Dangerous Goods

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Introductory Remarks  and Presentation Of the TDG Act and the Review Process

Mr. Raymond Auclair, Director of Research Evaluation and Systems, Transport Dangerous Goods, opened the meeting with a presentation on the TDG Act and the purpose and procedures of the review.

Here is a copy of the slide presentation on the Review and the Act used by Mr. Auclair.

Presentations by Participant

During the meeting, there was one official presentation, followed by an open discussion period. Mr. Don Herring presented on behalf of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

Here is a copy of the presentation by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

Items Discussed

Following the presentations, there was time reserved for questions and answers.  We received questions and comments about the TDG Act, the TDG Regulations, the program and the review process itself.  We have tried to summarize the topics in this list.  Some portions of the ²answers² were added after the fact for the purpose of encouraging future discussion.

A. Security: Are we going to mirror security initiatives of the United States?

This is yet to be determined, but there is no doubt that American initiatives will have a large impact on Canadian activities and requirements. Where we can, we may set up initiatives that will be considered as equivalent by the USA.  In some circumstances, industry may still wish to (or need to) comply with American requirements, even if Canada does not set up an equivalent requirement (for example, special ID cards).

D-1 Permits. At one time, there was a specified time frame for the processing of permit applications, which no longer exists.

When there was a specified time frame, a missed deadline resulted in the automatic granting of a permit. The time frame was removed in order to prevent this undesirable situation.

E-4 International and inter-program harmonization and reciprocity. Some of the regulations in place make it impossible to comply with different sets of regulations. For example, a plane must carry de-icing equipment in order to ensure safety and service the aircraft. However, one set of regulations does not permit the aircraft to transport the substance. There are too many regulations coming from different angles. If the air industry could have one consolidated set of regulations, it would be much easier.

These comments hint at possible conflicts in the regulations (as opposed to a problem with the TDG Act). This particular case involves the need (under another act, perhaps) to carry de-icing fluid to be used in a later flight.  The fluid must be carried in one type of tank according to the other act while the TDG Regulations state that this tank cannot be used for that type of dangerous goods (because of its size).   Because the fluid is not used for the operation or safety of the vehicle during this flight, it is unclear if the exemption granted by the TDG Regulations kicks in.  We'll let the Regulations team look after this one for now.

F-5 Misleading Safety Marks. Regulations make the presentation of safety marks difficult for transporters that add dangerous goods throughout the day (milk-run). For example, if a driver starts the day with an empty truck, but knows what quantities of dangerous goods will be added to the load throughout the day. Could it be possible to display the placards for the expected load at the beginning of the day?There is nothing in the regulations that currently addresses this situation (the opposite situation of the full truck slowly emptied of its goods is covered).

This issue is related to the regulations, therefore we'll sent it to the team looking after the TDG Regulations.  However, the example could be used later, when discussing issue F‑5.

Other Topics:

Industry Specific Regulations. Participants recommended developing individual sets of regulations for particular industries (This may require alterations to section 27 of the TDG Act).  The discussion included the possibility of developping Codes of Practice that could be given official recognition under the TDG Act (e.g., in a way similar to that used for standards).

C-45 of the Criminal Code. Participants concerned that the passage of C-45 (Criminal Code) means a company can be held criminally liable for not complying with the Act. One participant indicated that the intent of C-45 was to bring criminal charges against a company that does not practice “due diligence”. Under these circumstances, the company and directors can be liable.

In general, in order for the authorities to proceed under the Criminal Code, the prosecution would need to prove to the court that the company deliberately practiced non-compliance. With the introduction of C-45, the government now has two options for laying charges, either under the TDG Act or the Criminal Code. It has not yet been discussed if one of these two options should be eliminated.  Some think that these two options already exist today if the intentional non-compliance amounts to gross negligence.


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