Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Neither Lanxess nor the Ontario Ministry of Environment want people with good memories on the public advisory committees; other than of course those with flexible, good memories. Those folks, for a price, are able to overlook embarrassing facts to the powers that be.

That of course is the purpose of history; to remind ourselves as to what works and as to what actions do not work. Therefore if we pay attention we are less likely to go in circles either repeating the mistakes of the past or reinventing the wheel when we already know that it works.

In the June 13, 2008 Elmira Independent, Julie Sawyer wrote an article titled "Biomonitoring raises questions". This investigation was a disappointment to CPAC members. They had high hopes that the completed creekbank stabilization as well as contaminated soil and sediment removal along Chemtura's south-west creekbanks would have resulted in a greater reduction in contaminant concentrations in the test organisms, namely clams and leeches. Most interestingly, CPAC Chair Pat Mclean stated "What I am seeing here is clearly saying that we have additional sources". Isn't that just precious? Currently TEN years later we have come to the same conclusion AGAIN.

This is precisely why I became more aggressive in demanding answers and accountability from the professional liars in charge of the phony investigations and resulting "cleanups". We knew the truthful answers as well as the solutions 10, 15 and even 20 years ago hence most of the honest brokers were stalled literally unto death (Esther Thur), unto deafness and great difficulty hearing at public meetings (Henry) and finally unto political removal ( yours truly & more). The only citizens with any long history at the RAC and TAG meetings are the pair that the polluter and their regulator prefer dealing with. Guess why?

Julie Sawyer reported in the June 27, 2008 Elmira Independent that the new Ammonia Treatment System was nearly up and running. Dwight Este of Chemtura advised that the startup would be in mid July. In fact it wasn't until the September 2008 Elmira Independent story titled "Treatment system now online" that we learned that it was operating, sort of. Instead of the planned 700 gallons per minute it was running at 300 gallons per minute. One of the other interesting notes at the CPAC meeting of September 8, 2008 was that the meeting only lasted an hour because CPAC did not have a quorum. Stupid bastards had of course removed their most reliable, informed and outspoken member a few months prior. I was present at this September 8 meeting as always and it was hard not to laugh at them. The same thing has happened at TAG meetings where a lack of quorum was only recently avoided by one of the multiple missing members showing up a half hour after the meeting started. Meanwhile there were two or three CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members sitting there in the gallery as always. If Sandy and Mark weren't such idiots a lack of quorums wouldn't be an issue. Around and around in circles we go.

After this meeting I sent a Letter To The Editor (Independent) which quoted part of the Environmental Review Tribunal's (ERT) decision supporting my claim and evidence that the placement of monitoring well pairs off and on-site could provide inconsistent or inaccurate data regarding containment of on-site contaminated groundwater. I had proven this to Wilf Ruland, hydrogeologist, as well as at a meeting between Chemtura, CRA and the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.). Those parties either lied or rolled belly up under pressure from the professional liars present. Despite this part of their decision the ERT approved the Certificate of Approval anyways, allowing the Ammonia Treatment System to proceed uncorrected. At a later date Conestoga Rovers quietly removed the offending well pairs. Typical
face saving behaviour.

In the October 10, 2008 Independent Julie Sawyer reported that the long promised and overdue M.O.E. report detailing whether or not Chemtura had passed the bar of "best efforts" in their attempts to maintain hydraulic containment on their site during construction of the Ammonia Treatment System. While it has been admitted that containment was unlikely, the question is whether or not the company will face any consequences for their failure to do so. I spoke at the meeting and gave all parties the details of the pumping rates. I stated "They (Chemtura) weren't even pumping at half of what they were pumping in the early 90s. Best efforts suck. I look forward to the MOE report and if it says anything but that then it will confirm what I already know about the Ministry.".

After the first 100 promises regarding dates of reports, cleanup dates and more have all fallen through, one loses all faith if it's an individual stringing you along. Somehow Canadians are much more tolerant of both corporations and government ministries when they make and break commitments. I continue not to understand the distinction. No one is perfect and all of us can make mistakes. It's when the "mistakes" outnumber the fulfilled promises and commitments that an intelligent person must come to the harsh reality and conclusion that they are routinely being intentionally misled.

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