Saturday, January 21, 2017


To the best of my knowledge the Woolwich Observer have received two e-mails from CPAC Chair, Dr. Dan Holt, requesting a correction in their story of January 12/17 titled " New hand on tiller to navigate Elmira's groundwater morass". Also to the best of my knowledge neither Dr. Dan nor any other CPAC member have received any response or feedback from the Observer, to date, on this matter. That said I must advise that I have not spoken with Dr. Dan since yesterday afternoon.

To me what is most upsetting and obnoxious is the Observer's failure to respond to a polite and professional request from the CPAC Chair. If for some strange reason the Observer do not feel that a correction is warranted at the very least they could so advise Dr. Dan of that and why. No response could be construed as almost personal or malicious. If the Observer continue in this behaviour a complaint to the Ontario Press Council is almost guaranteed. Simply as a member of CPAC that will not be my sole decision. That said if necessary I will go it alone. Hopefully it will not be necessary.

Following is the first e-mail sent by Dr. Jackson when he was advised of CPAC's concerns with his alleged quote. I must add here that my dealings with Dr. Jackson over the last sixteen months have made me confident that he is a sincere, honest individual who nevertheless is not afraid to speak his mind.

"Unfortunately the short report on a phone interview did not provide the context of the discussion I had with the Observer this week. My point about no expertise referred to remediation issues, which is why I worked so hard to get Neil Thompson on board at Chemtura.

All of the folks you mention are indeed qualified professionals in their fields, as was Wilf ruland who helped the community. None were experts in remediation engineering, which was the subject of my discussion and why the back diffusion issue was missing from the debate until I raised it.

Hydrogeologists are good at characterizing sites, but few have actually cleaned one up. That's what a remediation engineer does, and Neil Thompson is an outstanding example of such a person. We have moved on from site characterization to remediation, unfortunately the characterization work did not pick out the aquitard contamination problem that is inhibiting the rate of aquifer cleanup.

Regards, Dick "

Dr. Jackson's second e-mail followed a couple of hours later as follows:

"...please communicate this clarification to CPAC because there was no intent to disparage what has been accomplished by the community when faced with the difficulties of dealing with MOE. Dick "

The Observer therefore quoted Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson out of context when he stated that Woolwich Township had " expertise available to it". This is an understandable error most likely by the reporter involved who simply had probably never attended a single CPAC, RAC or TAG public meeting and therefore entered the interview with little or no environmental experience behind her and most certainly none regarding this issue. The harm caused by this out of context quote includes professional harm to the many professional environmental experts currently on CPAC as well as on past CPACs. It also unfairly excuses Woolwich Township from blame for their failure in following advice particularily from the last CPAC but from some previous ones as well.

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