Thursday, September 24, 2015


The monthly Progress Reports have been assembled by Conestoga Rovers on behalf of Chemtura/Uniroyal for decades. They are highly optimistic snapshots of the "progress" going on to allegedly remediate primarily Elmira's groundwater. Every now and then they stumble and suggest that things on site are getting better as well.

Groundwater samples were taken of new off-site extraction well W6B. A total of eight different chemical pollutants have been reported to the public namely NDMA, Chlorobenzene, Toluene, Dichloroethene, NDEA, NMOR, Trichloroethene and Vinyl Chloride. All of these are nasty with the first one and last two in particular. NDMA was detected at between 35 and 45 times greater than the Ontario drinking Water Standards. All hail Chemtura's long discredited pump and treat system ie. hydraulic containment.

Table A.3 lists concentrations of some chemicals found in upper aquifer groundwater pumping wells. Here we are treated to concentrations of DNAPL chemicals in the thousands of parts per billion. These include Chlorobenzene, Benzothiazole, Mercaptobenzothiazole, Aniline and Carboxin plus lower concentrations of various chlorophenols. All of these are what are known as DNAPL chemicals (dense non aqueous phase liquids). While some concentrations do not exceed the magic 1% threshold of labratory solubility many exceed 1% of their effective solubility thus indicating the presence of nearby DNAPL most likely of the free phase variety.

Table D.1 is part of the 2015 Routine Groundwater Monitoring program. On-site NDMA is recorded at 138.5 parts per billion (ppb) with the drinking water standard at .009 ppb. Chlorobenzene on the east side of the creek is at 45,000 ppb. or ten times higher than 1% of its' lab solubility indicating DNAPL presence. Similarily there are Chlorobenzene concentrations well exceeding the 1% lab solubility on the west side of the creek in both RPW7 and in the M2 area.

Finally Table A.1 purports to show groundwater concentrations of chemicals entering the groundwater collection and treatment system. In fact it does nothing of the kind as the vast majority of industrial, chemical pollutants both on and off site are not tested for on the influent side. Further along the treatment train we get some results for them but this would be the appropriate place to indicate their starting concentrations prior to treatment.

Mostly these monthly Progress Reports indicate what we already know. Source removal needed to be done decades ago on site and the off-site aquifers are nowhere near close to achieving drinking water standards by 2028.

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