New emergency reporting rules for incidents involving transportation of dangerous goods

Amendments to the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (Amendments) now require shippers of dangerous goods to immediately file an emergency report with local authorities if the dangerous goods are lost, stolen or involved in a collision. Additional reporting must be made to the consignor of the goods and to CANUTEC if anyone is injured or killed, people are evacuated, or a building, road or rail line is closed due to the incident. CANUTEC is the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre operated by Transport Canada.

These new reporting requirements are in addition to other federal and provincial reporting requirements.

The thresholds for reporting have also changed, and the release of any quantity of the dangerous good must be reported, except for flammable liquids or solids in Packing Group III, where 30 litres or 30 kilograms or less being released do not have to be reported. Previously, the reporting threshold was 200 litres for flammable liquids or solids in Packing Group III. There is no requirement that the released dangerous goods have to have caused any adverse effect to be reportable.

The Amendments are designed to improve the quality of information received by Transport Canada, increase harmonization with reporting practices in the US and improve local emergency response to an incident involving dangerous goods. The Amendments are not yet reflected in Transport Canada's TDG Regulations Guide on its website.

The new emergency report must be submitted to any local authority responsible for responding to emergencies in the area. It must include the name and contact information of the person making the report, the date, time and location of the incident, the mode of transportation, the shipping name or UN number of the dangerous goods, the quantity of the goods being carried, the estimated quantity released and a description of the incident.

The Amendments expand the definition of a "release" to encompass more types of incidents, including voluntary releases and anticipated releases. They also require separate reporting to Natural Resources Canada for incidents involving explosives in transit and to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for incidents involving radioactive materials in transit. Finally, the person with charge management or control of dangerous goods being imported, offered for transport, handled or transported must report to CANUTEC any incidents involving unlawful interference (i.e., tampering) with any dangerous goods being transported as soon as such interference is discovered.


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