Wednesday, February 19, 2020


These three pictures are the followup of yesterday's posting here. With the able assistance of both Sarah and Lisa (Woolwich Township) this information is being sent to the TAG (Technical Advisory Group) members. They are getting an e-mail which provides a better photograph than here on The last two pictures are identical because yours truly is not terribly computer or apparently Blogger literate. So far I haven't figured out how to get more of the right side of the picture in which would show the rest of the ground surface contour lines numbers (i.e. elevation). I will attempt further technical assistance later today.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


By going to the year 2019 in the Archives section of this Blog (right hand side) and then scrolling down to July one can get to my July 17, 2019 post titled "Time For A Third Map". At the end of the text is a colour photograph of my large (3'x 2 1/2') map originally produced in 2014 which shows the entire east side of the Uniroyal/Lanxess property as well as the Stroh Ditch, Drain and Berm (SDDB). Unfortunately even though the ground surface contour lines are drawn and numbered on my map, the photograph does not pick them up clearly, especially the numbers (eg. 347.0 meters above sea level).

I am in the process of correcting this and providing TAG members (& interested CPAC members) with a similar, colour 11"x17" map with the ground surface contour lines clearly marked and numbered. This plus some text on the back explains what the different arrows (orange, red) on the map represent as well as a legend indicating what various short forms such as RPE, RPW and TPE stand for.

My expectation is that this map and accompanying text will be a form of necessary spoon feeding of important information to all with legitimate concerns about the state of cleanup and non cleanup of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) still entering the Canagagigue Creek. This map as it has for nearly the last six years is a smoking gun proving that the bulk of the POPs which overflowed from the east side pits (RPE 1-5) gravity flowed over to the Stroh farm on the east side of the Uniroyal/Lanxess property. While it is not citizens' responsibility to produce evidence of the exact location of an off the polluter's site, probable "sink" of POPs such as dioxins/furans and DDT, nevertheless that is exactly what this map does. I refer to a "necessary spoon feeding of important information". This is because neither Lanxess nor the Ministry of Environment have provided TAG members with the appropriate ground surface contour lines drawn by either the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) or by Uniroyal/Lanxess's consultants, Conestoga Rovers (CRA). Those maps will confirm the contour lines that I have drawn and then added flow direction arrows as the liquid wastes gravity flowed downhill southerly and easterly over to the Stroh farm property.

Saturday, February 15, 2020


Gotcha with that title above (I hope). At least I've got you started on today's posting. Recently here I've written on some of the environmental issues that have been intentionally avoided, buried, circumvented, and ignored by Lanxess Canada and their partners in pollution, The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), affectionately known by me and others in the know as the Ministry of Expanded Corporate Pollution (MECP). These earlier posts include February 12/20, January 22 & 23, 2020 and can be accessed through the Archives on the right side of my Elmira Advocate Blog.

Lanxess and Ministry of Environment (MOE/MECP) issues include ridiculously high Method Detection Limits (MDL) for contaminants in the Canagagigue Creek which effectively force hundreds of phony Non-Detects (ND) in their sediment and soil sampling. Issues include their inappropriate reliance on shovels versus proper core samplers to sample sediments in "armoured" (i.e. coarse gravel, stones, hardpan?) areas of the creek. As stated previously sample sediments where you are most likely to get hydrophobic compounds bound to them, namely the finer sediments.

Other issues that have been so ignored and buried include the Interceptor Trench proposed to be built in 1991 in a document submitted to the Environmental Appeal Board hearing by Brian Beatty (Morrison & Beatty) on behalf of Uniroyal Chemical. Aerial and satellite photos show clearly some sort of man made sub-surface structure running from the west side of Uniroyal's east side pits southwards past all the pits and then jogging south-east towards the Stroh Drain, Ditch and Berm (SDDB) which was built in 1983. I believe it likely that the underground drainage/piping runs into the corrugated steel pipe which discharges into the extreme north end of the SDDB.

GP-1 was discovered in old photos (1980s) to have been relocated from its original position on the north-east side of the diagonal high ridge of ground which runs in a north-west to south-east direction to the south-west side of the ridge. This is relevant as an approximate $3.5 million remediation took place in the probably phony location of GP-1. Makes me wonder how expensive the cleanup would have to be if they did it in the right location. This issue has totally been ignored and buried by all the guilty parties. These last two paragraphs illustrate how when the guilty parties bury issues and refuse to discuss them they fall off the discussion table. TAG and RAC don't mention them and yours truly who discovered both of them, sometimes forgets them simply because they aren't included in current discussions, debates and meetings. Mind control perhaps but sure as hell issue control.

Friday, February 14, 2020


Saskatchewan has recently suffered through two derailings of oil tank cars and who can forget Lac Megantic back in 2013. It seems clear that pipelines are "safer" than rail transport. But...pipelines can and do leak. Generally they don't explode and then produce massive air pollution however. I'm trying to recall if the massive spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan five to ten years ago was from a leaking pipeline or not.

The problem is this ...climate change. Either declaring climate change an impending world disaster was the right move or not. If the consensus is that indeed climate change is upon us, it is man made, and we needed to be acting decades ago, then our future action should be obvious. Yes there will be major pain in weaning the world off of oil. Financial pain, economic pain, physical pain, cold in winter and heat in summer all will be increased in the short run. The problem is that we've already delayed for too many decades and now the piper has to be paid. The alternative is essentially human annihilation.

So do we bite the bullet and not only stop oil pipeline construction now but actually reduce our insatiable consumption of gas and oil? If not then our children and grandchildren may be going a lot hungrier and colder than we will by merely reducing our consumption of oil products now. Rail sucks but the damage and pain only increases every day for future generations that we continue on our current path of oil production, export, and consumption.

Thursday, February 13, 2020


That's the problem right there. The Ministry of Environment (MECP) and or a hundred consulting companies can claim that the waters in Mill Creek (Cambridge) are as clean as a whistle or perhaps they might claim that the water is cleaner than all criteria tested for. Meanwhile the dumb mink, trout, ducks and other wildlife are avoiding the area because of perhaps unmeasured odours, irritation to their skin, eyes, ears, nose or any one of a hundred factors that the MECP have not or can not measure. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following front page story titled "We want the documentation".

Well as usual the MECP aren't doing themselves any good by refusing to release the report that they commissioned. That said that report even if it says exactly what the MECP claim, namely that the consultant's surface water assessment summary reported contaminant concentrations "below guidelines protective of aquatic health" really doesn't prove a whole lot. Which contaminants specifically? Every single component found in jet fuel or only the compounds that the MECP think are most toxic? Secondly the MECP are referencing surface water "from April". The spill was four months earlier so is April when the sampling was done or when the report was published? Also surface water testing is important but what about the sediments in the bottom of the creek where benthic organisms live and eventually are eaten by fish and other predators? What about soil samples beside the creek? The local resident, Mr. Johnston, made a good point about mink getting fuel oil on their fur and going into their holes to die.

I wonder if any air samples were taken and if so when. Hydrocarbon fuel contamination is toxic whether eaten, absorbed through the skin or inhaled. The article mentions that the lighter hydrocarbons would evaporate. At the time of the spill any local wildlife would have been exposed through the air even if they weren't exposed by direct water contact or later ingestion of exposed creek life.

If the Ministry of Environment (MECP) continue to stonewall local residents, the general public and the Friends of Mill Creek by refusing to release their publicly funded "shoreline treatment report" from their consultant, they will be assisting all of us who publicly claim that our so called democracy is a sham. When publicly funded reports concerning the ecological health of a public (and private) contaminated area are not released to either the private nearby landowners or the concerned public then we have to ask who the MECP are protecting. Is their job to 100% restore a site after a spill (likely impossible) or is their job just to go through the motions and to reassure the public that their government are doing their jobs? Perhaps the best possible scenario is to minimize the damage through an immediate cleanup followed by natural processes that could take years to fully restore the natural environment. Whatever the scenario the one thing that our governments must do is stop hiding facts and information from the public. Come clean and let us know the truth.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


The one word answer is "Delay". The three word answer is "Delay", "Delay", "Delay". There is however much more than that. It includes local political control, however accomplished. It also includes media control, however accomplished. Our local media suffered a terrible setback in the summer of 2015 when the Elmira Independent closed it's doors. Our one remaining LOCAL media (Observer) seems quite obviously constrained in their coverage of anything to do with Chemtura/Lanxess. Yes they have done good things in covering the political scandals and fiascos revolving around creative election finance reporting and as well council misbehaviour involving local environmentalists in 2016 namely Dr. Dan Holt and myself. They also covered well the removal of CPAC in 2015 by Woolwich Council (i.e. Sandy & Mark) along with the manufactured "crisis" to justify it. What they are reusing to do is to cover ANY of the public RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) and TAG (Technical Advisory Group) meetings. If they want to justify that by claiming that those two groups are impotent, then fine, do so publicly and loudly!

With that as a background the rest of the polluter's strategy is much simpler. They simply ignore criticism whether constructive or not. They often don't respond to it in writing. I've lost count of how many excellent TAG criticisms have either gone unanswered or at best answered along the lines of well let's see what further develops before we make any adjustments etc. As far as my written comments to the MOE, Lanxess, GHD, TAG, RAC I usually don't get either verbal or written comments. Regarding the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB) I was permitted an informal, after the TAG meeting discussion with Lanxess and GHD. Of course these discussions neither made the Minutes nor the newspaper for the reasons mentioned above.

As far as testing the soils, sediments etc. in and around the SDDB, Lanxess and GHD make excuses, including ridiculous ones and refuse outright. Meanwhile it's been so obvious for decades that the polluter's "regulator" has been "captured" that I almost didn't include that as part of the Chemtura/Lanxess strategy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


The story for this meeting was carried in the December 5, 2013 edition of the Elmira Independent and written by Editor Gail Martin. What a devastating loss to Woolwich Twp. and the residents of Elmira when the Independent closed less than two years later.

It was an unusual meeting as the pair of co-optees spoke (bragged?) about a recent trip Pat McLean had taken to Alberta. This was most likely yet another all expenses paid junket for the National Advisory Council of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) of which Chemtura were a member and recipient of *Responsible Care from them, oddly enough with the support of Pat and Susan. Also note that while CPAC from (2010-August 2015) permitted both the public to speak as well as the former CPAC members who got bounced by Mayor Todd Cowan's council, the next incarnation of public consultation has refused to let either the public speak at RAC and TAG public meetings or the previous CPAC members who also got bounced by Mayor Sandy Shantz and her council. This will eventually bite both Woolwich Council and Chemtura/Lanxess in the ass when either or both make further false claims about appropriate public consultation having taken place.

Pat advised that the petrochemical industry in Alberta have a number of superior communication strategies with the community in regards to air quality monitoring. These include a website, the use of Facebook and other methods. Pat also urged Chemtura to follow through on past promises including fence-line air monitoring (still not done) and that they address the ten year old July 2003 Request For Action prepared by CPAC 's Soil & Water Committee which I had done the bulk of research for. Many items of that still are not done and others done improperly.

All in all it was a brazen performance by a brazen pair who while they maintain overall public approval, the list is shrinking as their self-serving behaviour has become apparent to more and more honest persons.