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Quebec to harmonize dangerous goods regulations

MONTREAL, Que. - A draft regulatory amendment published by the Quebec government will, once passed, bring provincial dangerous goods regulations in line with regulations established by the government...


HAZMAT HAPPENINGS: Quebec highways may soon be following the dangerous goods laws that the rest of Canada abides by.

HAZMAT HAPPENINGS: Quebec highways may soon be following the dangerous goods laws that the rest of Canada abides by.


MONTREAL, Que. – A draft regulatory amendment published by the Quebec government will, once passed, bring provincial dangerous goods regulations in line with regulations established by the government of Canada.

Exactly when Quebec’s amendment to its Transportation of Dangerous Substances Regulation will be adopted is not yet known. It may be adopted as early as this spring, but certainly sometime this year, according to Transport Quebec’s Dany Beaulieu. When adopted, it will appear in Quebec’s Official Gazette.

The proposed amendment invalidates some of the dates for the implementation of certain regulations that the Quebec ministry of transport currently has on its dangerous substances Web pages. For example, as of Aug. 14, 2004, tank trucks were supposed to have installed equipment that could record their speed, date and the time the speed was recorded. But according to the proposed amendment, this requirement will now only come into force in two years.

Other changes in the amendment include the following:

The current regulations state vehicles carrying petroleum products in containers, regardless of the size, must carry a dry chemical extinguisher rated at no less than five BC, according to Beaulieu. The amendment eases this requirement, requiring only that those vehicles carrying more than 450 litres of petroleum products also carry a dry chemical extinguisher. In addition, as of Aug. 15, 2006, all tanker trucks will have to carry extinguishers rated at 40 BC (nine lbs.), instead of the extinguishers rated at 20 BC (five lbs.) required under the current regulations.

Owners of vehicles used for farming will be given an additional four-and-a-half month grace period to standardize containers greater than 450 litres for petroleum products.

Tanker truck safety valves will have to be unable to be opened when the truck is left unsupervised. This particular change, to Article 29 of the current regulations, is being made thanks to new technologies for this capability.

The amendment will also contain wording that will allow police officers and road controllers to more easily verify the validity of the emergency response plans deemed acceptable by Transport Canada.

Quebec will also be harmonizing its requirements for the transportation of gas cylinders with those of other Canadian jurisdictions. The amendment will also spell out the ways in which dangerous substances must be stored, secured or immobilized in vehicles. Additionally, it will be forbidden to carry dangerous substances on or in front of the front bumpers of vehicles.

Any double train vehicle less than 25 metres long transporting dangerous substances that have to display dangerous goods safety markers will have to be Type B. Currently, this regulation applies only to tank trucks.

The transportation of a total of more than 25 litres of flammable liquid will be prohibited in tunnels where the transportation of dangerous goods is regulated. Worth noting is that in a new version of the Transportation of Dangerous Substances Guide, published last year, this 25-litre maximum requirement was marked as being under review. The amendment will not change the limit, but the new phrasing is designed to make the relevant Article 43 more precise.

Article 43 also covers fuel tanks that are attached to equipment on trucks. Such fuel tanks will still not be permitted to exceed 75 litres, but the changes to the wording of Article 43 will specify that the equipment must be secured to the vehicles before they enter Quebec’s regulated tunnels.

In the case of cranes, the current limit of one 46-litre cylinder of flammable gas will be increased to two – the current limit for other vehicles. The placement of the cylinders must be above the level of the wheels.

Quebec had several tunnels through which trucks carrying certain dangerous materials are forbidden to pass.

There are three in Montreal: the Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine tunnel, where the A-20 passes under the St. Lawrence River, and the Ville-Marie and Viger tunnels on the A-720. The Melocheville tunnel, where Highway 132 passes under the St-Lawrence Seaway near Beauharnois, is a special case.

Trucks carrying dangerous goods may take the tunnel, but specially installed lights first clear all other traffic from the tunnel before the truck carrying the dangerous goods passes through. In Quebec City, the Joseph-Samson tunnel, accessed via the Des Capucins boulevard the near the Old Port, is forbidden to trucks carrying dangerous goods.

The Transport Quebec Web site at www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca has Web pages devoted to the topic of dangerous substances, including a Transportation of Dangerous Substances Guide, available in pdf format in French and English. Information on many other topics, such as regulations, training and shipping documents, is also available.

These tunnels are marked with “forbidden” signs on the second edition of the provincial route system map for truckers.

However, the online map, which lets you select and zoom in on any part of the road network to the level of detail of most major streets, does not show the forbidden signs.


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