Record of Decision – January 21, 2016

Decision Record

Meeting of Thursday, January 21, 2016

Agenda Item Decisions / Action Items Sponsor
1. Attendance / Opening Remarks 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 December 17, 2016 Meeting Decision Record Members reviewed the December 17, 2015 meeting Decision Record and approved it as presented. Mylaine DesRosiers
Executive Director
ERTF Secretariat

4. Presentation:

Updates from TDG Action Plan to Implement Recommendations from Third Quarterly Report

The Director General, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) provided updates on several topics relating to the TDG Directorate.

TDG General Policy Advisory Council (GPAC):

At the end of the ERTF mandate, emergency response issues will continue to be addressed under the umbrella of a GPAC working group or technical committee. Terms of Reference (ToR) are currently being developed and will be presented to GPAC members at their next meeting scheduled for Spring 2016.

Minister’s Office:

Rail Safety and TDG by Rail remain priority files for the Minister of Transport and Deputy Minister. The Prime Minister’s Office has also asked the Minister to continue to make rail safety a priority. TDG will continue to brief them on the activities of the ERTF.

Protective Direction (PD) 32:

There continue to be concerns about the type and timing of information being shared under PD 32. The Minister’s Office has been receiving mixed comments from stakeholders on this issue. TDG has been briefing the Minister’s Office, and will be treating this issue outside of the ERTF. PD 32 is expiring in November 2016. As such, TC has been having ongoing discussions with the various stakeholders (i.e. CANUTEC, Railways (AskRail), CSX, FCM) in order to determine if the data, as currently provided, meets their needs, and how TDG can optimize the process and use of the information.

TDG Implementation of ERTF Recommendations:

The TDG Directorate’s National Senior Management Committee has been reviewing the 33 ERTF recommendations and adopted a strategic approach for implementation based on three themes:

  1. No Policy Or Regulatory Changes Needed;
  2. Requires Policy Analysis and Development; and
  3. Requires Regulatory Analysis and Development.

Clive Law gave a presentation on the progress accomplished. All recommendations are either fully implemented or currently in the process of being implemented.

The Director General-TDG indicated that the remaining recommendations will be implemented by June 2016, with the exception of the Flammable Liquids Technical Advisor Competency Profile which should be implemented by September 2016.

Kevin Clifford (CAFC) stated that there is an immediate need to increase first responders’ confidence to handle flammable liquids incidents. Given that the ERTF mandate will end before the first responder training curriculum has been developed, including all issues as they relate to the ERAP process awareness, how can we ensure that first responders know what they can expect from an ERAP if they are not soon going to be receiving the training that will teach them that?

Not all first responders will require this level of training. Those first responders serving communities in the vicinity of railways used to transport flammable liquids are most affected.

Benoit Laroche questioned why Recommendation 25 was categorized as being fully implemented when work on developing the curriculum remains. A lot of work has already been accomplished and much time invested, it could be lost if TC does not continue to offer assistance in this area. The training curriculum development will cost money and will take time, likely beyond the ERTF mandate deadline; consequently, it will require TC’s continued support beyond this deadline as well.

TC considers Recommendation 25 complete because TC hired a Flammable Liquids Specialist to oversee the training program development and support the development of training material.

The Chair, supported by TC representatives, explained:

  1. One way to ensure first responder awareness about ERAP is through the approval criteria in the TC ERAP assessment tool. The criterion is that ERAP applicants/holders must demonstrate that the ERAP training they offer to their own team also includes first responders and municipalities. First responders serving communities where ERAPable products are being transported by rail will need to be included in this training.
  2. New and renewing ERAP applications submitted to TC for approval now require added elements; such as Incident Command System and tiered response. This will ensure that the same approach is used during a response.
  3. Other tools, such as the ENFORM Online training Presentation and the Interim Guidelines (under development), will also fill the gap until a training curriculum and other resource material can be developed by the different provinces and territories.
  4. In terms of reinstating an Emergency Response College, TC has limited jurisdiction given that emergency response is currently Public Safety Canada’s responsibility.
  5. The ERTF Secretariat can support the curriculum development initiative until March 31, 2016 by coordinating/facilitating meeting arrangements (i.e. Room/equipment reservation and rental costs as well as any travel costs for members of non-profit organizations). Emergency response issues will then continue to be discussed and supported as part of a GPAC subcommittee (to be established in Spring 2016).

TDG Newsletter:

The latest TDG Newsletter (theme: ERAPs) has now been published. Paper copies were available to members. A pdf version, as well as previous editions of the TDG Newsletter can be accessed online at:

Nicole Girard
Director General

Clive Law, Director, Compliance and Response

5. ERAP Program Review:  Update from working group on discussions from previous day (January 20 meeting)

ERAP Program Review Working Group (WG) members met on January 20, 2016. They continued to work on clarifying ERAP activation, including the authority and process to activate. WG members will meet again on February 17, 2016.

Three recommendations were presented to ERTF members for their consideration to include as recommendations to TC:

In order to provide timely and appropriate assistance to responders and uphold public safety during the transportation of dangerous goods, theworking group is proposing the following recommendations:

Recommendation 34:

  • That Transport Canada requires a Tiered service level as a cost and time effective measure to ensure the level of services and assistance is appropriate to the scope and severity of the incident.
  • That it is mandatory for an ERAP holder to provide services (Tier 1) upon the ERAP holder being notified of an incident.

Recommendation 35:

  • That Transport Canada consider practical means to include a Tiered service level in existing ERAP’s regardless of the mode of transportation that would minimize time and costs to both the ERAP holder and Transport Canada.

Recommendation 36:

That Transport Canada develop a standardized Assessment Tool that would assist the ERAP holder in determining the appropriate level of response (Tier) to an incident.

The working group identified criteria to be considered when developing the standardized assessment guidance to assist ERAP holders to determine the appropriate level/tier of services for the scope and severity of the incident:

  • Checklist (flow chart) to be developed and approved for each service level.
  • Should be generic, for every mode and every product with an ERAP.
  • Some assessment criteria to consider include:
  1. Is there a risk to public safety, property or the environment?
  2. Is the incident confined to shipper’s, carrier’s property?
  3. Is the release controlled?
  4. Can the means of containment be fully assessed for damage?
  5. Is first responder or regulatory agency intervention required?
  6. Are qualified and equipped personnel on-scene who can take the required corrective action?
  7. Is the ERAP holder satisfied / in agreement with the suggested corrective action proposed by the carrier without additional resources being provided?
  8. Other factors to be identified.

TC expressed concern over the suggested criteria. Other members questioned whether or not a rail carrier’s ERP could be activated in lieu of an ERAP to expedite the response process, when the rail carrier is already on site. TC indicated that this may involve some liability for the ERAP holder since the ERAP holder has a regulatory requirement to deploy certain resources (as per their ERAP).

Members agree that for any flammable liquids rail incident, the ERAP holder should carry the responsibility to assess the situation in collaboration with the AHJ and carrier, and to determine what level of service is required. However, once the level of service required has been determined, could an ERAP holder decide that the resources provided by the carrier’s ERP are sufficient to meet the needs of the situation? Would this meet the regulatory requirements? In many cases some of the resources listed in the ERAP could be the same used by the carrier.


ERTF members support Recommendations 34, 35, and 36 with minor revisions.

Next Steps:

The working group will review Recommendation 37, revisit the Activation Mobilization Flow Chart and finalized the Activation definition

Adrian Michielsen
Vice-Chair, ERTF
Canadian Fuels Association


6. First Responders Training: Update from working group on discussions from previous day (January 20 meeting)

Meeting Update:

The Working Group members met on January 20, 2016. They shared the Chart developed with the assistance of Tom McGowan from the NFPA. It documents the results of the gap analysis of NFPA Standard 472 as it relates to flammable liquids and will be used to develop the Interim Guidelines, eventually amending standard 472 (likely in the form of a subset/whitepaper), and will serve as a starting point for the development of a Canadian training curriculum.

Tabletop Exercise Update:

Tara Logue, from Defence Research and Development Canada – Centre for Security Science, gave a follow-up update on the tabletop exercise hosted by TC and conducted in British Columbia in November 2015.

Tara noted a perceived lack of understanding and support from municipalities (AHJ) when a non-intervention strategy is the best option when responding to a flammable liquid rail incident. Educating municipalities on this topic could be beneficial.

She also indicated a challenge for first responders to coordinate their efforts with private industry responders and specialized equipment. This confirms the importance of promoting ICS.

TC-TDG is considering the development of a code of practice based on lessons learned during the exercise.

First responder training Interim Guidelines development update:

NFPA and TC are currently working on an agreement for TC to develop, translate and publish an Interim Guidelines document that will contain excerpts from NFPA Standard 472 as well as the NFPA logo. The Interim Guidelines will not replace NFPA Standard 472 but will complement them. The Interim Guidelines will provide some product-specific details, unlike NFPA Standard 472.

Other Working Group initiatives currently underway include:

  1. NFPA Standard amendment Initiative (process can take up to two years)
  2. PHMSA Project (Responders from industry discussing findings on flammable liquids railway incidents)
  3. Chicago Roundtable (Information paper being developed)

These will result in a documented set of overall best practices. The intent is to circulate the documentation to first responders as a reference package.

First responder training curriculum development:

Working Group members recommended that a small committee be put in place to begin the curriculum development process.  The objective would be to come up with a Canadian curriculum baseline (key components) from which provinces and territories could draw to develop their respective training curriculum (adapted to their own particular needs).

Working Group members strongly support the creation of a focus group to examine already existing programs in order to identify nationally recognized training elements.

A Canadian flammable liquids curriculum baseline that includes ERAP information will help create national consistency. This will improve collaboration by raising first responders’ awareness of ERAPs, as well as what carriers and industry can offer during response to a flammable liquids incident. Members caution, however, that where there is a need for integration of skills, it is important to use a Unified Command approach and not just ICS in isolation.

The ERTF Secretariat can, until March 31, 2016, coordinate/facilitate meeting arrangements for the curriculum development meetings to take place (i.e. room/equipment rental reservation and cost as well as any travel costs for members of non-profit organizations).

Next Steps:

  1. Field exercise:

The event will be held on March 12 and 13, 2016 in Maple Ridge, B.C. The exercise will focus on flammable liquid ERAP involving multiple partners, including TC. Tabletop exercise participants will be invited to take part. TC-TDG is creating a list of observers who could also benefit from this event.

Curriculum Development:

Benoit Laroche (ÉNPQ) will take the lead to oversee this initiative and, with Peter Grootendorst’s (JIBC) support, will explore the possibility of getting a group of provincial/territorial representatives together to work on the training curriculum development in terms of course outline and program development. It is important for École Nationale des Pompiers du Québec to be involved along with the Fire Commissioners and Fire Marshals in order to ensure representation from all provincial authorities. The goal would not only be to ensure flammable liquids training consistency across the country and improve on best practices, but also to create a national entity responsible to oversee firefighting accreditation.

Benoit L. and Peter G. are seeking ERTF members input and suggestions to move this initiative forward.  TC would be interested in the Technical Advisor competencies, knowledge and experience required to provide the appropriate specialized level of expertise whether it is for assisting during incidents or assessing during ERAP approval process.

This initiative will take time and money, and stakeholders are concerned that TC may not be able to support the initiative beyond the ERTF’s mandate. Stakeholders do not want what has been accomplished to be lost.

  1. Interim Guidelines Development:

Working Group members will not likely meet again. Any future meeting scheduling will be subject to what happens over the next two weeks regarding the Interim Guidelines development. Some members were concerned about not meeting as a working group again and suggested that focus groups could meet again to complete any outstanding tasks. The Chair reassured members that they will be kept informed on the progress of work already underway, of any new developments, as well as consulted on documents before they are finalized.

Chris Powers
Chair, ER Task Force
Transport Canada
7. Presentation: CN Rail Emergency Response

Danny Simpson from CN Rail presented an overview of CN Rail’s Emergency Response Program.

He explained that rail carriers are heavily regulated. CN regularly updates its ERP, and they almost always request ERAP activation.

All CN Dangerous Goods Officers are trained in industrial firefighting. CN management will soon be trained to ICS 100. CN consults other partners before acquiring new response assets and on training.

CN contributes to a consolidated system protection map that benefits all Class 1 operation carriers. Class 1 carriers fund the Railway Association of Canada in order to support short line rail carriers with emergency response resources.

Members had some questions and concerns. For example, Andrée Chénard, (FCM), asked how municipalities could be sure of the continuity in the current level of service offered by CN’s ERP when spending cuts are a reality.

In the event of an incident, CN can offer the following response resources:

  • Wrecking equipment and other heavy equipment;
  • Emergency response contractors (various levels depending on the event);
  • Environmental contractors (including OSRO certified contractors);
  • Industrial fire companies who specialize in industrial and flammable liquids fire fighting techniques;
  • Advanced air monitoring (plume modeling, chemical research, ground sampling, industrial hygienists);
  • Fire- fighting equipment / fire trailers;
  • Foam caches;
  • Chemical transfer equipment;
  • Hazmat and Dangerous Goods specialists (tank car specialists);
  • Industrial partners (various chemical manufacturers response teams); and
  • Specialty equipment such as air trailers, frac tanks, and steam units.

FCM suggested that there is a need for more streamlining of the communication to municipalities in terms of ERAP vs. ERP and how they all fit together.

Danny Simpson
Associate Vice-President

Safety and Emergency Response, CN Rail

8. Presentation: Overview of Fire Training Program at Lambton College

André Ouellette from Lambton College presented an overview of the College’s programs and amenities. Lambton College offers a Firefighter Education program and a Fire Science Technology program.

In 2016, the college will deliver Pro Board Certification Training to post-secondary students and municipal and industrial clients as it relates to NFPA standards 1001, 472 and 1081.

André Ouellette

Campus Administrator,

Fire & Public Safety Centre of Excellence, Lambton College

9. Presentation: Overview of Training Program at l’École nationale des pompiers du Québec (ÉNPQ)

Benoit Laroche presented an overview of the Canadian Fire Service Training Directors (CFSTD) and the training program at the ÉNPQ.

The CFSTD is recognized as the Canadian Council of Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners training sub-committee, and includes representatives from each province and territory. It serves as a forum for the enhancement and enrichment of provincial and territorial fire education, training and certification programs and their administrators.

The ÉNPQ was created by the Fire Service Act as Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Québec is the only province to have such an Act. The ÉNPQ’s mission is to ensure that firefighters and other municipal fire safety personnel in Québec receive pertinent, high-quality and coherent qualifying professional training. Training is offered in-station; as such there is no need to travel to a central school.

Benoit Laroche
Directeur des opérations, ÉNPQ
10. Presentation: Overview of Firefighter Training Program at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Peter G. presented an overview of the Firefighter Training Program at the JIBC. The program offers specialized, applied education, training and research in conjunction with community partners in the fields of justice and public safety. Through Fire and Safety Division program, students have the opportunity to train on the largest train derailment prop in the country. Peter indicated that JIBC would like to add a flammable liquid tank car to their fleet. The program also offers multi-agency response training scenarios and an Emergency Operations Center and Incident Command training in support of, and based on real time simulations by response teams on the training grounds.

Peter Grootendorst

Director, Fire and Safety Division, Justice Institute of British Columbia

11. Roundtable - Comments, Questions and Answers

Members indicated that they much appreciated today’s presentations on the different college training programs.

Kevin Clifford reminded members of the need for training sites in eastern Canada.

12. Closing Remarks The Director General-TDG, 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
TDG, Transport Canada

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2016

Location: Crowne Plaza, Gatineau, QC