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August 15, 2008
City takes over neighbourhood clean up following Murray Road explosion
This evening, the City of Toronto announced that it will take over the clean up of properties around the site of Sunday’s explosion and fire, beginning tomorrow.

On August 13, 2008, the Ministry of Environment issued a clean up order to Sunrise Propane to clean up the site and surrounding area. The requirements of the order for off-site work have not been met as of today and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) has received no assurances that the work will be done in a timely way.

The City has clean up powers under the Environmental Protection Act. To ensure that the area is cleaned as soon as possible, the City, working with MOE, will start its own clean up of the residential area tomorrow.

“We had hoped the operator would comply with the MOE order and clean up the exterior of the properties,” said Acting Deputy Mayor Shelley Carroll. “At this time, it’s critical for the City to do whatever is necessary so that these residents can resume some sense of normalcy in their neighbourhood after this traumatic event. Cleaning up the asbestos and debris from the explosion is an important part of making that happen.”

"The Province's priority is to get the cleanup of the residential properties done quickly, safely and effectively. We have been in discussions with the City of Toronto throughout the day, and we fully support this action," said Environment Minister John Gerretsen. "We will continue to work closely with the City of Toronto in its cleanup efforts."

Beginning on Murray Road tomorrow, the clean up will then move north to Plewes Road, then south to homes on the north side of Regent Road and east to Beffort Road. The City will be delivering information flyers to residents tomorrow and Toronto Fire Services and City staff will be going door-to-door, giving residents approximately 24-hours notice before their properties will be cleaned.

The City has secured licensed professional environmental clean up and disposal crews and will have approximately 100-120 workers completing the clean up. As per provincial law, clean up crews that work with asbestos on a regular basis must wear personal protective equipment. This additional precaution is necessary to protect workers, given they are in close contact with asbestos on a long-term basis.

If residents have any questions or health concerns related to the clean up of the debris, they should contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The City has posted regular updates, the air quality test results and the MOE order at and will continue to update the website on a regular basis.

No formal media briefing is planned over the weekend.

Media contact: Cheryn Thoun, Strategic Communications, 416-919-6501 (cell)



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