Friday, February 24, 2017


Amazing what time and a little more information can clarify for you. There are a couple of key maps which I have been studying over the last two years plus. They are small and detailed with vast amounts of information incorporated into them. Things like ground surface contour lines, the location and date of Elmira's original STP (sewage treatment plant-what a joke) on the Nutrite property, locations of other, old landfills right in town; things like that. One of the maps even has the original location of the Canagagigue Creek where it originally flowed through the 1965 built Elmira STP at Chemtura's southern border on the west side of the creek.

Back in those days the metric scale of measurement wasn't on anybody's radar. Hence the ground elevations are all in feet above sea level rather than metres above sea level (masl) as is common now. Fortunately in my day the school boards hadn't completely deteriorated into either stupidity or corruption hence my ready ability to compare feet asl with metres asl (above sea level). This 1983 map done by Ralston, Jackman and Smith corroborates later maps and their surface topography (ground levels).

It is interesting that Jeff Merriman of Chemtura at one public CPAC meeting tried to somewhat tailor the narrative around the intentional funneling of east-side toxic wastewaters southwards towards GP1 & 2. He suggested that maybe once a year either gates or an intentional breech of the earthen pits and ponds was undertaken to drain them southwards. This seems highly unlikely and of no purpose to me. Meanwhile other sources have referred to "furrows" being ploughed in a north-south direction on the east side to automatically direct wastewaters southwards. Indeed older aerial photographs show what may well be furrows.

What is clear is that Uniroyal Chemical knew exactly how dangerous and hazardous those waste waters were to life in the Canagagigue Creek. That they were trying to dilute and or polish the wastes by running them through and above the earth over a distance of many hundreds of metres does not in my mind do much to ameliorate their guilt. If either the Ontario water Resources Commission (OWRC) or later the Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) either approved or ignored these practices again does not mitigate Uniroyal/Chemtura's guilt. It simply adds to the guilt of the OWRC and M.O.E..

Chemtura knowingly, I believe, cleaned up a make believe GP1 a few years back. This 1983 map along with a bastardized version of it produced several years later by CH2MHILL, consultants at that time to the Region of Waterloo, tells the tale. GP1 was later relocated on the other side (west side) of the high ridge of land that runs diagonally in Chemtura's south-east corner. My best guess would be that Conestoga Rovers (CRA) did it for Chemtura although proving intent and motive would be difficult. The 1983 map may have given CRA the idea as it actually has arrows showing that some wastes, after GP1 was filled, may have backflowed around the north-western tip of the high ridge and then flowed southwards through what is now designated as GP1.

What a charade! Of course the possible backflowing of the real GP1 doesn't make the toxic wastewaters coming in from the northern pits that flowed around and past GP1 via slightly lower ground surface and then discharged onto the Stroh property (eastwards) suddenly disappear. Likely the manufacture of the Stroh Drain (1985?) was to both indeed drain the swamp on both their properties and to help flush contaminated soils and sediments along into the creek which had been Uniroyal's sewer for decades.

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