New Reporting Requirements under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Laws

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In June 2009, changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDGA) took effect that imposed new reporting requirements for certain incidents, such as the theft of dangerous goods and the anticipated accidental release of dangerous goods. But no changes were made at the time to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (the TDG Regulations) to implement those reporting requirements. Seven years later, on June 1, 2016, the government finally announced amendments to the TDG Regulations to implement these reporting requirements. Here’s a look at these requirements.

NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Key Dates: The changes took effect on June 1, 2016, but, with a few exceptions, you have six months from that date to begin complying with the new requirements.

New Reporting Requirements: One of the key changes made to the TDG Regulations is the fleshing out of new reporting requirements related to:

The theft or loss of or interference with dangerous goods. If dangerous goods are lost, stolen or otherwise unlawfully interfered with in the course of being imported, offered for transport, handled or transported, you’re now required to report this loss, theft or interference. Specifically, a person who’s required by Sec. 18(3) of the TDGA to report the loss or theft of dangerous goods must, as soon as possible, report the loss or theft by telephone to the persons specified in the TDG Regulations if the lost or stolen dangerous goods are in excess of the quantity set out in the regulations. For example, the theft of a cylinder of chlorine from a delivery truck would require a loss or theft report. A loss or theft report must include the following information:

  • The name and contact information of the person making the report;
  • The names and contact information of the consignor, the consignee and the carrier;
  • Information as to whether the dangerous goods were lost or stolen;
  • The shipping name or UN number of the lost or stolen dangerous goods;
  • The quantity of the lost or stolen dangerous goods;
  • A description of the means of containment containing the lost or stolen dangerous goods; and
  • The approximate date, time and geographic location of the loss or theft.

The TDG Regulations include similar reporting requirements for the unlawful interference with dangerous goods, such as tampering with a valve on a container of a toxic gas.

Releases and imminent related of dangerous goods. The duty to report an accidental release of dangerous goods was modified to require reporting of not only actual releases but also anticipated releases. In addition, the term “release” was redefined to include both accidental and voluntary releases. Specifically, the amended TDG Regulations now require any person who’s required by Sec. 18(1) of the TDGA to report a release or anticipated release of dangerous goods that are being offered for transport, handled or transported by road vehicle, railway vehicle or ship to make an emergency report to any local authority responsible for responding to emergencies in location of the release or anticipated release if the dangerous goods are, or could be, in excess of designated quantities. (The quantities that trigger reporting requirements have also been changed, increased in some cases and decreased in other.)

Such emergency reports must be made as soon as possible after a release or anticipated release and must include:

  • The name and contact information of the person making the report;
  • In the case of a release of dangerous goods, the date, time and geographic location of the release;
  • In the case of an anticipated release of dangerous goods, the date, time and geographic location of the incident that led to the anticipated release;
  • The mode of transport used;
  • The shipping name or UN number of the dangerous goods;
  • The quantity of dangerous goods that was in the means of containment before the release or anticipated release;
  • In the case of a release of dangerous goods, the quantity of dangerous goods estimated to have been released; and
  • If applicable, the type of incident leading to the release or anticipated release, including a collision, roll-over, derailment, overfill, fire, explosion or load-shift.

In addition, you must, as soon as possible after making the emergency report, make a release or anticipated release report if the release or anticipated release resulted in:

    • The death of a person;
    • Injury to a person that required immediate medical treatment by a healthcare provider;
    • An evacuation of people or their shelter in place; or
    • The closure of a facility used in the loading and unloading of dangerous goods, or of a road, a main railway line or a main waterway.

Such a report is also required if a means of containment was damaged to the extent that its integrity is compromised; or the centre sill or stub sill of a tank car is broken or there’s a crack in the metal equal to or greater than 15 cm (6 in.). The TDG Regulations specify who the report must be made to, including CANUTEC and the consignor of the dangerous goods.

A release or anticipated release report must include the same information as the emergency report as well as this additional information:

    • If applicable, the name and geographic location of any road, main railway line or main waterway that was closed;
    • A description of the means of containment containing the dangerous goods;
    • If applicable, an estimate of the number of people evacuated or sheltered in place; and
    • If applicable, the number of deaths and the number of persons who sustained injuries that required immediate medical treatment by a healthcare provider.

A person who has made a release or anticipated release report or that person’s employer must make a follow-up report in writing to the Director General within 30 days after the day on which the initial report was made.

Insider Says: The amendments also require the reporting of undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods transported by passenger aircraft.

ANALYSIS

The quantity of dangerous goods released during transport used to be the only factor used to determine if a report was required. This approach caused problems because minimal reportable quantity thresholds were sometimes judged too permissive and certain relevant incidents weren’t reported because they didn’t reach the reporting thresholds. The changes to the TDG Regulations are intended to capture all relevant releases—and anticipated releases as well. So now you may also be required to report, say, a means of containment being damaged by a forklift or a tanker truck being driven into a ditch even if no dangerous goods are actually released. By reporting all instances in which a means of containment is damaged such that its integrity is compromised in a way that may lead to a release, it allows emergency responders to act quickly to prevent a release from occurring and thus endangering the environment as well as human health and safety.