Transport Canada Amends TDG Reporting Requirements

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…
Canada!
Transport Canada Issues Protective Direction 36

On April 28, 2016, Transport Canada issued its latest Protective Direction. This Direction, number 36, will replace a previous one, Protective Direction 32, with more detailed instructions for rail carriers.

Protective Directions are rules that are not included in Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG). Instead, they are announced by Transport Canada, and are published on their website. Usually, these directives are used when Transport Canada believes it’s important to bring in a new rule quickly in order to protect the public. Since amending the regulations can take months or longer, Part 13 of TDG allows them to use this method to respond to important issues with appropriate speed.

Protective Direction 36 requires Canadian Class I rail carriers to either publish information on the carrier’s website, or provide information to designated Emergency Planning Officials (EPOs) of each jurisdiction through which the carrier transports dangerous goods. This information includes:

  • Aggregate information on the nature and volume of dangerous goods that the rail carrier transported by railway car through the last calendar year (broken down by quarter);
  • The number of unit trains loaded with dangerous goods operated in the jurisdiction in the last year (again, broken down by quarter); and
  • The percentage of railway cars carrying dangerous goods that were operated by the rail carrier through the jurisdiction in the last calendar year.

Rail carriers transporting dangerous goods by railway Continue Reading…

Toxic
The Zika Virus — Public Health Crisis and Regulatory Puzzle

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…

OSHA Flammable
“Light My Fire” – Calculating Flash Points for Flammable Liquids

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…

TDG
TDG Amendments Takes Effect

Have You Made Your TDG Updates Yet?

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…
TDG May Require Classification Records – Shipper’s Certification

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.

Crude Oil/Petroleum Distillates-Products: Special Provision 90 Continue Reading…

Transport Canada Protective Direction

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.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/backgrounders-protective-direction-no31-7385.html

Applying for an Equivalency Certificate in Canada

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.

Scenario 1)

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.

Scenario 2)

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.

Bill wants to ship this Continue Reading…

Part 4 Dangerous Goods Safety Marks Amendment

Transport Canada published in Canada Gazette, Part I, the amendment titled “Part 4 Dangerous Goods Safety Marks”. Notable changes include:

  • introduction of overpacks
  • modifications to the use of the DANGER placard
  • introduction of new safety marks (3)
  • new proposal for placarding large means of containment

Let’s start with the overpacks. Currently under TDG, overpacks are not recognized although they are being used. And this is causing enforcement issues. TC considers an overpack to be a large means of containment. The definition for overpacks will be added to section 1.4 of TDG. Safety marks for overpacks is covered in section 4.10.1. As part of this section, when the overpack has a capacity ≥ 1.8 m3, then safety marks must appear on two opposite sides of the overpack.

The new safety marks to be introduced are:

All the safety marks are in the UN Model Regulations, ICAO Technical Instructions, IMDG Code and 49 CFR.

The requirements for placards will undergo a major change. The table in TDG section 4.15 is replaced. Placards will be required on both ends and sides of a large means of containment. The subsidiary placard requirements do not change. UN numbers on a placard or orange panel will be required when an ERAP is required, or the dangerous goods are liquids or gases in bulk. IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) will be permitted to only have 2 placards with UN Continue Reading…

Amendment 11

Transport Canada published Amendment 11 in the Canada Gazette, Part II on December 5, 2012. In Amendment 6 (February 2008), a number of errors were introduced. This amendment corrects those errors, and brings others into line with some changes to the Act (June 2009).

The changes in this amendment are:

  • definition of “person” now aligns with the definition in the Act, including the addition of “organization”,
  • section 1.15 150 kg Gross Mass Exemption has been changed to allow up to 6 aerosols to be transported without complying with Part 5 Means of Containment. However, the aerosols must have a valve protection cap; in addition, special provision 80 has been changed to provide consistency,
  • section 5.5 Filling Limits goes back to the wording prior to Amendment 6 so as to remove any confusion and misinterpretation regarding standards or safety requirements,
  • the placarding provisions of the IMDG Code have been placed in Part 9 Road and Part 10 Rail; this allows for the placarding under the IMDG Code which means that placarding requirements are simpler and will reduce if not eliminate confusion,
  • other changes are of an editorial nature or typo:
    • in section 2.29(2)(c), 0.2 g/L now reads 0.2 mg/L
    • in the restricted paragraphs of section 1.15 and section 1.16, the title for Class 4 has been corrected
    • in section 1.32.1, the shipping name Liquefied Petroleum Gas now reads Liquefied Petroleum Gases
    • table of contents for Part 2 Continue Reading…