Monday, September 25, 2017

WOOLWICH TOO ARROGANT, ISOLATED, UNACCOUNTABLE TO SEE IT COMING



I've as usual given them enough rope to hang themselves on. I gently advised them of the facts, the issues and the concerns and instead of actually reading the source material (10 Conestoga Rovers reports) they immediately went into cover up and denial mode. Without thinking, without researching and without asking hard questions. And here we are today with both Sandy Shantz and now a senior Woolwich staffer lying on the front page of the Waterloo Region Record. The title of today's story by Jeff Outhit is "Methane gas sparks fears in Woolwich".

Why do politicians and senior bureaucrats lie? The senior bureaucrats I can both understand and sympathize with. They have large incomes, benefits, job security, status and prestige far in excess of the average Canadian. They have families, mortgages and likely children attending university. I do not believe that they are unionized hence their job security refers to never being laid off. Firing however if they don't follow the explicit direction of the corporation's CAO is something different. Either you're a team player, right or wrong, or you may as well start packing. What they don't fire you for today (ie. telling the truth) they will find an excuse down the road. If you sue for wrongful dismissal you may win but the money won't come out of either the CAO's pocket or the Council personally. The corporation, in this case the Township taxpayers, will foot the bill and the settlement will be kept as quiet as possible.

Why do politicians lie? It's all about serving their interests not the public's interests. Past mistakes, stupidity and downright negligence needs to be covered up at all costs. Afterall there's always an election down the road and incompetence doesn't get you elected. Smiling pretty faces with feel good messages do get you elected. Many politicians, especially at the local, municipal level, are downright lazy. Actually doing their own research and reading isn't what they are about. Leave that for the underlings and if necessary get them to massage the facts more to your self-serving liking.

Lastly there is always the possibility here in Elmira that our Woolwich Council are afraid of opening a massive can of worms. We all have learned that our Ontario Ministry of Environment are a paper tiger. Uniroyal/Lanxess in conjunction with their consultants (Conestoga Rovers now GHD) have run them in circles for decades. The M.O.E. would rather make self-serving deals in an attempt to save what little credibility they have left, rather than fight and firmly enforce our environmental laws. There are more hazardous waste landfills here within the town of Elmira. They also all likely have methane gas releasing uncontrolled into our air and water. It's no accident that all are on the east side of Elmira, just like the Bolender Landfill. The prevailing winds blow that crap out of town. Our local creek, the Canagagigue still carries industrial wastes as well downstream to be enjoyed further afield by Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge residents. These wastes include those from landfills beside the creek such as the First St. Landfill and the M2 area on Chemtura/Lanxess's south-west corner. It's a mess and it's a mess to date sanctioned by the Ontario M.O.E.. Only public concern and anger will ever get anything done locally to clean up this legacy of industrial pollution in Elmira.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

CAN WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP MASK METHANE GAS WITH SNAKE OIL?



It is my belief that Woolwich Township have a 5th Degree Black Belt in Snake Oil Gamesmanship. It is my belief that they are world class players in fibbing, obfuscation and in coverups of public interest matters. The evidence is based upon their lies and misrepresentations in their 2 page handout plus map that they distributed to High St. residents last July 26, 2017. It is also based upon the September 14, 2017, ten page report sent to Council by their consultants GHD, at Council's direction. I mean seriously, spending $6,000 more of taxpayers money, on that riddled with errors and misrepresentations, piece of crap? Council seriously you have no shame and no ethics to knowingly lie to residents and spend their tax dollars simply to save face and your precious egos when you've screwed up.

Yesterday I posted here about some other lies and misrepresentations regarding the Bolender Park Landfill. Another is CRA and GHD's focus on alleged lack of gas pressure as being an excuse or mitigating factor when concentrations above the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) are found on the perceived perimeter of the landfill. Well first off it is concentrations not pressure which determine whether or not the gas has the possibility of exploding. Pressure may be one of the factors regarding methane migration but it is not the only one. There are several, including Diffusion (concentration) and Convection (pressure). Even without pressure, methane gas just like a groundwater plume will move from an area of high concentration to a neighbouring area without. Finally these pressure readings in the probes may also be susceptible to groundwater entering the holes in the probe, which were intended to allow gas not groundwater to enter.

CRA's and GHD's Bolender landfill reports are filled with inconsistent actions and reactions to their own monitoring results. After the 2008 to 2010 monitoring results showed lower, albeit still above 20% LEL concentrations, at the west side by the auto wrecking yard, they were all happy including later telling the prospective new owner of the property that methane was no longer a problem. What idiots they are. They also sat on their butts for over five years before monitoring again only to find that the concentrations by the wrecking yard were right back to where they'd been previously. So do they learn from this experience? Apparently not because after they received two zero concentrations from two brand new probes at the east side, following ridiculously high concentrations there in 2008 and 2010; now they are advising the public and the media that there no longer is methane on the east side.

It is exceedingly difficult to reason with either incompetence or unreasonable and lying politicians and their senior staff. When their opinion appears to be that facts are malleable and or that science can be adjusted to your needs; then disaster and crises are to be expected due to their failure to do their due diligence including being truthful to the public.

Friday, September 22, 2017

CONSULTANTS GET PAID TO DO WHAT THEY'RE TOLD & FOR THEIR CLIENT LOYALTY



On the above basis (in the title) one has to congratulate Conestoga Rovers & Associates. Similarly for GHD. As one reads multiple (ten) technical reports from a consultant, spaced over 30 years, one's perceptions of the big picture tends to change. For me the first time through reading the reports I was left with a sense of the blind leading the blind. Holy crap but were all these guys, Township staff and consultants, completely stupid and devoid of common sense? Second time through my perceptions changed somewhat. Third time through as well.

Right now I'm realizing that consultants' reports are an exercise in research, writing, diplomacy, tact and occasionally bluntness. Too much of the latter and the world's best consulting firm will quickly be out of work. The reason: there are absolutely zero qualifications to be a client of a consulting firm, other than being willing to spend your money. Hence clients can be incredibly stupid, incredibly criminal, incredibly biased and incredibly self-serving.

On a totally different note (HA!) let's look at some to date not publicized aspects of the Bolender Park Landfill. For example did you know that despite GHD's nitpicking and silly comments in their September 14/17 review of my August 22/17 Delegation to Woolwich Council; that chemical wastes are specifically mentioned as being industrial wastes in the letter from the 1962 Sanitation Committee to Elmira Town Council? Also if you think about it, what exactly are the industrial wastes from a chemical company? Of course they are chemical wastes! Duh! Hence for this as well as other documentation, chemical wastes were deposited in the Bolender Park Landfill.

Secondly as I have repeated in my multiple Delegations to Council, if you're not going to do continuous monitoring of methane gas probes around your landfill then you at least must monitor them on a regular, ongoing basis. This Woolwich have never requested/ordered their consultants, either CRA or GHD to do. At one point I thought that CRA had been in charge of the monitoring schedule until further backchecking showed that in their September 25, 1987 report (pg. 4) to staff (& Council) they strongly recommended regular monthly gas probe monitoring. Of course Woolwich staff (& Council) failed to do any such thing. Did the buck stop with the Director of Engineering, the Chief Administrative Officer or ultimately with Council? How much were Council kept in the loop?

Last Tuesday evening there was discussion by Dan Kennally regarding a so called natural barrier to methane gas migration. This so called barrier was described as a drainage ditch and then later on Mr. Kennally called it a "creek". At that point I was shocked because no way in hell can anybody describe it as a creek. I believe the term running water was also used. Dear God you stupid, stupid people. As usual there were no questions to me from Council after my Delegation hence I had to sit down. Therefore with the stilted process at Council meetings, neither Delegates nor audience members can offer clarifying comments or points of order from the gallery even in the most egregious cases crying out for clarification of a fact or issue.

Now there are two possibilities here. Either Mr. Kennally was bald faced lying like a dog or he is woefully ignorant of the basic topography of the area between the east end of the Bolender Landfill and the High St/George St./Charles St. subdivision. There is a dry ditch running parallel (ie. north-south) with the eastern border of the landfill and the nearest High St. home. It is not a drainage ditch with the possible exception of a torrential, sustained rainfall and then likely rain water would drain southwards into the park itself. There was no water in it yesterday nor any other time among several this year and last when I have done an environmental field trip to the area. Furthermore a local resident I know well has advised me that he has visited the path beside the ditch with his dog on a regular basis over the last nine years and has NEVER seen water in that ditch.

I suppose there is a third option here for Mr. Kennally. Perhaps, despite being a planner, he is directionally challenged. There is running water running in an east to west direction at the very north end of the landfill. It most likely originates from a tiny spring which is simply groundwater emerging at the ground's surface further east along the Trans Canada Trail (Kissing Bridge Trail). This very small amount of surface water drains westwards towards Arthur St. where it makes a 90 degree left turn (southwards) and most probably drains into the Canagagigue Creek just about where it crosses below Arthur St. beside Walco equipment. This tiny "creek" absolutely is not connected to the totally dry ditch that runs between the landfill and the east side subdivision.

These are not the only lies, misrepresentations or errors, whichever you wish to believe, that were presented to the public by GHD, staff or Council on Tuesday night. By what right do either elected representatives or staff paid by taxpayer money, think that this is acceptable? Consultants being used to hide behind is one thing but blatant and ongoing misrepresentations or lies are something far worse.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

THANK YOU STEVE KANNON



I have recently expressed my disappointment in the Woolwich Observer here in the Advocate. Therefore it is only fair to also express my respect and admiration when they do the right thing and do it pretty well. O.K. so today's Editorial isn't perfect but it's a major step forward. And the cartoon....! I love the cartoon by Scott Arnold. It shows a younger, mustachied and slimmer me confronting a GHD consultant. Not bad.

I have long enjoyed reading Steve Kannon's Editorials and Opinions. He has no idea of how much we share ideologically. I am sure that there are some readers who appreciate the Observer's news coverage while totally disliking Steve's position on politics, corporatism, world events, police states etc.. It is because of this respect for Steve that I continue, despite my disappointment over the Observer's lack of Chemtura/Lanxess coverage, to always give him a copy of my Delegation to Council just prior to the meeting.

I did this as well Tuesday evening. Steve's copy as well as Council's was fourteen pages in length. Two of those pages were my written Delegation and the rest were individual pages mostly from Conestoga Rovers (CRA) reports of 1998, 2007 and 2009. Also included were exerpts from text and borehole logs regarding the subsurface soils in Bolender Park. Lastly was a map showing groundwater monitoring wells in and around Bolender Park including NDMA readings in those wells.

Here's where I will slightly criticize Steve's Editorial. Steve (and Council) have the proverbial smoking gun in writing. GHD, who now own CRA, are both full of hot air and much worse. They have blatantly lied, deceived and misrepresented the truth in their September 14, 2017 review of my August 22/17 Delegation to Council. Their review is part of the Agenda package from last Tuesday (possibly pg. 45-58). The pages from CRA's 1998 and 2007 reports help prove that GHD lied in their report to Council last Tuesday.

The most obvious deception is GHD's claim that the methane gas collection system was "operating" from 1983 or 1984 until 2015 when it was decommissioned. Such utter bullshit and CRA's reports clearly state that the system was not working and should be abandoned both in 1998 and 2007. Further evidence indicates problems as early as 1986, only two years after the system started up. Steve should have unequivocally so stated. He did not.

Ask yourselves why Woolwich Council hired GHD to review THEMSELVES. How ridiculous and asinine is that? GHD own CRA. Woolwich Council literally hired the fox to investigate the thefts of chickens from the chicken coop.

I can appreciate Dan Kennally of Woolwich staff being put between a rock and a hard place. He either follows Council's wishes or he may as well start polishing up his resume right now. Whether it's quite that raw with Steve Kannon I don't know. I do know that half the ownership of the Woolwich Observer are on Woolwich Council. Woolwich Council are in full denial and lying mode regarding the Bolender Park Landfill . Reasons for that are not totally opaque. Woolwich Township built the methane gas collection system back in 1984. Woolwich Township installed an additional gas probe (GP1-95) in 1995 without any holes to allow gas to enter, according to CRA. Were all the old gas probes as well as the newer ones installed incompetently by the Township or just most of them? Who all exactly were involved with this incompetence from the beginning? Could there be a personal connection with a current Council member? Why are Council lying and covering up instead of fixing this mess in the Bolender Park Landfill? So much could be done now to accurately understand the seriousness of the problem. A start would be by drilling boreholes and determining honestly and accurately, the real boundaries of the landfill versus the "approximate" ones they've been working with for thirty-four years.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SUCH LIARS, WILFUL IGNORANCE & PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY




You can not talk reasonably with corrupt people who have some authority. If their agendas include covering up sins and stupidity of the past even to the point of continuing the stupidity while putting others at risk, so be it. Woolwich Council are such an example. While I have vacillated in my opinions as to whether they are totally corrupt or merely totally stupid, at the moment totally corrupt is winning. Keep in mind I deem blatant lying as corruption. Naturally enough most politicians do not.

There is zero doubt that Woolwich Council hired GHD (formerly CRA) to produce a dishonest and misleading report for the purpose of covering up their and Woolwich's abysmal failures in monitoring and collecting methane gas from the Bolender Park landfill. My Delegation last evening was backed up by individual pages and quotes from past CRA Bolender Landfill reports which proved the lies in GHD's September 14/17 report to Council last evening. The most obvious and blatant was the lie that the gas collection system has been "operating" from 1983 until 2015. CRA's reports categorically stated that the system was not working in 1994, 1996 and that it should be abandoned in their 1998 report. They repeated that recommendation (for abandonment) in their 2007 report. Despite this GHD repeatedly claimed that the gas collection system operated throughout the period of either 1983 or 1984 until it was decommissioned in 2015. Such liars you are.

Woolwich Council are shameless. Mark Bauman did his schtick with a Woolwich staffer by asking obviously pre-arranged softball questions allowing the staffer to respond with what superficially appeared to be reasonable, additional precautions for the landfill. They amounted to no more than shooting a water pistol at a forest fire. The staffer's comments on the "organics" and "organic materials" found in Bolender Park coming from a load of fill are not reasonable. These "organics" were found in six different, spaced apart boreholes. Fill does not contain foodstuffs. Municipal garbage does.

Last evening I watched the third episode in the recent PBS documentary on the Vietnam war. A former soldier stated that failed American policies in South-East Asia were one thing but sending young Americans to die there years after the military and politicians knew that the war was unwinnable was something different. It was termed as "killing people for your own egos". Will we have our own mini version right here in Elmira? No, Woolwich Township, your positions and decisions on the Bolender Landfill are not "evidence based". They are politically and ego based. They are face saving based. They are to avoid the public humiliation of poring money into a former hole in the ground and fixing nothing. They are to avoid admitting fault at any cost and that cost just might mean innocent human life. That you and the Woolwich mafia are willing to go to such lengths speaks volumes, about all of you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

DECEMBER 2000 UNIROYAL/CROMPTON APPROPRIATELY GETTING BATTERED OVER THEIR BEHAVIOUR




Looking back over the newspaper clippings I can see why I was such a strong supporter of Susan Bryant and other UPAC and CPAC members. Even Syvia knew to say the right things at the right time in those days. In the Elmira Independent of December 1, 2000 Julie Sawyer wrote about Sylvia Berg and I expressing concerns with allegedly cleaning the creek before cleaning up the site. Hindsight may be again proving us right about that. In the December 22nd edition of the Independent David Ash was again on the defensive over odours under the attacks of Henry Regier, Shannon Purves-Smith and Sylvia.

The Woolwich Observer in those days covered Uniroyal/Crompton issues unlike today. Richard Vivian wrote about the proposed Site Specific Risk Assessment (SSRA). Dr. Henry Regier who had decades of professional experience with Risk Assessments was not supportive of it.

In the December 15/2000 Independent Dwighte Este discussed (via CPAC) Crompton's Worst Case Scenario. Essentially a major spill of Anhydrous Ammonia would result in a human kill zone of approximately 700 metres whereas from 700 to 1300 metres would only result in serious health effects. This still is relevant today not only for long time residents but for all the new ones still planned for the Hawk Ridge Subdivision on Union St. across the road from Sulco and Chemtura/Lanxess. Gail Martin was the author of this article in the Independent.

In the December 23/2000 edition of the Woolwich Observer Henry Regier took aim at the practice of Elmira volunteers taking air samples on behalf of the M.O.E. and Uniroyal/Crompton. Henry felt that the volunteers should be paid for "...going out at all hours of the day and night, usually bad weather to do this.". I added to that opinion by suggesting that " at $100 a pop, I'll come in from West Montrose and take samples. For free in the middle of the night, I'm not interested.". Apparently Shannon and Sylvia were still willing to do it for free.

Both local papers (Independent & Observer) published the fact that Uniroyal had agreed to pay the Region of Waterloo $90,000 towards their costs caused by Uniroyal's "pink spill" the previous spring. This massive spill of toluene had killed the bacteria in the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant and caused a release into the Canagagigue Creek of partially treated sewage. Nearby homes had also had sewage back up into them. Part of the deal included quarterly inspections of Uniroyal's site by the Region of Waterloo. The K-W record also reported on this agreement.

On January 19, 2001 the Independent reported on a presentation to Council by the Regional health department. It was in regards to air emissions and links to them with adverse health effects. The presentation also included factors such as a loss of enjoyment of one's property due to air and odour emissions from local polluters.

The beat goes on to this day regarding the adverse effects suffered by local residents from Uniroyal Chemical and all its' corporate successors.



Monday, September 18, 2017

HIDDEN QUARRY



My friend and environmental colleague, Dr. Henry Regier, has sent me a wonderful report titled "Aquatic Habitat and Fish Survey of Brydson Creek" dated January 2015. Brydson Creek is a headwater tributary to Blue Springs Creek which is a tributary to the Eramosa River at Eden Mills, Ontario. Brydsen Creek is the creek which runs through the location of Hidden Quarry mentioned here last Friday. This report was prepared by K. Schiefer, Ph.D. an Aquatic Biologist. The study was commissioned by the Concerned Residents Coalition of Rockwood, Ontario.

The property studied and part of the Brydson Creek examined is immediately downstream of the location of the Hidden Quarry. The purpose of the study was to determine if a viable population of Brook trout existed and reproduced in the Brydson Creek. Not only do Brook trout live in this stretch of the creek but they thrive. "The Eramosa River and the Blue Spring Creek, have long been considered to contain some of the highest quality cold-water fish habitat within the Grand River Watershed.".

To state that Hidden Quarry threatens this environmental and ecological jewel is an understatement. The quarry is expected via blasting with explosives to go 23 metres below the water table upstream of the area examined in this study. This is but another shameful example of how we are destroying our planet, one bite at a time. James Dick Construction allegedly needs another quarry and profit centre and we the residents of this planet have no real say in the matter. Once again science and truth are trumped by money, power and hopelessly ignorant and corrupt politicians enacting laws that favour money and power while sacrificing the planet we live on.