The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), with support from the AAMDC and other municipal associations across Canada, has been engaging with the federal government to improve policy related to rail safety and the ability of municipalities to plan for and respond to rail accidents. Recently, two areas of progress have been made related to information sharing between railways and municipalities.
Protective Direction 36
Earlier in 2016, Transport Canada announced Protective Direction (PD) 36
, which enhances requirements for railways to share details on dangerous goods with municipalities. Key elements of PD 36 include:
- A new requirement for railways to prepare information for the public on the types of dangerous goods crossing communities.
- A requirement that, where multiple rail lines operated by the same company cross a particular jurisdiction, local governments can request that the information they receive under the PD be disaggregated.
- A phased-in approach to reporting schedules for Class 1 railways, moving to quarterly reporting within 24 months of the PD coming into force.
- A requirement that railways work with Transport Canada to identify mechanisms through which more detailed information on the nature and volume of dangerous goods could be communicated to communities within six months of the PD coming into force, and that a solution be implemented within 30 months.
- A requirement for data to be transmitted in a consistent and usable format, and that it be made available in French, English or both official languages.
- Greater clarity on how municipalities can share the data for emergency preparedness.
To benefit from these enhanced measures, municipalities can register for information
on dangerous goods. Please note that if your community registered under PD 32 to receive these reports, it is not necessary to re-register under PD 36.
Proposed Rules on Sharing Information with Municipalities
Transport Canada has developed draft information-sharing amendments
to the Railway Safety Management System Regulations, 2015
. The proposed amendments are linked to new authority that allows Transport Canada to require railways to share information with third parties such as municipalities. Specifically, the draft amendments will require railways to share summaries of their risk assessments with municipalities as a way to assist municipal first responders in better planning for possible risks associated with a rail line. Transport Canada is currently holding a preliminary consultation on the amendments.
The consultation document is available here
The deadline for submissions is October 4, 2016
. Input can be submitted by email to TC.RailSafetyConsultations-ConsultationSecuriteFerroviaire.TC@tc.gc.ca
or by completing this feedback form
Please note that these are preliminary consultations, and there will be another opportunity to provide input when draft regulatory amendments are developed.
The AAMDC would like to thank the FCM for their leadership and advocacy efforts on improving rail safety in municipalities across Canada.
Enquiries may be directed to:
Director, Advocacy and Communications