Monday, May 8, 2017


Could it have been even worse than we thought at the time of the sweetheart deal? What you ask could be worse than agreeing to leaking in-ground storage of toxic wastes? Do not forget that both the Ministry of Environment as well as Uniroyal could see the shutdown of the Elmira wellfields coming. In the mid 80s the west side ponds were emptied and their contents put into the "consolidation" pits namely RPE4 and RPE5. Then lo and behold by August 1990 after the drinking wells were shut down the Ministry suddenly decided that those two east side pits were contaminating the municipal aquifer. No wonder Uniroyal Chemical were upset. Bad enough the Ministry wanted them to clean up the off-site Municipal Aquifer but they also wanted them to move the same wastes for a second time.

More infuriating was the fact that they both had agreed upon a strategy to give the appearance that the east side pits were not affecting the Canagagigue Creek. Also had they concocted a method to essentially by-pass both shallow and deeper aquifers entirely? What if they had agreed to Interceptor Trenches on the east side that would divert the grossly contaminated shallow aquifer plus leachate from the east side pits, via gravity flow, southwards and eastwards onto their neighbour's land? These trenches would have then discharged into the Stroh Drain which best estimates determine was constructed around 1985. The Stroh Drain then travels south through both the Stroh and Martin properties and discharges into the Canagagigue Creek.

While undoubtedly some accomodation had to be made with Stroh thirty plus years ago, what of the Martin family? From their property they have a small natural creek flowing and winding gently southwards until it discharges into the larger Canagagigue Creek. Were they even informed when their natural creek was augmented by the contaminated groundwater from the low lying wetlands along the border of the Stroh and Uniroyal properties? If as suspected this Stroh Drain also accepts Uniroyal's contaminated groundwater directly via some form of trenches or pipes, would they have been so informed?

The Martin family have a large in-ground swimming pond on their property. It is partly fed by groundwater but it is also augmented directly by a pipe from the same natural creek flowing through their property. I am extremely doubtful that they would have ever agreed to augmenting their swimming pond water with contaminated groundwater directly from Uniroyal Chemical.

The Ontario Ministry of Environment are aware of these allegations regarding possible Interceptor Trenches and to my knowledge have done nothing to investigate them. They are currently, painfully slowly, at least going through the motions to investigate the Stroh Drain.

Can you imagine the uproar thirty years ago if it had come out at the Environmental Appeal Board hearings that the Ontario M.O.E. agreed to a surreptitious collection and by-pass of Uniroyal's contaminated groundwater that went through two neighbour's private properties, including enriching one of the neighbour's swimming ponds? Is it possible that this was the stick that Uniroyal beat the M.O.E. into submission with?

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