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Canadian government closer to amending haz-mat laws


Canada Transport Minister John Baird recently tabled amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act of 1992.

The amendments aim to prevent incidents when hazardous materials — such as certain explosives, flammable substances and toxic gases — are handled, transported and imported.

The proposed amendments would:
• reinforce the existing Emergency Response Assistance Program, which requires emergency response assistance plans to be in place should hazardous material incidents occur;
• require security training and screening of personnel who work with hazardous materials;
• stipulate the drafting of regulations requiring that hazardous materials be tracked during transport and incidents involving loss or theft be reported; and
• call for the development of a program to require transportation security clearances for hazardous materials.

The Canadian government has sought to amend the act the past few years to improve haz-mat safety. The government plans to continue consultations with the public, industry, first responders, and provincial and territorial governments as the amendments become law and Transport Canada develops regulations to support its new authorities under the act.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/3/2009