In the words of Winston Churchill, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Although we will more than likely never reach true perfection, in order to keep up with change, we must strive to improve. With that being said, Transport Canada has a new plan in place to improve the transportation of dangerous goods. This plan includes 23 projects that aim to review the current regulations and research methods to develop new and improved processes for the safe transportation of dangerous goods. The projects will be implemented from 2020 to 2023 based on 120 research ideas that were evaluated following The 2019 Transportation of Dangerous Goods Research Symposium. This will cost a total of 3.6 million dollars, paid for mostly by settlements from Irving Oil related to the Lac-Mégantic disaster in 2013.
When will this project begin?
The project will start as early as this year, when Transport Canada will initiate 6 of the 23 research projects and allocate an estimated $900,000 in funding towards them through 2021. The six projects slated to move forward within the next year include:
- Validation of recommended emergency actions for liquefied natural gas in the Emergency Response Guidebook
- Comprehensive review of the criteria and thresholds for emergency response assistance plans in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- Evaluation of any risks resulting from hydrogen being transported to hydrogen-vehicle fueling stations
- Hazard assessment of energy storage systems being transported in enclosed vessels for marine transport
- Development of a geographic risk assessment methodology for moving dangerous goods by road
- Development of a smart package for lithium battery transportation that indicates warnings about issues inside the package
Why are these Projects Taking Place?
The dangerous goods regulations both domestically and internationally are known to change often as some are updated annually to reflect the needs of the ever-changing world of transportation and various industries. By researching and improving the current processes that are in place, it will help ensure the safety of the citizens of Canada and across the world whether they are on the ground, in the air, or at Sea. I believe the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau says it best:
“The safe transportation of dangerous goods doesn’t just happen. It’s underpinned by extensive research and testing to ensure everything is being moved safely. To keep Canadians safe, we must continue to address knowledge gaps that exist and the projects being announced today do just this. The results of these research projects will help us develop new initiatives and enhance existing ones to further improve the safety of our transportation system and the safety of Canadians.”
For more information, see the Government of Canada’s News Release.
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