Saturday, May 20, 2023


 The public interest has never been served by love ins between the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and Uniroyal Chemical. It has however always been served when those two parties or  successors to Uniroyal Chemical are in conflict. I'm particularly thinking of the two Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) hearings back in 1990 and 1991. Then and only then did the public receive some of the truth and reality of corporate ideology, mass toxic waste dumping and gross governmental failures to supervise and enforce existing environmental legislation.

These governmental failures were closely observed over the decades by other polluters in Elmira who clearly felt that if big/bad Uniroyal Chemical can dump their wastes wherever they want, then why can't we? Some employees of Uniroyal actually started their own waste management companies such as the case of Severin Argenton (founded Varnicolor Chemical) who had worked at Uniroyal Chemical initially. He saw how mere lip service to the then Ministry of Environment (MOE) was more than adequate. 

Does anyone think that the mess at Nutrite (Yara) happened overnite? They had a lagoon on site and had been allowing ammonia, 2,4-D, and other assorted chemicals to leak into the ground on their property beside Uniroyal Chemical here in Elmira. Other companies whether big or small also took note of the lack of enforcement. Same thing with a number of local service stations. One of the finest local examples had to be Woolwich's mayor who had at least two contaminated sites himself within Woolwich Township namely his gas station in Heidelburg that underwent groundwater remediation for many years as well as Strauss Fuels on Arthur St. beside the current location of the Woolwich Observer. Yours truly actually worked on that remediation for Quantum Environmental. Besides labouring I also operated and maintained the on-site portable water treatment plant. This included removing and changing filters as well as emptying and refilling the carbon adsorber vessels.

The Ontario MECP will only step up and confront Lanxess Canada when their own credibility is on the line. Maybe...just maybe their current, contemptible do little or nothing plans for the Canagagigue Creek will do the job. If the public raise enough of a stink about the state of dioxins, PCBs, mercury, DDT and more in the Creek then the MECP might just decide to step in hard. If we are very lucky.

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