Friday, July 22, 2016


Yesterday's Woolwich Observer carried this story titled "Elmira aquifer cleanup work expected to go past 2028 deadline". How can both myself and CPAC not say "I told you so"? It's even more than Chemtura and Conestoga Rover's reliance on hydraulic containment alone as a remediation method has been proven to be pigheaded. They adamantly refused to use best methods or best technology and here is the result. I had publicly at CPAC years ago advised them of the good results that In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) had achieved in Cambridge in getting rid of chlorinated solvents (TCE & TCA). Now after screwing up field tests a couple of years ago they are going to reattempt it this time with expert advice on how to do it. For thirty years we've been hearing the same crap from Chemtura, CRA and the Ontario M.O.E. namely that they had all the knowledge, all the expertise and all the credentials. Turns out they have exactly what I've said they have for decades and that's all the bullshit.

Jeff Merriman, senior apologist at Chemtura, again is blowing smoke at the public. He suggests that 99.7% of the site will be cleaned up by 2028. I suggest he is nuts even if he was misquoted and was saying 99.7% of the off-site aquifer will be cleaned up. Jeff also says that their computer model uses conservative assumptions. By conservative does he really mean untruthful assumptions? That's the only thing that makes any sense as they are years behind in their pumping and years behind where they need to be in order to achive their 2028 deadline. By the way for those who don't know that 30 year deadline originally was for 2021, then it was 30 years from the early 1990s and finally it was set at 30 years from the belated start of the off-site pumping in 1998 nearly a decade after the Elmira wells were shut down. That has been the story of this "cleanup" from day one. Stall, delay, bullshit, then repeat the process.

Chemtura's expanded pump and treat has taken nearly four years before even the first additional gallon of water will be pumped. Jeff claims it should be up and running in the fall. That is typical of their pace. All of this off-site cleanup is based on the ridiculous assumption that the on-site hydraulic containment, as mediocre as it is, continues forever. Forever is a very long time and those professional truth adjusters will be long gone from Elmira eventually, maybe sooner than later. Six months or a year after the on-site pumps stop the thirty years of off-site pumping will be for nothing unless more on-site source removal takes place. We know where the LNAPLS are and we know where the DNAPLS are. What's been lacking is the will of both Chemtura and local politicians as well as the truth also from both parties.

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