Friday, September 16, 2022


 The Polluters' Playbook is an industry icon. It was written by bought and paid for experts in the industry i.e. intellectual prostitutes for the purpose of avoiding, deflecting, diverting, delaying accountability. In other words it is the exact opposite of what our politicians are fond of quoting namely "Polluter Pays".  Polluter Pays is a politician's swarmy remark to members of the public demanding environmental cleanups be paid for by the initial polluter. That generally does not happen in Canada unless the polluter is small, with an accompanying small legal budget and the public outrage is very high. That is why Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira was forced to shell out for cleanup whereas Uniroyal Chemical and corporate successors have not been.  

In the January 28, 2016 Woolwich Observer article titled "Chemtura, environmental group at odds over extent of contamination leaching off property", Lanxess are reading directly from the Polluters' Playbook (PP). The standard ploy is to nod solemnly when confronted by strong evidence and promise to look into the "allegations" carefully. They are not allegations they are evidence. The PP however says you can not acknowledge that. The PP also says to avoid both direct confrontation as well as direct, accountable promises. Better to say "Of course we need to verify your data with our own professional sampling and laboratory work."  This is far better than saying "Well of course we will clean up everything that we have dumped, buried or spilled on this piece of land." The first statement subtly alleges that your sampling is unprofessional, poor etc. The second is harder to use weasel words and excuses to avoid actually paying out of corporate pockets to clean up corporate messes. 

This is a war of words that is easily won by the corporate polluters as long as they have full control of the "investigation" including access to the property, sampling whether soils or water and the hiring and firing of "expert" consultants to hide behind. Everyone knows that a lawyer representing a client will gild the lily whereas the public likes to think that environmental consultants/engineers have some mandated public duty. 

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