Monday, December 30, 2019


The following letter was sent to the above listed groups last Saturday (two days ago). It is in response to the 4 1/2 page joke of a "decision" sent to me by Ronan O'Leary of the Ombudsman's office which I described here last week.


A conversation about the Bolender Park Landfill methane issues between informed and honest individuals who aren’t in a defensive, close the ranks mode is required. To date this has not occurred. What has occurred is Woolwich Township loudly proclaiming that they’re right, I’m wrong and that they are now installing monitoring probes both north and south of the guesstimated boundaries of the former landfill. Oh and just so there is no doubt that they didn’t need to install these north and south probes decades ago, they are preceding their written announcements of these probes with the words “out of an abundance of caution”. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I thank the Township for doing as I strongly suggested even if they are so upset that I’ve been on the money all along and past Woolwich Staff and councils have been so far off the mark, that they will never admit to the necessity of monitoring the entire perimeter of the landfill (i.e. N, S, E, & W) .

My complaint to Mr. O’Leary at the Ombudsman’s office was not about the incompetence or negligence of Woolwich staff or councillors after July 1996 until June 2016 when they failed to obtain so much as a single reading from any of the eleven probes or the pump that made up the gas collection system. Probes could not be found, caps were missing, probes were blocked, probes were flooded and then once again it appears as if all efforts around the gas collection system simply ended for many years. An honest party might investigate that and make some conclusions and strong recommendations however I do not recommend any of the past or current parties be given that responsibility.

My complaint to the Ombudsman related to Woolwich Township’s gross failure to honestly communicate with myself, the local citizen who researched the history of this landfill and the grossly inadequate efforts to control either the migration of methane gas from it or even to properly monitor the gas. I would suggest that the consultants Conestoga Rovers were not totally at fault as they did make some recommendations that appear to have been ignored by past Woolwich councils. These efforts or lack thereof included the east side of the landfill near High St. which only received their first successful methane gas reading after December 1986 in April 2008, twenty-two years later. This is not best practices and in fact in my opinion is disgraceful. Extremely high readings were found in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Another five year gap in testing then occurred and by 2015 there were two dates with readings of zero methane on the east side and three more dates of either unreliable readings due to malfunctioning instruments or they were simply not measured . Older east side probes were either destroyed, or the readings were not reliable due to malfunctioning instruments as well. Excuse me if I categorize these decades of testing for methane as something of a gong show. Because of those failures as well as Woolwich Township’s failure to adequately keep its’ citizens in the loop about the destruction of local groundwater prior to November 1989, excuse me if I lack confidence in them.

I have heard second hand that methane monitoring probes have been constructed on both the north and south sides of the landfill over the last year or two. I have not received any data or results from testing of them and must believe that this is a simple overlooking of duties from either staff or council. That is unfortunate as it seems obvious to me that both need all the help they can get in keeping on top of this file. No one expects staff or councillors to be experts in all things but I do expect when they have a proven track record of missing the inevitable train coming down the track that they should not be so insular and defensive when asked for information on health and environmental matters that affect Woolwich and Elmira citizens. In fact local lay citizens have often led the way with suggestions and constructive criticism regarding the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers and the Canagagigue Creek since January 1992. Of course most of those suggestions and criticism have only been proven accurate in hindsight as Conestoga Rovers/GHD as well as Uniroyal/Lanxess refused to accept them and now have admitted that they will not achieve the Elmira aquifers cleanup by the mandated 2028 deadline.

Sincerely Alan Marshall

CPAC and Elmira EH-Team member

No comments:

Post a Comment