Moving To Implement The Propane Safety Review
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/index.html. 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