Tuesday, August 21, 2018


For years, simply looking at the chemical composition of methane (CH3) I just assumed that methane could be produced both by rotting garbage as well as by the breakdown of various hydrocarbon solvents all of which by definition consist of hydrogen and carbon. Then as the more I started reading on-line articles about methane the less that seemed plausible because none of the experts even remotely suggested it. The icing on the cake was when a friend and environmental colleague also advised me that methane was most certainly the result of food wastes in municipal garbage breaking down, not from solvents.

So now that I've got that firmly wrapped in my head I inadvertently come across a website www.envirogroup.com in which this company is discussing Special Issues in regards to methane in and around old landfills. Lo and behold there is one sentence which reads "Methane may be a by-product of BTEX degradation." I couldn't find any elaboration or clarifcation on that one sentence. Hunh! BTEX by the way stands for benzene, ethyl benzene, toluene, and xylenes all of which are very common solvents.

Sooooo is the high methane readings on the Lot 91 site at the extreme eastern end of Oriole Parkway from the former First St. Landfill separated from Lot 91 by a few feet of Landfill Creek or is the methane from massive dumping of BTEX liquids and their subsequent degradation on the former Varnicolor Chemical site?

Lastly is the ongoing and enduring methane at the Bolender Park Landfill due to purely 100% rotting food stuffs from municipal garbage or is the methane exacerbated by the industrial solvent wastes deposited there by Uniroyal, Varnicolor etc.?

Monday, August 20, 2018


The title of today's Editorial by the Record is "Like it or not, it's high time to talk about ..sewage". A week or so ago the Record had a couple of articles listing by the numbers the volumes and frequency of raw and semi-treated sewage discharged into Canadian waterways, year after year. It was horrific.

About 2/3 of the amount released last year was deliberately released by authorities when their sewage treatment plants were overwhelmed during heavy rain storms. Clearly both here in Elmira and across the country the use of cross-connections between storm and sanitary sewers has had a serious negative effect upon our natural environment.Fish kills, drinking water advisorys, beach closures and fish and shellfish harvesting restrictions occur after incidents of this nature.

Here in Elmira the term I & I was used to describe Inflow and Infiltration issues occurring during heavy rain events. Eavestroughs , residential basement sump pumps and even tile around the basements of houses had improperly been hooked into the sanitary sewers in some houses in the Birdland subdivision. No wonder the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant was discharging only semi-trested sewage into the Canagagigue Creek after rain storms.

It seems a simple enough concept. Excess Rainfall and groundwater belong in storm sewers. Toilets, laundry facilities etc. belong in sanitary sewers. Yes two completely separate systems are expensive. In the long run they are both cheaper and better for the health of the environment and everything in it, including ourselves. Politicians it's time to focus tax money on the less glamorous expenditures rather than on arts, LRT, expensive courthouses and police offices.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


In the September 28, 2007 Elmira Independent, Julie Sawyer wrote about CPAC's concerns regarding the loss of hydraulic containment on the Chemtura site both before and especially after construction begins on the new Ammonia Treatment System. The issue included "well pairs" being designated during construction in order to easily and quickly determine if hydraulic containment was successful. Unfortunately the generally uninformed Chemtura Public Advisory Committee members and particularly the grossly, technically uninformed Chair, Pat McLean managed either to forget all about that within a month or two or else as in Pat's case, conveniently forgot about it; that is if she ever understood it in the first place.

I went through the appropriate information sharing as much as I possibly could with CPAC members. I was intentionally stymied by Chair Mclean and hypocrite Bryant by the cancellation of all CPAC meetings from November 2007 through to at least April 2008. That CPAC members did not insist upon meeting and hearing what I had already advised Pat, Susan, Wilf, the MOE, Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers regarding inappropriate well pairs is to their shame and it's no wonder that none of them have ever been back to a single CPAC, RAC or TAG meeting since they all got the boot by the Todd Cowan council in early 2011. Also CPAC members failure to contact me during this period even though I attempted to, is also to their shame.

The net result was a win for hypocrites and the ignorant and uninformed. Also a win for the MOE and Chemtura while a huge loss for the public interest. Well done Woolwich Council, Susan and Pat. At least that pair of self-serving manipulators never regained their preeminence and dominance of the Council appointed citizens committee allegedly overseeing Chemtura/Lanxess.

Oh and by the way the Environmental Review Tribunal in their Decision did point out that it was unreasonable of Conestoga Rovers and Chemtura to use obviously inappropriate well CH97 as one of their well pairs as I had clearly shown and explained to all parties including that twit Wilf Ruland. That he then complained about my "behaviour" at a meeting on the Chemtura site is simply the height of hypocrisy and cowardice. You sir rolled over like a little baby when Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers were rude,ignorant and disrespectful to you. I did not and you and your buddies then schemed to use that to get me voted off CPAC by a bunch of idiots it later turned out had absolutely zero right or authority to be kicking anybody off. Hence the title above.

Friday, August 17, 2018


In the third paragraph of yesterday's posting here Mr. Quyum of the MOE suggests that the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACTS) which has allegedly hydraulically contained Uniroyal Chemical's grossly contaminated south-west shallow aquifer isn't completely doing its job. In other words, unsurprising to most of us, the site is still leaking into the natural environment. This only makes final cleanup of the Elmira drinking waters by 2028, even more unlikely. But then why should this worry either the MOE or Lanxess as there apparently is no legal imperative for them to accomplish this goal?

In the next paragraph (#5) Mr. Quyum suggests that there is also leakage in the municipal aquifer from the north-west quadrant which is not being recaptured as required by pumping well PW4.

Contaminated municipal aquifer water is also likely leaking off-site in Lanxess's south-east corner (paragraph #6). All of these leakages are contrary to various legal or quasi legal instruments that the MOE have with Uniroyal (Lanxess). The actual legal jeopardy the company is in is of course difficult to say based upon the ability of liars to figure and figures to lie. Also based upon weasel wording in these various documents.

The seventh paragraph in yesterday's post raises the spectre of other major sources of contamination to the Elmira Aquifers. Oh well the MOE/Uniroyal sweetheart deal in which Uniroyal accepted all blame in exchange for an Indemnity & more, did last nearly thirty years. Now that is really professional lying to the public.

The DNAPL scam and coverup has only festered because APT Environment under the guidance of Sylvia Berg rolled over on the DNAPL issues in late December 1993 and early 1994. She sold the farm but at what price we can only speculate.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


His name is Abdul Quyum and he is a hydrogeologist. His chances of serious advancement to any kind of a senior management position within the MOE are likely between zero and nil, unless of course he changes his attitude. The MOE have preferred low intellect, barely competent folks along the line of Bill Bardswick. Loyalty first, brains and honesty way down the line. That's their kind of a company man.

Mr. Quyum has written a review of Lanxess's Annual Monitoring Report for 2017 and he hasn't held much back. Rest assured that Lanxess, just like Chemtura, Crompton and Uniroyal in the past, will be yelling loud and clear at the MOE about that. In polite company (ie. corrupt organizations) like the MOE, courtesy and respect are uppermost and truthful bluntness is anathema.

On page 2 Mr. Quyum suggests that there may be non-compliance issues with the ECA (Environmental Compliance Approval?) in regards to groundwater monitoring and containment in the upper aquifer, in the south-west corner of the site.

On page 3 he suggests that the municipal upper groundwater allowed to migrate off-site in the north-west may only be partially recaptured by pumping well PW4 which is unacceptable.

On page four Mr. Quyum advises that he does not support proposed changes in groundwater monitoring and he is opposed to contaminant concentration contours plotted from different sampling events. That should be obvious even to CRA and Lanxess.

On page 5 he suggests that NDMA has been migrating off-site in the south-east corner near OW105d and Ow 16i. That's a no-no.

Pages 5 & 6 are stunning. Mr. Quyum is making it clear that all the off-site chlorobenzene likely is not from Uniroyal/Lanxess and that can be confirmed with isotope analysis. Of course this could have been done many years ago but that would likely have destroyed the MOE and Uniroyal narrative supporting Uniroyal's sweetheart deal. Also Mr. Quyum's chlorobenzene comments are in line with Neil Thompson's (U.Of Waterloo) comments about excess chlorobenazene in the Elmira Aquifers in his CSM (Conceptual Site Model).

Page 6 & 7 have interesting comments about the inadequacy of DNAPL monitoring in the Annual Monitoring Report. That's hardly news again to those citizens who have followed the tortured and convoluted DNAPL thirty year coverup on this site.

Lastly Page 8 advises us that there are issues with the Mann-Kendall method used for Trend Analysis of contaminant concentrations. This lay person has known that for decades. The Mann-Kendall method misses all kinds of trends whether up or downwards in contaminant concentrations.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Once again the latest Monthly Progress Report is out but now we know why they really don't give a damn as to making progress or not. We, CPAC members, have received a legal opinion regarding the 2028 deadline to have our drinking wells restored to Ontario Drinking Water Standards. It's all been a lie and a misrepresentation from the start. The weasel worded, professional prevaricators managed to word all their control orders, certificates of approval and other official and legal sounding dictums in such a way that they can not be enforced in a court of law. That folks is your Ontario Ministry of Empty Corporate Promises (MOECP) at its best.

Lanxess can brag that four new wells have been added to the off-site cleanup of contaminated groundwater. Sure they have, sort of. They are pumping wells W6A, W6B, W8 and W9. Last month, July, in total they added 1.61 litres per second of pumping to the monthly total of normally around 60 litres per second. That would be an increase of approximately 3%. WOW! That is a little short of their initially promised tripling and then later promised doubling of the pumping rates.

Oh wait a second. Let's be scrupulously accurate here. While 60 litres per second is the normal over the last few years, last month, July, was not normal. Not to worry they had lots of excuses for that as always. Last month total average pumping for the month was only 43 litres per second plus the 1.6 litres per second already mentioned for the new wells. Therefore last month's average pumping was 44.6 l/sec. This increases the percentage increase from the four new wells to 1.6 divided by 43 which equals an increase of almost nearly 4%! Well again, sort of. That's an increase based upon their addition to the total pumping, without them. It's still way below the normal and way below what was publicly promised in November 2012.

I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. It's almost as if they don't care that their word means nothing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following article titled "Monsanto to pay man $289M US in Roundup weed killer lawsuit". Science as always takes considerable time to study and make determinations especially in the matter of toxic substances. Cancer takes years to develop and sometimes is due to years of exposure to toxins and other times not. Industry, especially the pesticide and chemical industry, rely on this. They literally make billions of dollars on products first and only after either the environmental damage is obvious (DDT) or after the health damage is obvious (2,4,5-T agent orange) do they stop production.

Glyphosate (Roundup) has been problematic for a very long time. The chemical industry of course say that it is safe. They have both their own tame scientists as well as the current U.S. President putting his man at the top of the EPA to reduce government oversight over business and industry. Our own Doug Ford, here in Ontario, is simply a Donald Trump "light" version.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) believe that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. The state of California have also added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

How is this relevant to the Region of Waterloo? WE have glyphosate in our tap water thank you very much to both local agriculture and local residential use as well as probably to local pesticide manufacturing. Simply check the Region of Waterloo's website under Quality & Treatment of our drinking water. Their Annual Reports have indicated Glyphosate for many years at <25 ppb which means less than 25 parts per billion. The problem is this. Other industrial chemicals are either very low as in one to three parts per billion or they are listed as <.5 ppb. That's right if all the other toxic chemicals are listed as non-detect at a method detection limit (MDL) of 1/2 a part per billion then why is glyphosate at <25 ppb. The answer is simple. Glyphosate is likely to be present at 5 or ten ppb in our drinking water and by using a very high MDL we don't get to see the actual concentration. If it rises to 25 to 30 ppb will the Region then represent it as <50 ppb?