Friday, January 5, 2018


Late last year I posted here about the utter failure to date of Chemtura/Lanxess to honour their pledges to Triple not Double their off-site (ie. Elmira Aquifers) pumping and treating of contaminated groundwater. In fact they have at best increased their pumping rates from their November 2012 pledge by perhaps 20%. Double would be a 100% increase and triple would be a 200% increase (ie. 50 litres/sec to 150 l/sec) approximately.

Today I will make some comments about other issues in their November Progress Report. They are advising that all routine pumping of former workhorse well W4 is now over. What the hell! They have been decreasing the pumping rate there for some time now but actually stopping it while claiming to be increasing off-site pumping seems bizarre. This despite their claims that they have preciously documented their intent to do so is still not appropriate until or unless other wells are up and running successfully and taking up the slack and more.

Table A3 lists chemicals detected in various pumping wells of the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACTS). Some of the concentrations are in the thousands of parts per billion for at least three different chemicals with other chemicals in the hundreds of parts per billion. Both LNAPL and DNAPL chemicals are being found dissolved in groundwater at concentrations indicating that they exist in the subsurface as free phase chemicals namely chlorobenzene, toluene, MBT, Carboxin and Aniline. This is based upon their Effective
Solubilities versus their Lab Solubilities. Effective Solubilities are indicated when there are multiple chemicals in a sample of groundwater. In one sense they can be interpreted as "competing" for limited space as dissolved contaminants in a sample of water. Thus Effective Solubilities are much lower than Lab Solubilities where a contaminant is by itself dissolved in a litre of pure water.

Something strange is happening with contaminant concentrations in the Canagagigue Creek. For years those concentrations have been getting lower and lower to the point that long term statistical analysis barely shows any degradation of the water from Uniroyal signature chemicals as samples are taken at the downstream end of the creek on Uniroyal/Lanxess property versus the upstream end. This month however we have Toluene, m,p xylenes, Mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) and Benzothiazole (BT) all higher downstream. This is very bad news and could indicate failures, among other things, in the UACTS.

Overall "Progress" is slow, inconsistent and unsatisfactory. In my opinion this is all based upon intentional money saving decisions made by Chemtura/Lanxess, their consultants, the M.O.E. and tacitly/indirectly by our political authorities here in Woolwich Township, for decades.


  1. Table 3 and the November samples from the downstream location on the Canagagigue worry me somewhat but I feel there is little one can do. Hopefully more sampling will allow this to be pursued but are you just fighting an uphill battle my friend?

  2. Uphill, against a strong wind with rock slides and avalanches ongoing. The good news is that I'm not alone.