Transport Canada takes action in response to TSB’s initial Lac-Mégantic recommendations

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Improving the safety of Canada’s railway and transportation of dangerous goods systems

April 23, 2014 – Ottawa – Transport Canada

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced decisive actions to address the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s initial recommendations regarding the ongoing investigation into the Lac-Mégantic train derailment.

Following the tragic accident last summer, Transport Canada took immediate steps to protect Canadians and the communities along our country’s railway lines. The Government of Canada is building upon this work by introducing concrete measures to further strengthen Canada’s regulation and oversight of rail safety and the transportation of dangerous goods. Effective immediately, Transport Canada will:

  • Issue a Protective Direction removing the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars from dangerous goods service;
  • Require DOT-111 tank cars used to transport crude oil and ethanol that do not meet the standard published in January 2014 in Canada Gazette, Part I, or any other future standard, to be phased out or refitted within three years;
  • Issue a Protective Direction requiring Emergency Response Assistance Plans for crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and ethanol;
  • Create a task force that brings stakeholders such as municipalities, first responders, railways and shippers together to strengthen emergency response capacity across the country; and
  • Require railway companies to reduce the speed of trains carrying dangerous goods and implement other key operating practices.

Transport Canada is working closely with stakeholders—railways, shippers, municipalities, first responders, Aboriginal communities, provincial and territorial governments, and U.S. officials— to protect the health and safety of Canadians. The department continues to cooperate fully with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s ongoing investigation.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada invested $60 million to support response and recovery efforts in Lac-Mégantic and committed up to $95 million for decontamination efforts.
  • Emergency Response Assistance Plans will be required for trains that have even a single tank car loaded with one of the following flammable liquids transported in large quantity by rail: crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, or ethanol.
  • Transport Canada is issuing a Ministerial Order that requires railway companies to develop new rules regarding operating practices for the safe transportation of dangerous goods.
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