OTTAWA – The federal environment commissioner says Transport Canada’s database of where dangerous goods are stored and moved could be missing thousands of locations and contains outdated details on hundreds more.
The audit reports released today say the department has made some improvements since the dangerous goods inspection regime was audited before but still doesn’t have the full picture of the companies and sites it is supposed to be monitoring.
Transport Canada must monitor and inspect rail, marine, road and air facilities where dangerous goods are either manufactured, stored or received and keeps a database of sites it should inspect.
The number of inspections has increased from 2,000 in 2011 to 5,000 per year, and the number of staff assigned to the task grew from 113 to nearly 300.
But today’s audit says more than 2,000 new sites identified as possible additions to the database in 2014 and 2016 have never been confirmed and added to the list for inspections.
Nearly one-third of the sites listed for inspection in 2018-19 were closed, had moved, were repeat entries, or were no longer handling dangerous goods so the department wasted time sorting that out rather than carrying out inspections.