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Presentation by the Propane Gas Association of Canada

New regulatory requirements introduced through  “Clear Language Regulations” resulted in both PGAC and Transport Canada having to go on a steep learning curve to understand the equipment requirements and the finer points of transporting propane.

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act allows Transport Canada to enter into agreements with the provincial governments with respect to administration of the Act.

There is inconsistent interpretation and enforcement of the Act and Regulations:

  • Between provinces
  • Between Transport Canada and provincial agencies
  • And enforcement between enforcement bodies within a province.

PGAC members conduct business in more than one province and territory with one major propane marketer conducting business in all provinces and territories.

Transporting propane cylinders under UN1075 LPG vs. UN1978 Propane.

  • Provincial inspectors have insisted that cylinders must be transported under UN1978. PGAC has received interpretation from TC that Special Provision 29 allows propane cylinders to be shipped under UN1075.

Members have been issued Equivalent Levels of Safety Permits by provincial enforcement agencies that Transport Canada will not issue on a national basis.

  • Alberta has developed a permit for ELS to provide a means of transporting tanks with more that 5% under extenuating circumstances when evacuation of the tank is not feasible.
  • Transport Canada requires that a propane marketer phone to obtain ELS permit on an individual basis.
  • Time consuming and impractical
  • Encourages movement of tanks without permits
  • The Alberta model is more efficient and practical approach by allowing the tank owner to make decisions based on the parameters of the ELS

This makes it difficult for member companies who conduct business in multiple provinces to develop uniform internal working practices.

Lack of enforcement of standards by Transport Canada at the manufacturing level has resulted in the propane industry being supplied cylinders and highway tanks that do not meet the standards.

  • Manufactures approved by Transport Canada
  • Highway tanks certified by the manufacturer not built to the standard required
  • Transport Canada cylinders with greater capacity than allowed by the standard. Cylinder manufacturers building cylinders 4 Litres larger than the standard allows and regulations permit to be transported as a small means of containment.
  • Owners of equipment not built to the appropriate standards end up being in non-compliance and having to resolve these non-compliances.

Recommendations

  1. Act and agreements with the provinces and territories be reviewed with a view to developing requirements that ensure all enforcement agencies are consistent in interpretation and enforcement of the Act and Regulations.
  2. Transport Canada strike a technical committee to support TC in the future development and review of the Clear Language Regulations. Committee matrix would be Regulators, Uses, Manufacturers and General Interest such as associations.
  3. TC provides a means that would allow provincial regulators and industry members to obtain an interpretation that would be binding on all parties and removes the individual inspector interpretation process.

Thank You.