CIAC plays key role in addressing TDG regulation change threatening chemistry industry

CIAC worked diligently to successfully and permanently resolve a recent regulatory harmonization issue relating to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods that would have significantly impacted several CIAC member-companies.

A classification change to the transportation of Oleum, or fuming sulphuric acid less than 30 per cent, wasn’t harmonized between the U.S. and Canada.  This issue was addressed in the recently published Regulation Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (International Harmonization Update, 2016) – SOR/2017-137.

“This product represents a significant portion of our overall plant production, and without a consistent approach across the border we would have been at a significant competitive disadvantage to U.S. producers,” said Dave Emerson, President and COO of CCC Sulphur Products based in Elmira, Ontario.

The difference would have required this product to be classified as a toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) product only in Canada. This would have resulted in mandated costly upgrades to the impacted rail fleet as well as increased freight rates.

This issue was resolved by CIAC and its member-companies providing technical safety information and working collaboratively with Transport Canada in a transparent and fact-based manner and by bringing together experts and industry associations, including the American Chemistry Council and the Sulphur Institute.

“We relied heavily on the coordination, relationships, and existing communication channels that CIAC was able to provide in order to bring about a prompt, science-based resolution to the issue,” Emerson said.

Overall, this issue and resolution exemplify the value of being part of an association with well established networks and a reputation for being responsible and credible.