Saturday, December 31, 2011


Earlier this month I spoke to Woolwich Council about CPAC. I thought that I had made clear how thrilled I was with CPAC's progress and actions relevant to the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers. I also however advised Council that there was a fly in the ointment and that was the basic model of public consultation present here in Woolwich. The basic model is what is known as a committee of Council. This model while having a few positives to it, dances on a knife edge of drawbacks and dangers. The most obvious and immediate one is the danger of this allegedly independent citizens' committee becoming nothing more than a mouthpiece of Council. Even worse would be a mouthpiece of one or two members of Council.

Any committee of ordinary citizens can be intimidated, threatened or even bribed into submission. Peer pressure is also a constant whether for good or bad. Even a committee of extraordinary citizens, as I believe we currently have, can be jerked around, manipulated and bafflegabbed. This can be accomplished primarily through control of the process. This process includes things like scheduling of meetings whether private or public. It includes the location of the meetings. It includes who is invited to the meetings. When non voting members are being routinely brought to meetings for example it could possibly be to simply buttress the position of one participant. The precedent can be set that all meetings for example must be in the Township building and hence can only be called by the Township. Who sets the Agenda is vitally important. Who decides unilaterally or otherwise as to what is added or dropped from the Agenda? Who is in sole control of the Minutes? Who amends the Minutes and is it the Amended Minutes that are posted on-line? Who physically controls all old Minutes and are they easily available to all voting members for research or inspection? Are meetings rescheduled or cancelled by consenus or unilaterally? Finally it is the Council alone who decide whom to appoint and whom to kick off. They do this without consultation, without warning and without any form or attempt at fair play or transparency. The Chair and the Township both wield extraordinary power and influence in this situation. The Mayor being Chair magnifies this.

Please do not misunderstand me here. To date this new CPAC has done wonderful things and I have publicly at CPAC, at Council and here said exactly that. But there have been rumblings including public ones. Again I have brought the Mayor to task for his possibly arrogant and critical behaviour towards certain CPAC members at public meetings. This has improved. This CPAC now know what they are up against with Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. What they deserve after being appointed by Woolwich Council is control of their own processes and freedom to pursue their duties in a democratic and fair manner. They do not need a third front being opened simply for ideological reasons or for control purposes by Council or its' representatives.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Yesterday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record carrys the following encouraging news: "Bruce County towns consider storing nuclear waste". Isn't that just charming? But it gets better. Not only is it Canada's highest level of radioactive waste but one of those "Bruce County" towns is Walkerton. Whoa that's not very far from Elmira (north-west) at all. The other town is Southampton and Port Elgin on the shores of Lake Huron.

I truly wonder if any community would be willing hosts if they had significant alternate employment available. This is the carrot and stick approach. We are in a recession and Bruce County as well as northern Ontario have always had issues providing jobs and keeping young people in the community. A spokesperson for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization stated that "This project will not be imposed on any community". That is only slightly reassuring. The recession has been imposed and they are offerring jobs. Secondly what most likely will be imposed on the community is a gilded version of the truth. How can any informed community have any faith or confidence in either governments or the Ontario Ministry of the Environment? Client driven consultants routinely write the "technical" reports that their clients want. These consultants are selling their credentials to the highest bidder. Mental prostitution it could be called.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Jeff Outhit of the K-W Record has used one of my favourite expressions namely it's "...a solution in search of a problem". This is in his Dec. 24/11 article titled "GO train idea better then the service". Jeff was referring to comments from MPP Elizabeth Witmer regarding local citizens supporting relatively inexpensive GO trains versus the very expensive proposed LRT system. The $818 million Light Rapid Transit appears to be a very expensive solution in search of a problem at this point in time. In regards to the GO train from Kitchener to Toronto the problem already exists. It's called the 401 and it's overcrowded, dangerous, frustrating and environmentally unsound. Hence the GO train is a fabulous idea. The problem is both the frequency and the speed of the GO trains. They run twice in the morning and twice in the evening and so far the word run could be replaced with either walk or crawl. As Jeff states the new service "...will draw people who can't afford cars, people who hate driving, people making occasional trips and drivers avoiding the worst weather". Furthermore "People drive because time is precious and public transit takes forever.". This is true in Waterloo Region and with the current GO train. Toronto however has a better idea. Public transit is actually superior in Toronto. It's cheaper, faster and extremely frequent. This is why it is widely used by everyone, not just those who can't afford cars. People are not stupid. If a service is superior, reasonably priced and environmentally sound they will flock to it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Kitchener, Cambridge and Elmira all seem to be discussing sanitary sewers these days. Yes sanitary sewers are the ones most associated with toilets and your local STP (sewage treatment plant). Politicians and bureaucrats seem to favour Wastewater Treatment Plants as their chosen name.

As recently as this month Councillor Bauman at Woolwich Council has indicated that more work still needs to be done to seperate storm water (ie. rain) flows from the sanitary sewers. Apparently above and beyond the issues of eavestroughs and sump pumps in the Birdland subdivision in Elmira being hooked up to the sanitary sewers, is storm water in St. Jacobs physically entering holes in sanitary sewer manhole covers.

In yesterday's K-W Record, Terry Pender wrote an article about sewer pipe upgrades for the City of Kitchener titled " Population increase in Kitchener will prompt sewer pipe upgrades". We are advised that most sewer pipes contents flow by gravity to the STP although there are 23 pumping stations in Kitchener's system to assist the flow towards the STP. Also we are advised that the older the system the more sewage backups occur. Hence Kitchener had five sewage backups (as often into basements of houses) in 2010, Waterloo had ten backups and the prize goes to Cambridge which had thirteen backups.

Speaking of Cambridge they have been experiencing horrible backups pre Christmas into homes, most probably as a result of trucks taking pumped out sewage from the new Conestoga College location and dumping it down manholes in a residential subdivision. For more info about this please see the link to the right which will take you to the Cambridge Advocate website.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I have previously written that both the Minutes and Agendas of CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) meetings are now posted on the Woolwich Township website. This fulfills one more promise of our Mayor Todd Cowan, in regards to greater transparency and accountability surrounding CPAC and he is due credit for this action.

But..... The last CPAC meeting was on November 24, 2011. Today is December 27/11 and the next CPAC meeting isn't scheduled until late January 2012. Both the public and CPAC members should have the Minutes of this last meeting sooner rather than later. What do you say Mayor Cowan?

And..... Why in the name of anything did the Township include a link to Chemtura along with the CPAC Minutes and Agenda? Primarily Chemtura's website I would normally say is their business. They can put whatever propaganda, public relations drivel or outright bull on it they want suggesting how socially "reponsible" they are. However incorporating that into the CPAC information is both offensive and outrageous. If this company were so socially, ethically and morally upright we wouldn't have had our water supply destroyed in the first place. Secondly they would have cleaned it up properly by now if they were 1/10th as good as their website says. C'mon Todd and company. Please give this a second think.
DNAPL (Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid) FOUND AGAIN AT CHEMTURA

I am slowly beginning to realize that one of the tactics used by polluters and their consultants is the simple tactic of deflection. For example rather than discussing, debating or arguing how to remove DNAPL from their Elmira property they are instead arguing over what form the DNAPL is in. Is it Free Phase, as in pools of collected heavier than water liquid, or is it Residual which means it is in much smaller ganglia or filaments in the pore spaces between soil particles? To a certain degree these arguments are irrelevant. Both forms of DNAPL cause longlasting groundwater pollution although the Free Phase generally indicates larger, longerlasting volumes.

Free Phase agreed/admitted to has been found on both sides of the Canagagiue Creek running through Chemtura's (Uniroyal) site. It has been found in M2, TPW2, RPW5 on the west side and near RPE2 (OW148) on the east side. When I say found I mean as in physically and visually captured and contained, for example in a sample bottle. Chemtura's consultants (CRA) again in last month's Progress Report, partially discussed yesterday here in the Advocate, reiterate their inflammatory and quite frankly stupid use of the terms direct and indirect evidence. This ridiculous definition, most probably invented by themselves has long been disagreed with by the old CPAC and other citizens. Table D.1 has a very long list of DNAPL chemicals found in the groundwater at well OW10. Some of these chemical concentrations are above the 1% solubility rule indicating the presence of nearby DNAPL. The sheer number of DNAPL chemicals is of huge significance as has been submitted to CPAC in the past by both myself and the former Soil & Water sub-committee of CPAC.

Hence this section in the November Progress Report (Pg. 6 & 7 + Appendix D) is merely one more in a decades long history of reports DIRECTLY proving the existence of DNAPL, both Free Phase and Residual on the Chemtura site. Stop the semantics and bull and start removing it.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Not too surprisingly (Christmas time) this report dated December 15/11 was delivered late this month namely last Friday Dec. 23/11. The horrible results during 2011 continued throughout the month of November. While the onsite pumping, thank God, is sucessfully keeping up to its' modelled and targeted pumping rate, the offsite pumping continues in the dumpster. Not only has the bulk of November pumping been bad but it's getting worse. The two lowest pumping months (offsite) are October and November. The reasons/excuses given may or may not be legitimate. I'm at the point where I no longer care. What is important is restoring the pumping not whether the reasons given, are or aren't truthful. Examples for November include a computer targeted rate of 11.4 litres/second for both offsite wells W3 and W4. Their actual pumping rate was 2.2 and 3.7 l/sec. These targeted rates are the numbers that Chemtura's long time consultants, Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. (CRA) have modelled in order to allegedly clean up the Elmira Aquifers. It is bad enough being sold a bill of goods in regards to the cleanup of Elmira's groundwater being possible simply by pump and treat (hydraulic containment) technology; what is worse is the complete failure of Chemtura to even be able to follow either their own initially low goals or even their recently (June 2009) reduced pumping goals.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Saturday, December 24, 2011


The above title is the same one used in a story in yesterday's Kitchener-Waterloo record written by Jeff Outhit. This stoty highlights concerns by a pair of residents of the village of Mannheim, southwest of Kitchener. Apparently one of the Regional wells there has been pumping and discharging water 24 hours a day into a local waterway. This at a time when the Region are preaching water conservation. On top of that is the fact that has per capita water useage is plummeting in Waterloo Region, the per liter rates of water are still rising. This anomoly has not gone unnoticed. This last fact was pointed out just recently by Councillor Poffenroth at Woolwich Council. Mayor Cowan replied that conservation is actually saving regional taxpayers in the long run as it delays the need for a Lake Erie pipeline substantially. Regarding the 24/7 water discharging apparently there is a turbidity (dirty water) issue being overcome with the pumping.

Today's Woolwich Observer has a larges story (2 pages) titled "Wind power likely to grow, despite controversy". This story highlights a Kitchener based company called Local Initiative for future Energy (L.I.F.E.) Co-op. They are currently working on a community project building a turbine near St. Agatha which will be hooked into the provincial power grid. Here in Woolwich Township however, at the moment, only farm scale turbines are permitted due to zoning restrictions dealing with height restrictions. With an Official Plan review underway these zoning restrictions could change and the province is certainly encouraging municipalities to do so. The most recent commissioned by the province has allegedly found no direct health risks to humans from wind turbines. Unfortunately this report was released by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment which in my informed opinion has a little less than zero credibility. I grant you that their latest and newest Minister Jim Bradley certainly has the credentials and pedigree for the job.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Well today and yeterday are a veritable paradise of local environmental news in both the Elmira Independent and the Woolwich Observer. For a start the Independent has the following article "Township to reject Hawk Ridge subdivision". The Observer has this story "Deeming land use incompatible, Woolwich to fight proposed Union St. development".

Most of the information from both newspapers comes from last Tuesday night's Woolwich Council meeting and I'll try to limit my comments to points that I haven't already written about here in the Advocate. For example Dan Kennaley (Woolwich staff) in the Independent has indicated that Staff could still change their recommendation to Council based upon two upcoming peer reviews of their compatibility concerns. Mr. Kennaley also indicated that as far as he understands the M.O.E. distance seperation rules between industry and residential take precedence not the Worst Case Scenario and related issues as suggested by Sulco and Chemtura. The Elmira Independent are firmly in support of Staff's current position, Council's , and other citizens who have come forward.

The Woolwich Observer have succinctly pointed out that many parties oppose Hawk Ridge and the only supporter to date is the developer, themselves. The Observer and the Independent both quoted Delegations presented Tuesday night from Sulco (Ron Koniuch), APT-Chemtura (Ken Driedger) and from myself (Elmira Environmental Hazards Team). Ken Driedger advised Council "You're going to have blood on your hands-if not legally, then morally". This was after advising Council that people moving into a subdivision should have a reasonable expectation of safety and yet that was not possible in this location.

What is becoming clear to me is that common sense and safety are going head to head with profits, rules and regulations. Woolwich Council are doing the right thing. This subdivision should not be built and as hopefully will not be lost in the process, more must be done to protect already existing homeowners in Elmira's mini chemical valley.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Yesterday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record has the following story: " Canadian Solar sells solar energy projects". Ostensibly a good news story from the comments of both buyer and seller, nevertheless I'm a little uneasy. The buyer is TransCanada Corp. currently in the news for their proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline . Apparently TransCanada are major players not only in oil and natural gas but also in renewable energy supplies. I can't help but think of a recent television documentary I saw which pretty clearly implied that when General Motors got involved in electric cars ten or fifteen years ago, they essentially scuppered them intentionally. It's very nice to see solar energy being taken so seriously and also to realize that significant energy can be created via a renewable resource (sun). My hope is that ultimately all renewables will be used for the good of both the environment as well as human beings worldwide.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


There were three excellent Delegations at last night's Woolwich Council meeting regarding the proposed Hawk Ridge Homes on Union St. in Elmira. A lack of modesty is including my Delegation being excellent along with Ken Driedger's and Ron Koniuch. Ron was representing Sulco Chemicals (Canada Colours), Ken was representing APT-Chemtura and yours truly was representing the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team. Mayor Todd Cowan in his capacity as CPAC Interim Chair I believe did briefly mention informal non support for the proposed subdivision next to the former Varnicolor Chemical, Sulco, Nutrite (Yara) and Chemtura (Uniroyal).

Ken Driedger clarified Chemtura's ongoing tribulations in the U.S. and how they are paying millions of dollars in penalties for numerous contaminated sites there. His concern is that they will be focusing time, effort and money on U.S. environmental problems rather than those here in Elmira. He also emphasized that their local Worst Case Scenario is a legitimate threat and that residential construction next to their plant is totally inappropriate and wrong.

Ron Koniuch the general manager at Sulco described their long term efforts, including their Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP), to make their plant safe for people and the environment. This CAP includes one member of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team, namely Rich Clausi. Ron felt that a new residential subdivision beside their facility was a huge, dangerous step backwards in their ongoing attempts to be good corporate citizens.

Yours truly asked Woolwich Council not to give approval to Hawk Ridge based upon approvals from either the Region of Waterloo or the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. I went into some detail about the history of their mismanagement and in the case of the M.O.E. deliberate misleading and inaccurate statements about Varnicolor Chemical twenty years ago. The Varnicolor site is located right across First St. from the Hawk Ridge proposal. I also advised that both these bodies had given the new owner (Phillip Environmental) an idemnity from further environmental liability. The current owners however are on the hook for both new deep monitoring wells AND the removal of 200 tonnes of contaminated soil. Clearly the pump & treat (hydraulic containment) system installed in 1994 and designed to remediate within ten years has failed. Furthermore I pointed out two other failures by the Region and the City of Kitchener to protect homebuyers. This was the Ralgreen Cres. subdivision and the townhouses which were abandoned for years beside the Ottawa St. Landfill in Kitchener. Council did vote to go to the impending Ontario Municipal Board hearing, having accepted Staff's recommendation not to approve either the zone change or the plan of subdivision. Kudos to Council for this morally correct decision.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Ususlly when I am commenting on or at least pointing out a newspaper article it is within a day or two of it's being published. Today however I wish to mention a K-W Record article written by Jeff Outhit dated last month, namely November 26, 2011. The title of the article is " Rail transit, fact and fiction". I would interpret this article as a low key disection of the honey, syrup and just plain unadorned lies to which our politicians treat us.

There are only five of the above detailed in this article from costs, purpose, need, technical consultation and demand by either the public or the politicians. For all five we the citizens are being sold a bill of goods. The basic purpose is "Primarily the project is intended to foster intensification and redevelopment within the Region's primary reurbanization area". So much for cheap public transit and environmental improvement. It would seem that there are many political motives involved including grandstanding and being seen once again as leaders within the Ontario community. Perhaps this might also include regional politicians looking at their political futures whether provincial or federal. It might also be simply grabbing this community's piece of the provincial and or federal pie. If funds are available now for transit projects then lets tailor our plan to suit the requirements and guidelines of the upper tier governments doling out the dough. Perhaps pigs at the trough is an appropriate metaphor when you consider that these pigs want both "free" government grants AND more taxes from regional taxpayers to support their grandiose plans.

Now is not the time financially and economically for this project. If and when times improve it may still not be the time for this particular project.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Friday afternoon I picked up a 58 page Engineering and Planning Services Report from Woolwich Township in regards to Hawk Ridge Homes. For most of the last twenty years plus I clearly haven't paid enough attention to planning/zoning issues. There literally are way more issues and concerns around planning than I ever considered possible. At the same time what I read and see between the lines is the overarching belief/resignation ? that all growth, just about everywhere, all the time, is inevitable. Hence the prevalent attitude becomes mitigation. We can mitigate any and all problems.

What I like about this Report is that twice, on page 15 & 25 Staff clearly recommend that Council denys the zone change and plan of subdivision for Hawk Ridge.

What I also like is a huge can of worms that this Application has opened and that Staff are recognizing. Basically Staff are advising Council that new zoning may be required "to discourage or limit future expansion " at Sulco and Chemtura. This of course is due to the already existing nearby homes of Elmira residents. This elephant in the room needs to be addressed before one of the Worst Case scenarios occurs.

There are many things that I don't care for in this Report. One, as I suspected from the beginning these homes are what are deemed as affordable housing. Nothing wrong with that per se. The concern is that we will primarily have first time unsophisticated buyers, thrilled to be leaving rental accomodations, totally relying on government oversight as they leap, eyes tightly closed into their first owned homes. To my mind there is perhaps an attitude by some of preying on the vulnerable here.

Another concern deals with the reliance of Woolwich Staff upon Regional staff and they in turn upon Provincial staff, particularily the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. This process while convenient and easy is WRONG! Any reader of the Elmira Advocate knows of the long comprimised position of the M.O.E. locally here in Elmira. Their credibility, based upon their own poor behaviour and horrible track record dealing with groundwater protection and noxious air emissions, is in the dumpster. No level of government should be relying on them for advice on anything other than public relations and spin doctoring. For example the proponent for Hawk Ridge is advising that the groundwater is potable (drinkable). Really ? And would you or any other informed person actually be willing to do so? It is entirely possible that one aquifer in one location may not have any of their dozen chemicals individually above drinking water standards. To me that is simply more proof of how hopeless M.O.E. standards and oversight are, not how "good" the water is.

I expect tomorrow night will have a number of Delegations and I trust that Council will weigh common sense much heavier than Provincial planning rules and regulations.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I will be contacting Woolwich Township to be a Delegate for this Tuesday evening at 7 PM. regarding the Hawk Ridge Homes subdivision. I expect that there will be a number of delegates appropriately speaking to this proposed subdivision from the viewpoint of potential air emissions coming from either Sulco or Chemtura. My delegation will be in regards to both past knowledge we have regarding Varnicolor Chemical as well as more recent information concerning the continued and ongoing "cleanup" of their site twenty years later. Once again twenty years of hydraulic containment (pump & treat) appears to be showing how truly ineffective it is as any kind of a serious remediation program. It was designed to contain not remediate. Perhaps in medicine instead of heart surgery we can use ongoing C.P.R. to save millions of dollars in costs. It makes just about as much sense as pump and treat technology versus source removal or elimination.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Technically this is additional news from the Committee of the Whole held last Tuesday night. Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer picked up on a few items that I missed including the following. Councillor Poffenroth has concerns that the proposed CHL designation for West Montrose would put too many restrictions on development in the area. Dan Kennaley of Woolwich staff was able to advise that the Cultural Heritage Landscape designation would not come into effect for minor changes that require only a building permit.

Regarding the Jigs Hollow Pit numerous residents made it clear that traditional berms were not an acceptable "solution" to the destruction of the beauty of the area. Furthermore residents, Woolwich staff and Council seemed genuinely surprised and upset that the Visual Impact Assessment had missed so many neighbours and residents and that it was so incomplete. The proponent of the pit will be given a second kick at the can in regards to improving the Assessment.

Numerous municipal charges will be increasing including interestingly gravel pit applications. It would be hard to dispute the amount of time and effort that Woolwich Staff have been putting into the myriad of local applications the past few years. Water and wastewater charges are also rising and the major reason seems to be the charges that the Region of waterloo are imposing on Woolwich Township. Councillor Poffenroth noted that conservation is sort of working in that demand is dropping but unfortunately the unit fees are still rising. Mayor Cowan while not totally disputing that observation noted however that $100 million in expansion projects have been deferred due to conservation efforts, including the proposed Great lakes Pipeline. This proposed Lake Erie Pipeline was slated for 2035 but could be pushed back five or more years due to conservation efforts. My wee mind suggests that it should be pushed back forever. Living within your means includes water availability and sewage availability. Do not kid yourselves. Neverending population growth is only possible through the degradation of our environment and planet. In other words it is not remotely sustainable.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I admit it, I enjoy dreaming up the titles for my postings. The "Humour" part relates to a political cartoon in today's K-W Record. It shows federal Environment Minister Peter Kent receiving a stocking full of coal on Christmas morning. His response is a joyous "YIPPEE". Our federal Environment Minister is being portrayed as an environmental neandrathal and he's proud of it.

The "Fluoride" part of the headline refers to today's article in the K-W Record titled "After referendum, fluoride battle continues in court". This article has me a little bit stumped. In one sense I'm biased in that I supported the removal of fluoride from our drinking water hence I supported the position of Robert Fleming while opposing Dr. Harry Hoedino and Dr. Ira Kirshen. I attended a couple of the fluoride debates and combined with some research of my own I was very pleased with the referendum results. That being said I'm not sure of the benefit of pursuing the two Doctors in court now for alleged election financing violations.

The third item in my above headline deals with Kyoto. Thomas Walkom of the K-W Record has an Opinion piece in which he takes the federal Conservatives to task for walking away from Kyoto. It's one thing to complain and criticize a less than perfect treaty. Really how many multinational treaties sucessfully cover all the issues and problems? The best we hope for is a general framework and some major principles to be agreed upon and followed by the signatories. Mr. Walkom rightly points out that Canada has done no one any good by essentially kicking sand in the face of the rest of the world. No country is pristine and no country is blameless but Canada's outright rejection of the Kyoto treaty is wrong. My take is that politically the Conservatives are once again courting the United Staes who never signed on in the first place. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


There were three local environmental issues which brought me out to last night's Committee of the Whole meeting in Woolwich Council Chambers. Also I got to see and chat with former neighbours (West Montrose) and colleagues. Hello again to Les, Nancy & Gerry, Tony and Lynne. The three issues in reverse order of time spent last night are Hawk Ridge Homes, C.H.L. designation for West Montrose and finally the Jigs Hollow Pit (Kuntz).

Hawk Ridge Homes was put off until next Tuesday's Council meeting where it will be discussed further. The Cultural Heritage Landscape designation was passed by the Committee of the Whole and will (probably) be ratified by Council next Tuesday. After that it will go on to Regional Council where hopefully it will also pass. Mayor Cowan commented as to the unique jewel that Woolwich and the Region have with the West Montrose Covered Bridge and how important its' protection is to us.

The Jigs Hollow Pit is what brought out the Delegations last night. It is what the above title is all about. Isabella Price, Karen Bleckert, Laurie Breed, Jan Huisson, Lynne Hare, Gord Haywood and Bill Norris all spoke eloquently and passionately about life in the country atmosphere of Winterbourne and the Conestogo Golf Course subdivision. Comments included concerns around "cancer causing asphalt dust", noise, visual impacts and even the suggestion that a C.H.L. designation for the Winterbourne Bridge/Grand River area was appropriate. The asphalt dust issue is in regards to the Recycling aspect of this proposed pit which would include both asphalt and concrete recycling, in and of itself a good thing. The concerns raised by at least two of the speakers dealt with possible false pretenses by the proponents. The reasonable question that they raised was whether or not this is actually a Below Water Table application masquerading as an Above Water Table application. The other possibilty raised is whether this is actually a large scale recycling operation coming to Winterbourne, masquerading as a gravel pit. Apparently it is very easy after being established to amend the license to become a below water table pit and there are no formal limits on the volume of materials that could be recycled. These concerns are based upon recalculations of the volume of above water table gravel deposits available. These deposits are very small and hence the concerns that something is definitely amiss.

My earlier supposition that Council would fight less vigorously regarding this pit than the West Montrose and Hunder Pit in Conestogo has to be revisited in light of the very strong, informed community opposition.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


There were two very interesting conditions imposed on last November's Council approval in principle of the Jigs Hollow Pit. Firstly it had a sunset clause, specifically fifteen years. Believe me that is a breakthrough. Far too many pits have an "estimated" lifespan of ten to twenty years and the reality is that the owners simply slow down extraction near the end in order to keep the pit "open" and available for occasional extraction and loads. The other important condition was "vertical zoning". This means that there must be a maximum depth of extraction stipulated, often a depth which is above the water table. This also is a breakthrough and an excellent idea environmentally.

A peer review of the Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) done by the proponent has been completed. This peer review identifies a number of areas in the original VIA which are deficient. It includes visual impacts from numerous other homes as well as views from the Historic Driving Tour which is a regular tourist attraction promoted by the Region of Waterloo. Also visual impacts as seen from the Winterbourne Bridge were not adequately addressed. Overall I'm a little surprised by these visual impact issues. In my wee mind I would have thought that yes visual impacts are annoying and indeed would lessen property values and aesthetics for nearby residents. My understanding of the Aggregates Act however is that even significant visual and aesthetic values are completely discounted and undervalued. I would have thought that the repeated siting of gravel pits right along the Grand River and hence the removal of the filtering action of sand and gravel on the quality of groundwater discharging to the surface water of the river, would be the main issue. Apparently not. Thus I guess if one more neverending gravel pit is proposed, then those negatively affected must fight it with whatever tools are available.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I went on-line to Woolwich Township's website yesterday looking for a little headsup regarding gravel pit issues to be discussed at Tuesday night's Committee of the Whole meeting (6 PM.). What I found was seventeen pages about the proposed Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) designation for the West Montrose area and fourty-five pages dealing with the Jigs Hollow Pit (Kuntz) in Winterbourne.

I still am confident that between the excellent, years long effort by Bridgekeepers, combined with the support inside and outside the community; that they will sucessfully defeat the destruction of their beautiful community via aggregate extraction. Of interest is the comprimise on the geographical area of the proposed CHL. It does not include the existing Hoffer gravel pit up on Hwy # 86 nor does it include the newer subdivisions within West Montrose. Also the definition of "development" has been clarified within the CHL proposal. I believe that these changes are appropriate to address legitimate concerns of nearby residents.

The Jigs Hollow Pit is going to be a harder nut to crack. The old Council did not help by giving Approval in Principle last November after they had mostly all been removed by the voters. This was their last kick at the can and if memory serves former Councillor Murray Martin voted against that Approval. The new Council has had a number of Delegations from residents asking for a Visual Impact Study. Originally at least Staff were in support of the Approval in Principle for this proposed gravel pit. One Visual Impact Study has been produced by the proponent (Kuntz Sand & Gravel) and there has also been a peer review of that study. Quite frankly at this point in time I haven't fully read the fourty-five pages mentioned but hope to have it completed by tomorrow nite's meeting. My suggestion for those opposed to this pit is to give Council support by showing up tomorrow night at 6 pm.. When faced by an upcoming O.M.B. hearing (May 14-25/12) and prehearing conference (Feb. 16/12) instigated by the proponent; Council are not likely to throw Township money into the fight if they don't see significant citizen support for their actions.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Myself and one CPAC member (Vivienne Delaney) had the privilege of meeting our new M.P.P. and Ontario Environment Critic yesterday. Not only did he come straight from a meeting with the Waterloo Region District School board to meet with us, he had another meeting scheduled immediately after us.. My understanding is that he has been at the legislature all week and Fridays currently are his chance to get local constituency work done. Overall I am very impressed with Michael Harris, our rookie M.P.P. . From what I observed he will handle the learning curve admirably. He has informed himself both prior to the election on issues such as local gravel pits and Bio-En as well as since the election and was well prepared for our meeting regarding Chemtura , Varnicolor, Hawk Ridge etc.. Regarding Hawk Ridge Homes I was a little disappointed in that he seemed to feel that buyers should inform themselves and do their own due diligence. Vivienne suggested otherwise as most homebuyers essentially rely on the Municipality having appropriately zoned an area for residential development. In the Hawk Ridge case if the developer eventually prevails over Woolwich Council’s legitimate concerns I am very doubtful that prospective buyers will be informed of either the controversy or the Ontario Municipal Board (O.M.B.) hearing.
In regards to Chemtura I provided Mr. Harris with maps, drawings, Figures and Tables primarily produced by Conestoga Rovers & Assoc., long time consultants to Uniroyal/Chemtura. Most of this paperwork I had also supplied to the new CPAC last April, immediately after we were all appointed to CPAC. This data showed where the skeletons per se are still buried as well as showing plume maps indicating other sources of contamination to the Municipal drinking water aquifer. It was very clear that Michael Harris will have no difficulty picking up a knowledge of Woolwich environmental issues and will only be limited by the amount of time he is able to devote to this one area. At the end of the meeting he cut to the chase and asked what is it that we feel he can do for us and Woolwich citizens. My response was to suggest that he light a fire under the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. I made it very clear that to date, the new Municipal Council are maintaining their environmental promises and commitments and the new CPAC are as well. The problem is the M.O.E. and anything he could do to assist CPAC or Woolwich Council in the execution of their environmental duties, would be wonderful.

Friday, December 9, 2011


The above title is also the title of an article in this week's Elmira Independent, written by Janet Baine. Although this story is filled with interesting facts there are a couple that leaped out at me. Firstly "In 1999, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo noticed increasing levels of sodium and chloride in almost all their water supply wells." "...the region concluded that the main source was from winter road de-icing...". The reason this is so incredible is because the majority of the Region's wells are deep below surface often 100 feet below. In Cambridge many wells are even below the overburden into the bedrock. Hence salt (sodium chloride) deposited at surface, on roads was making it's way through the sand, silt and clay down to most of the deep drinking wells in Waterloo Region. This clarifys for me just how likely and probable that all the liquid solvents and fuels spilled and dumped over the last half century by industry have also entered all our drinking water aquifers and wells. I find it interesting that the Region have no problem advising citizens that innocuous salt penetrates the overburden soils easily yet they routinely deny that industrial liquid pollution can do so or is even likely to do so. This double standard needs to stop.

I've already mentioned that Hawk Ridge Homes will be on the Agenda. Also the CHL (Cultural Heritage landscape) designation for the West Montrose area will be up for discussion. Committee of the Whole meetings are held of course in the Woolwich Council Chambers and are an excellent opportunity for citizens to see local government in action.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


It was only a few years ago that I and I suspect others considered green energy to be a gimmick. As far back as public school we were shown little working models of a solar panel that could convert sunshine into electricity and make a little blade rotate. Nowadays, although more expensive per watt of conventiuonal electricity produced, nevertheless solar and wind are producing significant amounts of energy. Today's K-W Record has two stories and one Opinion article dealing primarily with Wind and Solar green energy. The Opinion piece is titled "Hasty leap into green energy has been costly". The news stories are "Energy czar warns Ontario falling short" and "Costs of solar falling according to study by Queen's prof". The Opinion article by Martin Regg Cohn does reference problems with Ontario's green energy but also states "Operating costs for renewable energy are likely to decline significantly in future, while conventional energy will become more expensive, so we should hedge our bets." . The "Energy czar..." article is in regards to a report submitted to the Legislature by the Environmental Comissioner, Gord Miller. He takes issue with the government's ambitious conservation plans falling short. The last news story about falling costs for solar energy by a Queens' University prof claims that the cost of modern solar panels purchased in bulk is under $1 per watt and that when all costs are properly included (including environmental), solar is very close to being competitive with conventional energy sources.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Mayor Todd Cowan has again backed one of his campaign promises with action. He had promised a more visible and transparent CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) and one of the many ways of doing this is to publish both their public meeting Agendas and the Minutes of their meetings. These actions should have and could have been done years ago and were not. Similarily the old CPAC had refused to hold evening meetings and Mayor Cowan now has them being held at 6 pm. on the last Thursday of the month in Woolwich Council Chambers. The Minutes and Agendas are published on the Woolwich Township website. The headings are across the top and if you click on COUNCIL it will scroll down and you can see CPAC (Chemtura Public.....) .

Today's Kitchener - Waterloo Record has an Opinion piece by Martin Regg Cohn titled "Provincial plunge into green energy was hasty". This article quotes the recent report by Ontario's Auditor general criticizing a number of financial initiatives by the governing Liberals including their green energy plans and associated costs. What I find interesting however is that the author while starting out criticizing and on the same page as the Auditor General balances his article with some interesting provisos and perspectives that at the least show the other side of the balance sheet, if you will. These green energy plans of course include wind farms (soon coming to a farm near you) as well as solar and Elmira's own proposed Bio Energy plant.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


There were some missteps and scheduling difficulties along the way but this Friday some Elmira citizens, CPAC members and one other will meet with Michael Harris our new M.P.P. and Environment critic. Michael (P.C.) was sucessful in the October Provincial election and defeated Leanna Pendergast (Liberal). Speaking for myself, this meeting is not any kind of political endorsement, simply an information sharing session with Michael Harris who has also been appointed Environment critic by his party. Since the Elmira crisis of 1989, all three major political parties in Ontario have had a kick at the can and in my opinion they've all been unsucessful in varying degrees. Thus I can truly say in that context that I am approaching this meeting from an unbiased standpoint. Yes I am confident that there are and have been environmental discussions with the McGuinty government, past and present, but nevertheless the role of Official Opposition in the legislature is not inconsequential. Obviously a real cleanup at Chemtura will be discussed but other Woolwich environmental issues will arise possibly including Bio-En, Hawk Ridge Homes, gravel pits, Varnicolor etc. .

Speaking of Hawk Ridge Homes, the word is that it will be on the Agenda for Woolwich Council on December 13/11. There may also be a Delegation of concerned citizens speaking about the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board (O.M.B.) hearing.

Monday, December 5, 2011


It's been twenty-two hours since I posted yesterday advising the possibility of my naming the individual and the local company he works for; today. It's been about thirty hours since his last juvenile and rude postings. It's been nearly twenty one hours since he last logged onto this website (without commenting). I have just returned from my second chat with Officer Sig Peters of the Elmira Detachment of the Waterloo Regional Police. For some time now, since Sig arrived in Elmira, I've made it a routine to drop in for a friendly chat on a variety of innocuous subjects. Sig is friendly, personable and very approachable. After I showed hin the hard copy of the latest comments from Friday evening and late Saturday (Sun. am.) he advised that he would contact Officer Shantz who attended at my home on Friday evening. Sig will advise him of the latest batch of comments and confirm that he either has or will speak in person to the individual responsible. This course of action is my preference. I am advised that I have a solid case if I wish to pursue this individual civilly. His claims, allegations of law breaking and promotion of hatred against me by the use of sexual profanity, perversions etc. render him essentially defenceless. As I advised yesterday I believe he is motivated by a sense of loyalty to his kin and employer. That being said I do not wish to name his local employer, especially as I have no reason to believe the employer would condone his behaviour. .................... .....................THAT BEING SAID, MAKE NO MISTAKE ... IF THIS BEHAVIOUR STARTS AGAIN THE INDIVIDUAL AND HIS ELMIRA POLLUTION CONNECTION WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE. Fair comment and strong criticism from many others is published here in the comments section and is welcome. Gibberish whether in English, Spanish or Russian is not. Neither is profanity or comments totally irrelevant to the postings or irrelevant to environmental subjects welcome. Thank you to all mature readers and commenters.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


This is an extraordinary Sunday posting. Twenty years ago plus outspoken individuals in this community had their homes egged when they publicly criticized Uniroyal Chemical. Those anonymous heroes (egg throwers) have been replaced by a new generation of anonymous heroes who do their egg throwing on-line. Hence here in the Advocate for the last three weeks one particular individual has been swearing, cursing, writing gibberish and making asinine allegations of illegal activity towards yours truly.

The circumstantial evidence identifying him is more than overwhelming. It includes multiple witnesses to his verbal ranting about me, while drinking, less than an hour before the latest outbreak of his childish behaviour. It includes an answering machine recording of him physically threatening me last summer. And much more. This individual works for a company here in Elmira, located on a contaminated site. No it's not Chemtura. The timing of recent articles in our local papers about other sources to our contaminated drinking aquifer is not coincidental. The sad part is that this individual probably believes that he is demonstrating loyalty to his relative and employer. What he is actually doing is digging himself deeper and deeper into a serious mess and I at this point in time have no reason to believe that his employer is involved. That being said I have very recently had a conversation with his employer and relative. I have also talked now with two different Regional Police Officers on two different occasions. Civilly this individual is miles over the line; criminally he is teetering on the edge in regards to his on-line postings. The answering machine recording hasn't gone to the Police yet but he identified himself and then threatened me. Tomorrow I will be going back to the Regional Police and I will again attempt to contact his relative and employer.

If after doing the above I see any possibility that his harassing and possibly illegal behaviour will stop, then that will be the end of it. On the other hand if I get nowhere with the Police or his relative/employer then I will post here tomorrow and identify him and the company he is working for. By identifying the company it will make obvious the reasons for his juvenile behaviour. Mere insults and profanity are of less concern than his false allegations of law breaking on my part. Once his identity and affiliation are publicly exposed, I'm much less concerned that his falsehoods will be believed by any unbiased, reasonable person. I emphasize that I have no evidence or even belief that his current employer is involved in his bad behaviour.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


This week's Elmira Independent has a story titled " GRCA seeks input on water management plan" written by Chuck Kuepfer. They are looking for this input in three areas namely water supply, water quality and flood protection. Apparently the current water management plan was created in 1982 and clearly is ready for an update. Interestingly I believe that it was in that plan that I saw one of the only references to Borg Textiles' (Elmira) toxic effluents that I've ever seen. If indeed it was in this report, it claimed that Borg was considered responsible for knocking out the bacteria in the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant. Apparently this input is to be obtained by an on-line survey at . The disappointing aspect, unless it's a typo is that the survey ends on Dec. 2/11. Yikes that's yesterday! I haven't checked out the GRCA website yet but will shortly to confirm or deny this date . This article in the Dec. 1/11 Independent is the first I've heard of this survey and if it does end on Dec.2, you can see why I added (I think?) to the title above.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Once more I admit to taking a little bit of literary license with the above title. That is merely a very minor shot at some criticism in the comments section. Seems on one hand I'm a s#$% disturber fighting with the authorities on one day and allegedly I'm sucking up to them the next. Frivolous criticism is to be expected from those who don't have the facts on their side or who even don't know what the facts are.

The above being said is NOT a reference to the OPINION page in today's Woolwich Observer. On the right side of this page (10) under VERBATIM is the following quote of mine : "Despite the past and current model of public consultation being inherently a poor one, this CPAC is suceeding. They are honest, open-minded and independent. This sucess is due to the individuals on CPAC and because of individuals on our municipal council." Following my quote are the following comments presumably from the Editor of the Observer: "Usually a vocal critic of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee, resident Alan Marshall had nothing but praise for the new committee at Tuesday's council meeting." Thank You I believe Steve Kannon of the Observer. You are on the money.

Going back to the front page article in yesterday's Elmira Independent "Ministry to add monitoring wells on Varnicolor site", let me add the following. Two years ago I attended a private meeting of the old Woolwich Council along with Eric Hodgins of the Region of Waterloo. Eric is a hydrogeologist by trade and in my opinion, borrowing a wonderful barb from Dr. Henry Regier, a "designated denier" for the Region of Waterloo. Eric is a paid employee and a decent individual who however for his own well being carefully looks out for the interests of the Region of Waterloo. Eric categorically stated that Varnicolor Chemical was a dead issue, did not contribute to the contamination of the Elmira Aquifer and no he hadn't gotten around to reading the technical references I had provided him about Chlorobenzene (DNAPL) 100 feet below surface behind (west) Varnicolor. Therefore for me the $64,000 question is why is it in the interests of Waterloo Region to continue covering up? What is in the Independent and what was provided at the November 24/11 CPAC meeting, including further excavation of 200 Tonnes of SHALLOW contaminated soil, twenty years LATER, is only the tip of the iceberg. M.O.E., Chemtura & Region of got some explaining to do!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Today's Independent carrys the following front page story and headline: "Ministry to add monitoring wells on Varnicolor site". My goodness I've died and gone to heaven and been brought back to earth twenty-one years ago. I will probably be giving more details in tomorrow's posting but let me just say that this is a great article with lots of quotes and most of them critical of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. While I do not revel in the probable difficulties facing the latest owners I would be less than honest if I didn't admit joy that this site may well be the key to a wholesale housecleaning at the M.O.E. Jane Glassco (M.O.E.) suggested that many of the Staff involved with this file have retired. My advice to remaining staff who covered up facts twenty years ago, is think seriously and quickly about early retirement. One point that got missed in this excellent article was the proposed removal of an additional 200 Tonnes of contaminated soil.

O.K. this isn't going to be a perfect apples to apples comparison. Life is seldom so clear and easy, but it is worth comparing. The Kitchener-Waterloo Record had a story on November 25/11 titled "Guelph residents point finger at new waste plant". Then the following day they published "City of Guelph told to address odour from composting plant". This new plant is referred to as an "organics composting plant". It isn't referred to as a biogenerating plant although the raw materials seem awfully similar. The major comparisons would be "...officials offerred assurances last year that the new facility would be odour-free.". A further quote is "We are confident this facility is able to operate odour-free". This to me is a typical example of why citizens have lost confidence in both their elected officials and in the Ministry of the Environment. How many years can you bafflegab and bullcrap citizens without them catching on? This is a perfect example above and beyond traffic concerns as to why local Elmira residents have legitimate concerns around our proposed biogas facility to be put near a residential subdivision.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Following is the verbatim report regarding my take on CPAC's progress/sucess to date. This is based upon attending all six public CPAC meetings starting in early June of this year as well as having attended about twenty years of public meetings of the old CPAC. My purpose last night in praising the new CPAC had nothing to do with making them feel good and everything to do with bracing and preparing our Council for the push back from Chemtura and their partner in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. By loudly and publicly praising this new CPAC...APPOINTED BY WOOLWICH COUNCIL... I am hoping to dissuade Council from any knee jerk reaction or meddling regarding their CPAC.

Delegation to Woolwich Council November 29, 2011
Mayor Cowan advised CPAC last Thursday that either he or a CPAC member would be updating Council this evening in regards to CPACs’ activities. I believe that that is a very appropriate action and on the theory that if one is good two is even better, I also would like to give Council my take on CPAC’s success to date. There have been six Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC ) meetings so far with the new CPAC membership. They have ranged from merely strong and informative to what occurred last Thursday evening. Honestly if we get a couple more meetings like that one, I expect Council to start selling tickets and using them as a fundraiser to reduce taxes. Last Thursdays meeting was way beyond incredible and that opinion is shared by many of your CPAC appointees as well.
As an example , the Ontario Ministry of the Environment , who have been under pressure from your CPAC, publicly provided the following astounding information. When Varnicolor Chemical was sold to Phillip Environmental in 1993, Phillip received a legal Indemnity from the Province stating that they were not liable for currently undiscovered contamination on the Varnicolor site. The M.O.E. last Thursday then advised us that that very same Indemnity has now expired and they are holding the most recent owners Three Eights Inc., liable . This liability includes twenty years late, deep monitoring wells to be installed and an additional excavation of 200 tonnes of contaminated soil. Am I the only one who finds this both unreasonable to the latest owners and perverse and hypocritical overall?
Your new CPAC and your new Mayor must share the credit for this expose’. Both the old CPAC and the old Council were given the same opportunity to look at the evidence and face the truth. The problem wasn’t the clarity of the evidence either then or now; it was the clarity and vision of certain politicians then versus now.
Your new CPAC are working in an incredibly politicized environment. There are Municipal and Provincial Staff present as well as Regional Staff involved. CPAC are attempting to work with a multinational , multibillion dollar company. This company is also a multinational polluter facing lawsuits over Agent Orange (Dioxins) and Diacetyl (butter flavouring). Both of these products were manufactured here in Elmira.
Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment appear to be very unhappy campers at these public CPAC meetings. I believe that they have seen the future and they don’t like it. Back in 1998, David Ash and Uniroyal picked up their marbles and walked out of the middle of a UPAC meeting, not to return for nearly a year and a half. I recall the Chair of UPAC casually mentioning negotiations months later with Uniroyal, to bring them back. I believe that Chemtura and the M.O.E. are angry because they aren’t getting their own way. They may also be angry because the new CPAC are neither deferential nor intimidated by them. Unlike the old CPAC; this one does not feel bound by past agreements negotiated in private , out of the publics’ view. An example of Chemtura’s frustration is their attempt to conclude a site wide AIR Certificate of Approval, using the old CPAC members , who are much more agreeable to them than the new. The old CPAC do NOT represent Woolwich citizens and again that process is being done in private.
Yes there are problems with Public Consultation being under the purview of a Municipal Council. Despite the past and current model of public consultation being inherently a poor one, this CPAC is succeeding. They are honest, open minded and independent. This success is due to the individuals on CPAC AND because of individuals on our Municipal Council. I repeat , the model/process is poor. The individuals involved however are fantastic.

Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team

One of these missteps was described in my Monday posting having to do with Woolwich CAO David Brenneman. The other I have not mentioned to date but has to do with a CPAC orientation session being abruptly and improperly cancelled. I am happy to say that the CPAC members appropriately have jumped on both of these issues and they are being properly addressed. Although I have made clear my concerns around CPAC being a Committee of Council and hence liable to have little control or independence, at the same time there are some positives. It is my considered opinion that to date this Council is less likely to meddle inappropriately than the last one but the avenues are much too available. Specifically in regards to what appeared to be the Woolwich CAO attending a private meeting dealing with what clearly should be a CPAC and CPAC only issue, namely a site wide AIR Certificate of Approval from the M.O.E. for Chemtura; explanations and clarifications are underway. These will include direct communications to each CPAC member as well as some face to face discussions. Our CAO made a mistake of which he and all other parties are well aware. At this point in time I'm prepared to accept that it was an honest mistake which may or may not have been somewhat induced/promoted by third parties with an agenda. CPAC members and Woolwich Staff are now more cognizant of each others' areas of responsibility and the future will sort out whether a strong supportive relationship will continue to flourish and grow. Briefly touching on the meeting that was cancelled improperly, I will say that our Mayor stepped up at last week's CPAC meeting and took full responsibility. I am impressed that he did this even while I doubt that he was 100% responsible.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Both the Woolwich Observer and Elmira Independent have stories this week in regards to the public meeting held to further give information and receive comments. "West Montrose CHL nears designation" was the story in the Independent. The Observer story (pg.5) was titled "West Montrose nearer to heritage designation for bridge area". Both of these articles mention citizens speaking both for and against this designation. Clearly this CHL designation which was initiated prior to any citizen knowledge of gravel pit proposal(s) in the area, will make the hurdles higher for these proposed pits.

This story is on the front page of last Friday's Woolwich Observer. The title is "Acquisition of regional land secures Elmira's Victoria Glen as green space". This is a downright victory for local citizens, the environment and the new politicans here in Woolwich. Our old Council seemed prepared to balance their books by selling off this jewel and Todd Cowan and others disagreed. Our new Council must continue to fulfill their other environmental promises as best as is humanly and politically possible. We are all still awaiting a solution (comprimise) for the Bio-En, in town proposal, as well as gravel pit woes.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Both Richard Clausi and myself specifically made a point of thanking Jane Glasgo (sp?) of the Ministry of the Environment for her presentation regarding "other sources" in Elmira which are under M.O.E. scrutiny. One of the reasons for this in my case was the deafening silence and non comment, even to date, around the DNAPL found by Conestoga Rovers behind (west) of Varnicolor Chemical. This find is the smoking gun to date and all responsible parties and authorities are making like an ostrich (head in sand) hoping and praying that it will go away.

We were advised Thursday night by CPAC Chair (and Mayor) Todd Cowan that he had a discussion with hydrogeologist Eric Hodgins of the Region of Waterloo, concerning the possibility of Varnicolor contributing to the destruction of the Municipal drinking water aquifer. As I understood Mayor Cowan's response, Eric's response at least in regards to the Lot 91 site at the east end of Oriole Parkway, was that the chemicals on Lot 91 "are different" and he Eric "can't comment". Well that's not too impressive an answer as far as I'm concerned.

The old CPAC, now renamed as the APTE-Chemtura committee are still playing behind the scenes. My personal opinion in regards to the name is that this originally wonderful citizens' group has been brought full circle. APTE- Chemtura are doing their thing once again privately and without any public scrutiny whatsoever. Currently they are discussing a site wide Certificate of Approval (Air) which will be of benefit primarily to Chemtura, possibly the M.O.E.. The chances of there being any benefits whatsoever to the public are in inverse proportion to the lack of public debate and transparency. Apparently Woolwich CAO Dave Brenneman attended a private meeting, without including an invitation to any CPAC members, to discuss this Certificate of Approval. This action went over badly when discovered at CPAC and Mayor Cowan has promised to investigate. Whether an honest mistake or misunderstanding, the Woolwich CAO is neither a member of CPAC nor a representative thereof. This must be made very clear.

Once again Dan Holt was like a dog with a bone , this time in regards to CPAC finances. I congratulate him on his persistence as his multitude of questions did elicit some very interesting information as to who controls the purse strings for CPAC.

Yours truly is planning on being a Delegation at Woolwich Council tomorrow night. CPAC Chair Todd Cowan advised us on Thursday that there would be a report given to Council in regards to CPAC. This is an excellent idea and thus I felt that an additional point of view would be helpful to assist Councils' understanding of the major significance of what is transpiring at CPAC these days. The extremely juvenile and mostly rude comments that the Elmira Advocate has been receiving (and mostly being deleted by moi) over the last few weeks may have a local polluter connection. Be that as it may, I am confident that persons who are only able to insult and totally unable to question, discuss or debate, will not have the courage to show up tomorrow at Council and express themselves intelligently. Neither will they ever show up at a public CPAC meeting to express their criticism. They only have the courage of their annonymity.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


High soil concentrations of both NDMA and Chlorobenzene have been found on the Yara (Nutrite) site. These are between 20 and 30 metres below surface. Jeff Merriman of Chemtura explained them as being due to groundwater contamination leaving Chemtura and moving through the Yara site and leaving Chlorobenzene particularily adsorbed onto the soil. Personally I'm skeptical and am pursuing this further.

Chemtura have dropped out of active participation in the O.M.B. hearing regarding the Hawk Ridge Homes proposed development across from their site. This is very strange and Dan Holt of CPAC questioned both Chemtura and the M.O.E. as to what would happen if Chemtura chose to depart Elmira suddenly. Dan also got a commitment from the M.O.E. that they would step in and at least keep the groundwater pump and treat system going.

My "Delegation" ie. presentation to CPAC was primarily about the DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquid) found on the west side of Varnicolor near the Elmira water tower. I included the pages from the Conestoga Rovers report describing this contaminant. I also included plume maps clearly showing a plume of Chlorobenzene emanating from this DNAPL which is 100 feet below ground level. Another plume map included showed a source of NDMA just south of Sanyo Canada in Elmira. My belif is that this NDMA is from either Varnicolor, Borg textiles or Sanyo.

All groundwater and soil samples to be taken from 84 Howard Ave. (formerly 62 Union St.) are to be shared with CPAC and moi. This was promised by the M.O.E. and as we are all in the same boat regarding restoring our drinking water aquifer, this is appropriate.

We are still awaiting the peer review regarding the release over a year ago of BLE-25 into Elmira's air. This obviously is well overdue.

Friday, November 25, 2011


All the news can't possibly fit into one posting regarding last night's public CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) meeting hence it will be doled out in small doses over the next several days. Firstly a pat on the back to Jane Glasco (sp?) of the Ontario M.O.E. After months of CPAC pressure from multiple members (and one non-member ie. yours truly) she took the lead last evening and presented a report on the M.O.E.'s status and management of contaminated sites in Elmira. I am of course referring to "other sites". Other than Chemtura/Uniroyal. My opinion is that both Chemtura staff and Hamilton M.O.E. staff would have been happier to listen to a detailed medical report about colonoscopys. They were not happy campers as last night went further to expose their twenty year old sweetheart deal than anything before it. "Other sites" mentioned included the Strauss Fuels (Imperial Oil) site at the north end of town and the currently being remediated Becker's site on Arthur St. and a few others.

The two biggies were not surprisingly the former Varnicolor Chemical site on Union St. and Varnicolor's Lot 91 site at the east end of Oriole Parkway. 62 Union St. (Varnicolor) is now referred to as 84 Howard Ave. Something like changing the Uniroyal name to Crompton and then Chemtura. "A rose by any other name smells just as sweet". Please excuse the upcoming capitol letters but I am excited! THE INDEMNITY GIVEN TO PHILLIPS BY BOTH THE M.O.E. AND THE REGION OF WATERLOO WHEN THEY BOUGHT THE VARNICOLOR SITE IN 1993 HAS EXPIRED AND THE MOST RECENT OWNERS THREE EIGHTS INC. HAVE THE LIABILITY. This is the first time that either Rich Clausi or I had ever heard anything about a 15 year expiry date. One more tidbit that the M.O.E. kept hidden twenty years ago. 200 TONNES MORE OF THE STILL CONTAMINATED SOIL ON SITE WILL BE REMOVED. DEEP WELLS HAVE AFTER TWENTY YEARS FINALLY BEEN ORDERED.

Do not mistake my excitement as necessarily being approval or happiness. Yes this work should have been done long ago and Sebastian and other CPAC members appropriately asked that question. I personally am shocked that Three eights appears to be on the hook. I know they have professional hydrogeological expertise but I think what they really need is both legal expertise AND public support. Why should they be on the hook after the M.O.E. and the Region signed off on this site? In regards to the Lot 91 site it is now owned by Ingram Transfer. Again it was subject to a hydrogeological "study" whose conclusions did not follow either their own data and results, much less the soil samples and other data produced between the mid 80's and 1996. This site will be resampled shortly although the M.O.E. claim to have recently sampled it. Both myself and CPAC have publicly requested all this data asap.

Chemtura much to my and I suspect CPAC's disgust have reneged on yet another promise. They have had the lab results for GP1 & 2 in their possession for months and yet still claim they can't release them publicly. These are the former Dioxin & DDT contaminated areas in the south-east corner of their site. Finally again a variety of CPAC members probably including Ron C., Dan, Vivienne and Sebastian have expressed concerns about CPAC either being circumvented or at the very least left out of the loop regarding a peer review by RWDI out of Guelph. This peer review is in reference to a site wide Certificate of Approval (air) for Chemtura. This C. of A. is another self serving, money saving concession that the old CPAC are STILL attempting to give to Chemtura. This is unconscionable back door lobbying and meddling which of course Chemtura are all in favour of. Richard Clausi (Environmental Hazards co-founder & EDSS representative) spoke to this, comparing the old CPAC's ongoing private dealings with Chemtura, to the Vichy government in France during the Nazi occupation. More to follow on last nights' CPAC meeting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today's K-W Record carrys a story about the proliferation of coyotes within the boundaries of Kitchener and Waterloo. The title is "Urban coyotes put scare into city dwellers". The picture included shows children and adults at Meinzinger Park in Kitchener looking at both deer and coyotes tracks , by the swing set. This picture brought back memories for me as my two children both used those very same swing sets a couple of decades ago. Coyotes have also been spotted at Westmount Golf Course and the Stanley park area of kitchener. Again two decades ago I saw a coyote just off of Victoria St. near the very old Blue Springs swimming hole. Also I've seen a couple while here in Woolwich Township. One was in a field near West Montrose and the other, one early morning outside of Hawkesville. Like deer I believe that they are now just about everywhere only they are even better than deer at staying out of sight. As far as safety, the authorities are suggesting that residents neither intentionally nor unintentionally feed coyotes. Unintentional would include leaving dogfood in bowls outside for your pet and also be careful about letting your cats and small dogs run loose in areas where coyotes may be present. Obviously with or without coyotes, small children should always be closely supervised.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today's K-W Record has two stories which by their titles may seem contradictory at first blush, but really aren't. The first is "Sustainable energy can boost the economy" and the second is "Fossil fuels expected to dominate energy sector, board says". The first story, both of which are in the Business Section of the Record, uses Germany as an example of how government incentives have increased green energy from 6.3% to 20% of their power grid currently. Ontario's Feed In Tarrif program is complimented as far as it's concept although criticized for it's slow implementation. The second story is based on predictions from the National Energy Board of Canada. They believe that wind generation of electricity will increase from 1% to 6% by the year 2035 and that geothermal, biomass and solar will increase from 2% to 6% as well. While significant it is still the reality that oil and gas production will also increase dramatically and be the dominant source of power for at least the next couple of decades if not longer. One very interesting point for me is that in-situ extraction methods for oil removal will predominate in that industry, versus open pit mining methods. This technology surely could be used to remove both LNAPLS and DNAPLS (light & dense non-aqueous phase liquids) from the subsurface here in Elmira, Ontario.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Chemtura Public Advisory Committee meeting is being held at the Woolwich Council Chambers on Church St. in Elmira this Thursday at 6 pm.. I received a copy of the Draft Agenda last Friday and it is shaping up to be another interesting meeting. A week ago today I posted a proposed Agenda here on the Advocate and a number of those items are on the Draft Agenda. Missing are the following items which I feel are important enough to receive at least brief mention and discussion:
First and foremost my Delegation last month included a copy of a newspaper article from the Elmira Independent dated June 11, 2004 which recorded a Motion by CPAC to make source removal of contaminants a Standing Agenda item at each future meeting. Clearly this should be on this Agenda and all future items until or unless CPAC votes and amends this Standing Agenda item.
125 drum carcasses were excavated this summer from the southwest corner (M2). How much soil was removed with them? Were lab tests done on the soil? Was there any visbly stained soil? Were photographs taken? All these questions and more need to be answered.
The M.O.E. have yet to respond to David Marks request concerning their Rationale for not pursuing other sources in Elmira. Public Consultation does not mean that either Chemtura or the M.O.E. can pick and choose which questions they answer.

Monday, November 21, 2011


October's Report is the skinny version. There is no Appendix focusing on on-site containment. Hence there are no groundwater elevation maps to ostensibly show containment in the Municipal Upper aquifer nor is there the Figure showing the difference in water elevation between the Canagagigue Creek and the Upper Aquifer which under natural conditions discharges to the creek. These absences of vital information can be laid directly at the feet of the former CPAC who felt compelled to give undeserved concessions to Chemtura.

Last month here in the Advocate I advised that the on-site pumping on the Chemtura site, in the Municipal Aquifer, has been steady and solid for nearly two years. Well this has now ended. The real news however is the off-site pumping. This is allegedly where the rubber meets the road in regards to achieving the restoration of the Elmira Aquifer to drinking water standards. Jeff Merriman pf Chemtura mentioned it at last month's CPAC meeting and that the results have been disappointing for a number of reasons. Disappointing grossly understates the situation. Hypocritical is a better word. The whole premise for the off-site cleanup is flawed by the M.O.E.'s (& others) refusal to acknowledge and examine all the other off-site sources of contamination to our drinking water. Ignoring that for the moment and swallowing the premise that Chemtura acted alone in the murder of our drinking water, we are advised that Conestoga Rovers computer model has determined how many gallons of water need to be pumped and treated each month from the aquifer to clean it up. Coincidence or not off-site pumping has been in the crapper for the last year or since we turfed the bulk of our Municipal Councillors.

As bad as it's been, October 2011 is the prize winner. The average pumping rate for all off-site wells is supposed to be 53.1 litres per second. Last month it was 26 litres per second or less than half. Keep in mind that back in June 2009 after an extended period of time of being unable to meet their own pumping targets, Conestoga Rovers (consultants to Uniroyal/Chemtura) REDUCED their computer modelled targets from 64.5 l/sec to 53.1 l/sec. Now they can't even meet those REDUCED targets. I'm fed up to here with the neverending excuses. The old CPAC and the M.O.E. sold out Elmira citizens in regards to source removal, in favour of promises from Chemtura to use inferior and cheaper pump and treat technology. It's bad enough being sold an inferior product but Chemtura can't even deliver on that.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I can remember as a kid hearing this comment when I lived in Waterloo and not understanding it. Adults around me laughed and said it was a joke. Years later when I began to get a glimmer of understanding as to how our wastewater, surface water and drinking water were all intertwined I began to understand. Like most jokes there is an element of truth or at least the perception of truth in the joke to make it "funny". A recent comment here in the Advocate (Nov. 5/11) mentions the extremely high rates of cancer and other health issues in Brantford. If these statistics are correct it isn't that surprising. Brantford's drinking water comes from the Grand River and while today's testing and treatment have improved, it's certainly not without weaknesses. In the past companies like Canadian General Tower which are located at the south end of Cambridge, right on the river, donated chemicals such as pthalates and worse to Brantford's source of water. The time may come when radical environmentalism and or violence results from peoples' understanding how their lives and health have been damaged for the sake of someone else's profits. Although I will have no part of that, I will have no qualms about providing facts and data. The guilty parties should be punished by the courts and rule of law but when those institutions are not up to the task, that is when vigilanteism breaks out.

Friday, November 18, 2011


First of all just to be politically correct the word "fairies" above is not a reference to anyone's sexual orientation. Secondly in the comments section from yesterday's post there are ten comments. There were twelve but the two most idiotic I have deleted. There are a few with names included in the text of the comment but then they were posted by "Anonymous". I am reasonably confident that the names Bethany Davis and Sharon were made up and I don't believe that Mayor Todd Cowan's name is legit in this comment section.

Yesterday's Elmira Independent carrys the following story on page 8: "Local company earns B Corporation certificate". Enviro-Stewards has been in business for ten years in Elmira and they recently have received certification as a B Corporation. This certification indicates that while they are a For profit business nevertheless both environmental and social concerns are at the forefront of their business. The owner Bruce Taylor is a chemical engineer whose goal is to help clients reduce their environmental footprint. Essentially this means finding effeciencies in waste reduction, heating and electrical useage. Mr. Taylor has been able to combine a social conscience with business acumen and the result is good for him, his clients and society. Well done!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Public meetings are for show; debate and decisions are done privately. This is nothing new although it's taken me close to two decades to understand this basic human condition. Municipal Councils are a prime example as is our local Regional Council. How many years of studies, discussion and arm twisting went on behind the scenes concerning LRT (light rail transit) before word one was spoken publicly at Regional Council? How much lobbying/promises of support for pet issues of recalcitrant Councillors has there been to assure a majority in favour BEFORE the public even knew it was on the Agenda? This is the secret joy of politicians, namely being "in the know" before the rest of the masses ever have a clue.

Thus in hindsight it has become obvious to me that private discussions around the subversion of public consultation were ongoing before the very first public UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting ever took place. These discussions would of necessity had to include the powers that be; namely the Ministry of the Environment, Woolwich Council reps, Regional Council reps, and Uniroyal. Not for a moment do I believe these private meetings were conducted in an atmosphere of blatant self serving partisanship. More likely they were promoted as we the voted representatives of the citizens are so clearly superior in our knowledge and understanding of the big picture that we mustn't let the hysterical public overreact to this crisis of the day. We will manage all aspects of pretend public consultation so that we can not lose control. We know best what needs to be done and public consultation is simply there to put the stamp of approval on what we've already decided. To this end we will give recognition, credit and honours on those who play ball with us and we will do our utmost behind the scenes to undermine and discredit those we cannot control. Subtlty is what the art of politics is all about.

This I am certain is what happened. The powers that be were terrifed of any organized, intelligent citizen activism and opposition to their control. APT Environment under the leadership of Susan Rupert were exactly what they could not tolerate. In the early days the Ministry of the Environment were intimidated by many APTE members including myself; not because we were throwing rocks but because we were throwing facts, information and truth at them. We could not be "controlled". This became their number one priority. It wasn't to clean up the water and the soil which half a century of neglect and complacency had destroyed in Elmira. It was to "manage" the opposition and they suceeded. It was done slowly and carefully and with subtlty. What human being would not be inflated by personal attention from Mayors, Regional Chairs, Councillors and Provincial Ministers and the media? Attention was carefully paid to which individuals seemed most susceptible to these kinds of attentions.

The powers that be including our old Municipal Council were extremely pleased with the results. It took private discussions and negotiations while publicly proclaiming the preeminence of public consultation. They sucessfully co-opted the public and APTE without the rank and file much less the "co-ordinaters" even being aware. Look at the goals of source removal of Dioxins and Dnapls. Look at hydraulic containment "in all aquifers". Look at the sucessful hiding of off-site contamination of the Municipal Aquifer by Nutrite for a decade and by Varnicolor, Borg and others to this day. The wholesale removal of the old Council (less one) has destroyed the status quo and harmony of the power structure. They are not amused and they are reacting. What is amusing is that those they have propped up and supported secretly are now publicly getting into bed with them. They are all back lobbying privately including at the Township level. Our new Councillors may or may not know it but they are being approached to see if they are malleable or flexible. Are they really green or merely "pretend" green? Thus the circle continues.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This program came about due to the provincial Clean Water Act which was in direct response to the Walkerton tragedy in 2000. Waterloo Region and area's surface water flows south into lake Erie via the Nith, Conestoga, Speed and Grand Rivers. Both yesterday's K-W Record and today's had articles on this subject. Yesterday's was in regards to the Region (Eric Hogins) speaking at Cambridge Council and today's is titled "Report finds drinking water remains vulnerable".

Today's article in the Record while highly critical of efforts across Canada with some specific examples included, is actually complimentary of the overall efforts in Ontario. It does point out problems with pharmaceutical chemicals showing up in Ontario drinking water however and indeed there is a seperate article about a study showing higher rates of prostate cancer in men in jurisdictions where there is a high rate of oral contraceptive useage. The estrogen is ending up in both sewage plant discharges and eventually into drinking water supplies. The other problem as enunciated in yesterday's article is that these Source protection plans are looking at current and future land uses near municipal drinking wells. They are not addressing past toxic contamination already in the aquifers. Regarding the first problem (pharmaceuticals) yours truly has long complained about the hundreds of common chemicals that the Region of Waterloo for example do not test for in our water supplies. Regarding the second problem, here in Elmira is a perfect example. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the past citizens' Public Advisory Committee have intentionally ignored and avoided dealing with other sources of toxic contamination in the Elmira Aquifers, other than Chemtura (Uniroyal). These other sources continue to contaminate and render useless the current pumping regieme which is ostensibly going to restore our local drinking water. The good news is that the new CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) have publicly demanded examination of these "other sources" but the M.O.E. continue to deny and resist.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I’ve gone back a month to October 12/11 and looked at my posting here in the advocate titled “Lost In The Shuffle/Additions To The Upcoming CPAC Agenda”. Lo and behold those important items which needed to be discussed publicly at CPAC then either haven’t been at all or were put forward to the November 24/11 meeting. Following are suggested Agenda items for next Thursday evenings CPAC meeting. Overdue Agenda items are marked OVERDUE.
CPAC members are to receive a financial status Update to let them know where they stand in regards to CPAC’s budget.
David Marks request for a rationale from the M.O.E. regarding why they didn’t pursue other sources. OVERDUE
Update regarding the hiring of Gail Krantzberg.
Responsible Care Update.
Jeff Merriman (Chemtura) has promised a response to me regarding high NDMA & Chlorobenzene soil results at Yara (Nutrite).
Lot 91 & 62 Union St. excavations (Varnicolor). OVERDUE
DNAPL 100’ below ground by water tower & behind (west) Varnicolor. LONG OVERDUE
125 drum carcasses removed from M2 area this past summer. OVERDUE
Lab results from GP1 & 2 OVERDUE
Next spring’s excavations starting with GP1 & 2 followed by RPW 6 & 7
Less presentations from Chemtura such as Annual Work Plan, Plant Activities Summary, Five Year Assessments etc.. Hand out written reports days in advance of public meetings and CPAC members can ask you questions if they wish. These are fillers and a waste of time at public meetings.
Less from M.O.E. such as Monthly progress Report

Monday, November 14, 2011


First off the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee meeting is set for Thursday November 24/11 in the Woolwich Council Chambers, Elmira at 6 pm. This venue is where Chemtura Canada (Uniroyal) will do their best to put a positive spin on "improvements" in Elmira's contaminated groundwater. The problem is that twenty-two years after it was suddenly discovered to be grossly contaminated by multiple toxic chemicals, it is still so with no reasonable date for cleanup. Keep in mind that the proposed date for the supposed thirty year cleanup is 2028, nearly fourty years after the wells were shut down. This date allows Chemtura and their partner in deflection and distraction, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, another seventeen years of talking, wiggling, delaying and bafflegabbing Woolwich citizens.

Our new CPAC members have appropriately put Chemtura's and the M.O.E.'s feet to the fire over Source Removal. Do not be guilted by Chemtura's current chief spokesperson Garth Napier of the M.O.E. whining about being harassed. Why shouldn't the M.O.E. be harassed? When they do either of the following two things then and only then should they be treated with respect: 1) Enforce their own past decisions and orders regarding source removal 2) Tell the public the truth. If you can't or won't do 1) then stop lying to the public and explain yourself honestly.

In regards to the title above, Source Removal is THE major Agenda Item. This fall has been very mild and the Dioxins could easily have been removed from GP1 & 2 since the latest test results came back. Instead with the M.O.E.'s acquiesence Chemtura have done nothing again this year. When your neighbour's cat or dog craps in your sandbox do you put a hose into the bottom, allow rainfall on the top and then suck on the hose to remove the contamination? I think not! You physically remove the crap your inconsiderate neighbour has left you. On the other hand Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E. are a pair of sucks promoting pumping of groundwater for decades versus source removal.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I mentioned here last week that Michael Harris our new M.P.P. is also the new Environment Critic for the Conservative Opposition in the provincial legislature. Last Thursday's Elmira Independent carried a photo and story in regards to his new duties and responsibilities.

Way back on October 29/11 the Woolwich Observer carried a story titled "Putting so-called superweeds in perspective". It was supposed to be reassuring but for me at least it was not. There now are about 200 weed species around the world which have developed resistance to various herbicides and the implications for food production are significant. In Canada there have been 51 unique cases of herbicide resistance. This article does go on to state that farmers can manage this emerging issue with a number of strategys including rotating of crops within fields as well as changing herbicides being used from time to time. I am not a farmer but it seems to me that at least the good news is that there is recognition of a problem. That is always the first step towards solving it.

Friday, November 11, 2011


The front page of today's Woolwich Observer carrys the following story "Residents continue to assail Jigs Hollow pit proposal". This is an excellent read and should make Woolwich residents proud that you have some citizens who are willing to stick their necks out for everybody's good. On page 10, Editor Steve Kannon has his Editorial titled "Opponents target gravel on a variety of fronts". Some of his comments are both blunt and powerful and my hat is off to him for these following statements: "the province often sides with developers over the best interests of the people", "...the Ontario Municipal Board, which has a track record of ignoring local decisions in favour of developers.", and finally "...the Aggregate Resources Act is practically a cudgel, and the Ministry of Natural Resources seen as a defender of operators, not Ontarians.".

O.K. so what does the above title have to do with the Environment? Certainly on the surface, absolutely nothing. However it's Remembrance Day and Steve Kannon, the Editor of the Woolwich Observer has linked the two above items in an excellent Opinion piece in today's Woolwich Observer (ie. dated Sat. Nov. 12/11). The title is "Freedom of the markets is not what they gave their lives for". Steve's Opinion piece (pg. 12) has a quote from Benito Mussolini namely: "Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.".

Thursday, November 10, 2011


So there I was this morning looking down into a new very large and very deep hole beside the former one where the old fuel tanks were. This one easily had to be twelve to fifteen feet deep and as back on October 17/11 I had reported that the remediation was complete, I was second guessing myself. Turns out all is well. I chatted with an on-site worker and was advised that the new hole was simply where they were going to be burying the new tanks. I also received an informative lecture regarding the latest technology being used for service stations. Besides fibreglass components versus steel (which rusts) there are also double walled hoses and fuel lines which have sensors to alert if the inner hose develops a leak. Also there soon will be automatic controls shutting down service stations when a leak is alerted until it is completely repaired. Clearly the environmental damage done by gas stations over the last sixty or seventy years has been extensive and the cleanup costs prohibitive. Hence the ounce of prevention with new stations should avoid the pound of damage and 1/2 pound of cleanup costs in the future.