Emergency Response Task Force

Record of Decision

Meeting of Thursday, May 14, 2015

Agenda Item Decisions / Action Items Sponsor
1. Opening Remarks by Chair

The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed the participants.

Chris Powers
Chair, ER Task Force
Transport Canada
2. Approval of the Agenda The Agenda was approved as presented. All
3. Approval of the April 16, 2015
Record of Decision

Secretariat confirmed that TDGs presentation on transportation corridors for flammable liquids from the April ERTF meeting is now available on the SFTA site.

The intention of the last ERTF meeting was to have a discussion regarding SG 4 in the afternoon, but instead, it turned into a discussion about the future of the Task Force. Important topics were identified to be discussed including the need for First Responder awareness training, the expansion of ERAP to other classes of dangerous goods, ERAP review and the monitoring of the programs’ effectiveness, Real time data, notification and expectations.

The Second Quarterly Report was submitted to the Director General TDG and presented on May 11 to the TDG Senior Management Committee (SMC). It is expected to be available on the ERTF website this week.

A work plan has been submitted and we will be advised at a later date if we will wrap up the ERTF in the fall or continue. We will likely schedule a meeting in September or November.

The April 16, 2015 ERTF meeting Decision Record was reviewed and approved as is.

Mylaine DesRosiers ERTF Secretariat Transport Canada
Comments from the DG

Nicole Girard, TDG Director General, provided an update on regulatory files and informed members of the May 1st announcement pertaining to new tank car standard.

Members are reminded to ensure the intent behind recommendations are clearly stated in their report to TDG to accurately capture the overarching intent and avoid using prescriptive that would be a challenge to action for TC.

TC is examining all the recommendations offered by the Task Force. The TDG Executives will be making a presentation to the Task Force at the June monthly meeting. The presentation will highlight the key achievements following ERTF recommendations.

A work plan is being developed on the best way to move forward after the June meeting. One option that could be considered is the Task Force to become a permanent standing committee for GPAC to tackle emergency response activities.

Nicole Girard,
Director General
Transport Canada
4. ER Task Force Update

The Chair informed members that he will stay on until the June 11, 2015 monthly meeting. At that time, the Task Force will take a break from formal face-to-face meetings for the summer period. The Chair will take time off in the summer months, but intends to remain available for consultation. The ERTF Secretariat will remain available and communication through the summer will continue. This respite will allow analytical work to be done and further pursue the findings and recommendations from the Task Force. Once policy decisions are made, implementation options will be developed. Feedback will be provided to members.

Some items identified in the Terms of Reference remain outstanding. The dedication from members is evident and a lot of work has already been done, especially with the awareness training and the mapping. A strategy is being developed by the ERTF Secretariat to be considered by TDG Director General in the coming weeks.

Chris Powers
Chair, ERTF
Transport Canada
5. Subgroup 4
(ERAP Program) Update

Subgroup 4 met twice. The focus of discussions was on ERAP activation. Members found the TDG Regulations vague as they offer little guidance on the circumstances or when an ERAP should be activated, when it should be used and what are the levels of service and expertise to expect upon activation. Members agree that the objective is to improve public safety, and an ERAP is one component of the response. If the local communities or municipalities have an emergency plan, it should include dangerous goods incidents. Everyone has a part to play including the municipality, carrier, shipper, province, federal government etc – the question is: “how does activating an ERAP improve the outcome?”.

Subgroup 1 on PD33 had previously discussed the levels of service and expertise upon activating an ERAP. They had identified industry’s best practices and agree on a tiered response consisting in 3 level of services:1- calling a Technical Advisor for advice, 2- having the Technical Advisor come to the scene and 3– sending resources to the scene.

Members are of the opinion that an ERAP should not be considered an exclusive response but should rather be used as a complementary response.

Members are asked to send their comments or concerns to the ERTF Secretariat in writing. The Secretariat will document and consolidate all comments in a table to ensure proper follow-up.

Members feel real time data is important for mitigating and assessing data. Taking advantage of the latest technology would allow CANUTEC advisors to access train consist data that is necessary to assess the situation and provide timely and relevant advice to emergency responders to take immediate and appropriate actions. There should be a way to figure out how to maximize technology to do this.

Members also considered the concept of Generic ERAPs – a specific ERAP submitted by a shipper includes proprietary company information. A generic ERAP developed for each Class would outline expectations such as: availability of technical advice, special resources requirements and response times. The generic version of ERAPs would be accessible to emergency planners and first responders. It could be included in a community emergency plan.

TDG Director General informed members that TDG is already looking into the development of templates including an “executive summary” for a Class 3 ERAP, and agrees that it could be beneficial to the people on the ground. To avoid duplication of effort, it was suggested to provide a sample of generic ERAP developed by the Compliance and Response group to the Subgroup 4.

The Director of TDG Compliance and Response to provide a sample generic ERAP to the ERTF Secretariat prior to June 11 meeting.

Clive Law
Director, Compliance
and Response TDG
6. Subgroup 5
(First Responders
Training) Update

A focus group comprised of Subgroup 5 members started creating a first responder training program. There was a lot of progress made at the April meeting in Calgary. Brian Ladds is leading the focus group with Enform, who has a lot of experience in training development. The focus group is currently working on getting an online self instruction program adapted to the Canadian context (including TDG Regs, CANUTEC and ERAP program) to be made available to Canadian responders in both English and French.

The request for funding has been approved for the second focus group meeting in Calgary. The meeting dates are confirmed for June 1-2. This meeting is critical to the completion of the online training. There may be an opportunity to present some of what they are working on at the June ERTF monthly meeting.

Update on the NFPA submission – the NFPA Standards Council met in April and is now seeking public comment on the “Competencies for responders to incidents of flammable liquids in transport – high hazard flammable trains (HHFT)”. Members are asked to please send their comments to show support of this submission. There are currently ~5 other submissions being considered by the NFPA. The NFPA has not provided a timeframe to inform of its decision on pursuing the training standard after the consultation period. The full process can take up to two years. This is why the NFPA suggested an interim white paper to provide guidelines pending the development of the standard. The Secretariat has submitted a request for funding at the CSS, to help cover costs associated with developing this interim guideline.

ERTF Secretariat to circulate a generic letter of support to members to use to support HHFT submission. Members who want to show support for this initiative will be sending comments to the NFPA before June 15 2015.

Q: What is the Canadian definition of a HHFT? It is considered >35 cars as part of a train consists in the US.

A: The standard will not address the number of cars but the incident that would occur after.

It could take 2 years for this to become a standard.

Fire Survey: TDG with the support of the ERTF Secretariat has sent out a Fire Survey to inquire about foam inventory on site/volume/location that will be mapped around the country. The questions were kept simple; the purpose is for TDG to assess the first responders’ capacity and availability of resources. The fire service and FCM were asked to encourage filling out the survey. The deadline for responding the Fire Survey is June 30, 2015.

Chris Powers
Chair, ERTF Task Force
Transport Canada
ERTF Secretariat
Presentation: TDG Safety Awareness

The presentation was well received by members. Members asked if TDG could share some information regarding the upcoming Part 7 amendments. Unfortunately TDG could not share information at this time.

Clive Law
Director, Compliance
and Response TDG,
Transport Canada
Presentation: Environment Canada’s Environmental Program: Things to Consider during Flammable Liquid Incidents

The presentation from Environment Canada emphasized on the fact that public safety and health was the priority, but minimize the impact on the environment aligns with public safety.

ERTF Secretariat asked if Environment Canada can offer suggestions of simple action to be made by responders from the beginning that could be considered for inclusion in awareness documents or in generic ERAPs.

Environment Canada Simon Despatie responded that since every incident is so different, it is difficult to make one choice beforehand. All angles must be considered, but could still share information with the Task Force at least for consideration in the ERAP process.

Members commented that in many cases, letting a fire burn is considered the best way to ‘clean up’. The air is not considered as part of the environmental impact. It is complicated.

The Chair indicates that these are good points, part of the NFPA standard is to consider the environment in its actions. Could include a slide or 2 in the Subgroup 5 awareness training for environmental considerations. This would be beneficial to the broader first responder community.

Simon Despatie
Preparedness and Response
Environmental Emergencies
Environment Canada

SMEs Project Class 3
Following the recommendations of the Subgroup 3 to allow the SMEs to pursue their work, the ERTF Secretariat confirmed that the categorization of Class 3 PG I and II is complete and that SMEs are now categorizing Class 3 PGIII products since May 11. If the work is completed before the June 11 meeting, it will be presented at that time. If not, the work will continue over the summer Mylaine DesRosiers Executive Director, ERTF TDG, Transport Canada
Proportions of Class 3
Flammable Liquids
Moved in Rail Tank Cars

The top 10 flammable liquids moved in Canada represents approximately 86% of the dangerous goods products being transported for the period between January to September 2014. Top 3 flammable liquids moved in Canada represent 60% (Jan-Sept 2014)

The Secretariat asked if of the top 10, TDG identified how many are ERAPable?
A: No, but it can be easily extracted from the data to let stakeholders know what scale of products are currently covered by the ERAP program.

Angelina Ermakov
Manager, TDG Analysis
TDG, Transport Canada
For Decision:
Subgroup 3 Update and
Report on Suggested

Members examined 5 recommendations submitted by Subgroup 3. They were circulated to Jim Bird and Adrian M for review and for additional information. They are numbered as continuation of previous recommendations:


Recommendation 20: When conducting the risk assessment to determine products that require an ERAP, consider:

  • The Subject Matter Experts findings regarding the physical-chemical behaviors of Class 3 PG I and II Flammable Liquids as documented in the SME’s Report dated April 12, 2015 (presented in April 2015 to the ERTF Subgroup 3), and
  • Volume of product in transport by rail.


Recommendation 21: Subject Matter Experts are to continue the work on the technical categorizing of Class 3 Flammable Liquids based on physical-chemical behaviors, in the following priority order:

  • Class 3 PG III
  • Class 3(4.3); Class 3 (6.1)(8); Class 3(8)
  • Class 4.3(3); Class 4.3(3)(8)
  • Class 6.1 (3); Class 6.1(3)(8); Class 6.1(4.3)(3)
  • Class 8(3); Class 8(3)(6.1)

Edit – 2nd bullet; remove Class 3 (4.3)

Recommendation 22: To continue the mapping work undertaken by TDG on transportation routes and volumes of Class 3 Flammable Liquids and include additional products that may be transported in large volumes by rail in tank cars.


Recommendation 23: To conduct such performance evaluation of the ERAP program in approximately two years from the coming into force of Regulatory Amendment SOR/2014-306 (Lithium Metal Batteries, ERAPs and Updates to Schedules) on December 31, 2014.

Recommendation 24: Establish a performance evaluation program cycle to assess the effectiveness of the ERAP program for Flammable Liquids, taking into consideration changes such as transportation trends, and consider amending the requirements to the products covered by ERAPs to ensure policy objectives are met.

Combine Recommendations 23 and 24 into one. Indicate timeframe as ‘periodically’ instead of as ‘cycle’ and ‘2 years’.


ERTF Secretariat informed members that the SG 3 report is currently being drafted and these recommendations will be included. The Secretariat will circulate the updated version to all members. The intent is to include these recommendations the Third Quarterly Report.

Members would like a consolidated list of all recommendations.

The ERTF Secretariat will circulate a consolidated list of recommendations to members.

Chris Powers
Transport Canada
ERTF Secretariat
Presentation: Emergency
Response Assistance
Plans: Presentation to

The presentation done for ERAC was shared with the Task Force.

Director of Compliance and Response clarified that the shipper of the dangerous goods is the only one who can decide to activate their ERAP and indicates that liability exists for the ERAP-holder if they intentionally don’t use an approved ERAP as per Regulations 7(5)(d).

FCM representative asked, since there is a lack of awareness from their members, both elected officials and first responders, what was TDG’s perspective on how to improve communication with municipal first responders?

A: Most ERAPs are activated before first responders arrive, or first responders don’t arrive at all, as per the Gogama incident. In an activation/notification scenario, first responders wouldn’t be involved. There is an ongoing safety program, and TDG can provide the communities with the tools, but the community needs to use the tools and put them together. A community with dangerous goods being transported through it should have a plan as to what to expect using the data provided under PD32 and prepare a generic response if an incident were to occur. There is a responsibility on every municipality to have an emergency plan in place.

Clive Law
Director, Compliance
and Response TDG,
Transport Canada

Scott Davies: Will work with Subgroup 5 members to make sure the impact on the surrounding environment is considered.

Subgroup meetings scheduled for May 27 may not be a good time for several Subgroup members, should consider possibly rescheduling as to not miss it.

Brian Ladds indicated the information for June 1, 2 meeting in Calgary will be sent to participants next week.

Members asked if the last presentation by Clive could be made available to the group as they feel is would be useful to Subgroup 4 members.

Blake Williams informed members that this would be his last meeting as he will be transitioning out of role.

The ERTF Secretariat is asking members to send their suggestions for the title on the ERTF Final Report.

Members are to send to the Secretariat suggestions for the title of the ERTF Final Report.

Next Meeting When: Thursday, June 11, 2015
Where: 330 Sparks Street, Place de Ville – Tower C,
Ottawa, Ontario (FC 27-28-29-30)
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST