I contacted the London office of the Ministry of the Environment in the early fall of 2020. I spoke to several different people. There seemed to be a new guy in charge. Somehow I persuaded him to visit my address to better understand my issues with the emissions from the gas station next door.
He came by at the beginning of October. I tried to contain myself, but I think it was obvious that I was extremely frustrated, exasperated and angry about the situation.
I walked him around the gas station’s lot to show him where the vents had been previously located.
I showed him how my property was sort of like a bowl – that it was 2-4 feet lower than the gas station and factory parking lot. That there were walls 2-3 stories high on two boundaries, within 15 feet of the property line. That there were large trees which formed a canopy on two boundary lines, then the back of the gas station building, which was very close to the property line. That my fence that was almost 7′ tall ran from my house near the vents. I had hung opaque privacy cloth on the chain link fence by the factory parking lot. At one time that was a 6′ fence. Years of snow removal pushed gravel and debris along the fence, and their side was 2-3 feet higher than mine. There would be no way for vapours to pass through the privacy cloth material. It would be obvious that gas vapours from a tanker refuelling would get trapped/contained in my yard from these numerous physical factors.
He seemed sort of appalled to actually witness what I had complained at him about over the phone.
He said that he wanted to witness a tanker fill.
I said I was very happy to oblige this, and that if he wanted to observe from the 2nd floor window of the north bedroom that he would have an excellent view.
Despite being a representative from the Ministry of the Environment, I had to explain to him what happened during a fill. I couldn’t believe that he did not have this information. I sent him links.
He said that the office was pretty close, and that I could call him when a tanker truck pulled in, and if it was possible he would be right over.
I phoned him many times but he was never available.
Then the COVID19 lockdowns started again so it would not be possible for him or anyone else to observe a fill from within my home.
Now it is almost SIX MONTHS LATER and no one has come by to observe a tanker fill. No action has been taken with regards to my reports…
Covid really has hampered so many things. Our local government was almost at a standstill as they scrambled to adapt to organizing and then holding Zoom meetings. Some city committees/commissions took longer to adapt to the “new normal” than others. Countless meetings were pushed back which also held up projects and day to day stuff like citizens that normally paid bills at the then closed to the public City Hall led to a new larger dropoff box because there was also a much greater amount of mail in ballots (and we had a special election in the midst of this), and also with finishing grant applications with higher levels of government because of the delayed meetings caused missed deadlines. The local courts still are a mess with backlogs from before they adapted to tele-hearings. Our state had to put a moratorium on certain motor vehicle processes for a long while that had to take place in person.
Even when we get back to what can/will return to the old normal, it will oddly feel like a new normal because of how long it’s been since we lived that way.