20 November 2013 19:18 [Source: ICIS news]
The order, called a “protective direction”, is in response to July’s fatal disaster at Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where a 72-railcar train carrying oil derailed and exploded, destroying the town’s centre and killing 47 people. The train was shipping crude from North Dakota's Bakken shale oil region to a refinery in New Brunswick province.
Effective immediately, the government requires that any Canadian Class 1 railway company that transports dangerous goods must provide municipalities with yearly aggregate information, presented by quarter, on the nature and volume of dangerous goods the company transports by rail through that municipality, transport minister Lisa Raitt said.
In addition, any person who transports dangerous goods by rail, who is not a Canadian Class 1 railway company, must provide municipalities with yearly aggregate information on the nature and volume of dangerous goods transported through that municipality and notify municipalities of any significant changes to that information, as soon as possible.
Raitt added that the new rules would give municipalities tools and information to better prepare for possible future disasters. Following Lac-Megantic, towns and cities across
Claude Dauphin, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, said: "Today's announcement is welcome news for Canadian communities.”
"It sends a clear message that the [federal] government fully agrees that local governments need to know basic information about dangerous goods being transported through their communities," Dauphin said.
Michael Bourque, president of the Railway Association of Canada, said that railways welcomed the order.
He added that “a remarkable 99.9977%” of all rail dangerous goods shipments in
Accident rates of Canadian Class 1 railways have declined significantly since 1999 to fewer than two main-track accidents per million train-miles, he said. Bourque is a former vice president of
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