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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Canadian government requires more durable tank cars for certain hazmats

Certain tank cars in Canada now must be constructed from a stronger steel.
Photo – CN


Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau yesterday announced amendments to hazardous materials transportation regulations that impact tank cars and emergency response assistance plans.

Hazmat shippers now are required to move toxic inhalation-hazard substances in tank cars constructed of normalized steel that undergoes a heat treatment process to increase durability and resistance to cracking at low temperatures. Toxic inhalation hazard substances include chlorine, anhydrous ammonia and certain fertilizers.

Phasing out tank cars constructed of non-normalized steel will provide greater protection to Canadians and the environment by reducing the risks of transporting toxic substances by rail, Garneau said in a press release. Rail shippers also will gain consistent rules since Canada's regulations now will align with those in the United States, he said.

"The safe transportation [of hazmats] by rail remains one of my priorities, and these updates to our regulations are another concrete step our government is taking to protect Canadians and maintain our safe and secure rail transportation system," Garneau said.

The regulations also clarify the process for when emergency response assistance plans need to be implemented and who to distribute them to. The amendments require additional information in the plans to indicate how hazmat shippers should respond to an incident.

Required for transporting specific higher-risk hazmats, the plans describe the actions to be taken if an incident occurs, and provide emergency responders specialized expertise and information on equipment or response teams.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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