NEWS

Hydro One break and enter shuts down chemical valley

01/24/2012 07:27 EST | Updated 03/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley is calling for increased security at Hydro One's Scott Road transformer station.

A weekend break and enter is believed to have been responsible for a power outage affecting almost 20,000 customers, including chemical valley industries.

Three major plants — Imperial Oil, BP and Suncor — all had to shutdown.

Bradley said that when the plants shut down suddenly, there is a chance of environmental damage.

"Theses plants and refineries are not like shutting down a chocolate factory; you don't shut it down for 20 minutes and start it up again. This is a very tricky process," Bradley said. "Power outages in this community are our biggest fear."

Bradley says it is unbelievable that someone could get into the substation.

"Since 9/11 we have had major beef ups of our security from both the private sector [and] for our public assets, like the tunnel and the twin bridges. And yet here is one of the major Ontario institutions [which] apparently, doesn't even have Bob the security guard there to protect their own buildings," Bradley said.

Bradley has fired off a letter to Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley. Bradley wants the minister to commission an independent review of security at Sarnia substations.

Police were called to the scene to investigate a break and enter just before 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on scene, questioned and later released without being charged.

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