Friday, November 6, 2015


I could call it a one man show. I could gush over Dick Jackson's, of Geofirma Ltd., knowledge and experience. His insights and explanations are excellent for those of us with even a modicum of environmental background. I have already learned much more about stream mechanics (erosion & deposition) as well as how and why dioxins, DDT and other hydrophobic toxins adhere to soil particles. Dick's quote was that TOC (total organic carbon) in a soil sample is the glue that binds the toxins to the soil. Hence the greater the TOC the greater affinity Dioxins, Furans and DDT have to adhere to it.

Mr. Jackson does not remotely come off as either wanting or intending to be a one man show. He simply outclasses, technically, everyone else present by such a huge margin. He goes out of his way to reference assistance and input from other TAG members. This includes Bill Barr, Susan and Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach. He gladly answers questions from TAG members (David Hofbauer) and even clarified "heterogeneity" from mayor Shantz who is not a TAG member.

Dick Jackson is blunt and factual while not being intentionally inflammatory. He flatly stated that on a couple of technical matters he is getting his own opinion from outside experts rather than relying on the M.O.E.'s input. As he stated one should not rely solely on the regulatory authority but should check and confirm with academics on the matter.

Mr. Jackson expressed his surprise and shock regarding the failure to monitor suspended sediment in either surface water or even groundwater. Susan attempted to describe Conestoga Rover's habit of filtering out the suspended sediments prior to analysing the water for contaminants. The term CRA used was field filtering many years ago. Regarding testing of the floodplain of the creek all the way down to the Grand River, Dick stated that a grid pattern is necessary to properly test the floodplain and not to miss hot spots. Of course none of this has been done despite a minimum twenty years of knowledge of the contamination.

Regarding the multiple references by Saloni Clerk of the M.O.E. about floodplain samples, at her presentation to RAC last September 30th; in fact no such samples were taken. Mr. Jackson appeared at a loss to explain how or why the Ministry of the Environment, both verbally and in writing could have made such a gross error (my words). One other gross error has to be mentioned by myself. The next paragraph needs to be transmitted to the public, loud and clear. Unfortunately absolutely zero media were present. Elmira and Woolwich have had the Elmira Independent covering UPAC and CPAC meetings for decades. The Woolwich Observer, only somewhat justifiably, have indicated their refusal to attend because they have correctly understood that CPAC (other than 2010-2015) was all for show. CPAC were intended by both the M.O.E. and sucessive Woolwich Councils to simply give the appearance of public consultation.

Here is the news that needs to be distributed widely. Dick Jackson is no alarmist. Nevertheless he stated that TAG must recommend to RAC (politicians & bureaucrats) that the length of the Canagagigue from Chemtura to the Grand River needs to be fenced off and warning signage installed. No grazing, no fishing and no walking.

I will be advising Mr. Jackson by e-mail this morning that he probably has been misinformed regarding the M.O.E.'s recent creek studies. Saloni Clerk's flawed presentation as well as data that Mr. Jackson has advised TAG about, all omits the Ministry's most damaging data. That came from their 2012 first study of DDT and Dioxins in the creek after the groundbreaking 1995-1996 Jaagumagi & Bedard study.

It can not be overstated how many times Mr. Jackson bluntly made it clear that the analysis of creek water dissolved contaminants versus both the quantity of suspended sediments present plus their toxic loading is 100% wrong, improper and deceptive. He stated that better the M.O.E. and CRA had thrown out the water and kept the sediments rather than the other way around. He also took umbrage with CRA's language and comments in their 2014 Annual Monitoring Report dealing with "no groundwater impact of toxins to the Canagagigue Creek". Finally timing is crucial as most of the mobilization of sediments and hence both erosion and deposition occur during and shortly after the spring floods ie. "freshet".

I repeat what I said here earlier this week. Dick Jackson is the real deal but I believe he is a "dead man walking". He certainly is not naive as I was twenty-five years ago but he can have no idea of the viciousness and nastiness of Woolwich politics. That combined with the vested interests on TAG, the M.O.E., Regional politicians, G.R.C.A. and Chemtura Canada leaves him very vulnerable. He will be dropped like a hot potatoe. The only question is when and how.


  1. I would like clarification on one sentence:
    "It can not be overstated how many times Mr. Jackson bluntly made it clear that the analysis of creek water dissolved contaminants versus both the quantity of suspended sediments present plus their toxic loading is 100% wrong, improper and deceptive."

    I understand that errors have been made in the past. Sure sampling was wrong (somebody screwed up) but I question the use of the word "deceptive". Did Dick use that word or did you? Did he say that past data collected had been done deceptively or just was badly done. There is a big big difference here, Mr. Marshall. Please clarify your statement.

    And of course this man is talking circles around you all - he has a bloody PhD in this subject area and loads of experience!!

  2. Possibly my wording was a little awkward on this matter. Mr. Jackson made it clear that the totally wrong tests had been performed. This was not an error. Dozens of times over many years Conestoga Rovers on behalf of Uniroyal/Chemtura were requested to include suspended sediments in their testing of water. Instead they removed them via filtering and then tested the water, pretending that this was a more accurate analysis of the toxins in the water. Mr. Jackson made it very clear last night that this was not so and that would be obvious to any professionals involved. Even we amateurs knew this was wrong and said so. The M.O.E. as always ignored our criticisms of the polluter's self serving methods.

  3. Suggesting that Conestoga Rovers willfully (at the request of Uniroyal/Chemtura) removed sediments to hide the pollution is a pretty serious accusation. It calls the integrity of that consulting firm into question. Have they responded to this accusation? You're basically saying that they are either incompetent or dishonest (and really you are saying that they are dishonest and were being paid by Uniroyal/Chemtura to produce fake results). Is this correct? That's pretty bad if it is true!

    1. It appears Mr Jackson has the knowledge and experienced needed for this project. Elmira may now have a opportunity for a proper remediation.

  4. Responding to both Anonymous 10:21 and Anonymous 11:37. A 10:21 - It's much worse than merely pretty bad. I have been listing here for 5 1/2 years the games that Chemtura/their consultants /M.O.E. have indulged in. A 11:37 Local citizens and the occasional passing through expert have all had the expertise necessary. That is not to say that Mr. Jackson's isn't top notch. The real problem are the co-opted, idiot Councillors we've had for the majority of the last twenty-five years plus. Instead of resisting Chemtura and the M.O.E. they've been in bed with them.

    1. Not necessarily. All environmental problems are not merely "science" issues. There are costs, policies, etc. - it is not corruption if things have to be done slowly. Your council working with Chemtura and M.O.E. on a management plan does not spell corruption. It is just reality.
      Now, if council was acting on the science of the Conestoga Rovers (who they assumed were doing a good job), but the Conestorga Rovers were collecting data improperly to cover things up (under the direction of Chemtura), then the corruption is with Chemtura and the consulting firm - not council. Do you have any proof that Conestoga Rovers deliberately collected bad data to falsify their conclusions? If you do, that's pretty scary!!

  5. "acting on the science of Conestoga Rovers" does not equal "collecting data improperly". CRA have been spewing forth junk science here in Elmira for twenty-five years. Even when professional and independent expert advice have been given to most of our Councils since 1989, they regularily default to CRA & Chemtura.

  6. but CRA are supposed to be professionals, not "junk scientists". I know that you have done a lot of reading over the years and have opinions. Whether they are right or not, you are not a scientific consulting firm with a suite of PhD and PGEO degrees. Take a step back from the situation for a minute. It has to do with CREDIBILITY and TRUST. What would the public say if Council voted to do things based on the opinion of Alan Marshall instead of CRA, an accredited firm? Come on!

  7. "In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you."

    — Warren Buffet
    CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

  8. Anonymous at 8:06 am.. Nov. 7: Give your head a serious shake! It's not my "opinion". It's been the published opinions of professional geoscientists and hydrogeologists for twenty-five years that Uniroyal/CRA/M.O.E. and idiot Councillors have ignored in favour of Chemtura's client driven, hired guns.