Saturday, May 29, 2010

On Average, RAW SEWAGE, TWICE/YEAR from Elmira STP and 1/YR from St. Jacobs STP

as per Woolwich Observer Sat. May 29/10 pg. 2 by Steve Kannon

"The Ministry of the Environment reports that bypasses of raw and pertially treated sewage occurred 11 times in Elmira and five in St. Jacobs between 2002 and 2008. It directed the municipalities to fix the problem; additional storage at the treatment plant should alleviate the problem."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Although the Elmira Independent were the only local paper (of 3 including K-W Record)
to cheerfully sit down and discuss the Elmira Advocate's use of their stories, nevertheless I believe that all relevant, good journalism should be highlighted on occasion. Please view on line Woolwich Obsever, Sat May 29/10, front page for story on "Gravel pits get a rough ride"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time For A Little HUMOUR : For the record, I am neither a farmer nor a hunter although I have friends and relatives who are. The Weekender edition of the Elmira Independent is partly distributed in the K-W Record Thursday mornings. The following story (Commentary) dated Fri. May 28/10 appeared, written by the president of the Federation of Agriculture, this morning.

"The Elk Continue to Rule" - I swear that's the title. "... the needed authorizations to take action against the marauding elk." "OFA has issued a letter to MNR Minister Jeffrey to "act quickly and aggresively to address the problems faced by North Hastings farmers from predatory elk."". "We can't stand by any longer as more and more farmers are forced from their chosen livelihood by elk herds gone out of control."
Finally "But we believe a nuisance removal hunt is imperative now.".

My thoughts are this: There are 500 elk in Ontario. God help us humans if we are not the dominant species in Ontario. Perhaps a nuisance removal hunt for humans is in the cards down the road?

marauding, predatory and out of control elk herds ??? Wow. Makes you wonder how wolves, coyotes and bears have ever survived us human beings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Woolwich Council, gird your loins. Start saving OUR pennies. You are going to do battle for us , whether you want to or not , at the Ontario Municipal Board.

The message was polite and the message was perhaps subtle (or not) but there it was. Last night’s Woolwich Council Meeting was a love in for children, wildlife, trees, groundwater, river water and drinking water. My former neighbours spoke passionately and professionally. From Clare Gingrich ‘s comments on the effects of the proposed pit on his shallow well , Brian and Kim Hendricks comments on the seventy year old and still counting tiny gravel pit behind their house, right up to professional presentations by the lawyer for Bridgekeepers and the two University Professors who spoke, the message was clear. Other community members such as Pat Cosgrove spoke of the plethora of gravel pits recently seeking approval from Woolwich Council. John Fielding advised us of the disruption to the lives of the community that cannot be foreseen. A gentleman from the Waterloo Federation of Agriculture stated that even if there is “rehabilitation” afterwards ; that no agricultural land taken out of production in favour of a gravel pit, is ever restored to the point where it can go back into food production.

Very telling for me was the comment by both the Bridgekeepers lawyer and Mr. Glen Harrington on behalf of Capitol Paving. There has been a complete sign off (ie. approval) by all the regulatory agencies. Specifically this would include the GRCA , the Region of Waterloo (RMOW) , the M.O.E. and the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.). Let there be no confusion. These “regulatory “ agencies have long ago been captured by the very industries they are supposed to regulate. These agencies and government bodies purpose , has long been to protect industry, money and power. They are NOT there to protect us the people.

The bottom line is this. Despite the support of all levels of government (including municipal) ; gravel pits next to homes, rivers and on farmland are sheer idiocy. Last Saturday, Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer published the following opinion: “Politicians want no part of real transparency”. Regarding costs and benefits of a particular project he stated that the real question is not what costs and benefits but more significantly “Whose benefits and whose costs?”. This is what these gravel pits are all about. Capitol Paving and all levels of government , directly or indirectly, are reaping the benefits while the nearby residents pay horrendous costs.

Congratulations to Barb, Ron, Nathan , Mark, Mathew and other wonderful presenters. This is where citizens draw a line in the sand regarding gravel pit devastation of people’s lives. Woolwich Council , either get onside or get the hell out of town. No amount of puffery, flim flam or talking out of both sides of your mouth will be tolerated. This is a case of you will help your citizens no matter what ;
otherwise you are nothing but hypocrites and con men serving the wrong master.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The following letter was sent today in an attempt to put the brakes on the long term extent of pollution and officially sanctioned leakage into the Grand River.

Clerk of the Regional Council
Ms. Kris Fletcher

This letter is my request for referral of the Official Plan Amendment No. 15 to the Ontario Municipal Board. Numerous reasons for my objections to OPA No. 15 have already been submitted both verbally at Woolwich Council as well as in writing since last fall. The most recent reason is in regards to promises made by Woolwich Councillors, Bauman and Shantz. At the last public Woolwich Council dealing with the Forwell and Safety- Kleen properties , these Councillors clearly advised Staff that soil samples and further evidence must be provided to Woolwich Council, guaranteeing that Council was not giving approval to construction upon contaminated lands. As of this point in time I have not received any information whether written or verbal regarding these public promises and whether or not they have been fulfilled.
Furthermore I wish to emphasize that there is no doubt that these lands are and have been heavily contaminated by chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons and P.C.B.’s for the last three or four DECADES. The list of hydrogeological reports detailing this contamination covers approximately three pages and I have had the opportunity of studying many of them for many years. The contamination has travelled from both the Safety- Kleen site (formerly Breslube) as well as from behind their site on Forwell property (lagoons on & off the Forwell site) both through ground and surface water where it has made it’s way to both the Grand River and the former Municipal and Regional wells on the east side of the river (K70 & K71).
Sincerely Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team
THIS is an UPDATE on my MAY 18/10 POST

Last Friday May 21/10, the Region of Waterloo responded for the fourth time regarding their 1994 Cambridge East Water Supply Report. This time however they responded through Phil Shewen of the Ministry of the Environment. What was presented was a 7 page report written by Associated Engineering, the consultants to the Region and authors of the 1994 Cambridge East report. This 7 page letter was allegedly written on September 23, 1994 and ostensibly was for the purpose of clearing up errors found in the original document, specifically in Working Paper 2 dated February 1994 (Rev: March 1994).

This 7 page letter has the date on 3 of the 7 pages. It has page numbers (6 & 7) on only 2 of the 7 pages. It, as well, has errors in it including incorrect values attributed to the original document as well as lacking any units of measurement in the 4 pages of tables. All in all this is not an impressive document and it certainly isn't "proof" of anything except possibly the incompetence of the consultant. Can you imagine hiring and paying a consultant to write a report and then a few months later the consultant writes a letter advising you that there are over 100 data errors in his original report? Until the Region of Waterloo provide real proof otherwise, I have to believe that their original report is the correct and honest one showing 105 chemicals detected in drinking well P11, albeit primarily at very low concentrations.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hydrogeology (groundwater) has it's own vocabulary. Twenty years of listening and then speaking to experts has altered my vocabulary. Please don't be put off by it. Any words or phrases that don't make sense are to be occasionally expected. Feel free to either challenge, question or disagree with anything. Similarily if I'm ignoring an obvious problem in Elmira/Woolwich (such as Bio-En Fuels) tell me ,give me heck, whatever. Alan (agm)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Along time ago in a land far, far away we had excellent drinking water coming from both shallow and deep wells. This was the case in Elmira, Kitchener, Waterloo , Preston, Galt and Hespeler.
In 1989 Elmira lost their south wellfield allegedly solely due to Uniroyal Chemical. By 1990 the north wellfield was contaminated with NDMA and that indeed came primarily from Uniroyal .Interestingly however, to this day we still have a very high offsite readings of NDMA near the old Shirt Factory west of Uniroyal (Chemtura).

What have we in Elmira replaced our contaminated drinking water with? To the best of my knowledge , the new source coming up the pipeline from Waterloo does not have NDMA in it. Well maybe. The Region of Waterloo don't publish in their Annual Report the NDMA results that they obtain. They also don't publish hundreds of other industrial chemicals including extremely common solvents such as Toluene and Xylenes. What they do publish however is Trichloroethylene (TCE), over and over again. The levels in the William St. wells in Waterloo average around 2.6 ppb (parts per billion) over the last few years. This is the same chemical that was featured in the movie starring John Travolta, a Civil Trial. Waterloo water (and Elmira) also has multiple chemicals known as products of disinfection. This includes Trihalomethanes as well as Haloacetic Acids. Earlier on I mentioned Fluoride exceedances in our water. In 2007 and 2008 Fluoride levels hit almost double the standard. In 2006 they hit more than double and in 2004 they almost tripled the standard on one occasion. Thank You Elmira industry (including Chemtura), City of Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo for our fine water. By the way nobody, nowhere has a clue as to the health effects of mixing multiple contaminants in drinking water.
The upcoming Fluoridation plebiscite (Oct.25/10) will be on the ballot in Waterloo, Elmira and St. Jacobs. Here is a website you probably want to see. Among other issues I have with intentionally putting HFSA (Hydrofluorsilic acid sp?) in our drinking water, is the number of exceedances year in and year out. Whether this is straight human error or systemic problems with the equipment, pumps etc. , I do not know. There were exceedances (> 1.5 mg/l) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. This information is in either the Region of Waterloo Annual Reports (drinking water) online or in their Summary Report (also online under Annual Report)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

" You are being contacted because you, and perhaps other members of your household, previously objected to the Capital Paving proposal to license approximately 47 acres of land for below-water table gravel extraction. ..."

This letter was received today from the BridgeKeepers group out of West Montrose. They are advising my family and I (formerly of the West Montrose Country Store) of the upcoming public meeting in Woolwich Council chambers, next Tuesday May 25/10 at 7:00 pm..

Of all the ill thought out gravel pit applications in the works, in Woolwich Township, this one and this meeting to discuss rezoning, bother me personally the most. Please come out and see for yourself why.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back on the subject of NDMA being detected in a drilled well south - east of Chemtura (rural residence), apparently Chemtura are beginning to think that the home's water softener could be to blame. Allegedly their are some kind of resins inside the water softener which could react with nitrates or nitrites , common in rural water supplies courtesy of fertilizers etc.. Without commenting on that scenario I will suggest this. Dichloromethane also known as methylene chloride was also detected. Hydrogeologist Wilf Ruland was quoted in the CPAC minutes of the March 29/10 public meeting as saying that Dichloromethane was a false positive as this is a chemical he sees far too often, as it is used for cleaning lab equipment. My response to his comment is this. It's now 2010. Are our labs so incompetent that they can't rinse test tubes, beakers etc. with distilled pure water? Secondly the Varnicolor Chemical Union St. site had a ton of Dichloromethane in their groundwater. Thirdly I've lost count of the number of times "experts" have told me that Dichloromethane and other chemicals are false positives, including the excuse that it's used for cleaning lab equipment and hence cross-contaminates the water sample.
We have a very serious environmental/ political situation ongoing in Cambridge. The relevance to Woolwich/ Elmira is that it involves the Region of Waterloo , who let me state at the outset can and have done good work environmentally. Unfortunately they have what I refer to as a Fortress Mentality and are extremely defensive , if not antagonistic when confronted on water issues.

The Cambridge East Water Supply Project June 1994 report is the concern. The Region of Waterloo have responded three times (in the Cambridge Advocate ) to my concerns about 105 industrial chemicals in well P11. Their first response essentially said , nope you're wrong, all the chemicals have, < (less than detection limit) sign in front of the numeric values. Their second response included their 29 page attachment of Working Paper No. 2 including text and 3 Tables. This version indeed did show lots and lots of < signs in front of the numeric values. This however merely proved that we had at least two different versions of the same report. Finally the Region's third response says that their 29 page attachment was the March 1994 revision to the original report, which they claim had typographical and transposition errors in it.

The problem with the Region's third response is that my original 1994 document is clearly marked as the March 1994 revised copy and it's the one with 105 chemical detections in it. So at this point in time (10 am. Tues. May 18/10) the Region have given three inadequate responses to a serious issue. First off, the sheer number of chemicals tested for, is far more than you will ever find in the Region's provincially mandated Annual Drinking Water Reports. Secondly the detection limits in this 1994 report are 1000 times LOWER. They are testing at the parts per trillion level rather than the parts per billion level. Therefore the possibly scary scenario could be that all our drinking water has dozens of toxic chemicals, albeit at low concentrations, present. Region of Waterloo: STEP UP and TELL US THE TRUTH !

Monday, May 17, 2010

This is my very first, hot off the press, make like a reporter and write a story about a public meeting that just occurred (finished two hours ago).

(CPAC) Chemtura Public Advisory Committee: public meeting of 9:00 am. May 17, 2010 held in Woolwich Council Chambers. Attendance regrets from Committee members namely Councillor Sandy Shantz and new member Sandra Bair.

This committee, years ago, was called the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee and met once per month (approx 10/yr). The last meeting was March 29/10 and the next one is August 30/10. I think you can see the trend.
Long time, formerly very active member, Fred Hager has been unable to attend for some time due to health problems and medium length member Shannon Holton has not been seen in either months or years. No news re: her status. Of the three new members last fall Ken Driedger is both the most regular attending and to date the most inquisitive and perceptive.
Good News: The soil & water sub-committee submitted a Draft proposing substantive changes in Chemtura's and their consultant's (CRA) format of their technical reports. This is a good idea, long overdue as CRA's format and readability of their charts and maps was just plain horrible.
Bad News: Yours truly, appearing as a regular delegation to CPAC, discussed a 12 year overdue report (dated April 1998) on Varnicolor's Lot 91 (east end of Oriole Parkway). The Report by a hydrogeologist basically said that the original one done on behalf of the Ministry (M.O.E.) was inadequate. Yours truly also blasted the M.O.E. for their failure to provide groundwater monitoring data to either myself or CPAC regarding the two former Varnicolor sites.
Bad News: The soil & water committee have once again felt the need to make concessions to Chemtura, with the co-operation of allegedly independent hydrogeologist, Wilf Ruland. Feel free to google him and see how many commissions and committees he's been appointed to by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Also note any committees (eg. landfill liason committees) he is on with CRA as his colleagues. Nevertheless this time the concessions involved your public advisory committee agreeing to reduce both groundwater elevation and groundwater quality testing all in order to save Chemtura a buck. DISGRACEFUL is my opinion.

AMR #28 (Annual Monitoring Report) was discussed by conference call with the authors Conestoga Rovers (CRA). As per the last umpteen years , the presentation by CRA was a sugarcoated piece of fantasy, describing the wonderful job that pumping groundwater, treating it (somewhat) and then dumping it into the Canagagigue Creek, has done to clean up the site. Unfortunately leaving the admitted buried wastes (solids & liquids) in the ground negates everything else.

Last but not least, Chemtura has announced yet another delay in the removal of DIOXINS from their south-east corner. GP1 & GP2 were first requested to be remediated by CPAC back in July 2003. Dioxins are considered by many to be the most toxic substances known to mankind.

All in all this was a typical CPAC meeting with all the disgust and outrage of twenty years ago long gone. Apparently senior CPAC members, with the concurrence of Wilf Ruland, think that treating Chemtura with kid gloves and courtesy and respect while being misled, misinformed and just plain bullshitted by them; will somehow get a better cleanup. So far it hasn't done the job.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

So how many of us specifically in Elmira (and St.Jacobs) realize that we've been drinking fluoridated water for years, courtesy of Waterloo water coming up the pipeline to us. Thus the plebiscite in Waterloo on October 25/10 affects us personally. There will be upcoming data, comments and links etc. on this important issue.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Regarding the tenth anniversary of the Walkerton tragedy : from the K-W Record ..."The simple recognition for source protection was a big step , says Mark Servos , a University of Waterloo biology professor and scientific director for the Canadian Water Network. You had to have a multi-barrier approach, he says. Don't just treat it. Don't have it in the water in the first place."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is a link to last Wednesday's Elmira Independent regarding a story about the Hunder gravel pit application The Aggregate Resources Act calls for a minimum 30 metres setback from neighbouring properties. In my opinion this provincial legislation is horribly biased against individual citizens, in favour of the aggregate companies and this ridiculous minimum 30 metre setback is but the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Region of Waterloo appear to be between a rock and a hard place. The following link (at the Cambridge Advocate) explains the appearance of altered or changed sets of data dealing with chemical detections in drinking wells in Cambridge. The significance to Elmira is fairly obvious as we rely on the same actors for our drinking well and water information.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

January 8, 2010
Report for Presentation at public CPAC meeting of January 18, 2010 by Al Marshall
Elmira Environmental Hazards Team

On April 17, 1991 in the K-W Record, the Chairman of the Environmental Appeal Board “accused government officials… “of not being frank” about all the potential sources of groundwater contamination” in Elmira. The Chairman, John Swaigen, pressed M.O.E. hydrogeologist Bob Hillier whom later conceded “ I’m going to be hard pressed to say with 100% certainty that Varnicolor hasn’t contaminated (the municipal water) “. “Board vice chairman Knox Henry also challenged Hillier’s dismissal of Varnicolor as a potential polluter of the drinking water.”. “I’m still having difficulty with your conclusion” he told Hillier. “In all fairness , I just can’t accept it.”.

On Monday December 2, 1991, Bob Verdun of the Elmira Independent wrote an Editorial which earned him the respect of many, the hatred of his targets and the shock of the uninformed. Bob stated that “ The M.O.E. was created by the Ontario Conservatives two decades ago solely for public relations purposes.” Bob went on to suggest “ Ontario’s new NDP government has inherited a disgusting mess, but it has so far done little to correct it. Tragically the new government has continued to tolerate the fundamentally- corrupt practices of it’s predecessors, by allowing the M.O.E. to be an apologist for major polluters, instead of an effective police force against irresponsible industries.” The title of Bob’s Editorial was “ Varnicolor case reveals the fundamental corruption in the environment ministry “. For the record Bob also included the comment that some sincere people have been on the M.O.E. payroll from time to time and I think it would be polite of me in light of the usual presence of M.O.E. personnel at this public meeting to endorse Bob’s last comment.
John Jackson of both Kitchener and Great Lakes United had the following comments in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record , May 26, 1990: “Complaining about private deals and meetings between the ministry officials and industry, … nothing has changed “. Further he added “ Industries are still allowed to get away with murder.”
Janine Feretti, Pollution Probe director , in the same Record article while acknowledging significant improvements in the Ministry of the Environment in the late 80’s under Jim Bradley’s direction suggested that prior to him the M.O.E. should have been called the Ministry of Polluter Protection.
Tim Flannery, a lawyer for APTE in an early Environmental Appeal Board hearing had this to say about the M.O.E., in the Record”s article : “There is a terrible tension and dichotomy in that ministry. There is the old guard who have their friends who used to make deals and that was the way business was done. There was nothing improper about it. After all the government told them to do that “
Along those same lines, Rich Clausi, at that time an APTE member and currently a member and co- founder of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team stated in a July 2, 1990 Globe and Mail story “ We have very great faith in the people at the top. But we find the people lower down the rungs are not carrying out the minister’s wishes.”.
Further suggestions as to more accurate names for the M.O.E. included the Ministry of Lumps and Colours. This apparently was in reference to the early days in which the appearance of waterways was the only criterion. One of my personal favourites came about after the M.O.E. lengthened their name to the Ministry of Energy and Environment or M.O.E.E. . They then affectionately became known to some of us as the Ministry of Errors and Excuses
So where am I going with this history? A famous person once said that those who do not pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it. I strongly believe this. This history therefore is both for the benefit of the old guard at CPAC as well as for the benefit of the new CPAC members.
My last quote is another of my favourites. Severin Argenton, a couple of years prior to being sent to jail for environmental offences ; in the July 2, 1990 Globe and Mail story said the following “ We have been cleared (by the Ministry of the Environment ) . But this idiot group, these terrorists, it’s not good enough for them. They’re just a bunch of cranks who have never done a thing for the environment. I’m the only one who cares about the environment.”. The “terrorists “ and “cranks “ which Severin Argenton of Varnicolor infamy was referring to was of course APT Environment and more specifically to myself, Rich Clausi, Ted Oldfield and Susan Rupert.

Based on this brief history lesson I sincerely hope that CPAC, both old and new , will better understand something. The M.O.E., like all other provincial ministries, is extremely politicized. Their mandate , first and foremost, is NOT TO EMBARASS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY. I believe that this has long led to the policies of denial, minimize all crises, and coverup wherever possible. Thus when I or others accuse the M.O.E. of being fundamentally corrupt, perhaps what we are really saying is that both the M.O.E. and the government of the day are in constant coverup mode. They don’t want the public to know how bad our air truly is or how badly polluted our surface and groundwater really is and hence the direct health effects resulting from it.

I can honestly tell CPAC that there are a number of M.O.E. personnel , past and present, whom I genuinely like and respect. I do not however like or respect MOST of the decisions and actions taken by their employer, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Larch Creek, aka Lorch Creek and Schwindt Creek

Henry Regier, 23 June 2009, Revised 10 May 2010

For the past decade I have 'monitored' all parts of Canagagigue Creek at dozens of locations. My monitoring runs were conducted from late morning to early evening on one of the hottest days of the summer after some days of a hot spell and during a relatively dry spell. So I've seen the stream at times that it has the highest temperature (plus or minus a couple of degrees C), the lowest flow and the most algal guck (in a few locations). Native fish are generally stressed at such times.

I have been told that the creek that flows into the mainstem of the Canagagigue Creek at the north end of downtown Elmira used to be called Schwindt Creek or Lorch Creek, with each name that of a farmer who lived somewhere along its banks; a sign along the Kissing Bridge Trail now reads Larch Creek.I have also documented where some springs are near this Creek. Ken Reger and Fred Hager have helped me with that. Both these gentlemen used to fish locations of this stream for trout; Fred talks of a deep hole upstream somewhere that is/was spring-fed where he used to catch trout but also where he kept his beer cold. Sometimes the beer went missing and he suspected that his friend Ken had come by.

This creek is relatively short, only about 6 km long from the eastern edge of Yatton and a couple of other western tributaries/springs near the gun club property. It has a number of springy-wetland areas.

The stream is readily visible on the current Google Earth map.

It has never dried out nor been reduced in flow to a mere trickle during the decade that I have observed it. This is in contrast to some streams immediately to the north which run into the small reservoir above Floradale.

Though the stream, 'Larch Creek', has been neglected it is not a complete write-off.

Where it crosses under the road south of Floradale, its water quality is good, it has decent flow and its temperature maximum has always been less that 25 C degrees during the past decade. On the basis of these admittedly simplistic measures I infer that it should support a population of brook trout but I don't know if there are suitable spawning beds in this stream. I have seen two small salmonids floating belly-up here.

Where the northward extension of Snyder Road passes over 'Larch Creek' the maximum water temperature in most summers is about 25 C. In 2006 and 2008 the water temperature got to about 30 C. Upstream of this bridge the stream makes a long detour southward onto the gulf course where it skirts a pond; perhaps hot water from the pond was occasionally released into the creek, inappropriately.

With some rehabilitative work the stream could be made fit for trout right into Elmira, I speculate. It should have some shade trees and shrubs planted in areas where the stream is now exposed. How the gulf course folks treat the stream should be investigated; as a trout stream it might become more 'attractive' to the golfers. Small tributaries could be led out of spring-fed wetlands with short conduits to keep cool water flowing into the stream in several locations. (Spring water is about 9 C year round in our region.) Etc.

Jack Imhof, of Trout Unlimited in Guelph, is an expert assessor of potential or existing trout streams and could provide sound advice.

Monday, May 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

Report to public CPAC meeting of March 29/10

Bunker C fuel oil, gasoline, motor oil are all examples of LNAPLs. Light , non aqueous phase liquids have a density of less than 1 and hence will float on the surface of water. The Exxon Valdiz spill gives us a clear visual as to how these chemicals behave in the natural environment. They slowly dissolve in water even with the mixing action of waves and current. They will float for miles before fouling beaches and wildlife.
DNAPLs on the other hand have a density greater than 1. Thus these dense, non aqueous phase liquids sink in water. In surface water they will sink to the bottom where they will tend to flow to depressions on the bottom. An example would be the Dow Chemical toxic “ BLOB” found in the St. Clair River back in the seventies. Similarily in groundwater, DNAPLs will sink through saturated Aquifers until they find a less permeable surface or depression to stop them. The old theory was that they always sunk completely through permeable Aquifers until they hit a less permeable Aquitard. This is not necessarily accurate and world class research institutions such as the Waterloo Groundwater Institute have updated their knowledge of both the behaviour of DNAPLs and the proper remediation of them.

At the present time and indeed for the last twenty years the most urgent cleanup issue facing Elmira has been the universally recognized and admitted existence of DNAPLs in the subsurface of Chemtura (Uniroyal). By universally recognized and admitted I’m referring to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, APT Environment, the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team, Conestoga Rovers, Dames and Moore, Morrison and Beatty, Golder, CH2MHILL etc. What has been at issue by CRA and Chemtura (Uniroyal) has been the quantity and type of DNAPL. By type I’m referring to Free Phase versus Residual DNAPL. This argument has long been nothing but an excuse for doing little or nothing . Since the meeting in January 2007, involving Dr. John Cherry, Dr. Beth Parker , Pat McLean, Susan Bryant, Wilf Ruland and myself , that excuse has been destroyed. Dr.s Cherry and Parker in one of their very current DNAPL publications have clearly indicated that the Uniroyal time frames would indicate the dissolution of Residual DNAPL (immobile and held by capillary forces within the pore spaces between grains of sand/silt) while the Free Phase DNAPL (saturated and free flowing within the pore spaces) remains. The most recent CRA DNAPL report was presented to the public and some CPAC members at their November 28/08 public meeting. It was not distributed prior to the meeting to myself or the public despite my twenty year ongoing history of authoring DNAPL reports for APTE , the EH-Team and the Soil & Water sub-committee of CPAC. Nearly fifteen months ago , at the January 19/09 public CPAC meeting I presented a report to the members and the public listing the authors and co-authors of numerous DNAPL reports strongly criticizing CRA’s litany of inadequate and misleading DNAPL reports. These authors etc. included professional hydrogeologists , they included myself, Dr. Henry Regier, Wilf Ruland, APTE, Susan Bryant and even Pat McLean signed on for one of them. They also included a July 2003 document requesting source removal of DNAPL from the west side, written by the Soil & Water sub-committee and unanimously voted on and passed by CPAC.

There has been exactly zero new scientific data or theories presented publicly at CPAC to remotely refute the conclusion of the presence of Free Phase DNAPL , relatively easily accessible, below the surface at Chemtura. On Febuary 6, 2009, Susan and Pat were quoted in the Elmira Independent as saying that the committee is “still in the early phases in DNAPL” remediation and that “…nobody has signed off on the DNAPL work to date”. . I have been very concerned for the last two years that this sub-committee’s wish to keep the best informed member of the public regarding DNAPL , off the committee, to be exceedingly strange. Is it possible that this is so that it will be easier to sell a pretend cleanup to both the rest of CPAC and to the public?

Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team
I received a package in the mail last Friday from the Ministry of the Environment. Most of the documents I had received years ago however there were a couple of surprises. One was a critique by M.O.E. hydrogeologist Jaimie Connelly regarding " Hydrogeologic Study of Lot 91, Elmira, Ontario December 1997 " Jaimie's critique is dated April 1, 1998. Of numerous criticisms presented, two stand out for me. Jaimie believes that the authors (Beatty Franz Assoc.) are incorrect in their opinion regarding the direction of flow of the Municipal drinking water Aquifer below Lot 91 and secondly that their examination of DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquids) presence and significance is inadequate. The first criticism relates to the authors at that time only looking at two deep observation wells on site and making conclusions from very limited information. If they were incorrect in the direction of flow of the Municipal Aquifer than this exacerbates the likelihood that two wells only, could easily miss deep contamination. Jaimie believes that a more comprehensive examination of the deep stratigraphy should have been undertaken at the Lot 91 site, located at the extreme eastern end of Oriole Parkway. Things like more deep boreholes would give information regarding both fractures and vertical downward paths into the Municipal Aquifer.
This report tells me two things: Professional honesty and ethics do exist even within the M.O.E. AND they can be overcome by others within the M.O.E., when I receive this April 1998 report on MAY 7, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

April 3. 2010

Backgrounder for the
Waterloo Regional Committee Meeting Tuesday April 6, 2010

In 1992 the Ontario Ministry of the environment and the Region of Waterloo publicly and repeatedly offered Phillip Environmental of Hamilton an Indemnity or Guarantee in exchange for Phillip purchasing and remediating the Varnicolor Chemical site in Elmira. This indemnity or guarantee was to protect Phillip both legally and financially from “unknown” ie. deeper contamination that might be found later at the Varnicolor site. Allegedly the deal was in the best interests of the citizens and taxpayers. They wouldn’t have to pay for the shallow aquifer cleanup and the most immediate exposure routes to the toxins, namely the air and the shallow aquifer would be eliminated.
Interestingly enough that deal was put together after the Uniroyal/ M.O.E. deal that was done in the summer of 1991. While in the middle of the 2nd Environmental Appeal Board hearing with multiple parties including the Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township, and myself as a member at that time of APT Environment; the M.O.E. and Uniroyal bilaterally negotiated an agreement. Those two parties then pronounced the Appeal as over and advised the Appeal Board of Ontario that they had no further jurisdiction and the other parties that they were also out of luck.
Both of these deals were what is known as “sweetheart” deals. While one party (M.O.E.) were supposed to be representing the interests of the citizens of Ontario and especially the citizens of Elmira and Waterloo Region; in fact they were looking out for Number One: themselves. Uniroyal from November 1989 when the south wellfield was shut down, had loudly and consistently pounded home two themes: firstly they would pay their fair share of the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifer and secondly that they were not the only source of contamination to the Elmira Municipal Drinking Water Aquifer. Suddenly in September 1991 they fell mute. They had a deal , financial and otherwise, which included them no longer proclaiming even partial innocence.

Safety-Kleen purchased Breslube Enterprises in Breslau in 1988. With hindsight it is clear that again the R.M.O.W. and the M.O.E. made a deal with Safety- Kleen regarding the purchase. In 1988, allegedly the presence of P.C.B.’s in the natural environment at Breslube was not known. By 1991 , three years later, they were “discovered” mixed in with the thousands of gallons of oil floating on the water table. By 1993 the Forwell series of wells 700 metres downgradient of Safety- Kleen were closed and have remained so until the present time. Both the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario M.O.E. claim they were shut down due to bacteria. Apparently these “bacteria” are so tough that chlorination won’t kill them. Apparently these “bacteria” are much stronger around Breslau than everywhere else in the Region including downriver at Hidden Valley where they are effectively treated by chlorination and or ozonation. The lower drinking water aquifer beneath Safety- Kleen and flowing down to the Grand River and Regional Wells K70, K71 is, according to dozens of hydrogeological reports, contaminated with Phenols, Phthalates, TCE, Benzene and P.C.B.’s. Yet the Region steadfastly maintains they were closed due to “bacteria”.

Next we have Canadian General Tower in Cambridge. This site some day will be the mecca for contaminated sites on the Region of Waterloo’s Environmental Tours Program. We may have Dioxins and Agent Orange in Elmira and P.C.B.’s at Safety- Kleen in Kitchener, but at C.G.T. we’ve got it all. We’ve got Dioxins, P.C.B.’s, Trichloroethylene, Phthalates, Toluene and oh so much more. As in real estate , location is everything. C.G.T. is located right on the banks of our Canadian Heritage River, the Grand. Even better it is literally the width of a roadway , away from the Middleton Wellfield which supplies Cambridge with water. Much to my surprise the 2009 Annual Report for the Cambridge Water Supply System, shows chemical contamination in these wells. I’m not remotely suirprised that the toxins are there, what surprises me is that this provincially mandated program, with it’s inherent weaknesses and flaws in methodology and reporting, could not more successfully hide all the contaminants. Trichloroethylene is the only one which consistently is detected . That being said, through the scientific miracle of dilution, TCE is only reported up to 4.4 ppb., which as any politician could tell you is below the drinking water standard of 5 pp.. Now again clearly there are miracles involved here. With twenty or thirty solvents and toxins in C.G.T.’s groundwater, mere yards away from the Middleton pumping wells, how is it that only one chemical shows up? One method is don’t test for all the other chemicals in the groundwater. Similarily what are known as high Method detection Limits can hide a multitude of sins.

So what is the bottom line here? Apparently we are having some kind of plebiscite in October regarding Fluoridating the drinking water. I do not claim to an expert on the merits or otherwise of Fluoridated drinking water. I do however claim to have seriously studied contaminated sites in Waterloo region for two decades and have read and understood literally hundreds of technical hydrogeological reports. I say to you Regional Council that some of your personnel have intentionally and grossly misled the public for at least two decades regarding the permanent damage done to our drinking water by polluting industries. Furthermore I say to you that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment has also routinely aided and abetted polluting industries in this Region, to avoid both penalties and blame for their toxic messes. Now at this critical juncture for citizens to make an informed decision, it would be far too easy to listen to the allegedly professional opinions of the Region and the Ontario M.O.E.. There are other professional groups weighing in on this issue whose opinions and expertise merit very serious consideration. The Region of Waterloo and the M.O.E. are not and have not been honest brokers , information wise, for decades, and hence their opinions are worthless .

Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team
A recent discovery in a June 1994 report written by Associated Engineering for the Region of Waterloo has been posted on the Cambridge Advocate website. Essentially my worst fears appear to have come true as Table 1 in Appendix C lists detections of over 100 chemicals in well P11 (Preston 11). The significance is that this Table lists a couple of hundred different organic chemicals versus the usual fifty or sixty for example that the Region of Waterloo Annual Reports (water) list . Secondly the MDL (method detection limits) are approximately a thousand times smaller in this June 1994 report than again for example the Region's Annual Reports. Therefore as I have long feared, there may probably be dozens of chemical contaminants in our drinking wells whose presence is easily masked via high detection limits as well as by "cherry picking" which chemicals are to be listed and hence ignoring more likely candidates for detection.