Thursday, May 4, 2017


Tell me why exactly Uniroyal Chemical aka Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess were never run out of town? Most people were concerned about their fumigations of Elmira back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Tomatoes from gardens could not be eaten because of their chemical smells and taste. Promised health studies never materialized. Old Order Mennonites along the Canagagigue Creek have asked whether or not their loss of babies and their cancers were caused by Uniroyal Chemical. The answers they received were we do not know. The truth however is related to their exposures. The prevailing winds are out of town. In other words from west to east. These farm families are all downwind of the prevailing winds hence whatever Elmira suffered in odours and toxic air was multiplied many times for them. Then of course is the creek itself. Did they play in or around the creek as children? Did they eat fish from the creek before the fish were all killed off by Uniroyal Chemical? Did they use sand from the creek in their gardens or for their children in sandboxes?

Then of course we have the residents of Elmira drinking their tap water. Their toxic tapwater. Most likely for decades. That combined with the air emissions from Uniroyal made for a truly toxic combination. Did you know that even after the Water Crisis in 1989 that Elmira folks were still drinking tapwater with over 9 parts per trillion (ppt.) NDMA in it? I've long wondered exactly how the Region and Township managed to keep the water flowing even after the North Wellfield was diagnosed with NDMA above guidelines in it. Also of course is the awkward fact that there was a groundwater divide in Elmira whereby some of Uniroyal's contaminated groundwater flowed west and south to Wells E7 and E9 however the rest flowed west and north to the North Wellfield comprised of wells E5, E5A, E6, E2 and E8. Funny how the Ministry of Environment knew enough in their Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP) in the late 80s to only test well E5A, the one farthest from Uniroyal Chemical. The other four wells were between E5A and Uniroyal and hence they drew in Uniroyal's groundwater first and foremost. The other awkward fact is that there was another major groundwater polluter even closer to the North wellfield. One that has never become public. Afterall just because the public drink the water and get sick and die is no reason for them to know details about their neighbours' serious gaffes, is there?

Wells E2 and E8 unsurprisingly became contaminated with NDMA first. Way above 9 ppt.. It was diluted somewhat by the other wells. Then well E2 was pumped to waste ie. pumped as an Interceptor Well. It pumped heavily polluted groundwater from the Municipal Aquifer and discharged it into Canagagigue Creek. Odd how this wasn't an issue at the same time as NDMA in Elmira's Sewage Treatment Plant discharges was. Later on Well E8 was also pumped to waste in an effort to protect the remaining North Wellfield wells. Of course there isn't perfect timing and for a while citizens were yet again drinking NDMA contaminated water above the drinking water standards. This was finally remedied when the recently built pipeline from Waterloo, which had been standing idle for a while, was brought on line.

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