Scarborough propane site shutdown raises concern

Lalith Salgado looks across the street at the Scarborough U-Haul refill station with concern.Lalith Salgado is less than thrilled about having a propane facility so close to home.

In fact, when the Scarborough U-Haul refill station shut down Aug. 21, Salgado thought it was closed for good.

Little did he know it would be up and running in a day.

The Scarborough U-Haul refill station was closed down by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority after a safety inspection when a minor leak was found in the propane-dispensing equipment.

It re-opened on Aug. 22 after the leak was repaired. In addition to this, the TSSA also found an issue with the certification of employees during the inspection.

Salgado has been living right across the propane site at 4095 Kingston Rd. for about 10 years now.

“I saw this [propane site] after I bought this house, otherwise I would have been reluctant to buy it,” he says. “If a truck comes and gets off the road, off the barrier and hits the site, it’s very, very dangerous.

“Especially in the winter, I’ve seen many accidents here.”

Salgado is extremely concerned about the safety of his family and says he is planning on sending a letter or starting a petition in order to make some changes in the neighbourhood.

Margaret McKimmie, meanwhile, has been living in the same neighbourhood for 40 years, and she says she is not too concerned about having a propane site in the area.

“So many people have got barbeques, you know, where do you go to get it if it’s not in your neighbourhood?” she says.

“If we lived in a house where we need to barbeque, then yeah, we need one or want to know that there is one fairly close that we wouldn’t have to travel too far with it in the car you know,” says another neighbour, who asked her name not be revealed.

Most say if they were to move, whether or not a propane facility is in the area would not be a deciding factor when choosing a new home.

And they may have good reason to not worry.

Dave Lisle, director of public relations and communications of TSSA, says since the Aug. 10 Sunrise Propane explosion which displaced 12,000 residents in the Downsview area, the TSSA has put in place a re-audit action plan that will be completed by the end of this year.

“We’re looking at every propane facility in the province, and the first 196 [sites] that we looked at that first week were facilities that were in a sense comparable to the Sunrise site,” he said.

“All the remainder of the sites will be done as a re-audit again by the end of this year. We are confident, based on the safety record for this industry that the regulatory framework and the way that we implemented it, is quite effective.”

In addition to the re-audit plan the TSSA has implemented in response to the Sunrise Propane accident, Jake Spelic, president of the U-Haul Company of Eastern Ontario says the Scarborough propane site is in complete compliance and he is not concerned with future safety inspections.