Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Propane depot could re-open at blast site

Toronto -- Mayor David Miller admitted Tuesday that the city may have little say over the eventual re-opening of a propane depot that blew sky high early Sunday -- the legacy of a regulatory spat in decades past that pitted municipalities against the province and the industry before ushering in a zoning chill.

"I don't know from a city perspective if we have the authority to say no or not," Mr. Miller said at a media briefing where he explained the city's powers over propane companies are limited to regulating land use while the province and an arm's length agency are in charge of safety.

The explosion at Sunrise Propane forced 12,000 nearby residents to flee their North York homes clad in little more than their pyjamas and closed Highway 401, Canada's busiest motorway, for hours. All but a few of the evacuees have now returned home, with fears about asbestos and structural damage keeping away those closest to the blast.

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