Canada's Transport Ministry proposes regulatory amendments to further improve safety of shipping dangerous goods by rail, including new standards for certain rail tank cars

OTTAWA , January 13, 2014 (press release) – The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, announced proposed regulatory amendments to further improve the safety of the transportation of dangerous goods by rail. These amendments will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on January 11, 2014.

The proposed regulations will introduce new standards for certain rail tank cars, replacing existing standards referenced in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. For example, it will require that new DOT 111 tank cars be built with thicker steel requirements, as well as adding top fitting and head shield protection to the tank car. DOT 111 tank cars are used for transporting dangerous goods of high and medium danger, such as crude oil.

Industry is already building new tank cars to this standard. This proposed amendment turns previously agreed-to tank car standard requirements into regulations. Transport Canada continues to work with all stakeholders involved in tank car design, manufacturing and use as well as our colleagues in the United States government to determine what additional requirements would enhance the DOT 111 standard. These could include further improving tank car design, or retrofitting, repurposing or retiring older tank cars in the North American fleet.
Quick Facts

This amendment will also enhance the classification regime for the transport of dangerous goods. Specifically, it requires that the person who classifies a dangerous good before transport keep a record of classification of those goods, as well as a record of the sampling method for crude oil.
Additionally, this proposed regulation adds requirements to the shipping document. The proposed consignor’s certification would appear on the shipping document to certify that the person named on the shipping document has prepared the consignment to the regulations that apply.
Stakeholders will have a 30-day consultation period to comment on the proposed regulations before they are finalized and published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

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