional information is available here.

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