The TSSA is the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.
They are supposed to have oversight of many diverse safety-related departments. From amusement park rides to elevator safety to upholstery (???) to HVAC to fuel handling.
Here’s their site: https://www.tssa.org/en/index.aspx
I started asking questions about what the code was for the distance an underground gasoline storage had to be from a residential property line, and what the permissible distance for the vents for this tank was.
The City of London told me that the TSSA was responsible for this, that it was completely outside of their jurisdiction. I looked all over the TSSA’s site, but could not find the information I was looking for. You would think this information would be pretty basic, and therefore easy to find ?
I submitted the contact form, with my questions to the TSSA, via their site, then received no reply. Many days later I sent another one. Still no reply or acknowledgement of my inquiry.
I contacted the Ontario Petroleum Contractor’s Association. I spoke with someone there who was initially very helpful. This person was angry that the TSSA would not answer basic questions. Strangely, the very next day the TSSA finally sent an email. Shortly after the person I had dealt with at OPCA would not return my calls.
The TSSA’s reply was a pricelist, which gave the impression that I would have to pay them considerable sums to have my questions answered !
There was a two page PDF document attached to this, which was the “Application for the Release of Public Information”. Of special note was Section G, which stated that the TSSA would provide a fee quote, before any information would be released, with notes on payment options. A minimum of $ 120.00 will apply to research and review a request ?
It gets better (email received July 16, 2018, from TSSA):
“Thank you for your email. We will respond to your request for information in the order it was received. The turnaround time for a confirmation is approximately 2 business days. Requests for documents are currently being processed in 120 days.
Please note that all requests for documents must be accompanied by a completed Release of Information or Bulk Database Product Application form and the required prepayment/deposit. Please note that multiple record and bulk data requests carry a $120/hr fee in addition to the stated document costs.”
So a minimum of $ 120.00 to have my questions answered, which will take 120 days ? Four MONTHS ?
On July 19, via email I was advised that I could purchase my own copy of the Liquid Fuels Handling Code, from the CSA. Why is there no publically available copy of this ?
Finally on July 24 I received an answer from the TSSA regarding the location of the vents, from the Liquid Fuels Handling Code (LFHC). This is what the code states:
Let’s break that down. The only measurement given is the distance requirement (6m or 19.7 feet) with regards to truck loading or parking facilities….at BULK PLANTS or RAILWAY TANK UNLOADING FACILITIES ? Which this is not, and could never be mistaken for. What is this 6m distance from ? It only references sources of ignition. Why is there no indformation whatsoever regarding the distance a vent pipe should be from an occupied residence ?
BUT – while the vents are to terminate in open air (yes), with a weatherproof hood (yes, as far as I can tell) they are to be located outside buildings and be located in such a way that the fumes cannot enter a building via door, window or other opening (ii) (NO)
- They are to located to minimize the impact of gasoline vapours on people, structures, and mechanical equipment (d) (NO)
- NOT ENTER A BUILDING (f) (NO)
Let’s look at that vent’s location again. It is approximately 24 feet from the corner of my house to the cement retaining wall, the presumed property line. The vent pipes appear to be about 48″ from my side. There are no guidelines whatsoever with regards to residential property ?
Let’s look at my house. The vent is adjacent to my driveway. On the front of my house, facing west, there are 4 windows (not counting the transom) and the front door. Three of those windows have storm windows, and the door has weather stripping and a door sweep.
Here’s a photo from October 2017, before the back fence went up. There are five windows facing north, including the basement window.
Here’s the backdoor to the kitchen which also has a storm door, with weather stripping and a door sweep, and the kitchen window, which now has a storm window. This faces north, too.
The back room behind the kitchen is an ugly disgrace, so I seldom take photos of it. Here’s the listing photo. It now has a french door, with the original aluminum storm door still there. You can sort of see the bathroom window upstairs, which is almost on the south side of the wall. Let’s not include that.
In total, the North side of my house has two doors and six windows. The West side of my house has four windows and a door. (The south side has five windows, and the east side has one window).
So TEN windows and THREE doors are facing the gas station, or are very close. My bedroom windows are at almost the same height as the top of the vent pipes (see driveway photo above).
WHO ON EARTH THOUGHT THIS WAS ACCEPTABLE ? !
The TSSA, that’s who !