Thursday, January 4, 2018


Following is the second of two e-mails sent this morning to the entire Woolwich Council, two senior Staff and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. I had sent them 40 questions regarding the Bolender Park Landfill on November 13, 2017. None have been answered to date. These questions followed five public Delegations to Council during the summer and fall in which I pointed out numerous problems with their consultants and their handling of methane gas problems in and around the landfill.

Council, 2 Staff and M.O.E.: P.S. Predictions are risky and fraught with unknowns. That said you need to know that methane gas takes the easiest route available. Normally that is upwards through soil pores where it discharges into the atmosphere. In the winter time however the soil is frozen (frost) plus there is a blanket of snow above it. Also in the current extreme cold you can understand that both furnaces and basement gas fireplaces are running far more than usual even in normal winter months. The frost and snow mean a far greater likelihood of lateral (horizontal) migration of methane gas via the three possible modes of transport. The gas fireplaces and constantly running furnaces means a method of ignition for intruding gas.

Normally methane gas dissipates after thirty or fourty years. According to your 2016 monitoring it is still far in excess of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). Likely part of this persistence may be related to the decades long failure of your gas extraction system installed in 1984 with the approval of the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

You can take appropriate steps now for a tiny fraction of the cost after a crisis. I have already advised you in writing of some straightforward actions. Your refusal to date constitutes negligence in my opinion. Heaven forbid that any Elmira residents experience an explosion or fire but your refusal to properly address this problem magnifies their risk. Insurance coverage alone is not due diligence. Liability insurance will not exonerate either elected politicians or senior staff who were advised prior to the unthinkable happening.

Yes there are many unknowns. That is primarily due to your negligence in proper perimeter monitoring and ongoing, regular testing. Those costs, I repeat, are nothing compared to both the monetary and human costs that will entail after a disaster. Do you think that you will walk away unscathed if you do not do everything in your power to protect Elmira residents? Do you think that you will be able to hide behind either your consultants or the M.O.E.? The stage has been set such that the world will know if another crisis hits Elmira that could have been avoided by the responsible actions and due diligence of both our elected representatives as well as our provincial authorities.

Sincerely Alan Marshall

No comments:

Post a Comment