GATINEAU, QC, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Highlighting positive immediate
action, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released
its assessment of Transport Canada's (TC) response to the three
recommendations made on 23 January 2014.
"There are risks to carrying more and more oil by rail and the Board's
recommendations are aimed at bringing those risks down," said Wendy
Tadros, Chair of the TSB. "We are pleased with the strong first steps
taken by TC and will be watching carefully for crucial follow-up action
on Class 111 tank cars and route planning and analysis."
Vulnerability of Class 111 tank cars to sustain damage (R14-01)
The investigation found that, even at lower speeds, the older
unprotected Class 111 tank cars ruptured, releasing crude oil that
fuelled the fire. For this reason, the Board's first recommendation
called for better protection, to reduce the risk that these cars will
be breached in an accident.
TC responded by immediately prohibiting the most unprotected Class 111
tanks cars and by requiring older Class 111 tank cars to be phased out
or retrofitted within three years. "Canada is leading the way by
aggressively phasing out older unprotected tanks cars," said Tadros.
"Now we will be watching for tougher tank car standards - here and
south of the border," added Tadros. The Board has assessed this
response as Satisfactory in Part.
Today, the TSB also released three Engineering Laboratory reports (LP149/2013, LP165/2013, LP168/2013) on the analysis of the Class 111 tank cars involved in the
Route planning and analysis for trains carrying dangerous goods (R14-02)
The Board's second recommendation called for strategic route planning
and safer train operations for trains carrying dangerous goods in
Canada. In the short term, TC will require railways to put in place
minimum key operating practices including speed restrictions, expanded
inspections and risk assessments for routes over which more than 10 000
car loads of dangerous goods are carried annually. In the long term, TC
will require railways carrying dangerous goods to formulate and submit
for approval new rules to improve their operating practices for the
safe transportation of dangerous goods. "While there has been positive
action, we are urging TC to look carefully at the threshold for lower
volume routes to ensure dangerous goods will always be moved safely,"
said Tadros. The Board has assessed this response as Satisfactory Intent.
Requirements for emergency response assistance plans (R14-03)
In its third recommendation, the TSB called for emergency response
assistance plans (ERAPs) along routes where large volumes of liquid
hydrocarbons are being shipped. In response, TC issued a Protective
Direction that ensures that there will be an approved ERAP in place for
the shipment of higher-risk hydrocarbons and ethanol. "The Board is
pleased with the immediate action taken on ERAPs. This is about making
sure that, when something does go wrong, the right resources are in
place," said Tadros. The Board has assessed this response as Fully Satisfactory.
The investigation of the Lac-Mégantic train derailment remains a top priority for the
TSB. A team of experts continues to be dedicated to the investigation,
which is now in the report-writing phase.
The TSB Chair will use Twitter to answer questions related to those assessments at 10:30 a.m. ET
today. Use the hashtag #Megantic3rec to join the discussion.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada
For further information:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
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