Kitimat fire chief welcomes new federal rules on railroad transport

New rules to disclose dangerous goods to municipalities by rail companies is welcomed by Kitimat's fire chief.

An announcement from the federal government on November 20 that puts new rules on rail companies is being welcomed by Kitimat Fire Chief Trent Bossence.

The federal minister of transport, Lisa Raitt, announced a protective order that directs rail companies to share information with municipalities of all dangerous goods that are being transported through the community.

Bossence said that Kitimat has always kept a close eye on what’s being moved through the community, but these new rules will be an added boost.

“It improves our awareness and in a sense it should improve the pre-planning of municipalities and fire departments to deal with it,” he said.

He said right now there isn’t much dangerous product being moved by rail locally.

“We’re pretty safe in a sense of rail activity and the products that come in by rail, now that the condensate and methanol and all that is no longer being shipped in and out of Kitimat,” he said.

He said the fire department is also offered training from CN to help them plan for possible situations, but that it’s up to CN to handle any possible chemical spills.

With this development for rail transport, Bossence did suggest it’d be helpful for similar kinds of reporting to be made available for materials transported on highways.

He said there’s a lot of gasoline and diesel being transported to service the camps and construction in the area.

But he does admit that a truck going off the road won’t spill nearly as much product as a train could.