Transport Canada continues to improve the safe transportation of dangerous goods by rail

News release

May 2, 2019                  Ottawa, ON                   Transport Canada

To protect the safety and security of Canadians, especially those along our rail corridors, it is important that the transportation of dangerous goods by rail be done as safely as possible.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the publication in Canada Gazette, Part II of amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, updating regulations on dangerous goods tank cars and Emergency Response Assistance Plans.

Dangerous goods shippers are required now to transport toxic inhalation hazard substances in tank cars constructed of normalized steel -- steel that undergoes a heat treatment process that increases its durability and resistance to cracking at low temperatures. Toxic inhalation hazard substances include substances such as anhydrous ammonia, a fertilizer used by farmers.

The phasing out of rail tank cars constructed of non-normalized steel will provide greater protection to Canadians and the environment by reducing the risks of transporting toxic substances by rail. Rail shippers also have consistent rules on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border as these regulations now align with those of the United States.

Updates have also been made to regulations to clarify the process for when Emergency Response Assistance Plans are to be implemented and who needs them. The amendments contain requirements to include additional information in the Emergency Response Assistance Plan to indicate how those who ship dangerous goods will respond to an incident.


“We use dangerous goods in almost every facet of our lives, and these goods are an important aspect of modern life and the economy. Their safe transportation by rail remains one of my priorities, and these updates to our regulations are another concrete step our Government is taking to protect Canadians and maintain our safe and secure rail transportation system.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Toxic inhalation hazard substances, such as chlorine and anhydrous ammonia, play a vital role in our society, including purifying water supplies and fertilizing crops. They are considered amongst the most dangerous goods permitted for transportation as they spread easily and pose a hazard to health in the event of a release during transportation.

  • An Emergency Response Assistance Plan is required for transporting specific higher risk dangerous goods. It describes the actions to be taken in the event of a transportation incident and is intended to assist emergency responders by providing them with specialized expertise, equipment or response teams when needed.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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