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August 29, 2008
City takes over site cleanup following Murray Road explosion
The City of Toronto announced this morning that it will immediately take over the cleanup of the site of the August 10, 2008 explosion and fire. The site includes the private property on which Sunrise Propane was operating. The cleanup of the surrounding neighbourhood was also previously taken over by the City and was completed last Friday.

On August 13, 2008, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) issued an order to Sunrise Propane to commence work on a Residential Cleanup Plan and that order was not complied with. As a result, the City acted to conduct the required residential cleanup.

On August 21, 2008, the MOE issued a further order to Sunrise Propane and the property owners to immediately hire a qualified consultant and develop plans for securing the site, controlling dust and monitoring air quality. The ministry orders required the responsible companies to take immediate action. The province and city are disappointed the responsible companies have not complied with those requirements. The province did not receive assurance from the companies that the Sunrise site would quickly be cleaned up.

As the Director of the MOE was not satisfied that Sunrise Propane or the property owners would be able to provide a solid commitment to undertake the necessary work in a timely manner, the City, in consultation with the MOE, has agreed to use its cleanup powers under the Environmental Protection Act to ensure the site is secured and dealt with appropriately for the protection of the natural environment and to prevent any adverse effects.

The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) has now completed its on-site fire cause investigation and therefore cleanup of the site can begin. It is anticipated that cleanup of the site will include removal of the propane and other tanks containing compressed gasses as well as any asbestos that may be found on the site that may pose a risk to the community. To ensure the site is cleaned up as soon as possible, the City, working with the MOE and the OFM, will commence the necessary on-site work today. The OFM will retain control of the site until the cleanup is concluded.

“The City is acting now to ensure the cleanup is done safely and quickly,” said Mayor David Miller. “The surrounding neighbourhood was cleaned up very quickly and we will act now to complete the on-site cleanup and bring the community back to normal.”

“The Ontario Fire Marshal will maintain control of the site until the cleanup is concluded in a safe manner,” said Patrick Burke, Fire Marshal of Ontario. “The on-site fire cause investigation is now complete and therefore we can allow cleanup at the site to begin.”

"We continue to work closely with the City as it moves forward to clean up the site of the explosion," said the Hon. John Gerretsen, Minister of the Environment. "We fully support and commend the City for its immediate and effective clean up activities," he added.

The City has secured licensed professional environmental clean up and disposal crews and work will begin today.

On-site air quality testing from the site will be posted on the City’s website when completed.

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

Media please note: No formal media briefing is planned over the weekend and media will not be permitted to go on the private property site during cleanup.

Media contact:
Stuart Green, Office of Mayor David Miller, 416-338-7119 (office)
Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-397-5277 (office)



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