Friday, January 25, 2019


That's more or less how it felt last evening during the meeting with Lanxess Canada after the TAG meeting was over. Rather than double teamed I was on occasion triple teamed with Ramin Ansari, Lou Almeida (GHD) and Dwight Este all in various stages of uproar, dissent and denial. Oh yes I think Alan Deal of GHD also got a few words in there as well.

Shout outs must go to Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Tiffany Svensson, and Ron Campbell. A further shout out goes to the CPAC members who showed up last evening and stayed the course. Stalwart and regular attendee Viv Delaney was joined by Dr. Dan Holt, Richard Clausi, Ron Campbell, and Sebastian who is both a CPAC and TAG member.

MOE rep Jason Rice was present and he kept strictly out of the debate until the very end when we received the old saw from Lanxess that gee they can't take soil and sediment samples from the Stroh Drain because it's not on their property. At that point I turned to Mr. Rice and asked him to order the sampling forthwith. He politely declined. It must really be nice for Lanxess having a friend you can count on when the public get on your case.

The shout out to Sebastian was for his presentation during the regular TAG meeting requesting better sampling of the "Gap" area. He criticized composite sampling versus discrete (individual) samples and he also hammered them on the shallowness of their sampling. During the meeting after the meeting he also bluntly told Ramin that while he had focused earlier on the "Gap" area which is the area of overland flow from Uniroyal/Lanxess to the Stroh property; he too wanted the Stroh Drain tested for Uniroyal's contamination.

Tiffany has on occasion been an enigma for me. She follows the idiotic and undemocratic rules put down by Woolwich Council in their brazen attempt to curry favour with Chemtura/Lanxess and the Ontario MOE. Nevertheless she appears to have found a way to permit a determined citizen with a message to speak. My hero Sandy was not present which was the best for her blood pressure. Furthermore Tiffany at a key juncture pointedly advised Lanxess that the whole purpose of the exercise was to determine if there are additional pathways for dioxins/furans, DDT and more from Lanxess into the Canagagigue Creek. The Stroh Drain is exactly such a pathway.

Bless you Ron Campbell for taking them on, on your own, outside the TAG meeting in the hall. Ron lectured Ramin, Dwight and Lou outside the meeting room about their reluctance to properly test the "Gap" and for their willingness to find different methods to delay doing the fastest and most obvious investigation of the Stroh Drain area. Straight up soil and sediment samples are the way to go. This meeting, outside the meeting, was occasioned by Lanxess reps stepping out of the room after the TAG and Sebastian discussion about the "Gap". Tiffany had advised them that they could stay for the rest of the routine TAG discussion while waiting for their, after the meeting, meeting with me or they could take a break. They took a break outside the room and Ron took them on.

If you are finding this description to be bizarre of the hoops and loops necessary to enable citizens such as Ron and I to confront and speak to those in charge of the remediation of the Uniroyal/Lanxess property, then you aren't the only one. Sandy Shantz couldn't have done a better job of mucking up public consultation unless she made her decision while under the influence of the recreational product she voted in favour of recently at a Woolwich Council meeting.

A thank you to David Hofbauer is in order as well. Finally a thank you to the majority of TAG members who stayed the course for the Ramin Ansari/Al Marshall debate. David (and Sebastian) spoke in favour of more flexible and reasonable rules allowing outside experts and citizens alike to address TAG.

The most inane argument award goes to Lou Almeida. Oh my God but he sanctimoniously advised us that interviews with long time Uniroyal employees never indicated that large quantities of Uniroyal waste waters pumped over to the east side pits were then flowing southwards and discharging onto the Stroh property. Firstly they likely couldn't see it taking place four or five hundred metres away from where they were working and secondly if they like their jobs were they going to complain about it? Hardly.

Richard Clausi advised me after the meeting that at times Lanxess were baiting me. This I understood. Some of their arguments and disagreements were reasonable and some were not. Ramin got a little snotty late in the meeting demanding that I take the soil samples on the Stroh property. Despite that he still deserves credit for the meeting after the meeting taking place. Richard also advised that they clearly do not want to know or to admit the obvious. This is what Ron was getting at outside the meeting room. Do the testing properly and then if you haven't gamed the process you should have your answers.

I felt I held my own well against superior numbers. That said citizens should never underestimate the value in having support from their peers. Thank you again both CPAC attendees as well as assistance from TAG.

Do I expect an immediate turnaround in the four year delay so far by Chemtura/Lanxess to the discovery of the Stroh Drain and east side contamination? I do not but last evening put both Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment on notice that citizens are not going to stand for only minor off-site cleanup of Uniroyal's most toxic legacy. Downstream life, human and otherwise, deserves better.

P.S. Taking the analogy of poking an elephant in the butt with a sharp stick a little further...yes one must be aware of the possibility of getting crapped on as a result.

1 comment:

  1. Great summary and mot surprised at the outcome or reactions of all but now where do you see this going? I am afraid nowhere unless one gets MECP onside. But at least it looks like you held your own somewhat.