Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Yesterday's K-W Record carries the story "Firefighters face higher cancer risk". Paul Atkinson of the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association said in regards to protective equipment " It keeps you from burning, but doesn't stop the toxic vapours from coming in contact with the skin or being absorbed or swallowed". He also said "And while there are fewer fires, they are more toxic because of the increased prevalence of plastics and chemicals in construction..". The number of cancers including brain tumours are dramatically rising in long term firefighters. Similar to other environmental exposures atkinson said "...it is not one fire that causes job related cancer, but an accumulation of years of exposure to toxic chemicals". This is the same scenario for example in the Bishop St. community in Cambridge in regards to TCE (Trichloroethylene) and also is of concern regarding numerous fires and dense smoke released by Chemtura (Uniroyal) in Elmira which exposes both firefighters and citizens.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm calling today the last Chemtura Public Advisory Committee meeting in that it's the last one under the auspices of the old Council. The following dates were advertised: Monday December 6 (this Monday) Lions Hall re: Chemtura spill of Sept. 27/10, January 24/11 next CPAC meeting and finally Jan 31/11 for an O.M.B. mediation meeting regarding the proposed Hawk Ridge Homes subdivision.
Yours truly presented a report describing a brief history of groundwater contamination in Europe in the 1800's due to in ground waste pits as well as lagooning of liquid wastes. Also described was the history of synthetic dyestuffs. This ties in neatly with Elmira's contamination due to the former presence of Borg Textiles in town.
The M.O.E. reported their results in a search for groundwater results from Lot 91, the former Varnicolor Chemical site at the east end of Oriole Parkway. The Chair of CPAC expressed her disappointment in the overall lack of results and monitoring of the wells on site. What I found incredibly disappointing was the Ministry's claim that they could not find any Control Order dealing with Lot 91. I had my copy with me and loaned it to the CPAC secretary during the break for her to photocopy for the M.O.E. staff. My disappointment is in the fact that I believe the new (to CPAC) Ministry staff when they categorically state that they made a serious search for any such document and were unsucessful. Clearly both institutional memory as well as filing systems are sadly lacking.
We also received an update from Chemtura in regards to their continuing efforts to clean up the results of their release of BLE back on September 27/10. John Scarfone of Woolwich Township indicated that the developers for Hawk Ridge Homes are hoping to get their project back on the tracks and have referred the project to the Ontario Municipal Board to do so. The Board are holding a Mediation session between Township Staff and the developers on January 31/11.

Of some concern to me is a Certificate of Approval amendment that Chemtura are proposing. Despite clearly being a "lame duck" committee, similar to the old Woolwich Council which approved the Kuntz/Jigs Hollow Pit last Tuesday, CPAC gave their blessing to this amendment which will reduce the amount of chemical monitoring in Canagagigue Creek. Their may indeed be some merit or not in this proposal but clearly it is one more concession being given to Chemtura and needs to be looked at carefully by the incoming CPAC members.

Odour complaints are on the upswing and these were again described by Shannon Purves Smith to CPAC. Apparently nights and weekends have been particularily bad this past summer and fall.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


A reminder that there is a public CPAC meeting this Monday at 9 am. in the Woolwich Council Chambers. Hope to see you there.

Despite the latest confirmed revelation that this site has been used as a waste disposal site in the past, our Old Council went ahead with their approval of it. One change in the voting as Sandy Shantz voted against it along with Murray Martin who had done so a week ago as well. Besides the sunset clause provision (maximum of 15 years) we now have an environmental assessment required. Unfortunately depending on who's paying for it, you could get the normal client driven drivel produced as allegedly professional unbiased research. This information is in today's Woolwich Observer Pg. 5 along with a couple of dandy Letters to the Editor regarding this proposed gravel pit.

Well I complained about the lack of professionalism in regards to verbal versus written communications so guess what happened? Earlier this week I received a letter from the O.M.B. advising me that the Mediation date would be at Woolwich Council Chambers on January 6, 2011. So far so good then a couple of days later I receive another letter from them with the title "Amended Notice of Mediation Meeting (Change of Venue)". Well the original venue is five minutes away from where I live so I wasn't too happy with the "Change of Venue" until I read more closely. This change simply reflects the new address of the Township building since it's move a couple of years ago.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Following are a number of plans/directions which require either removal, elimination or reversal at the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Hopefully with the new Council in place a number of these will happen. The removal of a few different Appendixes in the Annual Monitoring Report for example such as Well Status will be restored. The Monthly Progress Reports need to have their Municipal Upper Aquifer groundwater contour maps restored. The currently proposed site wide Certificate of Approval (Air) needs to be strongly reconsidered. It may simplify (cheapen) things for Chemtura but of what benefit is it to the community? The long promised and decades overdue removal of DDT & Dioxins in the south east corner (GP1 & GP2) needs to be done. The promised removal of buried drums in the south yard is another abomination. How can a company receive verification from the former CCPA (Cnd. Chemical Producers Assocn.) while decades after shutting down the water supply still not have removed easily accessible buried drums? This list is far from complete but hopefully gives the reader a taste of a few outstanding issues.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Yesterday's K-W Record (PG. A4) has this headline "Nuclear, green energy highlight $87 billion plan". Coal is out by 2014 and half our energy will come from nuclear power. "The plan calls for $14 billion to be spent on wind power, $9 billion on solar projects, $4.6 billion on new hydroelectric generation, $ 4 billion on biomass energy, $ 1.8 billion on natural gas plants, $ 9 billion on transmission lines and $ 12 billion on conservation programs". The province are hoping to generate an additional 10,700 megawatts of electricity from wind, solar and biomass projects by 2018. No one can argue about the need and desireability of green energy. Lots of people can argue however about nuclear power. I truly do not know just how far in the hole we are in regards to energy needs. My suspicion is that at crunch time most or all of us will accept nuclear and its' hazards rather then freezing in the dark).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


First off this story isn't yet online or I would post the link to it. Here's the link! Secondly for me this is the advantage of having two extremely local newspapers. My Saturday posting was on the same topic from the view of the Woolwich Observer. Today's posting is from the view of the Elmira Independent. I was amazed at the bluntness and political savvy of the local residents. Both Keri Vrbanac and Bill Norrish essentially told Woolwich Council that their opinions no longer mattered as the voters had given them the boot already. Councillor Murray Martin was the only Councillor who voted against acceptance of this pit. His claim was that he was listening to his constituents (perhaps a little belatedly). The big item is the "sunset clause" This is only the second one in the province of Ontario and they are strongly overdue. Far too many pits are licensed and operating forever in Woolwich Township. This clause could cut back on the race to acquire pits prior to their being any need for them.

This is the title above a Letter to the Editor (Elmira Independent) by Wendy Gascho of Alma. "What if you had to listen to the "woosh woosh" , hour after hour, day after day? What if you had to live with a constant flickering shadow throughout your house?" These are issues which one tends not to think about unless one is the unlucky person to be experiencing them. I like green energy but more and more it seems to be at someone else's expense and someone else's discomfort.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Yesterday's K-W Record carries this story. Apparently retail stores are allowed to charge eco fees on certain products to cover the money they pay to Stewardship Ontario who ensure the environmentally safe disposal of these products. Many retail stores factor in these costs although they are "hidden" to the consumer. Others clearly mark these eco fees on their cash register receipts and finally others are able to absorb those costs. The government has set up a hotline ( 1-800-889-9768) for consumers who wish to confirm that the eco fees they've been charged are indeed legitimate. The latest new round of eco fees have been temporarily suspended in an attempt to allow retailers to fix the image problem they may have with consumers. Personally I favour the principle at least that the cost of an item should cover all costs especially final disposal costs. Clearly these costs escalate for items like tires, batteries , solvents, inks and dyes etc..

Monday, November 22, 2010


I received this report last week and has been the case recently, on the face of it, things appear well. Both the on and off site pumping rates were maintained for the month of October. Two concessions given to Chemtura by the M.O.E. and agreed to by CPAC are mentioned in the first couple of pages. Both the Upper Aquifer (UA) and Municipal Aquifer (MU) groundwater elevation readings have been reduced in frequency. For the UA instead of taking these measurements to ensure hydraulic containment in October, they will be done in December instead. Similarily the MU readings which used to be monthly are now quarterly. The advantages to Chemtura are obvious in that they are saving money up front and in the long run this assists their long term goal of slow leakage of their contaminants from the site into the natural environment. Afterall, the more that leaks away, the less they eventually have to remove come crunch time.
In regards to Groundwater Collection and Treatment, apparently all parameters except Formaldehyde and NDMA met their effluent objectives. I see no repercussions arising from these discharge failures. In regards to surface water onsite discharge referred to as SWS on the south-west corner of the property both Lindane and NDPA were detected in the discharge. This is not at all unusual as this discharge to the creek as well as the others usually pick up some contaminants from the soil and groundwater on site.

As usual there is little or no mention of source removal that has been ordered by the M.O.E., with the focus being on hydraulic containment .

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This announcement is on pg. 33 of today's Woolwich Observer. I wonder if this public meeting (2nd one) has anything to do with the agreed upon resolution of the Murray Group's referral to the O.M.B. a few weeks ago? Regardless the public Open House is on December 14/10 at the Main Floor Foyer of the Township building, from 4 to 8 pm..

This proposed gravel pit expansion had seemed to be keeping a low profile in comparison to both the Hunder Development in Conestoga and the proposed Capitol Paving pit in West Montrose. Here in the Elmira Advocate I haven't written about this proposed expansion since July 19/10. Today's Woolwich Observer however has the following front page story "Tempers flare over gravel pit approval". Apparently at last Tuesday's Woolwich Council meeting, the old Council approved the Kuntz application. This is very unfortunate although I think that Council know if as a lame duck Council they approved either of the other two, they would appropriately have a riot on their hands. Of the current three ongoing, proposed new or expanded pits this one is the least likely to have major serious opposition. That doesn't mean it's either environmentally or socially an appropriate location.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Canagagigue Creek’s Trout-Water Tributaries: A Stress Test Related to Stream Temperature
Henry Regier, 8 July 2010
We had an intense heat wave for several days here in Elmira and surroundings. Daily maximal air temperatures were in the low 30s C and nightly minimal temperatures were in the low 20s C. It hadn’t rained for about a week. Previously the spring and early summer had been relatively cool and wet.
In the early afternoon of what the meteorologists forecasted would be the last day of this particular heat wave, i.e. Thursday 8 July, I drove around and checked the water temperatures at several locations in each of the three tributaries that I had inferred, from sampling over the past 12 years, to have stream reaches of suitable aquatic habitats for speckled trout. A summary of my data follows.
The air temperature throughout the 2 hours of this ‘sampling run’, from 12 noon to 2 pm, was 33 C with an exception of 32 C at one location, according to my measurements. (I used two different thermometers and they agreed within 1 C degree.)
Swamp Creek runs roughly parallel to the Northfield road and less than 1 km to the east of that road. It starts near the Seiling Pit, about where Sand Hill Road crosses Northfield and ends about I km south of Church Street /Guelph Road where this tributary runs into the main Canagagigue Creek below Elmira. Near the source of this tributary the water temperature was 15.7 C and the temperature increased to 18.3, 21.0 and 21.0 at successive road crossings. So the temperature of this stream’s water increased about 5 C between the source and the mouth of this tributary.
East Branch of the Canagagigue Creek starts near where the University of Guelph has its aquaculture station about 3 km west of Alma and runs southwestward into the little reservoir above the dam at Floradale. At road crossings, from near the source to the mouth, this stream’s temperatures were 15.5, 17.0, 21.1, 22.2 and 24.9 C. Over the course of this reach the temperature increased nearly 10 C.
The reach of Larch Creek (or Lorch C. or Schwindt C.) which may have trout in it (at least seasonally) runs toward Elmira and the main stem of the Canagagigue Creek from about 5 km to the west of Elmira. At two road crossings the water temperature was 26.4 and 27.8 C.
I compared the temperature data summarized above with similar data collected on over 10 occasions during the past 12 years. To emphasize, each of these occasions relate to the end of a hot dry spell weatherwise.
On 8 July 2010 Swamp Creek showed somewhat lower temperatures than on most of the previous occasions, but not unusually low temperatures.
The temperatures of the East Branch of the Canagagigue Creek were about average.
The temperatures of Larch Creek were on the high side. Where this tributary flows under Floradale Road the water temperature was higher than on any previous sampling occasion during the past 12 years. Where this tributary flows under Snider Road temperature wasn’t as high as it had been on three previous sampling occasions.
As with data from several previous sampling dates, Larch Creek seems to be more vulnerable to ‘heat stress’ during hot dry periods than the other two streams.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Back on May 11/10 I posted a report by Dr. Henry Regier in regards to the potential of Larch Creek in regards to a trout fishery. Henry has also written a report dated July 8/10 expanding on his first which describes Swamp Creek, Larch Creek and the East Branch of Canagagigue Creek. There is both good news and bad in this report and I'm hoping to post it here shortly.

Absolutely nothing to date. Back on Oct. 18th I posted here that I was sending my dates of availability to the O.M.B. which I did. Since then I've had no response as to which date or dates will be acceptable to the O.M.B. and Safety-Kleen. In theory at least as they are finally willing to get a little more serious about cleaning up, you would think that they would at least consider going an extra step or two.

This is scheduled for Monday November 29, 2010 at 9 am. in the Woolwich Council Chambers.
In my mind at least the term lame duck comes strongly to mind. As has been mentioned previously a reexamination of a number of facets of this committee of Council is due and overdue. Over the last twenty years this committee has gone from bad to good and back again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Unfortunately only the Abstract of the following scholarly article is on line. The full 30 page report can be obtained through either university or professional contacts. The title is "Contaminated Earth and Water: A Legacy of the Synthetic Dyestuffs Industry" by Anthony S. Travis, Ambix, Vol 49, part 1, March 2002. One of the most striking aspects to me is the fact that as early as the late 1800's , scientists and doctors knew about the toxic characteristics of these synthetic or man made dyes. By the 1890's bladder cancer was being attributed to them at the Hoechst Dyeworks in Frankfurt Germany. It was recognized that lagoons and pits were not safe methods of waste disposal hence most textile and dyestuffs industries located directly on rivers for the sole purpose of flushing their toxic wastes downstream. Both Europe (England, France, Germany, Switzerland) had full knowledge of these terrible problems as did the United States when they entered into this industry. Meanwhile here in Canada it's as if we had to reinvent the wheel. We made every single mistake that other countries had made 75 to 100 years earlier.

The Cambridge Advocate website carried an article yesterday regarding the perils of fluoridation. Apparently the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the ADA (American Dental Association) are firmly against fluoridating public water supplies. The link to the Cambridge Advocate is on the right side of this page.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I received at least my third phone call last night from Lawrence Swartz of the Ombudsman's office. There definitely seems to be a bias against written coorespondence which I don't fully understand. His questions again relate to coorespondence I've had with the M.O.E. about their not enforcing their 1991 Control Order in regards to source removal of DNAPLS (dense non aqueous phase liquids). He also seems stuck on a particular format of back and forth coorespondence between the M.O.E. and a complainant which quite frankly seems odd to me. Nevertheless he has decided to go with a letter/document researched primarily by myself and debated with the Soil & Water Committee of CPAC. This document is referred to as the July 2003 Request for Action and was unanimously voted on and agreed to by CPAC. Unfortunately since that date CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) for all intents and purposes have repudiated their own document. Therefore Mr. lawrence states that he will now proceed to ask the M.O.E. for a formal response to this July 2003 document.

Monday, November 15, 2010


In 1854 a young chemist first produced a synthesized dye using coal tar. Coal tar of course is the nasty, toxic waste product from the production of coal gas and or coke. One type of dye is known as an AZO dye. AZO is a French word meaning Nitrogen which itself was derived from the Greek language. Essentially azo dyes consist of two nitrogen atms bonded together with additional atoms then attached to each of these nitrogen atoms. The process of dyeing fabric uses huge amounts of water and after the fabric is dyed there are very large amounts of wastewater released, contaminated with approximately 20% of the left over dyes in the water. Above and beyond heavy metals and benzene , there are also amines released in this waste water. Amines consist of nitrogen and hydrogen combined. Both amines and nitrogen are precursers to NDMA (N-nitrosrdimethylamine).

Although interesting, what is the significance of this to either Woolwich Township or especially Elmira? Several hundred yards closer to the south wellfield in Elmira than Uniroyal, was located a textile operation for decades which included dyeing of fabric. This business was located at the corner of Union St. and Howard Ave., namely Borg Textiles. Similarily as the Chlorobenzene plume leaving Uniroyal (Chemtura) rises dramatically behind and downgradient of Varnicolor Chemical, so does the NDMA plume so rise in the Municipal Aquifer downgradient (towards the south wellfield) of Borg Textile. I believe that Uniroyal polluted the north wellfield but only contributed to the south wellfield pollution. Varnicolor and most likely Borg had a huge hand in that disaster. Of course the Ontario M.O.E. carefully avoided testing shallow groundwater downgradient of Borg in order to reduce the likelihood of anyone discovering this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


In November 1989, NDMA was found in Elmira's south wellfield way above drinking water standards. The Ontario Minister of the Environment, Jim Bradley sent out a five man team in early 1990 to examine Elmira industry looking for contributers to this problem. At least two of these five persons weren't going to find anything. My suspicion is that none of them were ever supposed to find anything. It is conceivable based upon Jim Bradley's legitimate environmental credentials and despite his political opposition within the Liberal cabinet of the day, that he was unaware of the farce involved in looking for other sources in Elmira. Other of course meaning other than Uniroyal (Chemtura). Glen McDonald and Gord Robinson were the dynamic duo who examined Varnicolor Chemical. Without going into detail, other than Mr. McDonald's later firing and being charged criminally in regards to Varnicolor Chemical, let me simply say that these two put together couldn't find their own arses in a snowstorm.

NDMA & Chlorobenzene were both attributed solely to Uniroyal. Eight years later, Chlorobenzene was found as a free phase DNAPL behind Varnicolor Chemical, 100 feet beneath the surface. NDMA was and still is found in high concentrations at Industrial Rd. & Oriole Parkway (well CH38). This is almost immediately downgradient of the former Borg Textile. There was a long history of environmental issues with Borg both with storm drains on Howard Ave. as well as at the Sewage Treatment plant in town. NDMA is a possible by product of dyestuffs used at Borg including dyes from Hoescht in Germany. This scam and coverup has gone on long enough. Uniroyal figured it out nearly two decades ago and their price to keep quiet and not further embarass the Ontario M.O.E. has been borne by the citizens and the environment in Elmira.

Friday, November 12, 2010


This report dated July 29, 2010 is in my opinion of great relevance to every contaminated site in Canada. Locally it should impact upon Chemtura, Safety-Kleen, Northstar Aerospace, Canadian General Tower and so many more. This report is "in the matter of the Shannon class action". This refers to Shannon Quebec where Trichloroethylene (TCE) courtesy of our Department of National Defence has grossly contaminated the drinking water. The significant relevance lies in the historical time frames presented by the authors, Professors Travis & Agardy. Their research indicates a time line surrounding knowledge of both the fate and transport of groundwater contaminants, as well as knowledge of the risks of synthetic organic chemicals going back to the 1800's. This puts an entirely different perspective upon claims by Uniroyal (Chemtura) and others that they were following the rules of the day by landfilling and lagooning solvents and industrial chemicals. Their claims that the onsite burials were "historical" and prior to technical understandings of the consequences are falsehoods.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Yesterday's K-W Record has published the results of two Drafts written by senior civil servants at the Federal level, in regards to contaminants and excess nutrients in fresh water. This includes lakes, rivers and groundwater. The title of the K-W Record story is "Water woes will only get worse". The excess nutrients namely phosphorus and nitrogen cause toxic algae blooms. "Pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, pesticides and runoff from mining sites also end up in lakes and rivers...". "Meanwhile the question of what happens when all those contaminants mix together confounded the officials". This to me is the biggest, most serious and mostly ignored issue in regards to our drinking water. No one has a clue as to the effects of multiple low level contaminants on human health. We continue to treat "end of pipe" pollution through medical care while ignoring the myriad of toxins entering the pipes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Also in today's Independent we are advised by the waste management coordinator for Waterloo Region, that response to this new program in Woolwich has been sucessful . Apparently over 3 tonnes of organic garbage was diverted from the Region's landfill last week because of the use of green bins in Woolwich Township. I've long suggested that our citizens are generally very responsible environmentally. Everybody please keep up the good work.

Today's Elmira Independent has this story. These postcards are being sent to Woolwich residents for them to write in their concerns and then send on to the new Council. I've received mine and done so myself. As expected the second application for a gravel pit by the Covered Bridge has now been received. This one is from the Murray Group, the first one from Capitol Paving. As mentioned earlier the O.M.B. hearing in regards to the Interim Control Bylaw has been settled with the Murray Group. My understanding is that the Murray group essentially backed off on this minor delay dealing with a possible Cultural Heritage designation. The formal settlement has not yet been released.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


A while back (Sept. 15/10) I wrote about the gasoline contamination found at the corner of Snyder & Church St. in regards to the roads and sewer work done this past summer and fall. I also suggested that a little birdy told me to expect the same down the road in regards to the Steddick Hotel. Well a little environmental birdy is whistling the same tune indeed. It seems that although everyone has known for years that the contamination came from old gas tanks located next door (Beckers) apparently the Steddick was torn down and the contaminated soil was not removed. It seems as if we never learn.

Last month I filed a complaint with the Ontario Ombudsman in regards to the conduct and behaviour of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Specifically my complaint was in regards to the M.O.E.'s 1991 Control Order demanding removal of DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquid) from RPW 5, 6, 7, & 8. These four former ponds are in the southwest corner of the Uniroyal (Chemtura) site and have been known as the major source of contamination to the Municipal drinking water aquifer for decades.

I have received 3 phone calls to date from an investigater of the Ombudsman's office. He is requesting both my initial letter to the M.O.E. asking for them to enforce their own Control Order, as well as their written response(s) to me. I have advised him that this is an ongoing nearly twenty year scam by the M.O.E.. Nevertheless, this evening I will fax him some of the back and forth coorespondece on this issue. I do find it strange ,once again, that these government bodies seem to deal more verbally than in writing. This is not very professional in my opinion.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Saturday's Woolwich Observer (pg. 34) has a story by James Jackson describing the past and current events by local groups and volunteers to make necessary physical improvements to the Canangagigue Creek . Thes improvements are to stabilize the creekbank and reduce or eliminate erosion. Heavy machinery is scheduled to assist them in this work and has been donated for this purpose by no less than Capitol Paving, the company with big plans to excavate gravel from beside the West Montrose Covered Bridge. I guess they are hoping that a little positive public relations goes a long way.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Page 5 of today's Woolwich Observer has this story. I'm a bit perplexed. A week or so ago I (& the unwashed masses) were denied admittance to the groundbreaking ceremony. Defeated Mayoral candidate Bill Strauss was not however, perhaps as payback for his support over the years. This non admittance is not why I'm perplexed. The story in last week's K-W Record differentiated between two expansions, the one on site and the other behind their site on land formerly owned by Forwell Sand & Gravel. This story however while referring to my appeal (referral) to the O.M.B. seems to make it sound as if I'm appealing the whole nine yards. I and probably most of the public didn't even know about the major on site expansion. What I thought I was appealing was the inadequate remediation of the contaminated lands behind S.K. which would have parking and a warehouse constructed upon them. As I mentioned last week there are questions which need to be answered in regards as to what and when Woolwich Township Staff (& politicians) knew about the major $26 million, on site expansion.

"Small steps in battle to maintain biodiversity" by Gwynn Dyer. His International Affairs column in today's Woolwich Observer (pg. 13) is incredible. For years I incorrectly thought of these larger environmental issues as "soft" environmentalism. Not hardly! More than 190 countries signed onto a biodiversity deal that will see the area of protected land increased from 12.5% to 17%. This protected land means no development, farming, grazing or forestry. Even this 17% figure is just under half of what eventually will be required to maintain our world's environmental services. Similarily protected areas of the oceans from fishing is to be increased from 1% to 10%.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Today's Elmira Independent has this public notice asking for comments on the Propsed Assessment Report. It also advises where the Draft can be viewed including on-line at www.sourcewater.ca . Now I have seen and read a number of these reports and between the text and the Figures, the information presented is excellent. The bottom line for me is as follows. We all know and have known numerous sources of contamination to our drinking water for decades and our authorities response has been inadequate. Therefore what will be the followup this time? Is this just going to be one more exercise in spending taxpayers money, gathering valuable data and then not adequately responding to it? I expect their will be further posts on this issue in the future.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Based on yesterday' Elmira Independent story it appears as if CPAC might be soon blessed with some "teeth". Although this is wonderful, keep in mind it's the people behind the "teeth" who will or will not be doing the biting. Following are but a few of the things on my wish list that I would like to see CPAC change. The ongoing list of concessions should not only be stopped but reversed. Valuable data is being lost. The Annual Monitoring Reports (AMR) should have all their Appendixes restored such as Well Status for one. The Monthly Progress Reports should have their groundwater (Municipal Upper) contours restored. The number of contaminants being tested for should no longer be constrained to NDMA, Chlorobenzene and Ammonia. Finally in order to delineate offsite sources there should be groundwater testing of the shallow aquifer (UA) at Borg, Sanyo and near the old Shirt Factory just west of Chemtura. This would be a huge step on the way to restoring drinking water in Elmira.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Today's Elmira Independent has the following story on the front page: "Mayor-elect gets down to business". Apparently Todd Cowan has been in contact with John Wilkinson, a colleague from his Queen's Park days, in regards to a number of environmental issues here in Woolwich. A better location for the Biogas plant was discussed as well as major changes to CPAC ."Cowan also talked to Wilkinson's office about the potential to give the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee "more teeth", enabling it to do more than simply advise." This would certainly be a huge departure from CPAC's role the last several years of granting concessions to Chemtura in the way of reduced groundwater testing & monitoring.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This notice is in the Local Section of today's K-W Record. The key dates are Nov. 16 & Nov. 24 in regards to Regional Council activities around this By-Law. Although a very close vote, I believe it was the correct result and perhaps the politicians might sit up and take notice that the public are becoming less complacent about chemicals of any kind being added to their drinking water.

Both today's and yesterday's K-W Record carry stories in regards to the pollution disaster in Preston (Cambridge). Today's title "Residents won't get health study" is a classic case of local government covering up for themselves, industry and a higher tier of government. Although I try very hard to keep this website focused on Woolwich Township environmental issues, nevertheless on occasions such as this I will stray . There are lessons to be learned. Twenty years ago Elmira residents were demanding a health study and were unsucessful. It was clear to me that Preston residents could expect the same dismissive and unacceptable response from both the Region and the Province. The comment by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection that lowering the air standard from 2.3 to .5ug/m3 won't increase the calculated health risks merely indicates the deviousness and dishonesty of the risk assessment process.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Prior to the municipal election, at a candidates meeting held in Winterbourne, I picked up a very professionally done, glossy handout by Bridgekeepers. The colour photographs of the Covered Bridge, other buildings, wildlife and an aerial map are excellent. On the back page are a listing of a number of claims and myths surrounding the gravel pit proposal. Two of these really got my attention. CLAIM 1) "Only a small portion of gravel will be extracted from below the water table." REALITY One of Capitol Paving's reports states "there is a substantial quantity of aggregate below the water table warranting extraction". "Once the pit has been approved , Capitol can have the license amended with no approval required from the municipality, to extract this "substantial quantity".
CLAIM 2) "This site will be rehabilitated to full agricultural use in 7-10 years." REALITY "There is no commitment in the proposal to terminate this operation in 7 years, 10 years... or EVER."

P.S. This morning in less than an hour, the O.M.B. hearing starts in Woolwich Council Chambers in regards to their Interim Control By-Law halting development while a Cultural Heritage designation study is underway.