Thursday, June 28, 2018


The title above says it all. In a nutshell the Ontario MOE's "strategy" for remediating contaminated sites is "natural attenuation" aided and abetted by the appearance of professional oversight developing the best environmental solutions. In reality the "best environmental solutions" are far more likely to be "the cheapest and least effective solution". That is a direct quote by Dave Belanger, consultant for CH2MHILL back in the early 1990s on behalf of the Region of Waterloo in describing Conestoga Rover's Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System.

For the benefit of the naive and or others with a bias in favour of our alleged professional regulators let me say this. You can make excuses until the cows come home. You can cry about reduced budgets, layoffs and more. That may be so but those excuses do not remediate contaminated sites nor do they mitigate either ecological or human health issues. Provincial politicians may very well be to blame but until the Ontario Ministry of Environment develop some backbone at the top and stand up and call it like it is and call out the province for ignoring the health of our environment then it will not stop. Yes there will be firings and maybe, just maybe, there need to be resignations at the top to highlight the scam that passes for environmental regulation in this province. In other words senior MOE personnel, don't support provincial puffery and bullshit. Speak out and tell the people of this province the truth. That truth is that large corporate polluters have free rein. The system that has been developed here in Ontario allows large polluters to hire their own client driven consultants and run their own clean ups. It does not work. It is nothing but a scam giving the appearance of the best available technology being applied to environmental problems that could have and should have been stopped decades earlier. When the lower rung staff begin to understand that the whole thing is for show it robs them of the incentive to do a good job. When they learn that a problem avoided leads to promotion and raises then why on earth would they be proactive with polluters whom they are supposed to be supervising? The problems are at the senior level and trickle down and permeate throughout the organization. There should have been a Public Inquiry in the early 1990s here in Elmira. It might have caused heads to roll both politically and in the MOE but we citizens would have been the winners. It did not happen.

The May Progress Report is very discouraging. Page 5 under the title of "Remediatiation of Former Operating Pond Area" has the same old comment for the last decade or two. It states "There are no new activities to report for this item in May 2018." That is shameful and is designed to simply allow the MOE not to make a decision. There was an absolutely minimal "cleanup" of part of RPW-5 and TPW-2 back in the fall of 1993. Allegedly this "clean-up occurred in December 1993 after the on-site Envirodome was already full to its effective capacity. The rest of the operating ponds (RPW-6, 7, 8) were not excavated as they should have been. We have been asking them since then as to whether or not they were satisfied with Uniroyal's answer. Their response has been in the monthly Progress Reports ever since in one form of wording or another.

Table C.2 is awful again this month. The following Uniroyal chemicals have higher concentrations downstream than upstream as the Canagagigue Creek flows through their property. These chemicals are MBT, BT, NDMA, NMOR, chlorobenzene, toluene and m&p xylenes. This is disgraceful and likely won't even be raised at the potential TAG meeting set for one week from today at 6:30 pm. in Council Chambers.

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