Friday, October 25, 2013


Firstly last evening was the first CPAC meeting I've missed in years. It was my 64th birthday and my children were home including my daughter from British Columbia. Therefore this posting is later than usual as I've spoken at length to two CPAC members to get their impressions and input from last evening's meeting.

Ron Campbell while remaining as a SWAT (soil, water, air & technical)team member has resigned as Chair of the sub-committee. He is being replaced as Chair by Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach. There is also a new member joining SWAT and I'll let the readers know his name after I've confirmed that he's been formally advised and accepted.

There was extensive discussion in regards to CRA/Chemtura apparently deciding that for technical reasons they cannot go ahead with source removal (ie. In-Situ Chemical Oxidation) at two off-site areas west of the Chemtuura site. CRA etc. are adamant that their rationale is sufficient whereas yours truly having read their formal letter prior to last evening find it to be typical CRA psuedo science.

The Ontario M.O.E. had been asked to check their files in regards to a technical investigation undertaken in the mid 80's dealing with contamination in the Howard St. storm drains of Elmira. Unsurprisingly they, just like Woolwich Township, claim that they have no information on this matter. This issue has been raised repeatedly over the years and essentially ignored or procrastinated by various authorities. The investigation has been documented in a few groundwater reports dealing with contaminated areas in Elmira and all the references have gone to Woolwich Township and others years ago.

Jaimie Connolly was not present last evening to answer questions about acetone allegedly solubolizing chlorobenzene. Similarily there was a question in regards to sand and gravel not absorbing dioxins or DDT. Steve Martindale (M.O.E.) was unable to give firm answers as he readily admits that he is not the expert. Similar to keeping the local abatement office away from the meetings in order to avoid questions dealing with the old Varnicolor Chemical; this is a great strategy by the M.O.E. to avoid answering CPAC's questions.

Further downstream testing in the Canagagigue by the M.O.E. will occur probably next spring. It is not clear to me if this time the M.O.E. will present a Draft Work Plan ahead of time for CPAC's comments or whether they will just bull ahead and screw it up all on their own.

After the public CPAC meeting they went into an in camera meeting to discuss a non environmental matter (personnel) being raised by George Karlos of the Ministry of the Environment. It is not totally clear to me how "personnel" is defined as the committee and its' sub-committee are filled with volunteers. Nevertheless George had some things he wanted to get off his chest privately, unrelated to the Chemtura cleanup etc.and CPAC who have bent over backwards to accomodate all parties and stakeholders agreed to listen to his concerns.

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