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Hazardous Chemicals: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Approaches 40, Part 2

My most recent blog provided a short summary of chemical evaluation and reporting requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. These requirements apply when a manufacturer or importer is preparing to introduce a “new chemical substance” into commerce in the U.S., to provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with information to evaluate whether chemical hazards require regulatory restrictions (up to and including outright bans) to provide adequate protections to human health and the environment. TSCA does not include any blanket requirement for ongoing studies or updated evaluations of an “existing chemical substance” after it has entered commerceincluding those already in commerce when TSCA took effect, so some chemicals have never undergone a regulatory review of their hazards.

Tax Court Holds Unsigned Resignation Effective

The Tax Court of Canada reviewed the requirements for a directors’ resignation to be effective in the context of potential personal liability for the corporation’s failure to remit source deductions under the Income Tax Act in determining that a resignation document prepared by corporate counsel was sufficient, even though the directors never saw the document (Gariepy v. The Queen, 2014 TCC 254). In this case, Donna Gariepy and Sally Chriss agreed to act as directors of 1056922 Ontario Limited (“105”) at the urging of their husbands, Derek Gariepy and George Chriss, the actual managers of 105. The directors’ husbands had been directors of CG Industries (CGI) that had become insolvent and owed significant unremitted source deduction amounts to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Hazardous Chemicals: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Approaches 40

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976 to develop adequate data regarding the effects of chemical substances and mixtures on human health and the environment, and to prevent unduly hazardous chemicals from entering commercial use. TSCA authorizes the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate chemical substances and mixtures that present an “unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment,” and to take action with respect to chemical substances and mixtures that pose “imminent hazards.”

OSHA: Winter’s Not Over Yet—Work Safe in Cold Weather

Spring may be just around the corner, but winter isn’t over yet. Those of us who work in comfortable indoor spaces are fortunate that we only experience the cold weather on our way to and from work. However, for the many who work outdoors, the weather presents a daily challenge, especially during winter.

Environmental Compliance: Are You Using Water Efficiently?

Although day-to-day environmental regulations tend to focus on water quality, water quantity is also an issue … and can be a critical one. Here in California, we’re experiencing the third year of a drought of historic proportions; our Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 18% of average as winter ends. As the drought continues, state and local agencies are taking stronger and stronger measures to limit water use. The State Water Resources Control Board SWRCB) has just proposed to expand emergency regulations adopted in July 2014.

Injury And Death Due To Railway Trespassing is Preventable

Trespassing along railroad and transit rights-of-way (ROW) is a leading cause of rail-related deaths in America. Almost every two hours someone in the U.S. is hit by a train. Highway-rail crossing and trespasser deaths account for 90 percent of all rail-related deaths; more than 550 trespass fatalities and nearly as many injuries occur each year.

Are Your Workers Out In The Cold?

Although it’s been in the 70’s here in California, employers in most parts of the continent should be worrying about protecting workers against the extremely cold weather. Occupational safety and health regulators include “environmental” hazards as those that may require employers to provide their employees with personal protective equipment (PPE), and employers also bear a “general duty” to protect workers against recognized hazards. These requirements cover potential harm from extreme temperatures including cold. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) PPE standards address cold, and U.S. and Canadian guidelines apply general worker protection principles to "cold stress" hazards.

Canada’s WHMIS System Is Changing

By  Kristen Brewer & Fergus McDonnell, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Canada’s workplace hazardous chemicals communication system is changing in 2015. The existing scheme, involving the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System which has been in place since 1988 (“WHMIS 1988”), is being modified to conform to the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Effective February 11, 2015, amendments to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA)1 made in June 2014 and the new Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) are in force, and the old Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and Ingredient Disclosure List are repealed.2 The new system, referred to as “WHIMIS 2015,” will result in changes to the classification of hazardous products, the classification of physical and health hazards, and hazard communication and labelling requirements.

Have You Completed Your Hazardous Materials Management Plan?

A wide variety of federal, state and even local laws apply environmental, health and safety (EH&S) protection requirements to chemicals. EH&S compliance personnel are accustomed to complying with chemical management requirements imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and their state equivalents.

Expanding Recycling Responsibilities for Specific Solid Wastes

Adopted half a century ago, the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) of 1965 is one of the first federal statutes in the modern era of environmental protection. SWDA focused originally on worries that a “landfill crisis” combined predictions that landfills would soon be too full to provide disposal capacity, and longstanding concerns that poorly designed municipal and industrial landfills might not protect public health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has applied SWDA authority to adopt landfill standards, which are administered by state and local governments nationwide.

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