It took days of writing and rewriting, but I composed an email to the TSSA Ombudsman.
For whatever reason, the TSSA is exempt from scrutiny from the Ontario Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is supposed to be a neutral party, who does not have the power to change policy, but who is supposed to be able to resolve deficiencies within an organization, where a wrong has been done. Yet for some reason, the TSSA has their OWN Ombudsman.
I asked around, but no one I spoke to had ever had personal experience appealing to an Ombudsman.
In my letter, I tried to address all the various aspects of the harm done by the lack of oversight (ie why were the vent pipes moved from the least dangerous to most dangerous location by the whims of the sketchy flipper), the actions of the inspector who inspected his own work (ie serious conflict of interest), the lack of code of any kind that applied to gas stations, etc. which abut residential properties and so on. I made a complete description of my property, and the unique features – which were in place prior to any renovation of the gas station – completely visible from their side. My descriptions were explicit and as accurate as possible with regards to the various features on my property that made the new vent location SO particularly harmful, like my lower elevation, buildings 2 stories+ on either side, tall trees on the perimeter of my lot, and the location of my doors and windows.
I attached the Google Streetview 2015 screenshot, taken in the spring before the trees leafed out, which clearly showed the previous vent location. I attached a clear photo of the present vent location.
I said that I did not believe that the staff next door understood the risks of the product they were selling, and attached photos of the cheap light fixture jerry-rigged to the old post, less than 4 feet from the vent openings, with another image to make the context clear.
There was a lot of specific detail to include, and I tried to be as concise as possible. This was sent on March 24, 2022.
I was surprised when I received a reply from the Ombudsman in less than 24 hours.
This is what the reply said:
” Good afternoon:
I contacted the area supervisor Kxxxx Xxxxxxt, regarding this site. He has attended the site twice and confirmed to me that the station is in compliance with the Liquid Fuel Handling Code.
If you have further concerns regarding vapours, that jursidiction lies with the Ministry of the Environment.
There is nothing more that TSSA can do as the site is compliant with the Fuels regulation.
” How can XXX XXXXXXXX XX be in compliance with TSSA Liquid Fuel Handling Code if the vapours that are discharged from the vent pipes are entering my property, including my house ?”
The Ombudsman’s reply:
“The equipment has been inspected and it meets the code – if there are continuing vapour issues – that falls under the Ministry of the Environment, Sxxxxx .”
So – the TSSA was responsible for the placement/relocation of the vent pipes, which was done in spring 2018. It would have been obvious to a 13 year old child that there would be no traffic motion in my yard to dissipate the vapours, that emissions which contain gas molecules, which are heavier than air, would settle and sink, then collect in my yard, and the location of my doors and windows in relation to the new vent location would present a hazard.
The TSSA is ENTIRELY responsible for this problem for locating the vents in such a way as to create a PREDICTABLE hazard on my property during a tanker refuelling.
The TSSA has no data like air quality samples taken before a tanker refuelling and during a tanker refuelling to quantify in any way WHAT is discharged from the vents, or HOW MUCH is discharged from the vents.
Because of a change in policy that happened in 2020, what is discharged from the vents is now completely unrelated to the TSSA !
The TSSA Ombudsman did not address or even acknowledge the serious conflict of interest, the gaps in code, and the lack of data to support that the vents ARE functioning properly. If the supervisor used the same equipment that the previous TSSA culprit used – “his nose”- to inspect the vent function, then there is no quantifiable data at all !