Tuesday, July 25, 2017


The period from spring 1998 until summer 2001 was brutal for residents living near the Uniroyal Chemical plant in Elmira, Ontario. The air emissions were beyond obnoxious odours and were better described as toxic chemical fumigations which left some residents nauseous and gasping for air. In the July 9, 1999 Elmira Independent, Tim Boose of Uniroyal described the new $300,000 thermal oxidation unit as a "flameless incinerator". This was to deal with air emissions from one of the production processes. In the August 20/99 Independent, the Ministry of Environment indicated that they were laying a Field Order upon Uniroyal to increase abatement measures required on the waste water treatment system. Terry Machen of RAM (Duke St. residents) stated that it is Uniroyal's production processes not their waste water treatment system causing the odours.

Other fronts were also being argued/discussed at UPAC including the lack of hydraulic containment in the Upper Aquifers on the Uniroyal site. The M.O.E. and Uniroyal blatantly violated the November 1991 Control Order which ordered full hydraulic containment in all aquifers. Also discussed were Lindane and DDT still on site. Fred Hager of UPAC brought a 1946 article in Canadian Fisherman to UPAC which extolled the wonders of both DDT and Lindane.

Both Woolwich Council as well as UPAC were still attempting to bring Uniroyal back to UPAC. My attitude was to let the buggers stew in their own juices. When present they lied and deceived so why should we be in any hurry to let them come back much less implore them to do so? In early fall of 1999 Susan Bryant had an excellent Second Opinion article in the K-W Record about Terry Machen and his family and their tribulations over the past two summers.

The September 1999 UPAC meeting was covered in the media on September 24/99. Both Henry Regier and Ron Ormson were asking good questions regarding air emissions. At this point in time it seemed as if folks were believing that production processes such as PAO and Diacetyl were the odour culprits. Terry Machen stated that "The Ministry doesn't have any backbone". My common comment was that they were a toothless tiger. In the October 15, 1999 Elmira Independent Tim Boose advised UPAC that all 125 odour control measures were now completed including replacing a wet scrubber system with a dry one.

Hopes were high that this signaled the end of Uniroyal's ongoing fumigations of Elmira. It did not.

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