City takes over neighbourhood clean up following Murray Road explosion

    TORONTO, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - 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
    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.

For further information:

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

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