Guide for persons who have an emergency response assistance plan

This guide is for anyone who has an approved emergency response assistance plan (ERAP). Having an approved ERAP means that you have received approval for an ERAP from Transport Canada or have been authorized to use another person's ERAP. Review the following information in full to learn what having an ERAP means.

Disclaimer

This guide is for information purposes only and has no legal force or effect. If there is a conflict between this guide and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act or the TDG Regulations, the TDG Act and TDG Regulations take precedence.

In this guide, a release or anticipated release of dangerous goods that require an ERAP in the course of their handling or transporting that endangers, or could endanger, public safety is shortened to “a release or anticipated release”.

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Maintaining your ERAP approval

During the period your ERAP is valid, you must ensure your ERAP can be implemented and will be effective at responding to a release or anticipated release.

When any information in subsection 7.3(2) of the TDG Regulations has changed, you must re-apply for approval of an ERAP and update the information that changed. When you update an ERAP application, you will need to specify the reason for the change.

You can update your ERAP from your dashboard in ERAP Online Services (EOS). If your ERAP approval is still valid and the changes you are making do not affect your response capability for the dangerous goods being shipped, you can continue to use the ERAP reference number and ERAP telephone number on shipping documents while we review your ERAP application.

Here are two examples.

You have submitted an ERAP application for approval, and have removed a province from your geographical areas of coverage. You have also changed the address of a response location and contact information. You can continue using the ERAP reference number and ERAP telephone number on the shipping document while your ERAP is under review.

You have submitted an ERAP application for approval and have changed an emergency response contractor, modified a dangerous good and added 2 provinces to your geographical area of coverage. Dangerous goods affected by these changes cannot be shipped until you have received approval for the ERAP.

Before your ERAP expires

Keep in Mind

Make sure to submit your application in EOS at least 30 days before it expires. This will ensure there is enough time before your plan expires for us to review your application and for you to make changes, if needed.

If your ERAP expires, even while we review your application or ask for changes, it is no longer valid and your ERAP reference number cannot be used on a shipping document. You will have to wait for a new approval before the dangerous goods in your ERAP are shipped.

Only ERAPs within 6 months of their expiry can be renewed and given a new approval period. If you submit an ERAP application more than 6 months from the expiry date, the approval period will generally remain unchanged. We will notify the primary and secondary ERAP contacts 90 and 30 days before the expiry date and on the day of the expiry of the ERAP approval period.

You can request the renewal of your ERAP from your dashboard in EOS.

ERAP no longer needed

You must request the termination of your ERAP on the dashboard in EOS, when it is no longer required. You will receive confirmation by email and a document stating that your ERAP is now revoked.

Training and exercises related to your ERAP

In the context of an ERAP, a training is any learning activity for response personnel on the dangerous goods and means of containment found in the ERAP.

For example, training includes:

  • taking courses or workshops
  • attending a TRANSCAER event
  • reviewing the valve arrangement on a means of containment

In the context of an ERAP, a tabletop exercise means a non-physical activity with the response personnel, during which actions outlined in your ERAP, potential incident analysis (PIA) or the standard operating procedures or guidelines of your company or third party responders are used to respond to a hypothetical release of one or more dangerous goods. You should test the implementation procedure of your ERAP regularly.

In the context of an ERAP, a hands-on exercise means any physical activity with the response personnel, using equipment found in the ERAP, to respond to a hypothetical release of one or more dangerous goods. The actions taken during the exercise should reflect the actions outlined in your ERAP, PIA or the standard operating procedures or guidelines of your company or third party responders.

We encourage you to use live product for hands-on exercises. We understand that training with live product can be expensive and may also present a safety risk to trainees. In some cases, you may use an inert product such as water, as a substitute for dangerous goods in an exercise. Despite using an inert product, the means of containment, mode of transportation, equipment, personal protection equipment (PPE) and procedures used should be those found in the ERAP.

Depending on the scale of the exercise and time allotted, you could discuss and simulate the Incident Command System (ICS) and associated forms, as well as decontamination, rather than fully using them.

Example of hands-on exercises include:

  • live or inert product transfer
  • flaring
  • PPE donning and doffing
  • decontamination drills

We do not set the frequency of exercises but can ask you to provide us with a schedule showing your planned exercises. We recommend that you complete a combination of training, tabletop and hands-on exercises regularly. It is your responsibility to ensure that all response personnel found in your ERAP, whether they are part of your company or a third party responder, are trained and have the knowledge and skills to respond to a release or anticipated release in a timely, safe, appropriate and coordinated manner.

You must regularly assess the knowledge, experience and capacity of the response personnel found in your ERAP. You may not need to hold exercises at all your response locations or for all of the dangerous goods found in your ERAP. You should schedule training and exercises for the response personnel based on their needs. We suggest that you review your training and exercise needs yearly.

We strongly encourage you to attend or be part of third party responder exercises. Third party exercises must use the equipment found in the ERAP to respond to a simulated release of one or more dangerous goods. The actions taken during the exercise should reflect the actions outlined in your ERAP, PIA or the standard operating procedures or guidelines of third party responders.

You may be asked to do an exercise at any time, if we believe on reasonable grounds that an exercise is needed to ensure the plan can be implemented and will be effective in responding to a release or anticipated release. We do not need to be present at the exercise. However, if we are made aware ahead of time and are available, we may attend.

An exercise is not a replacement for the assessment of a response location. However, the activities performed at exercises may be taken into account when completing the assessment.

You must keep records of each exercise, including:

  • the date of the exercise
  • the location of the exercise
  • a signed attendance sheet showing who participated in the exercise
  • the dangerous goods and means of containment involved
  • the actions performed

Records of your exercises must be made available to us upon request and kept for the duration of the ERAP approval.

An ERAP approval can be revoked if exercises are not performed regularly or if exercises that we require are not completed in the allocated time.

Response location assessments

A response location assessment is an investigation of your capabilities to respond to a release or anticipated release. The assessments are only done at response locations identified in your ERAP application.

Depending on the type of approval you receive, you may not be subject to a response location assessment.

For example:

Higher-risk ERAPs with an interim approval will require the assessment of some or all of the response locations identified in your application.

The number of locations to be assessed depends on the complexity of your ERAP, where the locations are found and who operates the locations.

We may assess some or all of the response locations managed by your company or by a mutual aid partner. A number of response locations will be assessed, until we believe on reasonable grounds that the plan can be implemented and will be effective in responding to a release or anticipated release. These assessments are usually completed in the earlier stage of your approval period.

Response locations operated by third party response contractors are generally assessed by us every 2 years.

You are responsible for ensuring that locations operated by third party responders have the necessary resources to effectively respond to a release or anticipated release.

Before the assessment of a response location, we will connect with you to identify the person who manages the equipment at that location and set a mutually convenient time for the visit. A form and instructions will be sent to this person before the date of the assessment. You must complete the form and return it to the assigned remedial measures specialist (RMS) by the required date. Completing this form allows the RMS to review the information ahead of the visit and reduce the time required to complete the investigation on site.

During a response location assessment, you should expect the RMS to examine, if applicable:

  • equipment and maintenance records
  • training records and proof of training
  • a copy of your ERAP
  • standard operating procedures or guidelines
  • incident reports
  • any other documentation important to the effective implementation of the ERAP

After an assessment, we will notify you of any changes we believe are required so the plan can be implemented and will be effective in responding to a release or anticipated release. You must address these changes in the time allocated by us. You may also receive recommendations for improvement. Although recommendations are not mandatory, we suggest these also be addressed. If changes or recommendations are requested, they will be shared with you and third party responders, when applicable.

After all of the response locations identified by us have been assessed and required changes have been addressed, if you held an interim approval for your ERAP, the ERAP's status will change to approved. Unless the ERAP is within 6 months of its expiry or all the investigations needed to ensure the plan can be implemented effectively are completed, the approval period will remain the same.

You can request a copy of the completed report. However, sections of the report reserved for us will not be shared. To request a copy of the report, contact us.

Using an ERAP on shipping documents

Under subsection 3.6(1) of the TDG Regulations, shipping documents for dangerous goods requiring an ERAP must include the ERAP reference number and ERAP telephone number related to your ERAP. The consignor should ensure this information is correct and not misleading.

ERAP reference number

The ERAP reference number is a number in the format of X-YYYY or X-YYYY-ZZZ, which must be included on a shipping document for dangerous goods as per paragraph 3.6(1)(a) of the TDG Regulations. The number is issued once the ERAP has been approved. ERAP reference numbers for revoked or expired ERAPs are not valid and cannot be used on shipping documents.

The ERAP reference number to be used on a shipping document must be that of the person who requires the ERAP for that consignment, in accordance with subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act. This person can be an authorized user of an ERAP, as per section 7.7 of the TDG Regulations.

Only one ERAP reference number can be shown on a shipping document. If more than one ERAP reference number applies to the consignment, you should create 2 separate shipping documents, each showing the ERAP reference number that applies to the dangerous goods being transported.

ERAP telephone number

The ERAP telephone number listed on the shipping document must be one of the telephone numbers submitted in the ERAP application. It cannot be the telephone number of the authorized user of an ERAP. There can only be one ERAP telephone number on a shipping document. If more than one ERAP telephone number must be used, separate shipping documents must be prepared.

A person must be reached at the ERAP telephone number at any time while the dangerous goods that require an ERAP are in transport. If, for example, you authorized the use of your ERAP by another person, you must be aware of when their dangerous goods are in transport, so that any call to the ERAP telephone number is answered.

A request for technical or emergency response advice made to the ERAP telephone number must be addressed as soon as possible. We expect that a request for advice made to the ERAP telephone number should be addressed within 10 minutes. The 10-minute period allows you to reach a person identified in the ERAP who can give technical and/or emergency response advice over the telephone. If there is a receptionist, guard, control room operator, or answering service responding to the first call, they must contact an on-call person identified in the ERAP who can give the advice. This person must also have authority, or have access to people with authority, to implement the ERAP.

If you do not provide advice as soon as possible and within a reasonable time, given the circumstances, we could revoke the approval of your ERAP.

When an ERAP is required, the shipping document may have 2 telephone numbers listed. While both these telephone numbers can provide the caller with advice or information, they serve different purposes.

  1. The ERAP telephone number, formerly known as the ERAP activation telephone number, is an emergency number at which technical and/or emergency response advice is provided by the person who has the ERAP as soon as possible. This person is an expert in the dangerous goods and means of containment that require the ERAP and can provide assistance on actions to be taken to respond to a release or anticipated release. This person can provide assistance by implementing their plan and sending emergency response resources to the incident site. This is also the number called by the person who has charge, management or control of the means of containment to make the ERAP incident report. Anyone can call the ERAP telephone number.
  2. The 24-hour telephone number is the number at which the consignor can be reached immediately for technical information about the dangerous goods in transport, without breaking the telephone connection made by the caller. This is according to paragraph 3.5(1)(f) of the TDG Regulations. The 24-hour number may be answered by CANUTEC or another person competent to give technical information. Anyone can call the 24-hour telephone number.

Both the 24-hour and the ERAP telephone number must be available when the dangerous goods are in transport.

When the dangerous goods in transport require an ERAP, the ERAP telephone number may be the same as the 24-hour number. If this is the case, the phone number may be shown on the same line on the shipping document as the ERAP reference number.

For example:

  • 24-hour number and 3-2021 ERAP: 613-123-4567
  • 24-hour number and ERAP 3-2021: 613-123-4567
  • 3-2021 ERAP and 24-hour number: 613-123-4567
  • ERAP 3-2021 and 24-hour number: 613-123-4567

Carriers who require an ERAP

In the event that the person who has charge, management or control of dangerous goods (often the carrier) causes an accumulation of dangerous goods to require an ERAP, they must affix the ERAP reference number and ERAP telephone number on the shipping documents that apply to those consignments.

If the ERAP information required under subsection 3.6(1) of the TDG Regulations is not already found on each of the shipping documents, a carrier could either modify an existing shipping document or create a new one. The carrier should ensure this information is correct and not misleading.

Here is an example. A carrier has accepted several consignments from various consignors. The accumulation of a substance classified as dangerous goods now requires an ERAP. The person in Canada who has caused this consignment to require an ERAP is the carrier. The carrier creates a new shipping document with the dangerous goods that require an ERAP and includes the ERAP reference and telephone number for which they have received approval or have been authorized to use.

Release or anticipated release

In the context of an ERAP, an incident means an event that causes an actual or anticipated release of the dangerous goods in the course of their handling or transporting and endangers or could endanger public safety.

Under the TDG Act, public safety means the safety of human life and health and of property and the environment.

Under the TDG Act, a release means, in relation to dangerous goods:

  • a discharge, emission, explosion, outgassing or other escape of dangerous goods, or any component or compound evolving from dangerous goods, from the means of containment being used to handle or transport the dangerous goods, or
  • an emission, from a means of containment being used to handle or transport dangerous goods, of ionizing radiation that exceeds a level or limit established under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act

In the context of an ERAP, a release does not include those that are planned or that occur during the normal operation of the means of containment or that are mitigated immediately by the person having care, management or control of the dangerous goods or means of containment at the time of the release.

Examples of what is not considered a release:

  • bleed off of a gas during connections or disconnections
  • normal pressure relief discharge due to ambient environmental conditions
  • residual dangerous goods on the surface of a means of containment from loading or unloading
  • residual release when preparing or operating equipment
  • field application of a dangerous goods

Examples of a release:

  • rollover of a highway tanker with dangerous goods spilling from the manway
  • overfill of a means of containment, causing a spill to the ground
  • a bottom outlet valve that was not secured, causing a spill to the ground
  • a load-shift of dangerous goods, causing a spill to the ground

In the context of an ERAP, an anticipated release means that, for example:

  • an incident has occurred and dangerous goods will likely have to be transferred to another means of containment
  • a means of containment could be damaged to the extent that its integrity may be compromised and dangerous goods could be released
  • a means of containment does not comply with regulations, safety standards and safety requirements during the course of the handling or transporting of dangerous goods

Examples of situations when an anticipated release could occur:

  • a tanker has rolled over in a ditch, and the means of containment is not in its intended orientation, with all four sides not visible
  • a rail car has been involved in a sideswipe
  • a means of containment is exposed to a fire or unusual temperatures
  • a faulty or damaged gasket or valve

Duty to take reasonable emergency measures and the ERAP incident report

A person who has the charge, management or control of a means of containment (often the carrier) has a duty to respond under section 18 of the TDG Act. This includes a duty to report and to take reasonable emergency measures.

In addition to other reports required under Part 8 of the TDG Regulations, section 8.20 of the TDG Regulations requires that an ERAP incident report be made after an incident has occurred, which causes an actual or anticipated release of the dangerous goods in the course of their handling or transporting, and which endangers, or could endanger, public safety.

The report is made by the person who has who has the charge, management or control of a means of containment to the person at the ERAP telephone number required to be included in a shipping document. This report is intended to inform the person who has the ERAP that a release or anticipated release has occurred, so that they can respond.

In accordance with paragraph 18(2) of the TDG Act, when a person is required to make the ERAP incident report, they must as soon as possible in the circumstances, take all reasonable emergency measures to reduce or eliminate any danger to public safety that results or may reasonably be expected to result from a release. Although this person has a duty to take those measures, they also must ensure that the ERAP incident report is made as soon as possible.

  • The ERAP incident report must be made before any response actions are taken, if the release cannot be reduced or eliminated immediately by the person having care, management or control of the dangerous goods or means of containment
  • The ERAP incident report must be made before any other response actions are taken, if immediate actions were taken to reduce or eliminate any danger to public safety that results or may reasonably be expected to result from a release
    • A report must still be made, even if the release is no longer occurring

 

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Figure 1. Steps involved in taking reasonable emergency measures and making the ERAP incident report following a release or anticipated release.

Despite the duty to take reasonable emergency measures, under subsection 7.8(4) of the TDG Regulations, the person who has the charge, management or control of a means of containment, must not prevent you from partaking in emergency measures in response to a release or anticipated release for which you require an ERAP. Resources identified in other plans, such as Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) from other organizations like carriers and local or provincial authorities, can be integrated with the response capabilities identified in an ERAP to help mitigate the consequences of a release or anticipated release. Responders should work together in a coordinated effort to ensure that the safest and most efficient remedial measures are used to mitigate a release or anticipated release.

The ERAP incident report must be made by telephone, unless other means of communication are the only possible option. Exceptional circumstances may delay the ERAP incident report. This could include, for example:

  • being in a remote area where no communication devices work
  • person who has charge, care and management of the means of containment being physically unable make the report

Despite such circumstances, the ERAP incident report must be made as soon as possible, even if all information in section 8.21 of the TDG Regulations is not yet available. The person who must make the ERAP incident report is expected to call the person who has the ERAP once the missing information becomes available. If the ERAP telephone number cannot be located, answered by CANUTEC can provide assistance.

The information to be included in the report, found in section 8.21 of the TDG Regulations, is listed below:

  • the name and contact information of the person making the report
  • the ERAP reference number
  • in the case of a release of dangerous goods, the date, time and geographical location of the release
  • in the case of an anticipated release of dangerous goods, the date, time and geographical location of the incident that led to the anticipated release
  • the mode of transport used
  • the shipping name or UN number of the dangerous goods
  • the quantity of dangerous goods that was in the means of containment before the release or anticipated release
  • in the case of a release of dangerous goods, the quantity of dangerous goods estimated to have been released.
  • a description of the means of containment containing the dangerous goods
  • an indication of whether a means of containment has been damaged to the extent that its integrity could be compromised
  • an indication of whether a transfer of the dangerous goods to another means of containment is anticipated or required
  • if applicable, the type of incident leading to the release or anticipated release, including a collision, rollover, derailment, overfill, fire, explosion or load-shift

If a person must make more than one report under Part 8 of the TDG Regulations, these can be made concurrently, as long as the information required in each report is provided to the correct person. answered by CANUTEC can facilitate connection with the people intended to receive those reports.

Implementing your ERAP

Implementing an ERAP means taking actions identified in your plan, to respond to a release or anticipated release.

Implementing an ERAP replaces the term “activating an ERAP,” which was used prior to the May 2019 amendment to Part 7 of the TDG Regulations. The change was made to align the TDG Regulations with the TDG Act. It avoids confusion from previous regulations, which inferred that the ERAP would be activated as soon as a call to the ERAP number was received.

The ERAP must be implemented in response to a release or anticipated release. As soon as you are made aware of an incident involving your dangerous good, whether by the ERAP incident report or other means, you must decide how you will respond to the release or anticipated release.

Should the ERAP not be implemented in response to a release or anticipated release, we may revoke the approval of the plan.

If the release or anticipated release has already been remediated and there is no response action to be taken on your part, the ERAP may not need to be implemented.

Here is an example. The bottom outlet valve from a rail car located in a rail yard was not properly secured and caused for half a cup of a dangerous good to spill on the ground. You were notified after the release was immediately mitigated by closing the valve and the soil where the spill occurred was cleaned up at the same time. There is no longer a release and another release is not anticipated. In this case, you do not have to implement your ERAP.

The person who submitted and received approval for the ERAP is responsible for the implementation of the plan. Having submitted the application, this person is often the most aware of how the plan can be implemented, and how it can be used to effectively respond to a release or anticipated release. However, the implementation of the plan may be delegated to other persons, such as a third parties or a person who has received an authorization to use that ERAP. These persons must be listed in the ERAP, be able to implement the plan, and be very familiar with its contents. Despite another person being delegated to implement the ERAP, the responsibility to implement the plan remains that of the person who has received the approval.

Technical advice is information that is provided by a person listed in the ERAP, such as a technical advisor or team leader, on topics such as the specifications, properties, compatibilities of the dangerous goods and the means of containment found in the ERAP.

For example, advice on the means of containment and damage assessment, PPE selection, monitoring/product detection, decontamination, determining product incompatibilities.

Emergency response advice is information that is provided by a person listed in the ERAP, such as a team leader or technical advisor, on actions to be taken to respond to a release or anticipated release that involves the dangerous goods and the means of containments found in the ERAP.

For example, advice on types of equipment to be used, performing the transfer, the type of container in which the product can be transferred.

 

 
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Figure 2. Steps involved in implementing the ERAP and providing technical and/or emergency response advice.

When an ERAP is implemented, regardless of the tier, you must provide technical or emergency response advice as soon as possible.

Implementing a plan does not necessarily mean that emergency response resources found in your ERAP have to be sent to the site of the release or anticipated release. An ERAP can be implemented to tier 1 or tier 2. It is your responsibility to determine to which tier you need to implement your ERAP, based on the actions that need to be taken. Implementing your ERAP to tier 1 means that you are responding, generally by telephone, by remotely monitoring the response to the release or anticipated release. None of the emergency response resources found in your ERAP are being brought to the site of the incident during tier 1.

Remote monitoring means to monitor the release or anticipated release while not being on site. Despite not being at the site of the release or anticipated release, you should be actively involved in the conversations and decisions that involve the dangerous goods and/or the means of containment.

Emergency response resources means people and/or equipment found in the ERAP that can be used to respond to a release or anticipated release.

You may decide to implement your plan to tier 2. Implementing your ERAP to tier 2 means that you are responding at the site of the incident by monitoring the response to the release or anticipated release on site or remotely, and bringing ERAP emergency response resources to the location of the release or anticipated release.

On-site monitoring means to be actively involved in the conversations and decisions at the site of a release or anticipated release during meetings and providing suggestions on the dangerous goods and means of containment involved in the release while on site.

If the incident warrants you to bring emergency response resources to the site immediately, you can skip tier 1 and implement your plan directly to tier 2. If we believe on reasonable grounds that ERAP resources should have been brought to the location of the release or anticipated release and you did not implement your plan to tier 2, we may revoke the approval of your ERAP.

 

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Figure 3. Steps involved in the decision of implementing the ERAP to either tier 1 or tier 2.

In exceptional circumstances, if emergency response resources not identified in your ERAP are used to respond to the release or anticipated release, you must ensure that the response is timely, appropriate, safe and coordinated.

Here is an example. You used a contractor that was not identified in your ERAP due to reasons such as availability or its proximity to a remote location, or because certain resources were tied up at the site of another incident.

If you intend on using such resources again, you must add them to your plan and re-apply for approval. In accordance with subsection 7(5)(d) of the TDG Act, if there was a release or anticipated release to which the plan applies and you did not use the resources in your ERAP to respond to the release or anticipated, we may revoke the approval of your ERAP.

ERAP implementation report

In accordance with section 8.22 of the TDG Regulations, each time you implement an approved ERAP to tier 1 or tier 2, you must make the ERAP implementation report as soon as possible.

Here is an example. You implement your ERAP to tier 1 and make an implementation report to CANUTEC. Several hours later, after discussion with the responders at the site of the release, you implement your ERAP to tier 2. You must make a second report.

You may be notified of a release or anticipated release by the person having charge, management or control of the means of containment via the ERAP incident report, or other people such as first responders. Once you have confirmed that there is a release or anticipated release, you must implement your ERAP.

  • A tier 1 implementation report must be made as soon as possible, after a request for technical or emergency response advice is addressed, if ERAP emergency response resources are not needed at the site of the release or anticipated release
  • A tier 2 implementation report must be made as soon as possible, after a request for technical or emergency response advice is addressed and emergency response resources are mobilized

There may be more than one request for technical or emergency response advice during the mitigation of a release or anticipated release. You must ensure that these requests are addressed as soon as possible.

You do not need to notify CANUTEC when your ERAP is stood down or when the release or anticipated release has been mitigated.

For example, if the emergency response resources found in your ERAP leave the site of a release but you continue to monitor the incident remotely, you do not need to make an implementation report.

The implementation report can only be made to CANUTEC. Even if you provided the information to be included in the report by telephone or in person to someone else from Transport Canada, such as an RMS, you must make the implementation report to CANUTEC.

The report must be made by telephone to CANUTEC, unless other means of communication are the only possible option. Exceptional circumstances may delay the ERAP implementation report. Despite such circumstances, the ERAP incident report must be made as soon as possible.

The information to be included in the report, found in section 8.23 of the TDG Regulations, is listed below:

  • The name and contact information of the person making the report
  • The ERAP reference number
  • If applicable, the person authorized under subsection 7.7(1) to use the ERAP
  • Whether the ERAP was implemented to tier 1 or 2
  • The date and time that the ERAP was implemented to tier 1 or 2
  • The shipping name or UN number of the dangerous goods in relation to which the ERAP was implemented
  • The measures taken to respond to the release or anticipated release

Direction and authorization to implement an ERAP

We can direct a person to implement their approved ERAP under paragraph 7.1(a) of the TDG Act, if we believe it is necessary to do so to protect public safety. If directed by us, this person must implement the plan within a reasonable time, as specified in the direction, in order to respond to an actual or anticipated release of dangerous goods to which the plan applies. If a person does not comply with a direction from us to implement their ERAP, we may revoke the ERAP.

We can also authorize a person to implement their approved ERAP for the purposes of paragraph 7.1(b) of the TDG Act, if we do not know the identity of any person required under subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act to have an ERAP in respect of the release or anticipated release. In such cases, a person with an approved ERAP would be authorized by us to implement the plan in order to respond to a release or anticipated release of dangerous goods. Any approved ERAP or those approved for the purposes of section 7.4 of the TDG Regulations that could be used to respond to the release or anticipated release, may apply to such situations.

Here is an example. A person who specializes in emergency response, such as an emergency response contractor, received approval for an ERAP in accordance with section 7.4 of the TDG Regulations. We contact this person to implement the plan in order to respond to a release of a dangerous good that requires an ERAP from a stolen highway truck, for which there is no known person who requires an ERAP under subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act.

If you agreed to implement your approved ERAP after being authorized to do so by us under paragraph 7.1(b) of the TDG Act, certain expenses are authorized for the purposes of compensation under section 7.2 of the TDG Act.

Our roles during an incident that involves an ERAP

There can be many people from TDG involved during a release or anticipated release. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Remedial measures specialists (RMS)
  • TDG inspectors (federal or provincial)
  • the Chief, Response Operations and Regional managers
  • directors and the Director General
  • CANUTEC

An RMS, in addition to being designated as a TDG inspector, is a scientist who:

  • can attend dangerous goods incident sites
  • is an ERAP specialist
  • is a trained emergency response specialist

Our primary role is to promote public safety by monitoring remedial measures taken to mitigate the incident. An RMS may:

  • participate in site meetings
  • make recommendations to the Incident Commander in an Incident Command System (ICS)
  • ensure that appropriate actions are taken to protect the public
  • advise First Responders on issues related to TDG Act and TDG Regulations
  • assess the effectiveness of the remedial measures taken
  • remove or detain dangerous goods or a means of containment
  • monitor compliance with the TDG Act and TDG Regulations
  • direct or stop actions, if required to protect public safety and personnel on site, or intervene to prevent a release of dangerous goods
  • provide advice on response capabilities, remedial measures, safe practices and chemical-specific knowledge
  • monitor and assess industry's response (carriers, consignors, ERAP holders and emergency response contractors)
  • conduct site assessments and report to the Incident Commander and to Transport Canada
  • monitor the implementation of an ERAP to ensure its effectiveness
  • communicate relevant incident information to Transport Canada through CANUTEC

The RMS's role at an incident is not to:

  • plan the response to the incident
  • become the Incident Commander or Incident Manager
  • approve safety plans or action plans
  • approve remedial measures during the incident
  • make decisions outside the scope of the TDG Act and TDG Regulations
  • take actions outside the scope of the TDG Act and TDG Regulations

RMS attendance during a dangerous goods incident

Depending on the nature and magnitude of the incident, we may send an RMS the site of a release or anticipated release.

The considerations that might result in sending an RMS to an incident site include:

  • proximity to populated or sensitive areas
  • quantity and type of dangerous goods involved
  • condition of the means of containment
  • whether an ERAP has, or should have been implemented

An RMS will generally attend incidents that require a response of more than 24 hours, such as a major train derailment involving tank cars transporting toxic or flammable gases.

An RMS may attend incidents involving shorter response times or incidents where an ERAP is not required. This is to monitor response activities and obtain information on the condition of the means of containment and the behavior of the dangerous goods.

An RMS may also attend incidents at the request of local authorities, provided he can arrive in reasonable time.

Incident Command System (ICS)

The integration of resources at the site or a release or anticipated release is often done by working within an incident management system, usually the Incident Command System (ICS). An ICS is established to formally identify the resources attending an incident and to establish a formalized approach for managing these resources. The Incident Commander is the person with overall responsibility for the response and is usually a senior member of the local fire or police department. Not all incidents will have an ICS in place.

RMS can play an advisory role within the ICS, such as an Agency representative. This allows them to participate in ICS discussions or provide advice with respect to the TDG Act and TDG Regulations, or response-related activities.

Critical decisions about site management are made during regularly scheduled ICS operational meetings. You should be present at these meetings to participate in discussions, influence decisions and bring forward any concerns to us. We may resort to use the powers and authorities granted by the TDG Act, if needed.

Contacting us during a dangerous goods incident

During an incident, CANUTEC can connect you to an RMS or other TDG staff.

Emergency: 1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832) or (613) 996-6666 (collect calls are accepted)

Cellular: * 666 (Canada only)

Information: (613) 992-4624 (call collect)

For more information on CANUTEC's services and what they can do for you during an incident, visit their website.

Enforcement

The TDG Regulations are enforced by our inspectors as well as provincial and territorial inspectors operating under administrative agreements. Trans-border consignments are also enforced by the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA).

Subsection 7(5) of the TDG Act gives us the authority to revoke the approval of an ERAP. Enforcement of the TDG Act is also done through a contraventions regime which designates certain offences as contraventions pursuant to Schedule XV of the Contraventions Regulations.

Not complying with the TDG legislation

Person who contravene the TDG Act can be charged with:

  • up to $50,000 for a first offence
  • subsequent offences of up to $100,000
  • up to 2 years of imprisonment for indictable offences

The TDG Act also contains special provisions with respect to orders made by the convicting court. The orders may be made in addition to any other penalty imposed and they cover such matters as prohibiting a person from engaging in an activity regulated by the TDG Act, requiring a person to compensate others, repair damage to the environment or contribute to research in respect of the transportation of dangerous goods.

Contact us

TDG Response Operations Group
Transport Canada
Email: ERAPapplications@tc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-220-8749
TTY: 1-888-675-6863