Arctic Esso shut down
Code violations "too many to name off," says acting fire marshal

by Glenn Taylor
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Aug 22/97) - Arctic Esso was closed down by the NWT fire marshal last week for failing to comply with the National Fire Code and the NWT Fire Prevention Act.

The business was planning a move to a new location, and had installed an above-ground gas tank as a temporary measure to service customers while the move progressed, said manager Dennie Lennie.

"This was all supposed to be temporary, until we build something new," said Lennie.

"The whole (development) was under $20,000, and I guess my developer didn't bother to get a permit for it."

Lack of a development permit is only one source of the fire marshal's contention, according to acting marshal Timothy Pauluk. The business also failed to submit detailed engineering plans to the marshal before work went ahead.

This is "standard procedure" in development plans of this nature, said Pauluk.

The above-ground gas tank does not comply with code because it lacks proper spill containment beneath it, and is located too close to the business, said Pauluk.

When pressed for details on other violations, Pauluk said there were "too many to name off," but added, "the first thing in our minds is the safety of general public ... (the development) is a hazard to public safety."

Lennie said he felt "victimized" last week when the acting marshal showed up with safety officers, RCMP members and a bylaw officer, and proceeded to chain the doors shut.

"Now they're asking us to spend a fortune to set up a permanent facility here, while we're waiting to build a new service station next door," said Lennie. The temporary set-up was only to be in place for two months until October, and he said he sees no reason to comply with government regulations for such a short period.

Lennie said he plans to appeal the decision, and said he may consult with a lawyer to find out what to do next.

Lennie said he felt the marshal's reaction to the development was excessive, and he'll "probably appeal it." He has 10 days to do so from the Aug. 14 shutdown.