Friday, July 15, 2022


 The quote above is from a banner that I had attached to the roof of my car way back in the mid to late 1990's. I believe that I parked outside the then municipal arena on Schneider Ave. to attend a public  UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting.  Probably my concern was in regard to the ongoing DNAPL (Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquid) coverup by Uniroyal/ CRA with the acquiescence of the Ontario Ministry of Environment. There were of course other cleanup failures ongoing by then including the plans for the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACS). The fact of the matter is I likely believed that individual parts of the cleanup were inadequate but still believed that there was hope if not optimism for a really good cleanup. It was never to be for a multitude of reasons.

   On-site source removal was never a priority.  As late as 2003 CPAC's  (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) Soil & Water Sub-Committee produced a three page document which listed, to the best of our knowledge at the time, locations of on-site buried wastes including DNAPLS. Little honest work was done.

   Uniroyal was heavy into conquer and divide with local environmental activists especially those in APTE. Private meetings and deals were already the norm including sweeping away DNAPL cleanup in exchange allegedly for creek cleanup down the road. Exactly how well has that worked for you Susan and Sylvia?

   Unknown to me Woolwich Township were securely in the pro Uniroyal/Chemtura camp. Decades later I found out that Uniroyal had not infiltrated early Town Councils, they actually dominated them. This continued as the polluter (Uniroyal) and the Township shared environmental and engineering consultants quietly for decades. 

   All our allegedly local public bodies knew where their bread was buttered. The GRCA, Region of Waterloo, MOE, Woolwich Twn. all pretended to be in favour of a real cleanup of the groundwater, surface water and on-site Uniroyal soils when in fact they were simply delaying and running out the clock. Whenever it mattered at UPAC or CPAC, lies were told, contamination was minimized, cleanup costs were exaggerated. The running out of the clock was in regards to allowing Uniroyal contamination to leave the site via all the various transport mediums including air, groundwater, surface water, erosion etc. to be disbursed and distributed downstream, downwind and down gradient (groundwater). 

   Local candidates friendly to Uniroyal always popped up prior to municipal elections. Some kept their pro polluter biases on the downlow for many years others were less subtle. All the guilty "stakeholders" promoted and gave public acclaim to those citizens working on their behalf while those who were not received the opposite whenever possible.

   So today we are on the cusp of the finish line according to Uniroyal/Lanxess Canada. That is shameful based upon the failure to restore to drinking water standards our formerly excellent groundwater and to restore the Canagagigue Creek as much as possible by eliminating at the minimum the dioxins/furans and DDT in exceedance of all health criteria in and around the Creek. Meanwhile the site itself in Elmira remains a constant threat to further recontaminate our groundwater until or unless the worst soil chemical contamination is removed. 

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