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Provincial safety review of Sunrise Propane explosion fails to consider fundamental problem

Mayor, councilor of affected ward had both expected to see privatized regulating body abolished, safety regulation revert to government control.

Councillor Maria Augimeri would like to see government regulate safetyby Lisa Queen and David Nickle, Inside Toronto

The 40 recommendations from the provincial propane safety review released Friday, just three months after the Aug. 10 explosion at Sunrise Propane, fell short of the expectations of Mayor David Miller.

"The recommendations don't address the issue of the existence of the Technical Standards Authority in the first place," Miller told reporters at noon Friday. "It's important that a review be done about whether it's right to have privatized and self-regulated these industries."

Miller made the comments just two hours after city officials received the Report of the Propane Safety Review. While the review specifically doesn't address the Aug. 10 explosion, it deals with regulatory issues that emerged in the blast's wake.

"The focus was on the regulatory system for propane safety from an overall perspective," expert panel members Michael Birk and Susana Katz said.

"The review did not involve investigating the events of Aug. 10, 2008 when an explosion occurred at a facility in northwest Toronto at which propane was stored, nor did it touch on findings of fault. Other parties are investigating that incident."

Given the future of that investigation, Miller and local Ward 9 (York Centre) Councillor Maria Augimeri both agreed in their strongest criticism — that the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, a self-regulating body for the propane industry ought be abolished, and the provincial government should take responsibility for regulating the industry.

"What I had expected was an immediate takeover by the province of the TSSA," said Augimeri. "It's not there."

The report does recommend beefing up the TSSA's powers. . .

To read further. . .

Links and sources
  Provincial review falls short of Miller's expectations, by Lisa Queen and David Nickle, Inside Toronto, November 7, 2008

Posted: November 12, 2008

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