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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Canadian government unveils new regs for identifying haz-mat shipments

Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt on Friday announced new regulations governing the identification of hazardous materials transported on railroads and highways.

To take effect on July 14, the new Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations require safety marks to be displayed on rail cars, trucks and bulk containers used to transport hazardous materials. The marks need to identify the presence of dangerous goods and the nature of any risks they pose.

In addition, amendments to the regulations clarify the criteria under which safety marks must be displayed for such shipments as as pool chemicals, propane and acetone to facilitate compliance and streamline enforcement practices. The amendments also introduce new safety marks to identify organic peroxides, marine pollutants and other dangerous goods transported in limited quantities.

The new regulations will bring cross-border consistency to the way hazardous materials are identified, eliminating the need for interpretation and providing emergency personnel with a clearer understanding of the risks posed by such cargo, said Raitt in a press release. The regs also now have been harmonized with U.S. and United Nations rules, she said.

"Our government is committed to a transportation system that is safe, efficient and facilitates trade. The [regulation] changes will create a safer environment for the movement of goods that are necessary in a strong, developed economy," said Raitt.

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