Monday, June 13, 2016


Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Grand River oil spill cleanup cost city $1.3 M". A total of 748 tonnes of soil and 733,000 litres of contaminated surface water were removed as part of the cleanup. Days after the spill was front page news Code Yellow Towing located on Forwell Rd. notified the Ministry of the Environment in regards to a spill of 300 litres of used oil into a floor drain.

While this is certainly a visually (and probably odourous) significant spill nevertheless in the grand scheme of things the Grand River suffers much more abuse year in and year out. Whether it is fertilizers and pesticides from nearby agricultural fields or heaven help us the far too often sewage bypasses from many of our local Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), euphemistically called Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP), you get the picture. Then of course we have industrial contaminants moving via groundwater on an ongoing basis throughout the year. These occur with Ministry of the Environment knowledge and blind eye and will continue to do so. Examples would include Safety-Kleen in Breslau albeit due to their predecessors as well as Chemtura Canada and Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira. The Ontario M.O.E. have cheerfully ignored the discharge of both petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents into Landfill Creek and the Canagagigue Creek for the past twenty-five years from Varnicolor's former Lot 91 site.

Years ago I took photographs to the M.O.E. showing upturned tanks being drained into the ground beside Schneider's creek in Kitchener. Their response to me was well you should see what we are dealing with in Hamilton Harbour compared to that. Wow. Currently the M.O.E. are making desperate excuses and lies in Elmira as to why they won't do anything about known and measured Dioxins, DDT, Mercury and P.C.B.s in Canagagigue Creek and the fish within. Further lies include claiming that they do not have the legal right to go onto contaminated private property in order to test soils and groundwater. In fact they most certainly do.

The spill of used motor oil was obvious and visual. At one time the nickname for the M.O.E. was the Ministry of Lumps and Colours based upon their priority being to reduce visible water pollution in creeks and rivers. They really aren't much better today.

No comments:

Post a Comment