Thursday, May 17, 2018


I've been somewhat distracted over the last couple of months what with the issues of the East Side (Off-Site) Investigation (ie. Stroh & Martin farms) as well as the latest Floodplain soil, Creekbank soil and Creek sediment testing. The results of both of these investigations have reinforced the environmental disasters that Woolwich Township has suffered over the last seventy years. That Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can still be found in our soils and creek sediments this many decades after the surface pits and ponds have been taken out of use is terrifying. These POPs include Dioxins/Furans, DDT, PCBs and more.

I've been working on my book for a year now. I call it my "Elmira" book. It of course focuses on the Elmira water crisis of 1989 and the ensuing thirty years. It will not be a pretty picture. In the last year I have read the entire newspaper collection from the Woolwich Observer, Elmira Independent and the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. I have put together a Chronology actually from 1898 until literally this month. It has been an eye opening.

Cold hard facts from five, ten, fifteen and twenty years ago are showing patterns and themes. Anomalies, bizarre behaviours and odd actions by various parties are making sense in hindsight. Literally buried in the weeds on a daily and weekly basis one often does not see the big picture of what is going on.

I have also reread numerous reports, saved technical documents and other data and input from colleagues and others over the last thirty years. Many scams such as the DNAPL cover ups and the shallow hydraulic containment of only the south-west corner are much clearer now. Clearer in the way that they fit into Uniroyal/Chemtura/lanxess's overall strategy of minimization, junk science and hiding behind credentialed experts.

Some of the themes I am discovering were expected, others not. For example the evidence is rising that speaks to both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Uniroyal Chemical having had prior knowledge of the likelihood if not certainty that the drinking wells were going to be contaminated sooner than later.

The hastily produced book by Bob Burtt in 2014 which I renamed "Ode to Susan" will not remotely be similar to mine. I also will avoid direct, personal and inaccurate criticisms of individuals that pervade Bob's book. Clearly Susan, Pat, George K, Bill B. and even Todd Cowan had axes to grind and Bob used their self-serving "recollections" as if they were gospel. This of course is because Bob hadn't been even remotely involved for the last decade prior to his book. Therefore he was ripe for revisionist history by these individuals. He also relied on his good buddy Susan and his belief in her sincerity. I don't deny that I have been blunt and critical here in this venue (Elmira Advocate) however I expect to temper that somewhat in my book.

I have two possible routes for publication and have confidence in both. Regardless this exercise has been an eye opening for me. I expect it will be the same for readers down the road. The extent of the corruption and collusion behind the Elmira Crisis will also be a shocker to the public. You haven't seen anything yet when it comes to our authorities, elected or otherwise, and their willingness to mislead, deceive and obfuscate.

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