Rolls Royce jet fuel spill raises safety and oversight concerns

An environmental organization is blaming lax oversight for a huge jet fuel spill at the Lachine Rolls Royce factory last month.

Some 18,000 litres were involved, some of it seeping into the city's sewer system.

The city says the spill did not present any danger to the public, but the David Suzuki Foundation says we were lucky.

The Foundation's Jean-Patrick Toussaint thinks stricter oversight is needed, as these kinds of events are becoming increasingly common.

"More and more, we're seeing companies having the power to self-regulate themselves," he says. "Of course, the ministry is overseeing all of this, but it's not enough, and we're seeing situations like this happening."

The spill is being blamed on a seal break in the factory's distribution network.

City spokesman Jacques Alain Lavallee says the delay between the time of the spill - around 1:30 a.m. - and the time the provincial environment ministry was notified at around 8:30 a.m. was disturbing.

Rolls Royce is reviewing its safety procedures and the city promises it will be following up with future inspections.

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