Environmental, Health and Safety Update


Ministry of Natural Resources proposes endangered species guidance

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) recently proposed guidance on the interpretation of subsection 9(1)(a) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007, which prohibits a person from, among other things, killing, harming and harassing a listed species. The proposed guidance described a set of principles and considerations that the MNR would use to determine if a proposed activity is likely to kill, harm or harass a member of a listed species. It also explains the biological factors and activity details that inform such determinations. Generally, the guidance indicates that in determining if an activity is likely to kill, harm or harass a member of a listed species, the MNR will consider both the likelihood and severity of the anticipated effects of the activity if it did occur.

For more information, please see the Environmental Registry posting.


Federal government proposes new workplace health and safety committee regulations

The federal government recently proposed the Policy Committees, Work Place Committees and Health and Safety Representative Regulations, which would replace the existing Safety and Health Committees and Representative Regulations. While maintaining many of the requirements of the existing regulations, the proposed regulations would, among other things, prescribe the components of the health and safety training program required by the Canada Labour Code (the Code) for policy committee members, workplace committee members and health and safety representatives. The specific components of this training program had not previously been prescribed, but under the proposed regulations, employers would need to provide minimum levels of training on (i) the Code and its regulations; (ii) the means that allow a committee member or a health and safety representative to fulfill his or her responsibilities under the Code; and (iii) the rules and procedures of each of the committees.

For more information, please see the Canada Gazette posting.

Environment Canada proposes regulation on species at risk permit applications

Environment Canada recently proposed regulation to govern the application for and issuance of permits under section 73 of the federal Species At Risk Act. These permits authorize certain activities that would affect a listed wildlife species or a member of that species’ critical habitat or residence. The proposed regulation would specify what must be included in permit applications and, with certain exceptions, establishes a timeframe within which the federal government must approve or deny a permit application. In most cases, this timeframe would be 90 days from the date an applicant was notified that an application had been received.

For more information, please see the Canada Gazette posting.

Environment Canada proposes changes to PCB Regulations

Environment Canada recently proposed amendments to the federal PCB Regulations that include establishing a new end-of-use deadline for certain equipment containing relatively high concentrations of PCBs. The end-of-use deadline for such equipment under current regulations was December 31, 2009, although applications for an extension of the deadline until December 31, 2014 can be submitted to Environment Canada. Among other things, the proposed amendments would extend the end-of-use deadline for certain high-concentration electrical equipment (i.e., current transformers, potential transformers, circuit breakers, reclosers and bushings) containing PCBs in a concentration of 500 mg/kg or more from December 31, 2009 to December 31, 2025.

For more information, please see the Canada Gazette posting.

To discuss these issues, please contact the author(s).

This publication is a general discussion of certain legal and related developments and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, we would be pleased to discuss the issues in this publication with you, in the context of your particular circumstances.

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