Friday, February 15, 2019

HALF A CENTURY OF GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED COVERUPS




Canadian General Tower, Northstar Aerospace, Ciba-Geigy, Breslube, Uniroyal Chemical, Hart Chemicals, Eastview Landfill, Bolender Park Landfill, Varnicolor Chemical, Sunar, Canbar, Seagrams?, North Woolwich Landfill,the list just keeps on growing. I've included Seagram's on the list from old memories but at the moment I can't come up with any specifics hence it gets a question mark behind it. The others all have documented histories and they aren't pretty ones environmentally.

While Canbar and Sunar did some serious remediation on their sites I also can't at this time prove collusion or corruption regarding our Ministry of Environment. That said I expect the trichloroethylene (TCE) at both sites is a part of the many decades of TCE still found in our drinking water coming from the William St. Wellfield in Waterloo, Ontario. There are many other sites throughout Waterloo Region that have contaminated our aquifers and degraded our environment. Ever hear much about the legacy of contamination left behind by Budd Automotive in Kitchener? How about not just air pollution but groundwater pollution by some of our tire and rubber manufacturers? And so on and so on.

Of course one reason many of our municipalities are loath to aggressively take on industrial polluters is because of their own culpability. Sewage treatment plants are constantly in non compliance with their operating rules. Landfills are also the elephant in the room, even those that retroactively have been fitted with leachate collection systems. Elmira prefers the use of direct discharge versus leachate collection. The direct discharge translates into ongoing leakage into the Canagagigue Creek from the First St. Landfill as well as the Bolender Park Landfill. The former municipal landfill on the Lanxess property named M2 has some leachate controls but they are not 100% effective all the time by a long shot. Do you think Woolwich Township are in bed with Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess just for the fun of it?

Our provincial government and their Ministry of Environment (MOE) are nothing but deal makers, behind closed doors, with polluters like Uniroyal Chemical. Some of the deals are in the public interest and some are in the MOE's interest. After all they don't want the public to be outraged by their past and current negligence and cost them even more budget cutbacks. Folks we are paying a fortune in taxes and most of it goes to protect the interests of industry and polluters, not to protect our interests.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

CIVILIZED CORRUPTION IN CANADA



There is third world corruption such as in Syria, Saudia Arabia, Brazil and many other countries around the world. That style of corruption is accompanied by state sanctioned, whether tacit or explicit, murder, mayhem and torture. Then we have the U.S. and Canadian styles of corruption. By corruption I simply mean bending, breaking or circumventing of the rules of doing business or politics in a country. It is also includes in my opinion a fleecing of the millions of unempowered everyday citizens who are simply trying to make a legal living for themselves and their families. This fleecing can be via taxes, fraud or even legal means in which citizens are grossly overcharged for goods and or services.

SNC-Lavalin are in the news currently. They've been caught, not for the first time, allegedly handing out bribes to foreign governments in an attempt to sell their products. Somehow either through pure good luck or possibly as a direct result of political donations they got Canadian law changed last year allowing "remediation agreements" in place of prosecution for some offences. Now they are trying to collect on this new law in order to avoid prosecution for alleged corruption offences that occurred in Libya. Wow!

But it gets much worse. It turns out that SNC-Lavalin have been lobbying both the federal government as well as opposition parties trying to get off the hook. This lobbying pressure has been passed down the line to the now departed Attorney General. She refused to play ball and next thing you know our Prime Minister fired and demoted her to Veterans Affairs Minister. The best description of that portfolio I've ever heard is that it is the department where political careers go to die. The point is that firing and demotion pretty much satisfies the definition of undue pressure. It indicates that our legal system is at the whim or mercy of politicians, rather than being independent. This is true Canadian corruption at its finest. Laws are only for the little people. Laws are there to serve the interests of the big people not to constrain their interests or behaviour. Shameful and hypocritical.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

NO PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION



The evidence is overwhelming. No one has denied the existence of a Drain running approximately for 175 metres, north to south, parallel and a mere 20 metres away from the Lanxess property line. No one has denied the lines that are visible from satellite and or aerial photographs running from north to south-east across the Lanxess property (Interceptor Trenches?). To date no one has denied the existence of maps indicating that GP-1 (gravel pit 1) has three different locations on the Lanxess property depending on which map you look at. No one has denied that there is an underground pipe, oriented north to south, discharging constantly into the north end of the Stroh Drain. Clearly this is groundwater in the pipe.

What surprised me at the January 24, 2019 after the TAG meeting, meeting, was the complete absence of any attempt to explain any of it. Nothing! No answers, no attempts to give possible explanations, no theories, nothing. In fact, I was the one that suggested that one part of the lines on the satellite and aerial photos might actually be a fence built just prior to the 1993 excavation of RPE-4 & 5. The other lines I still believe most likely to be an Interceptor Trench but am awaiting any other plausible or even half plausible suggested alternative from Lanxess. Nothing.

As I said to Ramin Ansari and Lou Almeida on January 24/19, the presence or absence of an Interceptor Trench does not negate the environmental seriousness of the presence of the Stroh Drain. That Drain should have been pointed out to citizens thirty years ago and its history explained. It was not. Instead its presence was kept a secret even after an aerial photograph in a CRA report showed something that looked like a flat, smooth area of land arcing away from the Chemtura site. Chemtura and the MOE were publicly asked about it and George Karlos of the MOE gave his infamous answer about having just walked the area and there was no pathway by which contaminants could leave the Chemtura site and migrate to the Stroh property.

The duck theory: If it looks like a duck, if it waddles like a duck and if it quacks like a duck - it probably is a duck. The same thing goes for the Interceptor Trenches, relocated GP-1 and the purpose of the Stroh Drain was to drain both surface and ground water from Chemtura and the Stroh farm.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP IN COURT NEXT WEEK



The address is 85 Frederick St. which I believe is the newest court house (ie. Superior Court). Ha! Believe me there is nothing superior about it except perhaps the cost to taxpayers. Regarding scheduling for example, the parties have been advised that yes they have a court date for next week. They will be informed later this week as to which day, what time and which courtroom. Pretty superior isn't it?

So what's the beef? Well the owner bought a pig in a poke. Along with the former Paleshi garage and auto wrecking yard it seems that he bought a methane problem. Oh and he also bought a chunk of land that after the fact he's being ordered around by Woolwich as to what he can and can not do on his property. For example he's being told that he can't drive over a piece of his own land. Nor can he change the landscaping in any fashion near the east side of his property. All this because Woolwich Township have an illegal buried municipal waterline through his property. I refer to it as illegal because gosh darn it the municipality forgot to ever get an easement for it. That's right it was installed about three owners ago and isn't marked on the deed. The owner previous to Mr. Rattasid ( ie. Mr Paleshi) claims that he didn't know about the waterline being installed prior to his ownership of the land.

There are other problems such as Woolwich Township advising Mr. Rattasid that there no longer was methane present when he purchased the property. This of course was based upon inadequate Conestoga Rovers (CRA) reports on behalf of the township. The township had actually removed the methane collection system prior to Mr. Rattasid's purchase of the property. This was premature and if Woolwich had been doing their due diligence and carefully reading the CRA reports they would have known that. The thirty-five year history of those studies and reports has been totally inadequate and in my opinion incompetent. Now Woolwich again want access to his land to rebuild a methane collection system that if done properly decades ago would have long resolved the problem of explosive levels of methane gas on the property as well as threatening neighbour's properties.

Through all of this Mr. Rattasid has been willing to discuss and negotiate as equals with the township in regards to permitting their continued excursions on his land to fix the problem of methane arising from the former municipal Bolender Park Landfill. As part of this process of granting access to his land he would like something in return. To date the township have decided that they would rather fight to the last taxpayers dollars then to sit down and discuss/negotiate in good faith with Mr. Rattasid. In good faith includes being truthful about the facts surrounding this site and the landfill itself.

Monday, February 11, 2019

KEEP THE SHEEP CONTENTED & QUIET



Ministry of the Environment Standard operating procedure 101: minimize and downplay the damage. Especially if you yourself don't know the severity of the damage, always understate it. You might get lucky. Eventually everything gets spilled or dumped in our society. Airplanes full of people and cargo, trains full of crude oil (Lac Megantic), and trucks full of gasoline, diesel fuel or jet fuel. Oh and less we forget boats of course. Big boats full of bunker C go to the bottom slowly leaking their fuel into waterways.

Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Landowner says environmental damage from Mill Creek fuel spill is worse than thought". The landowner states that recent rains have spread the jet fuel via flooding onto land around the creek which could kill acres of old growth trees in addition to the damage that has impacted fish, otters, ducks and salamanders. He believes that the fish will be severely impacted and "if it kills all those trees , that's the whole damn system gone."

Last Wednesday, a month after the spill occurred oil booms were still being added to a branch of the creek where the smell of fuel was still strong. Even more troubling an oily sheen could still be seen on the creek water,in that area, days later.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP ATTACKS VOLUNTEERS



I wonder if at any time in history Woolwich or any other municipal government in Ontario has so viciously and nastily attacked their own volunteers the way Woolwich did on April 9, 2015? While Todd Cowan set the standard for wholesale turnover of a volunteer committee in 2011, he went out of his way not to personally attack the character or efforts of the citizens who had in some cases been involved with CPAC for several terms. Mayor Cowan at the time simply made standard references to wanting to go in a new direction, etc. He did not falsely suggest as Sany Shantz and friends did on April 9, 2015 that the 2010 to 2014 CPAC were "roadblocks to progress"or that they were involved in "bullying and aggressive" behaviour, or that there was a "lack of control in meeting." How dare such an ignorant group of alleged "stakeholders" speak so ill of a CPAC committee that fifteen out of seventeen of them had not regularly attended in the previous four years.

Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of Environment certainly could be expected to criticize CPAC from their positions of corruption and dishonesty. For fellow citizens such as Pat and Susan however it was disgraceful. In contrast neither the current CPAC members nor myself have ever criticized the new TAG members who were appointed by Sandy Shantz. A couple of them are very good but even the totally inexperienced members have been working hard over the last three and a half years to get up to speed.

CPAC members were so disgusted by the false and scurrilous comments in the Minutes of the April 9, 2015 "stakeholders" meeting that all but one refused to apply for a second time to be on the new committees. That second application process in itself was a sham as CPAC members along with Pat and Susan had already applied in November 2014 but nobody else did which upset Sandy and her brain trust on Council. Therefore they intentionally provoked and alienated CPAC members into refusing to reapply. In fact, speaking for myself, I would be hard pressed to ever apply for any volunteer position with Woolwich Township ever again after their filthy and disgusting behaviour. The independence and credibility of committees of council are always suspect but here in Woolwich it is far worse. This Township now have a history of dishonest behaviour, second to none. They simply are not worthy of the efforts and dedication of Woolwich residents and citizens.

Friday, February 8, 2019

DECEMBER 2018 LANXESS PROGRESS REPORT




I believe that I have previously posted regarding the extent of off-site pumping in December. It is at historically excellent levels although not remotely close to either double or triple as promised initially in November 2012.

Surface water in the Canagagigue Creek continues to surprise. Conductivity increases from the upstream end of the creek just above Lanxess (Uniroyal) to the downstream end. PH decreases which indicates increasing acidity of the water. None of this is the surprising part. Table C.2 indicates that various chlorophenols and cresols have higher average concentrations in the creek upstream than downstream over the last three years. That is both odd and concerning and may indicate that the Bolender Park Landfill is and has been discharging to the creek. With volatile organics (VOCs) only benzene and toluene have higher concentrations downstream than upstream which is not surprising. Base/Nuetral Extractables (BNAs) are more peculiar however. Aniline, carboxin, NMOR and BEHP all have higher concentrations upstream than downstream. Again I suspect the Bolender Park Landfill.

Figure D.1 should embarass Lanxess and GHD. It purports to show groundwater contours in the Surficial Aquifer (SA) on Lanexess's north-east corner. Unfortunately it fails to indicate the already admitted by them flow of SA groundwater eastwards onto the Stroh property.

Figure D.3 should also be embarassing. It shows ridiculously low head differential (ie. water level difference) between the Upper Aquifer (UA) and the surface of the creek for half of the observation wells. This indicates that hydraulic containment of the UA is marginal at best.

Table F.1 indicates the thickness of LNAPL (light non aqueous phase liquid) floating on the water table in Lanxess's south-west corner. It ranges over several wells from black tar-like blobs present on the probe to half a metre in thickness. This LNAPL was discovered in 1995 and belatedly presented to UPAC many months after being found.It is disgraceful that it has not been removed in over twenty years. Monitoring doesn't cut it and neither do excuses.