Canada’s Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, recently proposed new amendments for the regulation of dangerous goods. This said proposal mainly focuses on the broadening of the coverage of the original reporting requirements, and the enhancement of the current emergency response and risk analysis procedures.
Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt. Photo c/o DailyMail.co.uk
Based on a press release from Raitt’s office, this new proposal would provide “more effective regulations” in future dangerous goods events. Specifically, the following points are suggested in the amendment proposal:
· Update the current criteria and circumstances on how to report dangerous goods incidents
· Initial telephone reports directed to the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre should provide more information detailing the events of the dangerous goods accident
· The 30-day written report would have additional requirements in order to provide more data that would help facilitate the emergency response and risk analysis procedures
· The reporting of the lost, stolen, or interfered dangerous goods transport would be improved to better meet the security provision requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
· Make the reporting of the incorrectly declared or undeclared dangerous goods similar to the International Civil Aviation Organisation reporting requirements
Once the proposal is passed, these more comprehensive guidelines would not only apply to railways, but these policies would be also observed to any airplanes, air-cargo facilities, aerodromes and road vehicles that transport or carry dangerous goods.
Raitt’s office has been busy taking new dangerous goods safety measures. The proposed amendment is not the only action spearheaded by the transport minister during this year. In fact, Transport Canada had already made their step of improving rail safety since the Rail Safety Week (April 27 – May 23) wherein they announced that they were beginning to collaborate with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada with regards to the effectivity of recorded audio and video in transport vehicles. The office also announced that they were adopting United States’ tank-car standards for trains loaded with dangerous goods (TC-117).
Raitt’s office strives to make improved regulations and standards in the transport of dangerous goods so as to prevent catastrophic incidents such as the Lac-Megantic which claimed the lives of 47 people last July 2013, as well as the three CN derailments which happened in Northern Ontario just earlier this year.
"Transport Canada remains committed to having the most robust requirements in place to transport dangerous goods in order to keep Canadians safe," said Raitt.