Saturday, May 6, 2017


Esther Thur spoke to the Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) hearing in early May 1991. The title of the article in Bob Verdun`s Elmira Independent was ``Long-time resident recounts 50 years of pollution adversely affecting Elmira``. Roddy Turpin of the Elmira Independent wrote the article and was the only reporter present for the entirety of the EAB hearings. Esther gave detailed accounts of chemical odours at nights, local currency (paper money) actually smelling of Uniroyal chemicals, inedible tomatoes, and fumigations of the next door Elmira Furniture Co. (later Roxton Furniture) by Uniroyal resulting in windows being closed and men having to go home ill from the fumes.

In the fall of 1991 Stan Berger and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment betrayed the trust of Elmira and Ontario residents. They actually manipulated the rules in order to shut down the other parties and the entire EAB hearings. By revoking the August 1990 Control Order that was the basis for Uniroyal Chemical`s appeal to the EAB, the M.O.E. claimed that the EAB no longer had jurisdiction. The timing was exquisite in that while the M.O.E. had presented their case none of the other parties had, prior to the summer recess. Because of this the M.O.E. got to see Uniroyal`s case privately and obviously determined that it was too damaging and demonstrated their culpability too grossly for public consumption.

The new Control Order (Nov. 4, 1991) followed a private, two party agreement (sweetheart deal) in October and referenced the two east side pits (RPE 4 & 5) for clean out. As well hydraulic containment on-site in all aquifers was ordered. That of course never happened. Similarly DNAPLS were to be removed as a contaminant source beneath the western ponds or lagoons. That at best only partially happened with excavations at RPW-5 and TPW-2 a couple of years later. The 1992 deadline for the east side pits excavation was violated however when you are professional liars lacking in ethics and morals; you simply change and rewrite your own Òrders`at will.

There was incredible anger and disgust with both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Uniroyal Chemical, most appropriately by the other parties with the exception of Nutrite. We of course learned several years later why they were just as happy to see these hearings end as they hoped to continue to conceal their gross Ammonia contamination of the Upper Aquifer and the Municipal Upper Aquifer. Alas for them, they were eventually outed when it served Uniroyal`s purposes near the turn of the century (2000).

Hence while Uniroyal were paid (directly & indirectly) by the M.O.E. to accept 100% of the blame for the destruction of the Elmira Aquifers; there were significant other contributors including Nutrite (Ammonia), Varnicolor Chemical (solvents & maybe NDMA), probably Borg Textiles (chlorobenzene), multiple gas stations (Gord`s, Voisin`s, another beside the former Steddick Hotel) and maybe Sanyo although the evidence is highly circumstantial and lastly one which certainly affected the North wellfield.

Not bad when a provincial government ministry intentionally lies to the public simply to cover up their own culpability, deal making and maybe possibly even local corruption. Afterall it wasn`t as if the Ontario M.O.E. have never been accused or convicted of corruption before. Dochstader in Sarnia (formerly Elmira) and MacDonald as well in Elmira, regarding Varnicolor Chemical come to mind. How many others I wonder who were never caught. Could this have been what the M.O.E. were afraid that Uniroyal were going to spill when their turn came to present to the EAB.

No comments:

Post a Comment