Wednesday, December 2, 2020

IS DIVERTING CONTAMINATED WATER ONTO YOUR NEIGHBOUR"S PROPERTY (Stroh in particular) CONSIDERED REMEDIATION?

Apparently in Elmira it is. The last couple of days I've been posting here indicating that shallow aquifer flow directions have been misrepresented by Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and lanxess consultants for more than thirty years now. So too have been surface water flows on and off their site. I have also indicated that groundwater concentrations of contaminants have been low directly beside GP-1 (gravel pit 1) where we have been told in numerous company and consultant reports that the bulk of overflowing waste waters ended up. It's all a charade. .................................................................................................... I have also been reexamining groundwater results from the 1980s and early 90s on the east side of the now Lanxess Canada site. Firstly I will explain what Uniroyal and Conestoga Rovers seemed reluctant to explain to both the public and to UPAC members nearly thirty years ago. East side groundwater results, especially in wells further away from the east side toxic waste pits (RPE 1-5), have ben significantly affected by manmade changes and diversions on the east side. Some of these diversions have been confirmed by Uniroyal/Lanxess whereas others have not. One of the pressing motives for diverting contaminated surface and groundwaters away from flowing westwards into the Canagagigue Creek on site was to reduce the demand for hydraulic containment of the shallow (i.e. upper) aquifer on the east side of the creek. This was in fact sucessful although the company and consultants did not then mention their sucessful diversions. .................................................................................................................... The company has admitted to ploughing furrows on the east side for the express purpose of diverting overflowing wastewaters southwards rather than let them flow westwards into the creek. The company utterly failed to mention either the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB) or the groundwater collection system directly beside their eastern boundary with the Stroh farm. This groundwater collection system could be a somewhat conventional agricultural tile drain system although I am doubtful. Lastly and even more controversial is the possibilty of an Interceptor Trench or other subsurface collection system which is possibly diverting and gravity flowing contaminated groundwater eastwards onto the Stroh property where it eventually winds its' way back into the Canagagigue Creek further downstream. .......................................................................................................... The apparent purpose of these manmade constructions would appear to be in order to minimize the extent of Uniroyal Chemical contamination and hence minimize the number of dollars required to properly remediate their pollution. Of course the company, by whatever name, has always failed to honestly and in good faith talk with all the community stakeholders. They have handpicked the ones that are more amenable to their ideas and initiatives. Woolwich Township have cheerfully gone along with that corruption.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

UNDERWHELMING GROUNDWATER RESULTS FROM TWO WELLS ON THE EDGE OF GP-1

These two wells are OW 69 and OW 24. More specifically they are OW 69-3 and OW 69-8 screened in the Upper Aquifer (i.e. shallow ) as well as OW 69-13 screened in the Municipal Upper Aquifer. These wells are located immediately on the left (west) side of GP-1 near the north end of that allegedly former gravel pit (i.e. GP-1). OW 24 oddly has three Upper Aquifer wells namely OW 24 S1, S2 and S3 screened at three, five and six metre depths. This well also has OW 24i for intermediate screened in the Municipal Upper Aquifer at approximately the twelve metre depth as well as OW24d (deep) screened in the Municipal Lower Aquifer at the thirty metre depth. Monitoring well OW 24 is also on the immediate left (west) side of GP-1 although further south than OW 69. ............................................................................................................... So how underwhelming are these various groundwater concentrations? Oh and I'm talking about groundwater results in the early 1990s shortly after the guilty parties began seriously building more monitoring wells and regularly sampling them. Therefore these results are prior to the two "consolidation" pits on the east side being excavated (Dec. 1993) as well as before GP-1 was partially excavated in 2013-2014. The groundwater concentrations for NDMA, chlorobenzene, toluene, chlorophenols and a host of other contaminants were often below the laboratory detection limit and when detectable they were very low. Quite frankly this is nonsensical after the claims by Uniroyal, CRA, MOE etc. that the bulk of the overflowing waste waters from east side pits RPE 1-5 ended up in GP-1 and GP-2. If that was true then the chemical contaminants would have been very high in the early 1990s. Yes dioxin/furans and DDT results were "high" however that is subjective in that the health criteria are thousands of times lower for these contaminants, most especially for dioxins/furans. Therefore the concentrations of dioxins/furans were only "high" relative to thier extreme toxicity and hence low criteria. ..................................................................................................... On the other hand the concentrations of numerous of the same contaminants in wells both west and east of pits RPE-4 and RPE-5 in the same time frame were huge. We are talking wells such as OW41, OW42, OW43, OW70, OW5 on the west side of the "consolidation" pits and OW28, OW37-5A and OW8 onthe east side. These concentrations often exceeded 10,000 parts per billion (ppb) and sometimes even exceeded 100,000 ppb. It is becoming clearer all the time that whatever chemical skills Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess have; they are equaled or exceeded by their story telling skills.

Monday, November 30, 2020

ONGOING CRA & GHD LIES ON BEHALF OF THEIR WORLD CLASS POLLUTING CLIENTS

Upper Aquifer (UA) groundwater flow directions on the east side of the Lanxess property appear to be total nonsense and fabrications from both consulting companies. These companies on behalf of Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and now Lanxess Canada have always claimed that the Upper Aquifer flows south-west and discharges into the Canagagigue Creek where it is located either in the middle of their property or where it runs somewhat parallel to their most southern border with the Martin farm. Never have they indicated that any part of their property discharges UA groundwater eastwards onto the Stroh property nor into the Canagagigue Creek further downstream where it is actually east of their (Lanxess) property. ....................................................................................................................... What evidence do we have? Documentation (maps) exist which clearly show that a large part of Lanxess's south-east corner was wetlands. These were wetlands often with standing water as both the maps (CRA April 2013 "GP1 and GP2 Remediation and Capping", Dwg. C-02 "Existing Conditions") and verbal public testimony from Jeff Merriman of Chemtura has stated. Mr. Merriman further stated that the wetlands have now been drained which of course TAG members and a few lucky members of the public found out during the April 2019 site tour. What Jeff and every other lying....oops...factually confused folks have "forgotten" to add is that it was the Stroh Drain (SDDB) installed in 1983 which drained the swamp as it was partially intended to do. The SDDB is approximately five to six feet deep which not only drains standing surface water south and east but also is the low point locally in the Upper Aquifer hence drawing UA groundwater both from the Stroh and Lanxess property towards itself. This "drain" conveniently also includes a significant Berm on its' east side. Hence I refer to it as the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm or SDDB. ............................................................................................................ So we have maps, verbal testimony and first hand eye witness accounts including my own. There is yet another interesting documented fact. I have estimated in the past that the SDDB on the Stroh property runs parallel to the Lanxess property in their south-east corner for approximately 125 to 150 metres. It then runs a few hundred more metres mostly southwards until it discharges into the Canagagigue Creek. In fact while the SDDB is both a surface and subsurface feature, in fact north of it, it is entirely subsurface. There is a subsurface pipe which discharges into the extreme north end of the SDDB approximately one metre below ground surface. Not only are there multiple eye witnesses to this pipe including TAG, CPAC members and members of the public but there are also multiple photographs of it. This pipe discharges groundwater year round into the SDDB. Whether or not it was installed ostensibly to lower the water table, similar to agricultural drainage tile, beneath Mr. Stroh's corn and soybean field to the north may be problematic as 98% of that field is located at elevations greater than 349 metres above sea level (masl). The Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm for example begins further south at the ground surface elevation of 346 masl where it undoubtedly has and continues to drain both surface and ground water. ................................................................................................................... What the pipe discharging into the SDDB is undoubtedly doing however is draining shallow groundwater from the northern two thirds of the Stroh farm property. It is thus lowering the water table on that part of the Stroh property. With the corn/soybean field on the high ground (349-360 masl) one seriously has to wonder if the major purpose of this tile or shallow drain system is to actually assist crop production. It is my opinion that it is not. Of course as Chemtura/Lanxess strictly control public comments and questions through Woolwich Township stewardship ( i.e. co-opted or worse) all the questions surrounding the Stroh property are not up for routine if even minimal discussion. Woolwich Township and Lanxess also control the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) through the Chair whom they pay for her efforts. Hence asking for public answers from either Lanxess or the MOE/MECP does not work well. ......................................................................................................................... So you amateur hydrogeologists, what does artifically lowering the shallow water table, whether called the Surficial Aquifer or the Upper Aquifer, along the Lanxess/Stroh property line actually accomplish? Well what it does is divert shallow contaminated groundwater from the Uniroyal/Lanxess site onto the Stroh property where it is piped southwards. Groundwater just like surface water flows downhill. If you lower the shallow groundwater elevation on the Stroh side of the property line you will draw both surface water discharge AND shallow groundwater flow from Uniroyal/Lanxess onto your property (i.e. Stroh). And that folks has never been said or shown on groundwater elevation contour maps distributed for public consumption in the last thirty years plus.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

I have hand delivered copies of this map to TAG members last spring. The front of the map is in colour and is approximately 8 1/2 inches by 17 inches in size. The front of the document (map) has all the ground surface elevation lines (i.e. topographical contour lines) clearly marked in metres above sea level (masl). The back of the document (map) has on the left side a Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. map from their "DNAPL Investigation Work Plan" report dated Nov. 2006. This map is but one of many recognized sources such as MOE, GRCA, CRA, Reg. of Waterloo showing topographical contour lines. The right side is an Index explaining what the red and yellow arrows represent as well as explaining a few other items on the map. The yellow/orange arrows represent surface flow direction of water, wastewater, solvents and toxic liquid wastes from the east side pits (RPE 1-5). The red arrows (especially the larger red arrows) show low lying ground (like a large bowl) where hydrophobic compounds such as Dioxins/Furans, DDT likely settled out and bonded with soil particles.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

MORE NEWS ON THURSDAY NIGHT'S TAG MEETING

There are a few other Agenda Items from Thursday's TAG meeting however prior to them I am going to add one more, in my opinion, bizarre criticism that Dustin Martin made regarding Sebastian's presentation dealing with East Side Concerns (i.e. Stroh property). I found it so bizarre and weird that it almost rated up there with Ramin Ansari's comments about bringing a pail of water onto the site and emptying it in order to watch the direction that the water flowed. Obviously on asphalt or cement a single pail would pond on the surface and tend to flow downslope. However on bare soil or ground a single pail of water would simply soak immediately into the ground unless it was frozen solid. ..................................................................................................... Dustin appeared to be all out of sorts regarding Sebastian's estimate of 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of wastewaters per day being pumped to the east side pits from 1944 until 1970. He seemed to feel that somehow this volume was being overemphasized. Actually I've seen and quoted higher volumes per day than those quoted by Sebastian. Regardless Dustin somehow felt it important to trivialize or minimize the volumes of wastewaters by suggesting that they could fit in a fairly small pipe perhaps 6 inches square or perhaps 6 inches in diameter. Like so what? Lanxess and their consultants don't deny large daily volumes of toxic waste waters being pumped into east side open ponds which overflowed and then gravity flowed southwards whether solely into GP-1 then into GP-2 or also more likely also following decreasing ground surface elevations and crossing onto the Stroh property right at the now existing Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm (SDDB). Hence once again this "criticism" is out of place. Sebastian stepped up to right a glaring wrong by his fellow TAG members and Dustin relied upon Sebastian's not being a hydrogeologist in order to attempt to discredit his whole presentation. ...................................................................................................................... Jaimie Petznik (Lanxess) made a presentation about MISA (Municipal Industrial Strategy for Abatement)and it's intended objective of reducing discharge to surface waters from industrial operations. Thirty minutes of talk could have and should have been done in ten. Essentially the MISA program has been replaced by monitoring of these surface water discharges by a different program. Likely that "program" is simply the Environmental Compliance Agreement (ECA) although I may have nodded off during the extended and dragged out discussion. .......................................................................................................... Linda Dickson discussed the Lanxess October Progress Report and how pumping wells W9 and PW5 continue not to be up and running properly. The excuses are innumerable and ongoing. ....................................................................................................... There was also further discussion of the 2020 Canagagigue Creek Sediment and Soil Investigation as well as the Review Comments of this report by the Ministry of Environment as well as Review Comments by the MECP regarding the Supplemental East Side Off-Site Groundwater Investigation. Some appropriate criticisms and suggested actions by the MECP are most likely to eventually get dropped or forgotten, especially by citizens, whether on or off the TAG committee. Bringing one report at a time and dealing with it once and for all in a decisive fashion simply is never going to happen as the guilty parties all prefer using extensive time delays to beat volunteers into eventual submission or perhaps even into a daze. ....................................................................................................................... The TAG Chair got what she wanted, namely more delay. Six plus years and counting since I "discovered" the Stroh Drain. Since then not one single groundwater reading on the south-west side of the Stroh property (beside Lanxess) and certainly not so much as a single soil sample. The Horse Manure and Bullshit by Lanxess and fellow travellors however is in great form and volume.

Friday, November 27, 2020

LAST NIGHT'S TAG MEETING - MORE DELAYS & MORE IGNORING THE OBVIOUS

Well. There were two positives that I got from the meeting. Their names were Linda Dickson and Katerina Richter. There were also two negatives and their names were Tiffany Svensson and Dustin Martin. None of these impressions/opinions are written in stone. Sometimes good people make errors in judgement and sometimes bad people do the right thing for whatever reason. Firstly I am so very tired of the most important Agenda items being last! Whether UPAC, CPAC or RAC/TAG, last night was no exception. A non naive person might get the impression that this was being done intentionally in order to have volunteer members tired and ready to pack it in prior to the most important item. ....................................................................................................... I have this morning talked to two CPAC members who attended virtually last evening as well as another who did not attend last night but has been a regular attendee during live and in person RAC and TAG meetings. I also talked briefly last night after the meeting to Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach who presented "East Side Concerns Discussion" under Agenda Item 5.1 . There are some commonalities in the comments. Firstly the two positives, Linda and Katerina, clearly have open, objective minds. They listened carefully and know that the south part of the Stroh property has been intentionally avoided. Secondly Dustin Martin seemed compelled to undermine and criticize Sebastian's presentation. What angered me was his lack of balance which was excruciatingly observed at the end of his comments when he was trying to throw Sebastian a bone. He initially nitpicked about the three locations of GP-1, the Hydrograph Table and the subsurface cross-section of the Municipal aquifer which Sebastian likely misinterpreted as deep municipal groundwater apparently flowing eastwards. Neither of the last two points are frankly even remotely relevant to Sebastian's basic premise that the southern part of the Stroh property near Lanxess has NOT been properly investigated. Regarding the location of GP-1, there are three professional maps showing three different locations of GP-1 and I was appalled that Dustin felt it necessary to support GHD's (Lanxess's consultants) self-serving opinion of GP-1's location with absolutely zero evidence to back it up. That to me, shows evidence of bias. Regarding the "bone" that Dustin threw Sebastian's way Dustin vaguely and with mediocre word choice actually 100% supported Sebastian's basic premise that there has been zero investigation of the south one third of the Stroh property. Dustin did this with the following words " GHD have failed to fully and properly delineate the Stroh property." ....................................................................................................................... So how do those words support Sebastian's position? Well it would have been very helpful if Dustin had been more specific as to what "delineation" he was talking about. I believe and understand that Dustin meant that GHD had failed to fully and properly delineate ...the extent of contamination...on the Stroh property. In other words exactly as Sebastian has been saying...Lanxess, GHD and the MECP have utterly failed to do a proper investigation of the Stroh property. Thank you Dustin Martin even though you prefaced it with nitpicking irrelevant criticisms and you failed to make your final message in plain, clear English. ............................................................................................................ Why the shot in the fourth sentence, first paragraph above regarding Tiffany Svensson? The impression that both I amd other observers to the meeting had was that Tiffany was supporting Dustin's criticisms of Sebastian's presentation. It is becoming clearer that she is a "company man". That is unfortunate.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

TWO NEW/OLD ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN TODAY'S WOOLWICH OBSERVER

First off thank you Steve Kannon for the honourable and accurate mention of yours truly in today's Observer article titled "Union St. subdivision plan on hold again". This is one of the two "new/old" issues in today's Observer. The other is titled "Gravel pit cleared for Winterbourne valley, as Woolwich drops legal action." Interestingly/oddly that while both of these issues have been recently active for several weeks/months, we the public literally got the minimum advance notice possible. That includes the fact that I had filled out the form requesting notice of any and all upcoming public meetings etc. dealing with the Hawk Ridge Homes proposed subdivision on Union St. across from Sulco (CCC) and Lanxess Canada. ...................................................................................................... The second item regarding the Jigs Hollow Pit (i.e. Winterbourne Valley) came out of the blue. This is despite the fact that I had attended Local Planning Area Tribunal (LPAT) meetings one to two years ago and like numerous citizens was quite interested and concerned. Absolutely zero media advance warning or any other on that one. The Jigs Hollow issie now appears to be done and over. Woolwich Township withdrew their opposition and indiviual advocates in opposition to this gravel pit likely are not interested in mortaging their homes or retirements in order to continue the fight. They made incredible efforts over many years and deserve our thanks regardless of the outcome, namely a below water table gravel pit right along the banks of the Grand River beside the village of Winterbourne. It kind of makes a mockery of the Heritage River designation as well as the efforts of hundreds if not thousands of citizens over decades to protect the river. .................................................................................................. I posted yesterday about the probable go ahead for the Hawk Ridge Homes proposal. That too is a disgrace. Wake up folks. If you keep electing the Progressive Conservative Party provincially you can count on a faster environmental degradation process than we are already going through. (Yes I admit the Liberal Party desperately required a timeout but there are other choices you know).