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A new liability and compensation regime under the Safe & Accountable Rail Act comes into force on June 18, designed to ensure that in the event of a rail accident sufficient resources will be available to adequately compensate potential victims and pay for clean-up costs.
Federally-regulated railways will be required to carry a mandatory minimum level of insurance in order to maintain a Certificate of Fitness to operate from the Canadian Transportation Agency. The level of insurance required will be based on the type and volume of dangerous goods carried, ranging from C$25m to C$1bn. Two middle levels, C$100m and C$250m, are to be phased-in by June 18 2017 to provide short line operators with additional time to adjust.
The new regime also establishes a Fund for Railway Accidents Involving Designated Goods. Shippers of crude oil on federally-regulated railways will be required to contribute an inflation-linked levy of C$1·67 per tonne towards this supplementary compensation fund, which would pay costs associated with accidents involving crude oil which are above the mandatory insurance level.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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