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European reference framework on dangerous good transport

Final Report Summary - DA.GO.T (European reference framework on dangerous good transport)

Dangerous good transport (DGT) represents a risk for people, property and environment in the neighbourhood of dangerous good (DG) flows. A lack of environmental regulation to save human life and to protect environment is in place in front of other branches of human activities. The project DA.GO.T recognised that practical problems which are currently faced by DGT stakeholders are the following:
- to define the technology and the methodology to track, to monitor and to control in real-time DGT under a safety and security shared perspective;
- to use common, shared criteria and methodologies to manage and to plan DGT, under a sustainable development and risk-based perspective, taking into account the characteristics of the territory;
- to use common strategies and criteria to prevent accidents, and to manage interventions after an accident;
- to identify normative requirements in order to harmonise EU legislation on DGT;
- to set up a safe and economically feasible strategy for shifting DGT from roads toward rail and sea, accordingly to European politic on sustainability development in transport.

DA.GO.T.'s objective can be summarised as 'sharing knowledge, sharing criteria, sharing safety, sharing security.' This goal was viewed under a two-folded perspective:
- To stimulate international cooperation as regards sustainable development and risk management in DGT, by the exchange of experiences and by the production of a comprehensive European Reference Framework (DGT-ERF) to support decisions.
- To identify shared strategies, based on the integration of common knowledge, coming from different actors related to DGT to control, manage and plan DGT. A DGT European Working Group (DGT-EWG) appeared a good idea to exchange idea, experiences and to construct shared operative strategies.

To reach the goal and the objectives, DA.GO.T. partners acted as:
- a study group (task force) working on preparing information, data, strategies, methodologies, best practises and so on to be discussed in the workshop;
- a contact group identifying stakeholders and inviting them to the workshop and inside EWG;
- collectors of data, information, operational actions, and so on by the exchange and integration of experiences inside EWG;
- writers of the White Paper describing ERF.

The project was structured into eight work packages (WP), as follows:

WP1: Preparation of dissemination elements and discussing documents for working groups.
The objective was to facilitate the communication by preparing an information dossier of the experiences performed by the check and monitoring of the dangerous goods transportation. Basing on this data the dossier illustrates the needs for planning technologies and programs and possible regulatory interventions. The dossier facilitates dialogue and transfer of experiences in the area in which the workshop is performed through the preparation of tools to support comparison (check list of themes to be faced).

WP 2: Researching and choosing target operators / players to set up working groups.
To identify the 'right' interlocutors to be called for the workshops was one of the most important moments of the project. Criteria for invitations were their relevance because of their position and activity, their capability to offer a representative scenario about the envisaged solutions and strategies of their area or the relevance of their experience. In the first two meetings special attention was kept to the regulatory and technological aspects.

During this work, it emerged that a lot of solutions and experiences had been done on DGT and the real possibility to obtain a complete mapping of organisation involved was impossible. The fields under study were much larger than the initial analysis. At the same time governance and legal question became to appear as the main questions. Two face approach to safety emerged: the control approach, based on strengthening of modal regulation application and emphasis on environmental laws connecting transport to environmental characteristics of land and population density.

WP 3: Analysing European area and implementing workshop Armines was the leader for workshop in France, REC for Budapest workshop, and Liguria Region for Brussels.
The objectives of this WP were to:
- acquiring reciprocal knowledge about the strategic themes of the dangerous substances freight, by sharing knowledge and action strategies;
- produce a mapping draft of organisations and arguments;
- find best or good practices of different typologies but finalised to manage DGT risks.
By the end of every workshop the effectiveness of its structure was discussed, and possible suggestions to ameliorate the introduced documentation structure and the future workshops was collected. The best methods to stay in touch and to send each other the respective considerations before and after the final conference were the discussion of the result for preparing the next events.

WP 4: Evaluating European data. Revising and increasing dissemination elements.
The objectives of this WP was structuring the collected information for the final conference and for the preparation of the White Paper and reviewing the materials for the final conference according to the new information.

WP 5: Setting up draft report on the activities (White Paper's rough version).
Objectives of this work was the creation of a comparison place in which it is possible to put in common data and possible strategies emerged by the activities with subject outside the territorial areas. This activity was done at the end of the workshop and was together with the preparation of the final conference. Identifying the more suitable interlocutors for distributing the draft version was done together with the searching of final conference speakers: it was the same problem.

Content was elaborated starting from the beginning of the project: in this phase it was reviewed by adherence to the result gained and duties to write particular arguments was divided among Italian partners. The White Paper draft was predispose for the final conference and, due to the planning of the conference and the draft, it was possible to verify the most of its contents and ask for contribute during the final conference itself.

WP 6: Final conference and results evaluation.
Objectives of this WP were:
- sharing the results of the analysed activities among the subjects in the two interested trans-European corridors;
- extending the area for discussion and analysis of the evidenced strategies;
- producing an action scheme among the interested subjects, aimed to the preparation of a common project, and structuring an area of subject keeping continuous contact;
- identify the themes and strategies of the common planning;
- suggesting an integration of the best / good practices evidenced both from the policy and territory point of view, and the technological one.

The final conference was held under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Transport (Ministero dei Trasporti) and Italian Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea (Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare). The fundamental theme of the conference was governance, so every fundamental matter was seen under the governance point of view. In other terms, it was asked to the experts to speak about their technical arguments, making particular attention to the state of art and enlightening the feasibility of the possible solutions. It was asked, as usually in the entire DA.GO.T. workshop to give a clear vision of the difficulties and problems, if any. It must be noticed that all the experts explain their matters in very clear and realistic relations. The chosen matters were very different, and can be viewed from different perspectives.

WP 7: White Paper final version.
The White Paper about the dangerous goods freight was prepared, by introducing the state of the art, the best practices, the regulation and the needs in this field, the bottle necks and the strategies to overcome them. All the produced information material had been definitively edited also including the results and the contributions of the final conference.

WP 8: Results dissemination.
The frame of this project has been designed as a succession of analysis, check and study in depth moments, with subsequent possible re-modulation of the material and of the analytical techniques. It foresees an initial phase in which, according to the local wide and articulated experiences, a series of tools will be implemented (list of topics to be analysed, synthesis of the experiences, elaboration documents).

A very high numbers of stakeholders interested on or influenced by DGT was found, and, more noticeable, also decision makers are very numerous. That caused problems because the field study, seen under the perspective of our methodology, is enormous. So the solution given in the project was the 'reduction' of geographical area. A bottom-up approach and a top-down approach was maintained and the contemporary presence of the two caused a strong interest for the final conference: all the experts remained all the time in the hall of conference hearing the others and a great exchange of opinions, addresses and idea happened. It can be confirmed that sharing data and sharing criteria is the most critical steps to cover at this moment, but this can't be done in an abstract way but starting with common project. DA.GO.T. is a small budget project and one must be realistic about its impacts putting it on a super-regional area, but it would be unrealistic to imagine a large European impact. Publication of DA.GO.T. results by an editor may reach a large area of specialist and a large representative of organisations and experts was reached in the geographic area of the project.

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