Yukon legislation and regulations around liquefied natural gas were not in play when a tanker truck tipped over near Dawson last week.
Federal laws deal with the transportation of dangerous goods, like LNG, Premier Darrell Pasloski said.
Energy, Mines and Resources confirmed Yukon’s rules only come into play when the LNG arrives at its destination.
The premier was responding to a statement by Liberal Leader Sandy Silver who praised local firefighters and other responders but called the Yukon government response to the crash “oddly slow.”
“I’m calling on the premier to explain what rules are in place to address this type of incident and whether they are adequate given the coming expansion of LNG related traffic through the Yukon,” Silver said.
According to Dawson City fire chief Jim Regimbal, firefighters were at the crash in less than five minutes and secured the scene.
“It’s disappointing that Mr. Silver would suggest that Dawson-based Yukon government employees were slow in responding to the recent LNG tanker truck rollover,” Pasloski fired back in a statement of his own.
“There are protocols in place to deal with incidents such as this, and as trained emergency responders, the lead responders in this situation were the Dawson City Fire Department and RCMP. Yukon government Highways and Public Works staff supported these trained first responders once the site was secured by installing signage and updating 511 for Yukoners.”
The Yukon’s LNG regulations came into effect last year.
“The gas processing plant regulation regulates from the truck delivery connection to the outlet pipe of the vaporizer,” said Energy, Mines and Resources spokesperson Jesse Devost.
“So basically where the hose from the truck hooks up to our storage tank or the vaporizer, that’s where our regulations kick in.”
In an interview with the News last week, Pasloski said: “Legislation and regulations that are in place are best in class in the country, and we do need to address such things such as the safe transportation and the storage of LNG.”
Cabinet spokesperson Elaine Schiman clarified this week that “what the premier was referring to in his quote was perhaps not so much transportation, but the transfer, handling, storage and burning, which is what our regulations deal with.”
The federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and regulations apply to anyone importing, handling, preparing for transport, or transporting dangerous goods like LNG, Transport Canada spokesperson Jill Ritchot explained.
Transport Canada was actively involved in the incident in Dawson, she said.
The department worked with the company that shipped the LNG to make sure it activated its required emergency response plan, Ritchot said.
It also worked with the transporter of the LNG and on-scene emergency responders to provide guidance.
None of the LNG inside the tanker leaked. If it had, Yukon environmental regulations likely would have come into play, Devost said.
In this case, a crane was brought in on Friday and the tanker was turned upright.
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