Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Crompton under the direction of their new General Manager Ron Lackner announced the upcoming removal and excavation of parts of their highly contaminated south-west creek banks as well as part of the island located there. This was intended to reduce erosion of soils contaminated with Dioxins and DDT from moving downstream. These compounds had been deposited along the creekbanks and the island via groundwater grossly contaminated with solvents and hence capable of transporting these hydrophobic compounds.

Dr. Henry Regier departed from APT Environment and joined the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team in 2005. While he was welcomed within the EH-Team by Richard Clausi and myself, I did have concerns regarding "poaching" him from APTE. I phoned Susan Bryant and to my astonishment Susan had absolutely zero concerns with his departure from APTE and in fact welcomed his joining the EH-Team. It took me many years to finally figure that one out.

During this year (2005) we had a meeting of the Soil & Water Sub-Committee of CPAC at Dr. Regier's home. At that time the members were Fred Hager, Henry , myself and Susan Bryant. Somewhat slightly to our surprise Susan showed up with the CPAC Chair Pat McLean. No big deal however unusual as Pat was way out of her league and comfort level. During the discussion I commented in general that we all had to a certain extent been co-opted by the process and were tacitly accepting the snail like "progress" and other bureaucratic behaviours exhibited by both Crompton and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. To the astonishment of Fred, Henry and I, Susan went ballistic! I made it clear that my comments were for everyone, myself included, and that it was almost an inevitable consequence of sitting down with the polluter and regulators on their terms and dealing with them. Susan was not to be mollified and stormed out. Five minutes later, after giving the rest of us a lecture, so did Pat . Fred, Henry and I were astounded for a second time. Again it was to be years later before I figured out exactly what was afoot.

There was a public meeting at Lions Hall on March 23, 2005 to discuss the causes of the June 11, 2004 major fire at Crompton. We were advised that the causes were unknown. Well! Hindsight being 20/20 I wonder if the presence of methane from the on-site, south-west corner, former municipal landfill namely M2 could have been either the cause or an aggravating factor.

On July 19, 2006 there was yet another fire and explosion in the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO).

In August 2006 I wrote an absolutely devastating DNAPL critique which hammered CRA and Crompton for studiously avoiding all the DNAPL evidence and scientific knowledge available while constantly minimizing the presence of either residual or free phase DNAPL on their site. To this day that critique has never been given the attention it deserves. In fact again in hindsight I expect that it was a major cause of the behaviour of Pat and Susan the following year to have me extricated from CPAC. By that time Henry had resigned from CPAC due to hearing issues leaving me with one less trusted supporter on the committee. At that time when it came to politics I was as much out of my depth as Pat was and is with groundwater and or any technical issues surrounding it.

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