Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Even without formal control Woolwich Township stacked the original Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC) with friends and supporters of Uniroyal Chemical. This included multiple Councillors (R. Weber, Sudden & Q. Martin) as well as retired Uniroyal employees, Chamber of Commerce and other bureaucratic or government folks such as the Region of Waterloo, Grand River Conservation etc..

On many matters these people did have something positive to contribute; unfortunately if push ever came to shove they simply wouldn't shove Uniroyal hard when it was needed. Then shortly after Councillor Pat McLean took over as Chair she convinced UPAC to become a formal committee of Council. I argued against that and boy was I right on that one. Council simply can not be trusted to put the public interest ahead of either their own or of Uniroyal Chemical, later Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess.

Prior to this UPAC were debating/discussing cleanup strategies for the Envirodome/Mausoleum. In late October 1997 regarding Uniroyal's options including continued onsite storage I was quoted in the Elmira Independent as saying "That's their favourite. They are masters of the do nothing strategy.". Regarding landfilling the Envirodome's contents Susan Bryant was quoted as saying "To take it up and put it back into the ground is insane." "It is absolutely unacceptable to take soil off site. It would show that we have learned absolutely nothing.". I agreed with Susan's comments both then and now. History has shown on this issue that we have learned nothing.

There was a debate at UPAC as to whether or not to hear a presentation from Eco Logic out of Rockwood regarding their destruction of toxic wastes technology. Esther Thur reminded UPAC that they had already heard from Grace Dearborn (bioremediation) hence why not hear from Eco Logic. Sylvia Berg suggested that Uniroyal's criteria for determining the best technology might not reflect what was best for the community.

In the November 17/97 Independent I was quoted as stating " It is grossly inappropriate for a polluter with a vested financial interest to have any determination or decision regarding the appropriate cleanup. It is ridiculous." Well UPAC was essentially ridiculous hence they decided not to hear from Eco Logic. This was exactly why the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team continued to refuse to sit on that committee. The community both in Elmira and Corunna, Ontario got screwed over this decision. Allegedly later on Eco Logic were given another opportunity but were not able to step up due to either management changes or technology not quite ready to go. Based upon the clear bias against them by UPAC and Uniroyal I am suspicious of their sudden "voluntary" departure at that later date.

While their were improvements in the beginning with Pat Mclean's appointment by Woolwich Council to the Chair's position, those improvements came at a steep cost down the road.

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