Asbestos, Explosions & Due Diligence

Everyone in the GTA remembers the Sunrise Propane explosion that rocked North York a decade ago in 2008. In the wake of the blast, a toxic rain of debris – including asbestos dust – fell on the neighbourhood for days.

The Sunrise Court Saga
In July 2018, the Superior Court recently upheld the original conviction and sentence against Sunrise Propane, which included a $5.3 million in fines for breaches of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The company had appealed the original decision of November 2017.

In the case of R. v. Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. 2017 ONSC 6954, Ontario (Ministry of Labour and Ministry of the Environment) v. Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. et al., 2013 ONCJ 358, the decision by the court emphasized the responsibilities of any business whose operations are dangerous to public health and the environment. In this case, asbestos dust exposure was a byproduct of an environmentally unsafe situation.

What Happened?
Superior Propane was a refill station where truck to truck propane transfers took place. In 2006, truck to truck transfers were prohibited. In 2007, the company received an exemption to the prohibition, provided they upgrade their facilities. In 2008, when the explosion occurred, the upgrades still ween’t done, and truck to track transfers were still taking place.

The explosion happened when a leak occurred as a transfer was going on. The blast sent a variety of contaminants into the air and the surrounding neighbourhood, and that’s where the bulk of the charges were laid. That includes,

  • asbestos,
  • heat,
  • gas vapour,
  • dust,
  • metals,
  • other debris.

To add insult to injury, so to speak, the company failed to act on an order to remediate the property, meaning some of those contaminants lingered in the area for years afterwards.

Don’t Take Chances!
What can a homeowner take away from this story? Due diligence is a legal term, but what it boils down to is simply this: if you’re doing something that is potentially dangerous, you need to take the right precautions for your – and everyone’s – safey. It’s a legal obligation, but it’s also plain common sense.

At GreenStream Environmental, we deal with that aspect of our business every day. If you have asbestos in your home, you need professional, expert help, and a reputable company that will get the job done, and dispose of any asbestos or asbestos containing materials properly.

We can help.

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.