Implementing Propane Safety Recommendations

Archived Release

Implementing Propane Safety Recommendations

Ministry of Consumer Services

McGuinty Government Moves Quickly To Better Protect Public
TORONTO, Dec. 11 /CNW/ -
NEWS
The Province has put in place new regulations to improve the safety of Ontario's propane system.
With the regulatory changes put in place today, more than 30 of the Panel's 40 recommendations have now been acted upon. These regulatory amendments to enhance safety include:
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- A minimum of annual inspections for propane facilities
- Additional requirements for licensing of propane facilities
- Stricter limits related to the storage and inventory of propane
- Enhanced safety equipment and training requirements, and
- Public availability of a facility's emergency preparedness plan.
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These regulatory changes come quickly after the Propane Safety Review Report (http://propanesafetyreview.ca/Report-Propane_Safety_Review-ENGLISH.PDF) released last month. Prepared by an independent panel, the report stated the building blocks for propane safety are in place in Ontario and have served people well over the years. The report provided 40 recommendations to further improve the propane system in Ontario and the government committed to move on implementing all of the recommendations.
The government will continue to work with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, the propane industry, municipalities and other safety agencies to maintain the confidence of all Ontarians in the propane system, moving to act on the remaining panel recommendations without delay.
QUOTES
"Our government remains committed to ensuring that Ontario has the highest standards and best systems in place, and we are moving quickly to implement the remaining recommendations from the Propane Safety Review Panel report," said Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services Harinder Takhar.
"I am pleased the government has moved to implement the recommendations from our report," said Dr. Michael Birk of the Propane Safety Review Panel. "It demonstrates they are serious about continuously improving Ontario's propane system to enhance public safety."
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QUICK FACTS
- More than 300,000 businesses and households in Ontario, many in rural
areas, consume roughly 650 million kilograms of propane every year to
fuel barbecues and vehicles, and provide heat for construction sites,
farms, and rural homes.
- On September 8, 2008 the independent expert panel appointed by the
Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services began its 45 day
review of the legislative and regulatory framework for the storage,
handling, location and transport of propane in Ontario.
- On November 7, 2008 the panel provided its report and recommendations
to the Minister.
LEARN MORE
Read the entire list of recommendations (http://www.sbe.gov.on.ca/ontcan/page.do?page=6167) provided by the panel.
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BACKGROUNDER
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MOVING TO IMPLEMENT THE PROPANE SAFETY REVIEW
PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS
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PROPANE SAFETY REVIEW
On August 28, 2008, The Honourable Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services, appointed Ms Susana Katz and Dr. Michael Birk as an expert panel to undertake a comprehensive review of the legislative and regulatory framework for the safe storage, handling, location, and transport of propane in Ontario. Their review focused on the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, and Ontario's regulations compared with internationally recognized best practices.
On November 7, 2008, the panel submitted its report to Minister Takhar, noting its finding that propane is a safe fuel when properly handled and that the building blocks for propane safety are in place in Ontario and have served Ontarians well over the years. Nonetheless, the report also made 40 recommendations aimed at strengthening propane safety in Ontario.
Immediately following release of the report, the government committed to act quickly to implement the recommendations and see that Ontario has the highest standards and best systems in place to further enhance the safety of all Ontarians.
IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS
With several regulatory changes put in place today, more than 30 of the Panel's 40 recommendations have now been acted upon.
Regulatory amendments have been made to the Propane Storage and Handling Regulation and Fuel Industry Certificates Regulation, both under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, which address the following areas:
Inspections - Propane facilities will be inspected on an annual basis, or more frequently in some cases.
Licensing - Propane facilities will be required to create, implement and update risk and safety management plans, and seek fire service approval of applications for new and expanded facilities. Municipalities will also be able to provide input on new and modified facilities, where they may impact land use planning.
Operations - Propane operators must declare and abide by limits relating to the total amount of storage and inventory of propane, and keep records to demonstrate maintenance of fire safety equipment and systems.
Qualifications - Propane safety trainers will be required to have both practical and theoretical knowledge of propane. Propane facility employees as well as at least one partner, director or officer of every company operating a propane facility, will be required to carry and produce proof of their credentials upon request, and their training will be reviewed at least every three years.
Public Interaction - Emergency preparedness sections of the risk and safety management plans for propane facilities will be made available to the public.
In the months to come, the government intends to move forward on the other regulatory amendments and policy changes, as well as introducing legislative amendments necessary to act upon the panel's remaining recommendations.
The detailed amendments to the Propane Storage and Handling Regulation and Fuel Industry Certificates Regulation can be viewed at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/. Information will be posted after December 16, 2008.
For an update on progress regarding implementation of the Propane Safety Review recommendations, please see the Fact Sheet at
http://www.sbe.gov.on.ca/ontcan/sbe/en/news_propane_factsheet.jsp
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For further information: Sarbjit Kaur, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1939; Mark Skaff, Communications, (416) 326-7279