Record of Decision – February 18, 2016

Decision Record

Meeting of Thursday, February 18, 2016

Agenda Item Decisions / Action Items Sponsor

1. Attendance / Opening Remarks

The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed the participants.

Chris Powers
Chair, ERTF
Transport Canada (TC)

2. Approval of the Agenda

The Agenda was approved with the addition of one item:

  • Update on Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Transportation Rail Incident Preparedness and Response (TRIPR).


3. Approval of the January 21, 2016 Meeting Decision Record

Members approved the January 21, 2016 meeting Decision Record

Mylaine DesRosiers
Executive Director
ERTF Secretariat

4. Presentation:

2016 Emergency Response Guide

Carieanne Picard (CANUTEC) updated members on the publication of the 2016 Edition of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) as well as an overview of the changes in content.

TC is aiming for an April/May 2016 launch of the 2016 ERG (the French version will soon follow). The online and print versions are expected to be ready at the same time. ERTF members will be advised once an official date is confirmed.

Work on the 2020 ERG is now about to begin.

Some members had suggestions for additional change in the 2020 version such as:

  1. a mention that the ERAP numbers can also be found in the train consist; and
  2. the addition of all the different fuels (i.e. hydrogen fuels)

Carieanne explained that these suggestions can be considered during the consultation exercise for the 2020 Edition. She indicated that changes to the ERG are kept as broad as possible given that it involves other countries and other modes of transportation.

Carieanne Picard
Manager, Research & Publishing Services

5. ERTF Survey for Members

Members were asked to complete a survey on the effectiveness of ERTF consultation process and meeting organization. An electronic copy of the survey was also sent to participants online.

Members can return their completed surveys to the ERTF Secretariat at The results of the survey will be compiled and shared at the next ERTF meeting on March 17, 2016 (final meeting).

Mylaine DesRosiers
Executive Director
ERTF Secretariat

6. Presentation: Update on Crude Oil Sampling Results

Barbara Di Bacco (TDG) presented findings on Crude Oil sampling research. The presentation generated many comments from the members who were interested in knowing where the samples were taken (i.e. different levels in the tank car). Barbara indicated that the samples were actually taken at the transfer site but, going forward, they would be taken from more varied sources.

Members discussed whether or not any Crude should continue to be classified as UN1267 (Petroleum Crude Oil). Some members suggested, it should be classified as UN3494 (Petroleum Sour Crude Oil, Flammable, Toxic) given the complexity of the product and its behavior during transport, which is known as higher risk in terms of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) toxicity. TDG Director (Safety Research and Analysis) Nathalie Belliveau indicated that changing the classification scheme cannot be done alone, because Canada uses the UN Recommendations to classify dangerous goods transported in Canada. The H2S concern is more during transloading.

Barbara indicated that although it is important to know what is being transported and how it behaves, the means of containment is equally as important.

Barbara Di Bacco
Chief, Promotion and Coordination, Research Development
TDG, Transport Canada


7. First Responders Training: Update from Working Group (WG) on discussions from previous day (February 17,, 2016 meeting)

Members from the Working Group established a small committee to start developing the Canadian training curriculum. The objective of the committee is to foster national consistency by agreeing on a curriculum baseline (key components)   from which provinces and territories could draw to develop their respective training curriculum (adapted to their own particular needs).

The committee met on February 17, 2016 to examine already existing programs and identify nationally recognized training elements. The committee will be using the guidelines on competencies as basis to develop the curriculum and will concentrate on those knowledge and skills elements that go beyond NFPA 472.

The committee determined appropriate levels of training for each category (awareness, operations, advisor, incident command, and specialist) as well as an associated matrix. These documents, along with the latest update of the guidelines on competencies, will be shared with members of the First Responder Training WG for consideration and comments. WG members will have an opportunity to discuss these documents during a WebEx/teleconference meeting to occur within the next two weeks.

ACTION: The ERTF Secretariat will send an invitation for this teleconference to the WG members early next week.

Chris Powers
Chair, ERTF

ERTF Secretariat


Danny Simpson (CN) updated ERTF members on PHMSA’s TRIPR training program. The one day program includes nine standalone modules aimed at emergency responders. Danny suggested the TRIPR program could be included in the resource list that is being developed for outreach and awareness for the emergency response community.

ACTION:Danny Simpson will send a copy of the program to Chris Powers, Mylaine DesRosiers and Brian Ladds.

Danny Simpson, CN


9. ERAP Review Working Group Update:  Update from WG and continued discussion from previous day
(February 17, 2016 meeting)

WG members met on February 17, 2016. Work continued on ERAP program with a focus on clarifying the authority and process to activate. WG members agreed on recommendations 37, 38, 39, and 40 as a result of the following considerations:

TDG Proposed ERAP Activation Model:

Mathieu Lemay (TDG RMS) presented the “Proposed ERAP Activation Model”. This chart was developed jointly by TDG and the ERTF. The flow chart’s context is for both road and rail modes. He indicated that TDG might consider clarifying how “incident” is defined.

Initial ERAP Assessment Phase

During the initial ERAP assessment phase, it is proposed that the carrier make a mandatory call to the ERAP holder of the shipment, using the ERAP telephone number, to notify them of the incident. Since the ERAP holder is required by regulation to have an ERAP, the decision whether or not to activate the ERAP needs to reside with the ERAP holder. In order to make this determination, information on the incident needs to reach the ERAP holder/Technical Advisor. This required call from the carrier to the ERAP holder is meant to generate a discussion / analysis of the incident, between the ERAP holder and the carrier, first responder and/or AHJ. The information shared during this initial discussion is part of a scene assessment that will help to quickly determine whether or not the ERAP should be activated. This would also ensure that the ERAP holder/TA is kept in the loop.

Preliminary Assessment Process (shown in the “Sun burst”): The initial phase includes a preliminary assessment consisting of four questions. The purpose of the preliminary assessment is to provide a clear, quick and consistent approach in determining whether or not an ERAP should be activated. It is the trigger for tier 1 activation. The preliminary assessment questions are:

  • Could the integrity of the MOC have been compromised?
  • Is a transfer anticipated or required?
  • Is there a release or an anticipated release?
  • Did First Responder/AHJ/Carrier ask for help?

If the answer is “yes” to any of the four questions, the ERAP holder/TA must activate their ERAP. Further assessment will determine the level of services required appropriate to the scope and severity of the incident (Tiered Response approach: see recommendation 36).

Once the ERAP is activated following the initial assessment, regardless of the level of service that is being provided, the ERAP holder must call CANUTEC to inform TC the ERAP is activated: this is a mandatory call. If the response level escalates, TDG will monitor the change from Tier 1 to 2 to 3. Regardless of the level of service (tier), the situation is always re-evaluated as needed.

Tier 1 – Remote monitoring phase (“Proposed ERAP Activation Model”)

When an ERAP is activated, the monitoring and assessment of the incident is ongoing throughout the entire process, regardless of the level of service that is being provided. The TA is responsible for monitoring the incident remotely continuously and maintaining discussions with the carrier and first responder/AHJ. The TA provides technical advice and is responsible for monitoring and assessing the situation in order to re-evaluate the level of services as needed.

Tier 1 Incident – Technical advisor provides advice and monitors situation remotely (“Proposed ERAP Activation Model”)

  • If it is determined that onsite support is not required, a Tier 1 level of service will be provided: the carrier and first responder/AHJ will manage the incident with technical advice from the TA (via telephone).
  • If it is determined that onsite support is required, the response will escalate to Tier 2.

Tier 2 Incident – Mobilize technical advisor to site (“Proposed ERAP Activation Model”)

  • If it is determined that onsite support is required, the TA is mobilized to the site. The TA works together with the carrier, first responder/AHJ to assess the extent of the required resources.
  • If it is determined that additional response personnel or equipment is needed, the response will escalate to Tier 3.

Tier 3 Incident – Mobilize response teams and equipment to site (“Proposed ERAP Activation Model”)

  • If it is determined that additional response personnel or equipment is required, the ERAP holder/TA mobilizes resources onsite (as appropriate and required). These resources are identified in their approved ERAP.
  • If it is determined that additional response personnel or equipment is required, mutual aid may be provided to stakeholders.

Recommendation 37:

That Transport Canada clarify the process to determine if ERAP requires activation following the phone call made to the ERAP holder, and consider:

  1. Mandatory phone call be made by the carrier to the ERAP holder/Technical Advisor to trigger an immediate initial assessment of the situation by the Technical Advisor in consultation with carrier, First Responder, or AHJ;
  2. Standardized approach requiring the  ERAP Technical Advisor to evaluate the situation with the carrier, First Responder, or AHJ to determine if the ERAP is to be activated based on the following:
    • Could the integrity of the MOC have been compromised?
    • Is a transfer anticipated or required?
    • Is there a release or an anticipated release?
    • Did carrier, First Responder, or AHJ ask for help?

The intent of this recommendation is to introduce a mechanism that will trigger the immediate initial assessment of the situation. This will help clarify the process to determine if an ERAP requires activation following the phone call made to the ERAP holder. The mechanism is illustrated by the proposed TDG’s “ERAP Activation Model” Flow Chart.

DECISION: Recommendation 37 is approved.

Recommendation 38:

That Transport Canada consider an “ERAP Activated” if:

The ERAP initial assessment has been completed by the Technical Advisor and based on the assessment that the situation requires an appropriate response in accordance with the approved ERAP.

The activation of an ERAP includes a mandatory notification to CANUTEC, from the ERAP holder/Technical Advisor, notifying that an ERAP is being activated.

The intent of this recommendation is to clarify what ERAP activation implies.

DECISION: Recommendation 38 is approved.

Recommendation 39:

That Transport Canada clarify the meaning of “any person who responds to an actual or anticipated release” for the application of Section 20 TDG Act.

The intent is to clarify who is covered and when ( i.e. remote communications with TA  vs. on-site TA) under Section 20 of the TDG Act once an ERAP is activated, and to ensure TC is kept in the loop regarding ERAP activations and the possible escalation from Tier 1 to 2 to 3.

DECISION: Recommendation 39 is approved.

Recommendation 40:

That Transport Canada collect meaningful data that is proportioned to the scope and severity of the incident and the response level provided by ERAP holder/Technical Advisor to monitor the ERAP Program Effectiveness and foster continuous improvement.

Suggested data to consider including such as:

  • Response Time (including time of arrival on site)
  • ERAP Response Team Contractor
  • Plan reference number
  • Tier of response services, etc…

The intent of this recommendation is to introduce a mechanism whereby TDG can collect more meaningful data that will contribute to ongoing improvement of the ERAP program. This can be achieved by expanding the requirement to collect post-incident data concerning incidents involving ERAP activation. The onus to provide this information to Transport Canada would be on the ERAP holder. It will be up to Transport Canada to decide on the mechanism in which to collect the data.

DECISION: Recommendation 40 is approved.

Generic Class 3 ERAP:

ERTF members discussed the concept of a generic ERAP for Class 3. Providing generic Class 3 ERAP to first responders and emergency management planners/coordinators would: Clarify expectations on the nature and timing of response assistance they could count on in case of incident; and

  • Provide information needed for better planning. The objectives of generic ERAP for Class 3 are to enhance the capacity of response; and  increase safety and public confidence by: Improving awareness of the ERAP program and how it can assist a response; and
  • Increasing confidence by describing the type of expertise, equipment and resources that could be expected should an incident occur and an ERAP is activated.

DECISION:The ERTF will not be making a recommendation at this time on generic Class 3 ERAPs. This topic could be further developed with the GPAC Sub-committee.

Next Steps:

As all the recommendations from the WG were approved by the Task Force, the WG has completed its mandate. The WG meeting scheduled for March 16 is no longer required and will be removed from the online ERTF Calendar.

Adrian Michielsen
Vice-Chair, ERTF
Canadian Fuels Association


10. Roundtable - Comments, Questions and Answers

Members indicated that they much appreciated today’s presentations. Many expressed how they are looking forward to the changes to the ERG 2016. Others indicated how much they appreciated the information on the Crude Oil Research Sampling Results.

The ERTF Secretariat Executive Director indicated that the aim is to circulate a draft of ERTF Final Report among members for comments in early April 2016. The final report will need to be submitted to the Director General, TDG in May 2016.

The ERTF Secretariat will continue to exist for another year beyond the last ERTF monthly meeting of March 17, 2016. TC-TDG is also considering the possibility of holding an ERTF implementation progress update meeting in the spring of 2017.


ERTF Secretariat

11. Closing Remarks

The ERTF Chair, Vice-chair and the ERTF Secretariat Executive Director thanked members for their continued commitment and important contribution to the Task Force.

Chris Powers
Chair, ERTF


Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016 (LAST MEETING)

Location: Crowne Plaza, Gatineau, QC