Hey TSSA ! That’s Not Okay ! (Oct./2018)

I reported another gas infiltration in early October, 2018. A few days later an inspector from the TSSA was at my door(Oct.15, 2018).

I was pretty mad talking to this guy. It turned out that he was the inspector who had originally APPROVED the vent location. How on earth could he have the right to inspect his own work ? Wasn’t that a serious conflict of interest ?

This Winnipeg building inspector got in trouble for doing just that:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-housing-inspector-may-have-inspected-his-own-work-1.1359638

I tried to emphasize that the vents were not in an appropriate location, and that anyone with normal vision could see that my front door and most of my windows were in proximity to this vent. This would have been obvious – and therefore they should not have been located there.

About a week later (Oct. 22, 2018)I heard a large truck next door. When I looked over it was another tanker, getting ready to refuel. BUT – the TSSA guy was there as well. I grabbed my camera, and stood in the window, of the north bedroom, seething. I felt very angry that I was having to fight this fight. Eventually the manager showed up, and the TSSA inspector was at my door again. He explained that he was there to witness a refuelling. I asked him if he brought any equipment to take air quality samples, or an infrared camera to document the fumes.

He looked surprised by my questions. He told me that he would be using his sense of SMELL. Great. How could this be quantified ? Was my sense of smell better than his sense of smell ? How could this be used in a legal or scientific context ? We could argue over our memories of the strength of the smell, with $ 500.00/hr lawyers sitting around ? I thought this was completely ridiculous and unprofessional.

The tanker began the refuelling process. The inspector watched as the hoses were attached, and the manager stood around with his cellphone. Soon there was an obvious gas odour, and gas fumes were VISIBLE coming from the top of the vent pipe. The manager was recording this on his camera phone. The inspector walked around, and in my front yard, by the driveway next to the front door, the smell of gasoline was very strong. He had to admit that there was a problem. This was happening with the vapour control procedure being used appropriately by the tanker driver.

It was a grey and chilly day. I went inside, and the fumes were not terrible inside. I walked in all the rooms to check. I could smell the gas in the front foyer, but that was as far as they penetrated, that day. I went back outside.

I felt pretty angry that this was happening. With that vent location, how could it NOT happen ?

There was some verbal back and forth with the TSSA dude. He claimed that the vent pipes were actually located further away than code specified. I went inside and grabbed my print out. The code specified a distance of 6 m. However this only applies to railyards and bulk loading facilities, of which I was neither. There was absolutely NOTHING in their code about the vents in relation to residential property. I read out the sections that specified that the fumes were not to enter an opening in an adjacent building, like a door or window, and that the fumes should NOT affect people ! But they were affecting people. I am affected, and all my friends and family are affected by having to listen to my dull grievances regarding this matter. Will my house go up in flames ? Will my pets get cancer ? Will I get cancer ? What if I did want to sell and move ?

I asked the TSSA dude if he would purchase a property that was regularly infiltrated by gasoline vapours ? I asked him if he would feel safe with his family living there ? He did not answer. I asked him what he thought this might do to the value of my property, as this would need to be disclosed to a prospective buyer, or I could be sued for not disclosing an obvious deficit.

I asked him what actions would be taken by the TSSA regarding this matter ? He didn’t really say. He said he thought that maybe the vent pipes could be made taller ? I said that wouldn’t help as it was their location in relation to my doors and windows that was the problem. I said that since I was on a lower elevation that the fumes WOULD sink, that was just gravity and science.

I said that I felt the vent location was an issue related to the entities who had renovated the property. This vent location never should have been approved. I also said that as far as I knew the present gas station owners had purchased this as a turnkey business. It was my opinion that the TSSA and the developer and possibly the petroleum contractor that did the renovation were all responsible, and should pay the costs to move these vents to a safer location.

I told the inspector that the TSSA should deal with me in WRITING regarding this matter.

Then, of course, nothing happened.

 

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