Presentation on: Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP)

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Transport Canada (TC) and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Directorate

  • The TDG Directorate develops and implements the national program to promote public safety during the transportation of dangerous goods
  • Dangerous goods are products, substances or organisms that can harm people, other living organisms, property or the environment if released in the course of transportation. They can be solids, liquids or gases.
  • Dangerous goods are regulated for transport and are transported in means of containment that are required and permitted under the TDG Regulations

Recognize dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are sorted into nine (9) Classes and are transported with labels or placards indicating their class.

Recognize dangerous goods - Classes 1 to 5
Recognize dangerous goods - Classes 6 to 9
Image description: Recognize dangerous goods
Class Label
Class 1 Explosives
Class 2 Gases
Class 3 Flammable liquids
Class 4 Reactive solids
Class 5 Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
Class 6 Toxic substances and infectious substances
Class 7 Radioactive materials
Class 8 Corrosives
Class 9 Miscellaneous products, substances or organisms

For more information, please visit The Marks of Safety.

What is an ERAP?

Methane transfer, truck to truck.
  • For the transportation of certain higher-risk dangerous goods, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (TDG Act) requires an ERAP to be in place
  • An ERAP describes what to do in the case of a release or anticipated release of certain higher-risk dangerous goods while they are in transport
  • ERAPs list specialized personnel and equipment needed for responding to an incident, as well as give examples of response actions these resources will be used for

Who requires an ERAP?

  • Persons who have ERAPs are involved in the transportation (shipping, receiving or transporting) of certain dangerous goods above the quantity specified in the TDG Regulations
  • They are often producers, manufacturers or distributors of dangerous goods
Crude oil unit train

Purpose of an ERAP

Responders establishing an action plan in the Incident Command Post.
  • A person with an approved ERAP uses the plan to assist emergency responders
  • ERAPs may be used along with emergency response plans from other organizations (for example, carriers and local or provincial authorities)
  • An incident management system ensures coordination between the ERAP and other emergency response plans, in order to:
    • ensure public safety
    • ensure that specialized assistance is available to local responders
    • minimize consequences

Components of an ERAP

  • ERAPs are approved by TC following the conditions indicated in Part 7 of the TDG Regulations
  • Each plan is specific to certain:
    • dangerous goods
    • modes of transport (air, rail, road, marine)
    • means of containment (containers or packaging)
    • geographical area in which the dangerous goods will be transported
  • Only certain dangerous goods in specified quantities, means of containment or modes of transport need an ERAP

When are ERAPs implemented?

  • ERAPs are implemented to respond to a release or anticipated release of the dangerous goods that are part of the plan
  • Often, the person who has the ERAP is contacted through the ERAP telephone number. Once reached, this person determines the actions they will take to respond to the release or anticipated release.
Operations during a dangerous good incident.
Response team setting up hoses and pump for the transfer of a railcar containing dangerous goods.

What is the ERAP telephone number?

Response team in chemical protective suits with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) on a tank truck.
  • Every ERAP must have an ERAP telephone number
  • When a consignment requires an ERAP, this number is found on the shipping document
  • Persons calling the ERAP telephone number will be connected with someone who can implement the plan. That person will:
    • provide technical and/or emergency response advice promptly
    • monitor the response
    • send ERAP emergency response resources, if required

Who can implement an ERAP?

  • Anyone can call the ERAP telephone number for assistance during an incident involving DG
  • Only the persons who have the ERAP are responsible for implementing it. Any other person or organization cannot implement an ERAP.
  • When necessary to protect public safety, section 7.1 of the TDG Act allows TC to:
    • direct a person with an approved ERAP to implement their plan in order to respond to a release or anticipated release
    • authorize a person with an approved ERAP to implement their plan, if it is unclear who is required to have an ERAP for the dangerous goods involved in an incident

What are TC’s roles and resources?

For any emergency involving dangerous goods:

  • Contact CANUTEC, the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre
    • The Emergency Response Advisors can provide technical advice on dangerous goods over the phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

When dangerous goods that have an ERAP are involved:

  • Remedial Measures Specialists (RMS) are designated TDG Inspectors under the TDG Act that can provide advice remotely or on site
    • On site of an incident, they can make recommendations to the Incident Commander, and direct or stop actions, if required, to protect public safety and personnel on site

Where to find more information



On the TDG Directorate:

If you wish to have an awareness session on these topics, contact the TDG Safety Awareness Team:


For regulatory questions, contact the TDG regional office in your region:


Prairie & Northern




National Capital Region

TDG Directorate Contacts

General TDG information:

Safety Awareness Team:

Response Operations Team (ERAP Program):

For emergencies (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) dial:

  • 1 888 CANUTEC
  • (613) 996-6666
  • *666 on a mobile phone (in Canada only)

TDG Website: