The Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) were uncharacteristically quiet in 2018. This represents the first year in a 5-year stretch where stakeholders didn’t see at least one amendment to the TDGR.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there was no activity within this very active government department. For example, in keeping with the move to adopting ambulatory references to cited standards, the responsibility for several standards (e.g., TP14850 small container performance packaging, and TP14877 rail containers) began their return to the Canadian General Standards Board. In addition, there were various consultations on topics such as ERAPs (TDGR Part 7), and discussion of training requirements (TDGR Part 6) – the latter in conjunction with establishing a CGSB committee.
NEW & ONGOING RESEARCH
Various research projects were explored in 2018 including collaboration on examining crude oil flammability, properties of produced water in oil and gas activities, as well as validation testing of a proposed SAE standard for lithium battery packaging. These activities a
Various topics referenced above and others undertaken in the 2016-2018 period were given status updates, including proposed Canada Gazette (CG) I (final consultation) or II (final amendment) at a late November GPAC (General Policy Advisory Council) session:
On June 1, 2016, Transport Canada issued an amendment to the “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations” (TDG) under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. This amendment substantially revises the requirements for reporting spills of dangerous goods during transportation. It also addresses changes to air shipment of lithium ion batteries and makes various minor corrections and changes. The “Reporting Requirements and International Restrictions on Lithium Batteries Amendment” reflects concerns that the previous requirements for reporting spills, called “accidental releases,” was inefficient and didn’t allow the reporting parties to evaluate the risk to the public when deciding if a release had to be reported.
Changes to Reporting – Surface Transport
The section on reporting accidental releases, Part 8, called “Accidental Release and Imminent Accidental Release Report Requirements,” has been removed from the regulations and replaced with a new Part 8 titled simply “Reporting Requirements”.
First, the amendment removes the definitions for “accidental releases” and “anticipated accidental releases” and replaced them with definitions for “releases” and “anticipated releases”. This means that the reporting requirements will now cover intended releases as well as those that occur by accident.
Next, Transport Canada has adjusted the quantities of a release that would trigger reporting. For road, rail and water transport, these changes include:
The limit is lowered to any amount for Class 1, Explosives; Class 2, Compressed Gases; Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, or 8, in Continue Reading…
Zika virus – the name itself sounds exotic and dangerous. It is believed to be a serious risk for pregnant women. And it’s due to arrive in North America. Just how great a danger is this virus, and how should research and medical facilities prepare for the regulatory burden?
First of all, Zika is not a new virus. It has been known since the 1950s in equatorial Africa and Asia, but only recently has it appeared to migrate to new territories, including South and Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. It is primarily a mosquito-borne illness, transmitted by the Aedes genus of mosquitos. Possibly climate change has increased the populations of these mosquitos in the areas where Zika is spreading. Aedes mosquitos are found in some parts of the U.S., and although they are not currently believed to be in Canada, they may spread as the climate warms. Person-to-person transmission by body fluids is possible, but this would be relatively rare compared to the mosquito vector.
Zika is classed in the Flaviviridae family of viruses, along with dengue fever, West Nile virus and the notoriously dangerous yellow fever. However, compared to these, Zika is usually a mild affliction. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only one in five persons infected with the virus shows any symptoms at all. For those who do fall ill, the symptoms Continue Reading…
One of the most common tests for determining hazard classification is the flash point. This humble piece of physical information is defined in various ways in various regulations, but generally is the lowest temperature at which the vapours from a flammable liquid will ignite near the surface of the liquid, or in a test vessel. This can be critical for safety, because this temperature will be the lowest possible for the liquid to cause a flash fire if released or spilled. If the material can be handled and transported at temperatures lower than the flash point, the fire risk will be much smaller.
The flash point has become the standard test for classifying flammable liquids. It’s used by the U.S. OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Act) and HMR (Hazardous Materials Regulations) classification systems, as well as Canada’s WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) and TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations).
Obtaining a flash point on a new product is usually easy enough. Many laboratories, particularly those that deal with petrochemicals, can perform the test for a reasonable charge. If your company has too many products to make outsourcing practicable, a flash point tester itself is comparatively low cost (as scientific apparatus goes), and a trained person can obtain data quickly and efficiently. However, both of these options do cost money. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a Continue Reading…
The holiday rush for 2014 is over. Our parties have been held, and our gifts are unwrapped and appreciated. But if you’re a dangerous goods shipper or carrier, you can’t relax just yet. New requirements from Transport Canada become mandatory, January 15, 2015. So, it’s time to make sure that everything in in compliance with the new system.
Back on July 2, 2014. Transport Canada issued two amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG). One was called the Safety Mark Amendment, and the second was the Update of Standards Amendment. Both will have important effects on dangerous goods shipping procedures, and will need to be addressed immediately if you want your shipments to remain in compliance.
If your organization hasn’t already done so, it will need to review these amendments and make all necessary changes as soon as possible. Here are some of the most critical changes:
Non-bulk packaging must now be selected for ground shipment using a standard published by Transport Canada, called Transport Canada Standard TP14850E, “Small Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8 and, 9, a Transport Canada Standard.” Note that this is available as a free download from the Transport Canada site at http://www.tc.gc.ca/publications/en/tp14850/pdf/hr/tp14850e.pdf
Consignors of dangerous goods must keep on file a “proof of classification” for all dangerous goods they offer Continue Reading…
Transport Canada Proposes Changes Requiring Classification Records, Shipper’s Certification for all DG in Addition to Rail/Crude Standards
The fall-out from the Lac Mégantic disaster, as well as earlier and subsequent incidents, has lead Transport Canada to propose changes to the TDGR (Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations) that go beyond rail car design/evaluation and testing of crude oil.
Despite the titling of the January 11, 2014 Canada Gazette I “Proposed Regulations Section” – i.e. “Regulations … (Safety Standard TP14877: Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail) …” – the proposal also includes 2 items applicable to all DG and modes of transport.
Proof of Classification: Part 2.2.1 would be added requiring all consignors offering or importing any DG to maintain records establishing proof of classification (& just an MSDS won’t do). The records (e.g.: test reports, documentation of how the information on an MSDS was used, etc.) would have to be maintained for each technical name for two years. See sections 2 through 4 of the Gazette notice.
Consignor’s Certification: Part 3.6.1 would be added, requiring a shipper (individual acting on behalf of the consignor) to sign one of 3 prescribed (as applicable to the shipment) statements on the shipping document, for any DG shipment, verifying that the consignment complies with the regulations in all respects. See sections 5 through 7 of the Gazette notice.
Transport Canada on October 17, 2013 has issued a Protective Direction that requires any person engaged in importing or offering crude oil for transport to immediately test the classification of the crude oil and to provide those test results to Transport Canada on demand. Following testing, any person who imports or offers for transport UN 1267 or UN 1993 crude oil must immediately provide an SDS for the tested product via Canutec. Any crude oil moved under those UN entries that has not yet been tested must be carried as a Class 3, Packing Group I cargo. The Protective Direction has been issued following concern that the crude oil cargo involved in the fatal derailment in Lac-Mégantic in July was wrongly classified.
So, you want to bend the rules? What happens when you have a scenario where following the regulations to ship your dangerous goods becomes impractical to the point of impossibility?
This blog entry will speak to what the process is for applying for an Equivalency Certificate in Canada as per the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Clear Language Regulations.
Generally when people ship dangerous goods, the process becomes a matter of reading and complying with everything the regulations state. However, below are some scenarios where following exactly what the regulations state is… shall we say… less than ideal.
Al wants to ship some large batteries for equipment within Canada with classification:
UN 2794, Batteries, Wet, Filled With Acid, Class 8, P.G. III
His dilemma is that when a new battery is commissioned, the outer package is generally discarded due to space limitations. In many cases these batteries were installed prior to the packaging requirements of Part 5 of the TDG Regulations.
Al wants to ship this without UN approved packaging.
Bill wants to ship a MRI machine that contains liquid helium, classification:
UN 1963, Helium, refrigerated liquid, Class 2.2
His dilemma is that his MRI machine is what contains the Helium and it is not in an approved means of containment. He requires the helium to remain in his equipment during transport in order to keep the magnet cool.
UN Packaging codes reveal necessary information about a package’s specifications. They provide concise answers to questions of: what it can hold, how much, where it was authorized, when it was made, etc.
The UN packaging code, however, doesn’t always tell the whole story…
Although there may be other test levels achieved, these may not be reflected on the packaging itself. For example, take a steel drum that has successfully passed the most stringent tests (PG I), and is marked accordingly with the ‘X’ performance level. This package, in all probability, can/has also passed the less rigorous tests required to meet both the ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ performance level. (Referencing a testing certificate, a test report, or the registration of a successfully tested package, will confirm this.)
So what does this all mean?
Filling limits for single or composite packaging, containing less hazardous material for which they were tested & marked (e.g. PG III material in a PG I packaging), can be re-calculated as per below.
Provided all the performance criteria can still be achieved by the higher relative density product, the following will apply:
a. A packing group I packaging may be used for a packing group II material with a specific gravity not exceeding the greater of 1.8, or 1.5 times the specific gravity marked on the packaging.
b. A packing group I packaging may be used for a packing group III material with Continue Reading…
One of the conundrums of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG) is the requirement to have an ERAP for a UN number that is not listed in Schedule 1 of TDG.
The problem we run into is that Schedule 1 is only up to the 11th Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (model regulations). In section 1.3.1, item 39 in the table of standards indicates that TDG is at the 14th Edition of the model regulations. But since the 13th Edition of the model regulations, the UN has issued over 130 new classifications.
But section 1.10 of TDG states:
A person may use the appropriate classification set out in the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code or the UN Recommendations to transport dangerous goods within Canada by a road vehicle, a railway vehicle or a ship on a domestic voyage if these Regulations or the document from which the classification is taken does not forbid their transport.
This means that if the consignor cannot find a classification in TDG, then the consignor can use a classification from the model regulations, ICAO Technical Instructions (TIs) or the IMDG Code. And this is where the conundrum lies. TDG section 7.1(12) states:
Any substance that would require an ERAP if its classification were determined in accordance with Part 2, Classification, requires an approved ERAP if its classification from the Continue Reading…