Friday, December 22, 2017


What a difference a personality makes. What a difference credentials make. I noticed back in the late 90s and through until late 2006 the deference that was given to Dr. Henry Regier at UPAC/CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee). Make no mistake Henry deserved the deference given to him just as Dr. Jackson did. Both were published experts in their fields whether Biology (Henry) or Groundwater Remediation (Richard ie. Dick).

Both these gentlemen held no punches when dealing with either incompetent "professionals" masquerading as Elmira area knowledgeable experts or even less so with bought and paid for "professionals". Here in Elmira we citizens politely (sometimes) refer to them as "client driven". This is a well known and accepted travesty in the consulting field. Whether the experienced and credentialed authors of reports on behalf of polluting companies blatantly deceive or simply weight the damning evidence lightly and focus on either the unknowns or the less conclusive evidence, the results are the same. Generally it's all about minimizing the extent, concentration and volume of contaminated air, water and soil. This then minimizes the remediation extent and expense. In other words it's more like a lawyer in court spinning an at least halfway credible tale around the evidence that he and his client particularly like.

If only these consulting companies were given the status similar to lawyers in a court of law. In other words the public need to know that their expertise is for sale. While actual fudging of data, test results and field observations might actually get them into trouble if caught; with fairly honest reporting of the data it then becomes all about the Conclusions that the consultants come to.

Dr. Jackson (Dick) departed his Chairmanship of TAG (Technical Advisory Group) by advising that the difficulties facing us regarding cleaning up the Elmira Aquifers were not technical ones. He felt that that the real problems were in the area of "public policy". I interpret that statement as essentially saying that the engineers and academic experts know what's needed but our politicians do not have the will to clamp down on Chemtura/Lanxess (formerly Uniroyal Chemical) and say enough is enough. This includes both municipal and regional as well as our provincial politicians who control our lame duck Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). That the MOECC is a "lame duck" is not by accident. Whether underfunded and or simply ordered to treat major corporate polluters with a deference and respect they do not deserve, the results are the same. Our provincial clean up legislation is also badly slanted in favour of polluters.

The loss of both of these gentlemen in the public forum is huge. Elmira area citizens have always been fighting with both hands tied behind our backs. This has also been done intentionally by our politicians. Every time local, knowledgeable citizens have had Chemtura/Uniroyal on the ropes with facts and knowledge, our municipal politicians have changed the rules to let the world class polluter off the hook. The game is heavily rigged in favour of power and influence.

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