Saturday, May 13, 2017


1993 ended with the betrayal and rollover of everybody on the DNAPL issue. The Region, APTE, GRCA, M.O.E. and UPAC all were so pleased with the excavations of RPE-4 & 5 that they turned a blind eye to the token removal of DNAPL at RPW-5 and TPW-2. Of those only two areas decided for excavation both of them were at best only partial excavations. RPW-5 was but a corner of the pit and TPW-2 ended with the Envirodome full and DNAPL left in the ground, clearly visible. That disgrace remains to this day.

The Region and M.O.E. also after more than a year of hard negotiations had the agreements with Uniroyal they needed for the off-site cleanup as well as the new pipeline and booster station for Elmira. They were perhaps in the afterglow of hard bargaining.

1994 was a year filled with crises, spills and betrayals. None was so fitting and pathetic as the "containment" of 1/4 of the shallow aquifer on the Uniroyal Chemical site. That quarter was the south-west quadrant. It made zero sense then and still doesn't yet somehow the creek has improved over time. With logically discharge of contaminated groundwater from both sides and the whole length of the creek entering the Canagagigue how did Uniroyal convince anybody to let them get away with only pumping the south-west corner? The Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (EH-Team) stood with APTE on this matter despite their blind following of Sylvia Berg in January of that year. To their credit the Region of Waterloo also stood firm and would not support this small, inexpensive charade of upper aquifer containment. To this day the other 3/4 of the upper aquifer is not contained. That said only three years ago yours truly discovered the reason the M.O.E. went along and that the system even remotely worked at all. As I've posted here previously it's likely all about a highly illegal and unethical by-pass of the east side contamination onto a neighbour's property.

March 12, 1994 Uniroyal had a discharge of chlorine gas. Much was made about it being non toxic and very small both of which were essentially excuses and wishful thinking. When the Elmira fire chief, Kieran Kelly showed up at their door, he was told that nope no problems here folks.

Later that month Uniroyal announced that they had been aware of a years old spill of mostly Toluene floating on their shallow aquifer in their south-west quadrant. It seems as if this Light Non Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) consisted of anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 gallons of liquid.

UPAC were also treated during 1994 with the surprise that Uniroyal/Conestoga Rovers had underestimated the volume of the flow of contaminated groundwater from the south-west quadrant into the Canagagigue Creek. It was approximately ten to twenty times greater than they previously thought and of course this was going to somewhat delay their implementation of hydraulic containment. Not to worry though because they were all over the problem.

In June APTE finally gave their heads a shake and decided they could no longer be a part of a grotesqely biased and frankly very stupid Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee. They had two pro Uniroyal Woolwich Councillors, the Chamber of Commerce, GRCA, an industry captured regulator (M.O.E.) and apparently even a pro Woolwich Council committee (CEAC) with former Uniroyal employees on it. Six months after the EH-Team walked away from both APTE and UPAC, APTE got the hell out of UPAC.

Lastly in July, David Bethune a former hydrogeologist for the Region of Waterloo, let go a blast that rocked both the Region and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. In an interview with Bob Burtt he pulled no punches in regards to how ill prepared the Region had been for the Water Crisis and how hopeless the M.O.E. were at enforcing environmental laws.

All in all a horrible year for Elmira and the environment. Money, power and professional liars carried the day yet again.

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