Monday, April 30, 2018


The July 20, 2006 K-W Record carried the following story titled "Fire at Crompton". It mentioned the fire of the previous evening that broke out at a building on the Crompton site. Residents returning to town were directed to a staging area at the price Choppers on Arthur St. until officials were certain that it was safe to enter the area. Also the residents of Pilgrim's Provident Retirement Home were evacuated by Grand River buses.

Ron Ormson of the Crompton Public Advisory Committee sent a Letter To The Editor of the Elmira Independent asking why the Community Alert Network (CAN) telephone warning system had not been activated. He also advised that this latest fire and explosion comes much too soon after the last major fire and explosion in June 2004 when a wastewater tank exploded. Ron felt that Woolwich township officials had failed to activate the warning system on a timely basis. There had also been a small fire in March of that year (2006).

"Several residents from the homes being cleaned up in Cambridge attended the monthly CPAC meeting...." The topic of the CPAC meeting was DNAPLS (Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids) and in Cambridge the authorities are using a system called ISCO or In-Situ Chemical Oxidation. I asked why it wasn't being used in Elmira at this 2006 meeting and received varying responses. ironically ISCO is now and for the last few years on both the company's and the Ministry of Environment's radar for use on our contaminated aquifers.

Both Wilf Ruland and Jaimie Connolly of the M.O.E. spoke to the longterm nature of the DNAPL issue at the Crompton site. They also suggested that further on-site source removal of DNAPLS was likely necessary for improvement. Hydraulic containment alone would not do the job. Surprise, surprise to this date the vast majority of those sub-surface DNAPLS are still on-site and slowly dissolving into the groundwater. Some areas in the south-west corner are mostly contained whereas the shallow DNAPLS in the rest of the site are not. This includes the whole east side where DNAPL contaminated shallow groundwater continues to flow off-site.

The last item of note refers to an Elmira Independent opinion titled "The hidden danger of microwaves" written by Chuck Keupfer on May 4, 2007. Chuck talks about Diacetyl long manufactured here in Elmira and how it has produced "popcorn lung". Shortly after lawsuits and more started south of the border, Crompton suddenly ceased production here in Elmira. The odour of this butter flavouring could often be smelled around town and folks thought that it was not harmful. They were wrong as it has caused severe and irreversible lung damage in workers using the chemical. Just one more case of "Better living through Chemistry" apparently.

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