My computer is in the upstairs bedroom, on the west side of the house. I was probably answering some email one afternoon when I suddenly smelt gasoline very strongly. The upstairs windows were open. I looked out the window in the north bedroom.
There was a tanker truck, refuelling. But hey, WTF – why was there only one hose ? They are supposed to use a vapour recovery system – one hose out from the tanker with the liquid fuel, the other from the tank to the truck to recover the vapours.
I got the license plate number and immediately made a report to the Ministry of the Environment and the TSSA, with the photos.
I cannot describe the feeling of horror as gas fumes invisibly crept through my house and there was NOTHING I could do about it. It was summer, I don’t have AC, and my windows were open. It wasn’t like I could just open a window to let the gasoline vapours out – they were coming from out there ! Even if I had AC, the unit would probably be located near the kitchen door, so the fumes would come in through that.
I have a couple of geriatric cats with chronic health issues. I ran all over the house checking the cats. Because the fumes were so strong in the house, what would it do to them ? Would they have heart failure or develop chemical burns in their nose, throat, eyes and mouth or what would happen ? They all seemed to be okay, but my heart was pounding FURIOUSLY.
What about the gas furnace and the gas water heater in the basement ?
My house STUNK for 45 minutes. This was not like car exhaust, or a whiff like when you are filling a gas tank.
My father (b.1919, died 2001) fought in WW2. He seldom spoke about the war, and would get very upset when war films were on tv. When I was about 10 years old, something triggered his memory. He told me about basic training, where they were exposed to mustard gas, and others. I guess this was to teach them what it smelt like, and what the effects were, and how to get your gas mask on quickly and properly. He talked about how awful the feeling of the poisonous gas was, how you coughed until you couldn’t breathe, and were crying and vomiting, what it was like to be surrounded by all the other young fellows going through this training, suffering and retching. This left a deep impression on me, and has always made me fearful of chemical smells and fumes.
Now I had my own nightmare. With no training and no gas mask.
What happened after I reported this ?
NOTHING. Neither the TSSA or Ministry of the Environment even acknowledged my report.
Hey, let’s look at some infrared and thermal images of the amount of vapours that are released during a typical car or truck tank refill. I don’t know the math for how much larger the underground storage tank is. What volume of vapours are released during a refill when the vapour recovery system isn’t used ?