Q2 | June 2020
ERAC Q2 2020 Newsletter
President's Message

I want to start off this message by expressing my hope that all of you, and your families, are safe and healthy.

At ERAC, safety has been our priority – for our staff, responders and stakeholders – throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our entire organization began working from home in early March and we’ve limited all staff travel to response to incidents only. Additionally, we’ve made changes to our strategy for the year, such as reconfiguring our plan for regional training and assessment and cancelling our Dangerous Goods Emergency Management Conference, to adapt to the circumstances.


Congratulations to RMA Neil Atkins, The Pas, MB, on his retirement after 51 years in the industry, 28 with ERAC. Neil started in the propane business in 1969 as a bulk truck driver and office clerk in the steel gas branch for Dome Petroleum. Between 1970 and 1980, Neil obtained his domestic and commercial gas fitter licenses, and in 1985 he moved into a management role. In cooperation with the Manitoba provincial government, Neil developed the first full apprenticeship program for gas fitters, which has now been developed into a Red Seal program, the first in Canada. In 2014, Neil moved from a management position at Dome Petroleum to a HSSE Specialist with Stittco Energy Ltd. (Canwest Propane).

Throughout the years, Neil has continued to take dozens of courses and training programs to continue to improve his knowledge and to challenge himself. He says this is what helps him to keep motivated and interested in the propane industry.

We’d also like to say thank you to Noel Demarcke, Hay River, NT, who retires as an RMA with ERAC after 22 years. Noel has been in the propane industry for 38 years, all of them with Stittco Energy; 33 as manager. Noel started out in Manitoba, then transferred to Hay River in 1987 and hasn’t looked back.

Noel started with ERAC in 1998 as an RMA but finds that time is now limited with a heavy workload and decided that the time is right to leave his role as RMA as he heads in to his last years before retirement.
Cancellation of Dangerous Goods Emergency Management Conference

Regretfully, we decided to cancel the 2020 Dangerous Goods Emergency Management Conference, including the ERAC Program Information Session. Due to changing conditions and guidance from public health agencies about not holding large events in 2020, not to mention the challenging economic conditions for all organizations, we believe this to be in the best interest of our speakers, attendees and members. 

Thank you for your support of ERAC and dangerous goods emergency response in Canada. We will keep in touch about future events.
ERAC's Continued Response to

We want to update our stakeholders regarding the situation with COVID-19. We assure you we are monitoring the situation and adhering to recommendations from public health authorities. ERAC’s top priority is the safety of our staff, Plan Participant members and responder network.

Early on, we identified our essential services and put a plan in place for continued operations. We remain prepared to respond to any dangerous goods incident across the country on behalf of our Plan Participants.  

Who Knew? ERAC Aids Brewery in Hand Sanitizer Production During COVID-19

In May, we received a unique request from a prospective Plan Participant member – a brewery.

To do their part in the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as seizing an opportunity, Parallel 49 Brewing Company in Vancouver, BC began producing hand sanitizer for its community. However, due to the volume of ethanol being shipped by rail to satisfy the demand for Parallel 49 Brewing’s product, the brewery suddenly met the threshold for and required a flammable liquids emergency response assistance plan (ERAP).

Training & Events

The operations team is working on adapting our 2020 plan to accommodate physical distancing and travel restrictions. Our top priority is the health and safety of our response network, including ERAC staff. We want to be sure that if there’s an incident, we’re able to provide Plan Participant members with comprehensive support.

In the Spotlight: MD-UN

MD-UN, a division of GFL Environmental Inc., is based out of Saint Jérôme, QC. At this location, they have several large bays, well-equipped response vehicles and a team ready to respond to all hazard classes. This team has shown a depth of experience and training over the years, with a long list of successful responses to road and rail incidents.

ICS 100 Available Online Through ERAC

ERAC now offers ICS 100 through our learning management system, Workhub. For our response team network and first responders, this course is free.

ICS is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be effective.
Haven't Logged In To EOS? January 2021 Will Be Here Faster Than You Think!

Transport Canada has given a deadline of January 31, 2021 to log in to their web-based system called ERAP Online Services (EOS) and resubmit your ERAP regardless of when your ERAP expires.

If your ERAP expires this year, ERAC will contact you around 90 days prior to the expiration date to begin the renewal process.

If you do not have an ERAP expiring this year, we recommend completing the process as soon as possible.

As part of these changes from Transport Canada, ERAC also updated our Dangerous Goods Preparedness and Response Participation Agreement to ensure we meet all federal regulations on your behalf.

This new agreement must be signed by your organization upon re-submission of your ERAP.

Environmental Emergency (E2) Plan Reminders

Don’t forget that by August 24 your Schedule 4 must be submitted, indicating your Environmental Emergency (E2) plan is fully implemented:
  • all implicated staff are trained and aware of their roles
  • a small-scale or tabletop exercise has been held
  • the plan has been reviewed and corrections/updates made

After a large-scale exercise is held (within five years), Schedule 5 must be submitted and the previous annual (small-scale or tabletop) exercises with it. All documents must be retained for seven years.

Finally, as summer is a tough time to organize training and tabletops, notice should go out well in advance to give time for planning exercises. During this time, consider virtual tabletops to ensure the safety of your stakeholders while remaining compliant with government regulations.
ERAC Key Performance Indicators
Arrival Time by Responder Type
Tier 1 Implementations By Type
Tier 2 Implementations by Type
Emergency Response Assistance Canada (ERAC) | 587-349-5880 | info@erac.org | erac.org