Thursday, January 17, 2019

OH ERIC, TELL ME YOU WERE MISQUOTED!



Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Water wells closed in Cambridge following jet fuel spill on Hwy. 401". Eric Hodgins is quoted as saying "We've shut off any wells that potentially could be impacted, and our system is free and clear of this spill". O.K. fair enough. I can believe that. Groundwater moves slowly and certainly one heck of a lot slower than surface water therefore the groundwater supplying the drilled wells on the north and east sides of Cambridge is not yet impacted by a huge spill of jet fuel onto and into the ground and nearby surface water of Mill Creek. It will of course be impacted eventually. Right now that groundwater is impacted and has been so for decades by spills that are thirty to fifty years old from sites such as the former Ciba-Geigy plant.

Secondly Mr. Hodgins is correct in shutting off any wells "...that potentially could be impacted...". As Dr. Gail Krantberg advised CPAC here in Elmira six years ago, any contaminants released into the natural environment will migrate whether by soil vapours, dissolved in groundwater, dissolved in surface water or even by air. Pumping of wells increases the groundwater gradient towards the wells thus speeding up the migration of contaminants towards them.

At the end of the story Mr. Hodgins suggests that "It's a material that's lighter than water, so it will float on the surface and doesn't dissolve into the water". Ooh boy but that's a hard one to swallow. Oils, gasolines and fuels in general (diesel, jet fuel etc.) are simply chains of hydrocarbons (Carbon & Hydrogen). Most fuels do float on water because their density is less than one, the density of water. They are therefore called LNAPLS for Light Non Aqueous Phase Liquids versus chlorinated hydrocarbons such as chlorobenzene, trichloroethylene etc. which have chlorine that is heavier than water thus causing these DNAPL (Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids) chemicals to sink in water.

Regardless of whether they float or sink they do indeed dissolve in water albeit slowly over decades. That is why the Elmira Aquifers have chlorobenzene dissolved in them (DNAPLs) as well as Benzene and Toluene (LNAPLs) which are typical components of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel etc. I think a clarification is in order for that statement Mr. Hodgins.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

SERIOUS CRITICISM OF CANADA'S PMRA



It is both a world wide and a local issue. The active ingredient in Roundup is Glyphosate and both a U.S. jury and the International Agency on Research on Cancer (IARC) say that Glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) however is not convinced. PMRA has refused to set up an independent panel to review the science on Glyphosate according to Friends Of The Earth (FOE) Canada and others. Glyphosate has long concerned me because it has the highest Method Detection Limit (MDL) of all the chemicals tested in our drinking water by the Region of Waterloo. A 25 part per billion (ppb) MDL is frankly ridiculous and unacceptable.

FOE have issued an on-line briefing for concerned citizens. In the fall of 2017 FOE and seven other scientists and groups filed a Notice of Objection with the PMRA over their decision to reregister Glyphosate for fifteen years in Canada. Those objections have all been dismissed by the PMRA.

Monsanto are the manufacturers of Glyphosate and currently are under criticism for documents known as the Monsanto Papers. These are documents allegedly showing a path of deceit and collusion in regards to the company's handling of health concerns about their products. Two U.S. lawyers who were involved with a multi million dollar lawsuit against Monsanto will be in Toronto at the end of this month to discuss both their and Canadian concerns regarding Roundup and Glyphosate.

To me a fifteen year reregistration seems ridiculous for a product that has any possible negative health effects at all much less being on the IARC's list.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FURTHER INPUT & CLARIFICATION REQUIRED




There are some good people trapped within a stinking process. The question of course is whether or not to agree to undemocratic or even simply stilted, awkward terms and conditions artificially produced by democratically elected (sort of), albeit self-serving politicians. These self-serving politicians are all about their support from the big shots in Woolwich Township. These politicians have always used their elected positions to assist the big corporate polluters, whether past or present, such as Safety-Kleen (Breslube) and Lanxess (Uniroyal/Crompton etc.).In return the big shots help them.

I have received two slightly differing versions of the conditions for me to participate in next Thursday's Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting. People involved are asking for my input which should hardly be a surprise based upon my knowledge and experience regarding all facets of the Elmira and downstream environmental problems. That said they want my input on their terms. Wow! Isn't that just so typical of what has passed for public consultation in Elmira ever since the inception of UPAC in January 1992.

Susan Rupert advised APT not to participate in this orchestrated and filled with Uniroyal supporters committee. APT members Susan Bryant and Sylvia Berg weren't going to miss this opportunity however. Sylvia shortly afterwards ran for mayor thinking that as a self-proclaimed vice-president of APT she could win. It wasn't to be and in hindsight I doubt that she would have been any worse than the litany of pathetic mayors afterwards, including our present and recent past mayors.

I can see a way to make this work but it will depend upon some minor compromise by both sides. It will also depend upon input I receive from trusted CPAC advisers Thursday evening, however in the final analysis the decision will solely be mine as I'm the one who has extremely relevant and important information that TAG are interested in. The process is corrupt, however all the participants are not and there are some good ones at TAG. Regardless of my decision whether to participate, as always I will provide all the data and evidence both to the honest and the dishonest parties.

Monday, January 14, 2019

UNIROYAL/CROMPTON/CHEMTURA/LANXESS - MASTERS OF THE RED HERRING



97.5% . That was the figure we were advised by Steve Quigley of CRA back in 1994. Allegedly 97.5% of all the contaminants entering the Canagagigue Creek from Uniroyal waste pits and lagoons came from Uniroyal's south-west quandrant. That figure later was lowered to 95% but regardless it was nonsense then and it's nonsense now.

A small part of RPW-5 and all of TPW-2 were allegedly the sole repositories of free phase DNAPL back in the early 1990s. They were partly excavated in late 1993. That too was nonsense as far as being the sole repositories of DNAPLs.

GP-1 and GP-2 supposedly were the highly contaminated low lying areas where Uniroyal's overland flow of contaminated waste waters ended up. GP-1 was excavated and capped in 2013 and 2014 and GP-2 was capped only. It turns out however that GP-1 was probably relocated on maps by Chemtura to a location that was a) less contaminated and b) further from both the "Gap" area on their site as well as further from the lowest lying area on the Stroh property, most likely the repository of a "sink" of persistent organic pollutants (dioxins/furans, DDT, PCBs etc.).

During the air fumigations in Elmira, CPAC and the public were led in circles by Uniroyal for three years while they fixed this production process or that in search of the cause of the odours and worse. Diacetyl was often blamed as the culprit as were other individual processes. It was mostly a case of Uniroyal looking busy and cleaning up the easiest odours first rather than getting right to the heart of the problem which was their wastewater treatment system. More red herrings.

The December 2018 and January 2019 excavations at the north end of the Stroh farm by the cemetery are also a red herring. Of course just like GP-1 and GP-2 they are contaminated with Dioxins and DDT etc. however they again are a cheaper, more accessible and less contaminated substitute for the Gap area, the "sink" and the Stroh Drain itself.

The game goes on and our local authorities whether municipal or provincial allow it. May I live long enough to see serious polluters routinely sent to prison for their crimes against people and the natural environment.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

YES TO LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTS



Today's Waterloo Region Record carries a story titled "Ford greeted with jeers by protesters in Kitchener". I am heartened by citizens both young and old standing up and saying no to provincial politicians who richly deserve to be tarred and feathered prior to being kicked out of office. That cheerfully said I am also pleased and frankly surprised by the unanimous vote taken by Waterloo Region councillors who have voted not to accept exemptions allowed in Bill 66 that would permit weakening of both the Clean Water Act and the Greenbelt Act. These changes would circumvent planning protections that protect our natural environment as well as directly protecting the health and lives of our citizens. Waterloo Regional Council constantly flip flop in their protection of the powerful and influential as well as of the status quo, think Waterloo Regional Police and their treatment of female officers; but then turn around and understand the importance of protecting green space, limiting urban sprawl through infilling and by at least protecting some of our drinking water from further industrial damage.

Premier Ford attended a fund raising dinner at Bingeman's in Kitchener last evening. His director of media relations responded to the Record's request for comment by stating that the sold out dinner was a clear sign the government is "moving in the right direction as it continues to take steps to make life more affordable for families across the province." Wow! I would suggest that Ford's director of media relations comments are a clear sign that the government of Ontario hasn't a leg to stand on in regards to their proposed Bill 66 and surely do not want to debate or discuss it publicly. A sad commentary on the effects of a majority government folks of whatever party but most especially of this party (ie. Conservative).

Friday, January 11, 2019

FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO FORGET, HERE WE ARE



Back in 2011 I sent in a formal request for a review of public consultation in regards to Uniroyal/Chemtura here in Elmira. Both the Record and the Observer published the news of this request. The Elmira Independent published it on June 2, 2011 in an article titled "Marshall pushes for removal of dioxins" and the Woolwich Observer published it on June 4, 2011 in an article titled "CPAC to look into Marshall's call for dioxin cleanup."

These newspaper articles occurred after I had attended Woolwich Council as a Delegate suggesting that the cleanup of GP-1 and GP-2 in Chemtura's south-east corner was long overdue. In fact it was finally started in 2013 and finished in 2014. Regarding the request for review of public consultation, that went to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and was a complete dud. The ECO apparently had little interest in public consultation and or no time or funding to pursue the matter which was unfortunate. The time will come when Elmira's environmental cleanup will be publicly and loudly held up as how not to remediate both ground and surface water contamination. It will also be held up to scrutiny in academic and other professional circles as how not to conduct public consultation.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

LOCAL REACTION TO BILL 66



Well done to Bob Jonkman and other locals who have responded against the Ford government's proposed Bill 66. Mr. Jonkman spoke to Woolwich Council last Tuesday evening and advised that Woolwich Township should avoid the proposed exemptions to protections such as the Clean Water Act. You know it would have to be a Conservative government rediscovering both their inherent environmental stupidity and their reckless courage who would attempt to turn back the clock on the Clean Water Act nearly nineteen years after the man made Walkerton disaster.

The Woolwich Observer's Editorial mentions the Koebel brothers by name as being responsible for contrivances that both caused and exacerbated the disaster. They are correct of course. The Ontario Ministry of Environment's (MOE) major negative contributions not withstanding there were also local politicians who did what all politicians do best and that was to hide behind the MOE as well as municipal staff. Heaven forbid that the open secret of the alcoholism of Walkerton water staff should ever have been a reason for the mayor or council to step in and protect the people.

Congratulations again to Mr. Jonkman and let's see what our somewhat new Woolwich Council will do in regards to being allowed to bypass both the Greenbelt Act and the Clean Water Act. I'm even curious to see if supposedly Mennonite Woolwich Township embraces local retail marijuana stores. Our regional police chief Mr. Larkin is already singing a different tune about the "devil weed" now that it's been legalized.