Who is the TSSA, exactly, and what are they supposed to do, anyway ?
Wikipedia has a very short entry about this entity:
” The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) administers and enforces technical standards in the province of Ontario, Canada.
“It is a non-profit organization that has been given powers to enforce and create public safety rules in such areas as elevators, ski lifts, amusement rides, boilers, pressure vessels and operating engineers in order to protect lives and the environment.”
This doesn’t mention the fuel handling angle, but the TSSA is the sole authority for matters of regulations surrounding fuel handling – which has removed a province or municipalities from having any jurisdiction like bylaws regarding things like, say, vent locations for underground gasoline storage tanks. Despite being a non-profit organization that is concerned with matters of public safety, the information and codes are only available for a substantial price (ie $ 135.00 plus HST for the Liquid Fuel Handling Code), and this information is NOT available through a public library or online. In my experience the TSSA has been incredibly unhelpful to the point of being obstructive – between refusing to answer my questions – to sending me a form to request any information ( $ 120.00 plus a 120 day waiting period for answers, plus an hourly rate for any extra research required.). As a homeowner living next to a gas station, I am not even able to access information about what the legal distance those underground storage tanks are required to be from the property line. I asked the TSSA this question in an email in July 2018, and no one has ever answered.
The TSSA has the authority to approve things like the relocation of the underground gasoline tanks and storage vents, which are then done by a petroleum contractor. In my particular situation, when I complained about the gasoline vapours entering my home due to the new vent location, they sent the same inspector who had approved the vent relocation to inspect his own work !
Since then, he is the only TSSA inspector I have dealt with. I have not been recording our conversations, but from my perspective I perceive there has been a lot of “gaslighting” going on. I have been told contradictory and frankly untrue things. I have been given explanations that plainly make no sense. I have been told that my interpretation of the code surrounding the vent location was incorrect, though when he actually reread the code had to admit that my understanding of it WAS the correct one. It is my word against his, as I do not have recordings of these interactions. I have been told that if he returns to continue to inspect – that I will be charged an hourly rate for this. The TSSA has not taken a single air quality sample, and does not have any documentation that the vent pipes are in a safe location, and that gasoline vapours are NOT entering my property. There is no test equipment that documents the volume of gasoline vapours released from the vent pipes. The TSSA has never provided me with any written documentation of their findings, with regards to my complaints.
I am not the only one who has had troubles with the TSSA.
Here’s a press release from the Ontario Federation of Labour, from 2013, about their concerns about the TSSA, as it pertains to the Sunrise Propane Disaster in Toronto (2009):
RELEASE – Conviction in Sunrise case confirms failure of privatized TSSA
More information about the Sunrise Propane Disaster:
Did you know that the TSSA only started tracking residential inspections in January 2018 ?
The auditor general says that the TSSA is not doing its job properly (Dec.2018):
Here’s what the people who work (or worked, past tense) at the TSSA have to say about working there:
Here’s what people in various industries have to say about their dealings with the TSSA:
Here’s what some people in the HVAC trade have to say about their dealings with the TSSA:
This is beyond unacceptable. The TSSA needs to have its authority removed, and replaced by a competent, FULLY ACCOUNTABLE and transparent organization, that actually, ya know, works toward safety for businesses and residents.
As it is now is shameful.
I am in the midst of attempting to get this government to recognize that there are HUGE problems with the fueling industry. No PPE for gas station attendants, no one to issue offence notices under National Fire Code, the impotence of the TSSA re gas consumption by the public, the ignorance of station owners who get away with many, many breaches of legislation, the expectation placed on attendants who are without training, the great possibility of a disaster if we continue as we now do. It seems that once you make a decent (civil) salary, you are no longer accountable or interested. Anyone wishing a copy of the letter can send a request to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.