Friday, June 23, 2017


A phone call was made this morning (before 9 am.) by yours truly to Waterloo North Hydro regarding underground horizontal drilling they are doing on High St. in Elmira. This form of trenching for utilities is becoming more common as it is less disruptive and generally safer as there aren't open trenches involved. As I have recently received a notice myself that Waterloo North Hydro will be doing underground drilling on my street, I had a contact name and phone number available in order to ask questions. The questions I asked were whether they were aware of a closed landfill in the near area and or whether they knew that there was and is a longstanding methane problem . They did not. I have been promised a phone call back before the end of the day.

Having done considerable on-line research regarding landfills and methane production and migration, it is obvious that Woolwich Township have been keeping their cards very close to their vests for decades in regards to the Bolender Landfill located on the north side of the current Bolender Park. The town of Elmira contracted with Mr. Bolender way back in 1962 and leased his low lying property for use as a municipal landfill. Unfortunately they also agreed to accept local industrial wastes under certain conditions. Yes this included Uniroyal Chemical and I'd be very surprised if it didn't also include Varnicolor Chemical.

Among a huge litany of potential problems is the fact that methane can and will migrate off-site by following underground utility corridors. Thus my concern with underground drilling in the area. One can also question additions to homes in the area that might include basement excavations. Or one can even wonder about recent excavations in Bolender Park for the children's splashpad. In the U.S. there have been horrific incidents involving former landfills turned into recreation areas, soccer fields, playgrounds etc.. I have good reason to question the competence and or diligence of Woolwich Councils, past and present, in keeping themselves informed as to the potential problems to property owners, citizens and children surrounding the Bolender Landfill. Hence if they are ill informed it's even less likely that they will be taking appropriate action to mitigate these risks.

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