Fertilizer gets newly sprouted classification

OTTAWA — In the interest of public safety, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations have been amended to reflect the re-classification of anhydrous ammonia (fertilizer) from non-flammable, non-toxic gas, to toxic gas.

The change in classification is partly in response to the Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation that Transport Canada review the primary class and safety marks for anhydrous ammonia, following three train derailments involving releases of the gas.

These derailments occurred near Britt, Ont. on Sept. 23, 1999; in Red Deer, Alta. on Feb. 2, 2001; and in Minot, N.D. on Jan. 18, 2002.

“I am pleased that these important regulatory changes have been made,” said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “My department held extensive consultations with governments and industry stakeholders alike, both domestic and international, and is committed to ensuring safety in the transportation of dangerous goods.”

Additional regulatory amendments include changes regarding the transportation of infectious substances, as well as changes to the requirements for transporting explosives.

The amendments are technical in nature and are designed to make the TDG Regulations consistent with a number of new international and Canadian standards, modal requirements and technical developments for the transportation of dangerous goods.

These changes also harmonize the regulations with recent changes to the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations.

The amendments to the TDG Regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on Sept. 30, 2006 and Transport Canada has reviewed all comments received. The amended regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on Feb. 20, 2008.

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