Emergency Response Task Force - ERAP Review Working Group

Decision Record

Meeting of Thursday, March 17, 2016

Item # Decisions / Action Items Sponsor

(1) Opening Remarks and Attendance

The Vice-chair opened the meeting and attendance was taken.

Adrian Michielsen
Vice-chair, ERTF
Canadian Fuels Association (CFA)

(2) Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved as presented.

Chris Powers
Chair, ERTF
Transport Canada

(3) Approval of the February 18, 2016 Meeting Decision Record

The Decision Record was approved as presented.

Mylaine DesRosiers indicated that the “Proposed ERAP Activation Model” (draft), as part of Recommendations 37 and 38, is available in the Secure File Transfer Application (SFTA). Members were reminded that it is a draft version for discussion purposes and is not for distribution.


(4) Presentation: ERTF Mandate and Achievements – Taking Stock

Chris Powers informed the group that the inaugural meeting of the General Policy Advisory Council (GPAC) Sub-Committee on Emergency Response (Recommendation 28) will be held on May 26, 2016.


(5) Roundtable with Minister of Transport Marc Garneau

The Honourable Marc Garneau, the Minister of Transport, thanked ERTF members for their contributions in making significant advancements in understanding and enhancing emergency response during the transport of flammable liquids by rail in Canada. He indicated that members’ dedication and commitment led to many successes, including recommendations to Transport Canada, an enhanced understanding of the emergency response capabilities needed, and the challenges that first responders in Canada face following an incident involving dangerous goods. The ERTF’s discussions have been very important for Transport Canada as they allow the Department to hear a variety of perspectives, and build an important network based on relationships.

Minister Garneau assured ERTF members that he recognizes that Transport Canada alone cannot address every emergency response issue, and that it takes multiple stakeholders working together to bring forward safety solutions to benefit Canadian communities and increase the safety of first responders. The ERTF as a forum was able to build consensus and define issues more clearly.

Members participated in a roundtable discussion, and had the opportunity to speak directly to the Minister to relay their comments and questions pertaining to the ERTF and the transportation of flammable liquids by rail. Many of the comments had dealt with the need for and value of a flammable liquids response training facility in Canada that offers its curriculum and course materials in both official languages.



Minister Garneau participated in a media event onsite where, accompanied by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), he launched an online awareness tool aimed at helping first responders deal with flammable liquid emergencies.

The awareness tool, which is available free of charge in English and French, helps first responders to assess hazards at the scene, to know who to contact and what resources are available, and to understand how to respond appropriately and safely. It also addresses knowledge gaps identified by the Transport Canada’s Emergency Response Task Force following requests from municipalities and first responders in the aftermath of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.

The new tool was developed by Enform, Canada’s oil and natural gas safety association, and was funded in part by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Transport Canada, and key members of the Task Force.

Link to media article: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1041149


(6) Presentation – TDG Directorate:

  • TDG Key Achievements in Support of the ERTF
  • Next Steps

The TDG Senior Management Committee presented the TDG Directorate’s key achievements in support of the ERTF recommendations. Members heard from the Director General – TDG and the Directors of CANUTEC; Compliance and Response; Safety, Research and Analysis; and Regulatory Affairs.

To date, 33 ERTF recommendations were presented to TDG in three Quarterly Reports. TDG has already implemented 12 of those 33 recommendations, including:

  • Recommendation 1 on the 2016 edition of the ERG;
  • Recommendation 2 that TC work with the DRDC-CSS;
  • Recommendation 3 on Ethanol being shipped under UN1987;
  • Recommendation 4 on enhancing outreach and awareness of TDG programs;
  • Recommendation 10 on ICS training for TDG Inspectors, RMS and CANUTEC advisors;
  • Recommendation 15 on developing response exercises to test and evaluate the ERAP program;
  • Recommendation 20 on a flammable liquids risk assessment;
  • Recommendation 21 on the categorization of flammable liquids;
  • Recommendation 25 on TC assistance in training development;
  • Recommendation 27 on TDG outreach and awareness opportunity;
  • Recommendation 28 on establishing a standing working group on TDG emergency response; and
  • Recommendation 29 on industry’s best response practices.

The TDG Senior Management Committee will further develop their implementation action plan to address any new recommendations that will be presented to them in the ERTF’s final report.

Concerning the risk assessment on the 43 high priority flammable liquids, Brian Ladds (CAFC) asked why it was determined that Styrene (UN2055) would not require an ERAP requirement at this time. Louis Marcotte (TDG) explained that several risk factors were assessed, including the risk of polymerization, the low volume transported and the accident data. After careful review in consultation with industry, it was agreed that an ERAP requirement would offer little benefit and was not warranted at this time. The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) indicated that they would like to be involved in any future risk assessments of this kind.

Brian Ladds (CAFC) also asked if the Safety Analytics commodity flow maps were available on the SFTA. TDG officials acknowledged the challenge in making this type of information accessible. Nathalie Belliveau (TDG) indicated that they were not available publicly because the data used to map commodity flow requires railway permissions.

Nicole Girard (Director General, TDG) thanked ERTF members for their work, commitment and dedication.


 (8) First Responders Training – Working Group Update and Wrap Up

Presentation was well received by the group.


(7) Presentation on the Aftermath of Lac-Mégantic

Chef Denis Lauzon’s presentation focused on the many challenges Lac-Mégantic residents and officials still face in overcoming long lasting impacts following the July 6, 2013 events. It also highlighted several creative initiatives to rebuild the town’s infrastructure, the business core and the entrepreneurship, and also to restore the community’s sense of safety.

Chief Denis Lauzon
Fire Chief, Lac-Mégantic Fire Services

(9) Comments from the Secretariat Executive Director

Mylaine DesRosiers encouraged ERTF members to stay in contact with the ERTF Secretariat after this last meeting by:

The next steps will be completing a draft Final Report and submitting it to ERTF members for their comments within the next two to three weeks. The last seven recommendations will be included in this final report. Members should expect a short turnaround time for their comments, as the Final Report is due on May 1, 2016.

Mylaine indicated that the greatest achievement of the ERTF is the network that was built. She concluded by thanking the Chair and Vice-chair for their leadership, as well as the ERTF members for their sustained efforts and important contributions.


(10) Roundtable – Comments, Questions and Answers



(11) Closing Remarks

This was the last meeting of the ERTF.