Thursday, March 9, 2017


Isn't that quite a term: Fluvial Geomorphology? Geomorphology is the study and understanding of how geologic (natural) forces as well as manmade forces affect the surface of the earth. In other words the landscape or the topography of the ground surface. Fluvial Geomorphology on the other hand is the study of river beds and channels and again how both natural and manmade actions affect them.

Living in Elmira and dealing with Chemtura, Varnicolor, contaminated sites and the Ontario Ministry of Environment has gotten me used to dealing with Big Lies. Pretend DNAPL investigations including inaccurate 10% solubility rules, effective solubilities versus lab solubilities, aquitard diffusion issues, topographical misrepresentations, hiding of contaminant pathways on the east side and so much more has certainly reduced the shock value of finding we've been deceived again.

While back in 1995-96 there was a plethora of Floodplain Soil testing sites there was a dearth of creek sediment sites. Six miles of creek and once past Uniroyal Chemical's property there was all of three sites tested for sediments namely Station # 21, 22, 23. These three were at New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr., and Jigs Hollow Rd.. immediately above the mouth of Canagagigue Creek at the Grand River.

I have been advised that any second year university geography course will teach students that meanders and curves in rivers and creeks are caused and or exacerbated by water flow carrying sediments. Sediments will be either deposited or eroded on these curves with deposition occurring on the inside of the loop and erosion on the outside. This is of course a simplification as there are other factors involved including volume of water, its`velocity, depth and the type of soils comprising the banks of the waterway.

Sediment transport is a huge issue and nowhere more so than here in Elmira. Dr. Richard Jackson pushed hard for the Ontario Ministry of Environment to conduct a sediment transport study in the Canagagigue Creek. To date the M.O.E. have said no. These sediments are the pathway for hydrophobic Persistent Organic Pollutants to move down the creek. Some are deposited along the way in the creek banks, floodplain soils and the bottom of the creek. They can and usually are remobilized over time during high flow events. The straighter and faster the waterflow the less deposition occurs. The greater the hoops and loops in the creek the greater the deposition especially in slower waterflow areas.

Hence the Big Lie. The Ont. M.O.E. have made no attempt to inform the public of any of these facts. Indeed they have used the public`s lack of knowledge against them by making self-serving inaccurate inferences regarding the test results from the creek sediment sites. Or perhaps rather than totally self-serving they have been Chemtura-serving inferences. The last two sediment sites are on straight areas of the creek with likely little sediment deposition over time. Station 21 initially was on the east side (downriver) of the New Jerusalem Rd. in a striaght stretch of river. I wondered why the M.O.E. moved that site upriver (west side) of the New Jerusalem Rd.. The reason seems likely now that it was to locate the testing area in a curve of the creek and a high zone of contaminated sediment deposition. Indeed the results are much higher since 2012 than they were in 1995-96. If the Ministry had explained the rationale for this switch I would be less suspicious. They did not. Now they are claiming that there is only ``localized`` high contamination upriver near the Chemtura site versus all the way down the creek.

Misinformation and or omission of information strikes again. Funny in hindsight how every one of these `mistakes`seems to favour the polluter and their interests.

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