Saturday, April 30, 2011


50 to 100 million trees have died in North America since the mid 90's due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer according to today's Woolwich Observer (Pg. 35). The title is "Feds taking new steps to contain the spread of Emerald Ash Borer". Apparently one of the reasons that Woolwich Township have as yet not shown signs of infestation is due to very few ash trees because of the importance of maple syrup production and hence maple trees. Apparently the pest came hidden in packing crates from Asia according to this article although I'm sure that I've read earlier on, that Asia means China. Their economic explosion has included steel cast parts for industrial use which have been shipped via wooden packing crates to Canada and the U.S.. The good news is that there is a tremendous amount of research underway trying to halt this insect in it's tracks.

Friday, April 29, 2011


To date there has been one article in each of our local papers naming the new CPAC members. Please consider this an open invitation to all Woolwich and especially Elmira residents to attend the upcoming evening meetings (7-10 pm. probably). The first date has not yet been set as the new members are getting up to speed. We've all met and chatted and I hold to my prediction of several months ago that the wait by the public will be worth it. The talent, honesty and dedication of this group is setting a new standard. I also must publicly congratulate our new Mayor and Council for a job well done.

Last summer I posted two stories regarding Giant Hogweed namely on Friday June 11 and August 25/10. These can be accessed through the Blog Archives on the right side of my page.

Both today's K-W Record and today's/tomorrow's Woolwich Observer have Public Notices titled " Notice to Residents and Property Owners Regarding Additional Noxious Weed: Giant Hogweed". I still have no idea where these things came from in the first place (invasive like purple loosestrife?). Giant Hogweed can cause severe dermatitis and the following Area Weed Inspector should be contacted by Woolwich residents for advice if they suspect they have this weed on their property: Larry Martin ph# 519 5754016 fx# 519 4042.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Firstly after a major four month plummet in pumping rates at the off-site wells (W3 & W4) they have finally been restored. While still lower than they were for most of 2010 they are however above the minimum targets. The biggest disappointment for me is the problems at on-site well PW5. There have actually on occasion been months where both the on and off-site wells have been pumping to their computer modelled target rates but far too often not.

Typically Conestoga Rovers (CRA) are milking Decreasing Trends in a few wells on pg. 8 as indicative of good management and stewardship. In fact by comparing September 2008 when the on and off site pumping was at a reprehensible twenty year low to current results which include very stable pumping rates through most of 2010, they are able to show Decreasing Trends. Again even the cherry picking choices of wells they compare are helpful in making their case.

Pg. 9 claims that CRA are hydraulically containing the NDMA in the Bedrock at the south end of Elmira. Two points here. Firstly twenty years ago we didn't have NDMA in the Bedrock Aquifer. Thank you very much CRA and hydraulic containment. Deep pumping both on and off site has managed to spread the contamination vertically and this is no surprise. Secondly well E7 pumps in the Municipal Lower (ML) Aquifer not the Bedrock Aquifer plus there is an Aquitard between the two aquifers. CRA please feel free to explain this voodoo hydrogeology.

Table A.1 advises us of the levels of contamination going into the treatment system as well as those being discharged. Yes, the treatment system dramatically reduces contaminant concentrations but there are two contaminants being released into the Canagagigue Creek above the Objectives. Most objectionable to me are the numeric size of the Effluent Limits for numerous contaminants. They are much too high.

Upper Aquifer containment while perhaps difficult to get a handle on during high surface water levels (the "Gig") nevertheless by the measurement system being used by CRA is very problematic. It does not look good which means that contaminants are still leaking into the Canagagigue Creek (Gig) from the most highly contaminated areas on site.

There are other issues such as the thickness of LNAPL (toluene) still floating on the watertable as well as the non "Remediation of the Former Operating Pond Area" Pg. 9 which are a twenty year plus abomination. All in all a typical "Progress" Report.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Well! Last night on "The Agenda" with Steve Paikin, he had two interviewees with pretty dramatically different backgrounds. The one gentleman was from Greenpeace and the other was a private industry energy consultant. What was quickly obvious was that both of them were experts in their fields. Amazingly enough I really don't think that they were actually in opposition to each other. The basic premise of the Greenpeace spokesperson was that we the public are not being told the true and accurate costs of nuclear power, and if we were, we would not find the to date expensive green energy to be so cost prohibitive. The other person informed us of what he referred to as Shale gas. This is natural gas that is being found in the subsurface, specifically in the Shale found in Bedrock. Apparently there are very large quantities of this Shale gas available and that it could be a game changer in regards to our concerns of running out of conventional energy sources such as oil and natural gas. At the same time this energy consultant is willing to concede that long, long term yes we still need to get away from these conventional sources as they are not renewable and will evntually run out. He sees Shale gas as being the bridge between conventional and renewables such as wind, solar, bio fuel etc. until they are more available and cost effective.

Today's K-W Record has the following story: "Green technology fuels new venture at Hogg". Here is a for profit business that has always been involved in the home heating and fuels industry who are changing and adapting. As I understand this story they are combining the geothermal principles of heat from the ground into a system for smaller properties within cities where either large lengths of underground piping or submerged piping in deeper ponds or lakes are not possible. This system involving enhanced heat pumps can draw heat from the air even in the winter for warming of our houses.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Good question. Hear is the answer. Without nuclear power in Ontario, you wouldn't be reading this posting right now. When I started this Blog/Website almost a year ago I intended to focus strictly on environmental issues here in Woolwich Township. Generally I have done so. At the same time I have learned how interelated everything is. I will continue to focus on the local but every now and again up will pop a surprise which I hope will be educational for all of us.

Today's K-W Record has the following Opinion piece : "Chornobyl's lesson can't be forgotten". This article is written by a professor of civil/environmental and industrial and systems engineering at the University of Southern California. His message is succinct. Yes we are already relying on nuclear energy for our daily requirements. Nuclear energy is so much cleaner and healthier than coal and petroleum based energy supplies. BUT... it will only continue to be cleaner and healthier if we readjust our priorities. Safety considerations must trump everything else.

Monday, April 25, 2011


We have a Public Information Centre (P.I.C.) on Tues. May 3/11 from 4-8 pm. at Bingeman's Ballroom to present the recommendations of the latest engineering study in regards to the new Highway # 7 from Kitchener to Guelph. I did see this presentaion recently at Woolwich Council and found it interesting and informative. As far as environmental impacts and or alternatives to the overall idea, I will hold my opinion until I'm better informed. An additional date and venue for this P.I.C. is Thurs. May 5/11 at Guelph Place Banquet Hall, 492 Michener Rd. Guelph Ont., also 4-8 pm.

There is a public meeting to learn about the Draft Amended Assessment Report for the Grand River Watershed on May 10/11 from 7-8:30 pm. at the Region of Waterloo, 150 Frederick St., Kitchener. This report is to be used by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to develop a drinking water source protection plan for the Grand River watershed. Over the last many months I have been on-line reading and downloading many parts of this Assessment Report. On the positive side, the information and data it has collected are priceless and extraordinarily informative. On the negative side as I have indicated here in the Advocate before, our environment and protection of it are also extraordinarily politicized. To see these efforts and reports used for the sole benefit of all our citizens and of our environment, would be a pleasant surprise.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Today's Woolwich Observer has the following story: " Council appoints new members to CPAC". There is a reasonable approximation of the rationale and need for CPAC in this story. Several points are a little off and I give no discredit to Steve Kannon for this as it's a twenty year plus story and there are only a few of us left still active from those old days.

Firstly the following quote: "Alan Marshall makes his return after being removed from CPAC three years ago after being deemed a disruptive influence." Really? I guess as quoted in the Elmira Independent it was just a huge coincidence that this removal was preceded by two CPAC members demanding my resignation because I appealed a Certificate of Approval. Further as explained clearly here in the Advocate many times, this request for my resignation from CPAC also followed the DNAPL meeting at the University of Waterloo in 2007; which meeting these same two members refused to EVER PUBLICLY discuss at CPAC. Finally you're damn right I am disruptive. I'm disruptive to polluters and professional liars. I'm disruptive to government agencies who mislead the public. I'm disruptive to people who get their jollies manipulating and deceiving the public. AND FINALLY yes I have been disruptive to the old CPAC since about mid 2009 more than a year after the old Woolwich Council kicked me off CPAC. Anyone who says I was disruptive, rude or undermined ANY voting CPAC member prior to my dismissal is a LIAR.

Friday, April 22, 2011


First of all Happy Easter to everyone!

I am happy to advise that your CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) are eager and keen and already in the learning phase. They are coming together, asking questions and sharing technical knowledge and details. Our Chairperson, Councillor Herteis will very shortly be announcing the first public meeting date.

The new Terms of Reference for CPAC which are online (Woolwich Township Committee of the Whole -March 22/11) refer to a State of the Union type of address to Woolwich Council by either/or/both the M.O.E. and Chemtura to give an update on the "cleanup" of their site. I hereby here do respectfully request , as an individual CPAC member only or as an unaffiliated citizen, either one, the right to refute/rebut their comments and position. This I do in full confidence that both of these august bodies will leave the door wide open for such fact based rebuttal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I've probably attended as many Woolwich Council meetings in 2011 as I have in total over the past decade. Last Tuesday evening had numerous issues and delegations with an environmental theme. Laurie Breed, Jan H. and Lynn Hare all spoke in regards to the Jigs Hollow Pit, also know as the Kuntz pit. I admit that prior to their delegation I had in my wee mind written off this proposed gravel pit as the lesser of evils in regards to the numerous ongoing gravel pit applications in Woolwich township. Surprisingly while focusing on the lack of cultural heritage studies around this pit, Lynn Hare did have some good words for the Lockhart Pit on Middlebrook Rd. Apparently it has been operating for years without any complaints from the neighbours and she suggested that it's location was appropriate for a gravel pit. Back to the Kuntz (Jigs Hollow) pit not only are there cultural heritage and tourism issues but also the view of the Winterbourne Valley will be damaged by this pit if it goes ahead.

I was extremely impressed by Woolwich Council's support of a Resolution from the Township of Melancthon. This is the Township north of us near the headwaters of the Grand River (and others) that could be severely impacted by a proposed huge below water table limestone quarry. As we here in Woolwich Township have river wells in both West Montrose and Conestogo, not to mention Elmira and St. Jacob's water coming up a pipeline from the Integrated Urban System of Waterloo Region, any negative influence on the Grand River will affect us. Waterloo Region draws Grand River water into their system from Mannheim. Therefore kudos to Woolwich Council for being proactive and supporting this Resolution for a time extension in order to comment to the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Yesterday's Advocate named six persons as new members of CPAC. Add one name to that list being Lynn Hare. I had the pleasure of seeing her in action last night at Woolwich Council, as she spoke in regards to missing or incomplete research about the proposed Jigs Hollow Pit between Winterbourne and Conestogo. Therefore to make it official:
Yours truly Alan Marshall
Julie-Anne Herteis Councillor & Chair
Vivienne Delaney
David Marks
Dan Holt
Ron Campbell
Lynn Hare

Speaking as an individual CPAC member only, let me tell you how excited I am by the unfolding events. After twenty years of being on the UPAC/CPAC merry go round, I see today as a brand new start. This may well be our last kick at the can to actually accomplish a real cleanup in Elmira.

In regards to the old CPAC members who have been involved for a long time I can only advise you that life is strange. Some of you may sincerely have believed that hydraulic containment was a real solution. I attempted to persuade you otherwise; unlike you however I made no attempt to kick you off of CPAC for having a different opinion than I. Eight years ago honest debate on source removal resulted in a unanimous CPAC decision of July 2003 endorsing source removal of Dioxins and DNAPLS. Four years ago 3 1/2 members of CPAC met with world renowned DNAPL experts at the University of Waterloo. As by far the most knowledgeable citizen at CPAC about DNAPLS I was one of the attendees. The unanimous opinion that DNAPL removal was both necessary and proper was never brought back to the CPAC table by anyone but me. The other three flatly refused to discuss, comment or even put it on the CPAC Agenda.

I am optimistic and confident that this CPAC will be more open, transparent and accountable. I have confidence in Councillor Herteis's common sense, motivation and belief that this committee of Council is both accountable to Council as well as ultimately the citizens of Woolwich.

Our CPAC will work better with public participation. We will be having evening meetings to enhance the public's attendance. Everyone is welcome. Bring your questions and comments. This CPAC will respond to everyone's input. Whether we agree or disagree, you will have our attention and our respect and our response.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


As of 8:30 am this morning, the following names are on the Township of Woolwich website, under Council package for April 19, 2011 pg. 77. These five names are in addition to the Chair Councillor Herteis who was appointed last January.

David Marks
Vivienne Delaney
Dr. Dan Holt
Ron Campbell
Alan Marshall

Tonight at the public Council meeting (7 pm.) they will be ratified . Hopefully we the public will receive further information regarding qualifications, experience etc.

This Region of Waterloo notice in today's K-W Record was in regards to the Biosolids Master Plan Update. There will be three public meetings in the evening (5-8 pm.) on May 4,5 & 10/11. The closest one to Woolwich Township is the May 10 one at the Waterloo Recreation Complex on Father David Bauer Dr.. Biosolids of course are generated by the treatment processes at the Region's wastewater treatment plants. The major question in my mind is the overall environmental impact of applying Biosolids to our farmlands. The problem with stringent rules to ensure maximum environmental benefits is that these rules are seldom followed and even less enforced. Is the bottom line that we have to put these Biosolids somewhere and this is THE only real priority?

Monday, April 18, 2011


This is the same proposed quarry as mentioned in the next posting as well as here in the Advocate on March 29/11. The article is also in the Wellington Advertiser pg. 41 namely : "Group to hold five day walk to stop quarry in Dufferin County". The walk begins at the Ontario legislature Earth Day April 22/11 at noon and will finish April 26/11 in Melancthon Township. The massive size and 200 foot depth below the water table should be a huge concern to everyone downriver which includes Woolwich Township. I believe that it is on their Agenda for tomorrow night's Council Meeting.

The following article is in the April 15/11 Wellington Advertiser: "Council to seek more information about huge pit proposal". I have also written earlier here in the Advocate in regards to this proposal (March 29/11). A Mr. Carl Cosack of the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Task Force (NDACT) can be reached at 519-925-6628 or through the task force at for more information. Briefly put this proposal is for a huge below water table quarry at the headwaters of the Grand and Nottawasaga Rivers.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


This above group was established under a side accord to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Last Wednesday's K-W Record has this story written by Andy Blatchford. The title of the story is "More co-operation needed to track toxins, report says". Two major issues raised are the lack of coordination between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. For example the oil and gas sector are exempt from reporting in the U.S. and in Mexico while not legally exempt they did not comply in 2006. The other major issue is the vast quantities of liquid toxic wastes discharged legally to surface waters in all three countries. We are talking hundreds of millions of kilograms per year being legal by virtue of them simply reporting these emissions. The day will arrive when we the citizens will no longer tolerate this abuse of our health and the health of future generations.

It will be this Tuesday at Woolwich Council Chambers. The item regarding the new CPAC membership is 12 a) Staff Reports on the April 19/11 TOWNSHIP OF WOOLWICH COUNCIL AGENDA, 7:00 pm. Regular Session. I believe that as it's now on-line it is O.K. to name the five names, above and beyond the new Chair whom we already know, namely Councillor Herteis. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you the reader are seeing history in the making. Nevertheless I'm going to be coy just a little longer. These five volunteers are stepping into the breech left by the veteran CPAC members withdrawing their CPAC Applications mostly about FIVE MONTHS after their term expired and nearly as long since they reapplied to Council. I am very confident that the local Elmira news media and more will pick up on this next week.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today's Elmira Independent carries this story: "Several outstanding issues stall gravel pit expansion". The Woolwich Observer which isn't on-line until tommorrow also carries the same story. Two of the biggest issues, and to my mind most important ones, concern the "sunset" clause and the "vertical zoning". Far too often in the past have local gravel pits never been "rehabillatated" because the operators claim that they are still in production. The fact that the production may be for only a week per season makes it clear that the operators have no urgent need for the gravel. They are simply avoiding the "rehabillatation" . Furthermore you will see that I've put quotation marks around the word "rehabillatate". The sand and gravel removed was in fact filtering and cleaning groundwater on it's way to the nearest surface water body. Do not be fooled, every gravel pit and tonne of gravel produced has an environmental cost.

Secondly is the issue of "vertical zoning". All pits in the beginning must indicate whether they are excavating above or below the water table. Pits below the water table do far more environmental damage than those above. Not only is the removal of shallow gravel removing a filtering mechanism but below the water table extraction actually is removing parts of the aquifer itself. This aquifer is the transmitting roadway for groundwater to travel to it's discharge point ie. a creek or river. There are issues here with less water flowing into surface bodies as well as disruption for local wells. Finally also as the aquifer is now exposed at the surface there is a huge potential for surface contamination to reduce the quality of the groundwater. The argument from the proponents of this gravel pit on Middlebrook Rd. that they are already compiling with their Provincial License (Ministry of Natural Resources) does not hold water. One they can have the depth of extraction amended by the Province unilaterally and secondly if they are sincere about staying 1.5 metres above the water table then what is the problem having that condition as a Municipal condition as well as Provincial?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Well this is certainly going way out of my area of expertise however it is an environmental issue and I certainly don't believe that Woolwich Township are miraculously immune from the negative health effects of it. Yesterday's K-W Record carries this story: "Radiation worries heat up Queen's Park" pg. A1. An N.D.P. M.P.P. asked in the legislature whether the government was testing milk for radiation. Apparently there indeed have been detectable increases in background radiation levels in both Canada and the U.S. due to the disaster in Japan involving a nuclear energy plant.

Three points have me concerned. "In Ontario, there is routine monitoring of the drinking water supply, said Dr. Ray Copes..." Really? Then how come we don't have routine test results published for our drinking water here in Waterloo Region?
Secondly "Ontario Environment Minister John Wilkinson said there are no radiation problems with the province's drinking water". Really? Then how come we don't have routine test results published for our drinking water here in Waterloo Region?
Thirdly I'm concerned with the very last sentence in this article: " Tests occur in the vicinity of the Pickering, Darlington, Bruce, Chalk River and Michigan's Fermi reactors.". Really? We have increases in background radiation coming across the ocean from Japan but we are only testing radiation levels nearby and local to our nuclear reactors? Does Japanese radiation have better legs than Canadian and American radiation? Also this third quote makes the first two quotes look awfully deceptive. The first two quotes clearly give the impression that the Province are testing all our drinking water whereas the third quote says not. You don't have to be an expert to wonder how much spin we the citizens are receiving. Radiation can cause cancers. Once again the authorities are masters at looking at individual toxins and carcinogens and pretending that just because 10 individual compounds are below their individual health standards that there are no cumulative or synergistic effects. The reality is that there are such effects and to date they simply haven't been scientifically quantified.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The above title is the title in the Opinion Section of today's K-W Record. This is in reference to an opinion expressed last Thursday in the Record by Peter Shawn Taylor (Maclean's magazine). Today's opinion by 3 members of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment quotes another national medical association which supports the Ontario Medical Assocn's claims of 9,000 deaths per year in Ontario, due to air pollution. Yours truly also commented here in the Advocate on this issue, last Thursday April 7/11.

I give up!. Give me a detailed, technical, hydrogeological report anyday. The mysteries of Council, agendas, minutes, closed meetings, open meetings, committee of the whole etc. are beyond me. Yes I confirmed that indeed our Mayor was quoted in the local paper(s) that the new CPAC members would be announced last evening. Fine, I'm there and the second item on the Agenda is " Resolutions to come forward from closed meeting". This is it I figured. Well it wasn't. O.K. I'm a patient guy. Afterall I've been patient (sort of) since last October 25/10. At 9 pm. we had a 5 minute break. There I am chatting with one of our local newspaper reporter/editer persons and the Mayor walks up; so of course I asked the obvious question re: CPAC membership. The answer was that the closed session prior to the 6 pm. public session was a Council Orientation session and the closed session dealing with CPAC membership was going to be AFTER the public session and no they wouldn't then be going back into public session. O.K. so that means Council will announce the new CPAC members next Tuesday at the regular Council meeting. The answer was yes but here I am wondering this: if it's official but not public does that mean Council will issue a Press Release imminently as in prior to next week's public Council meeting? I don't know. Remember I give up! I'm not speculating anymore on the timing. Now as to speculating on the makeup of the membership have I got some names for you.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Sorry but that title is intentionally inflammatory, provocative or just plain silly. This evening at 6 pm. at Committee of the Whole in the Council Chambers we will finally discover the identity of our new CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee). That it will be grossly unpopular with a number of the old CPAC members as well as with Chemtura is pretty well a given. For the unbiased, it will be an interesting and credible group of people. To date here in the Advocate I have been blunt in my criticism of the old CPAC. I believe that as we turn a new page that direction should end. I am aware of stones being thrown behind the scenes but nevertheless there was a purpose and direction before last fall's election and prior to the announcement of the new CPAC. There is a comment section after each of my postings and if any reader believes that I am slipping from this undertaking, please feel free to so advise me. It is very likely that this evening I will post more after the public announcement at Committee of the Whole.

Monday, April 11, 2011


This they have done quietly and without fanfare or fuss. Our Council through their reexamination of the Terms of Reference of a Committee of Council have probably ended a long period of undemocratic manipulation and perversion of the democratic will. This can most easily be accomplished by those who talk "process" while cheerfully subverting it. Closed and private meetings of a few, allegedly representing all of CPAC and contrary to the Municipal Act, are over.

Tommorrow night at 6 pm. at Woolwich Council we will know the membership of the new CPAC. Obviously all of the old group are gone. By withdrawing their Applications they can if they so wish, pretend that they were in control. The reality is the exact opposite. Back in 2000, Councillor (at that time) Pat McLean talked CPAC into becoming a Committee of Council for one reason only. That reason was to give her and her supporters on Council, control of this committee. Now we have a new Council, she's not on it and she and her supporters on CPAC have lost control. Boo Hoo! It is unfortunate that an environmental issue of this seriousness is so politicized but there it is. You politicized it Pat McLean; Susan Bryant supported you and now you're crying and whining and deflecting the truth. SOUR GRAPES at it's finest.

There will be absolutely no loss of history with the new CPAC. Yes there will be less than zero assistance from the old CPAC members. As sad as this could be, at least for once it's honest. Give me an opponent to my face such as CRA and Chemtura rather than the so called friend who undermines you and then finally stabs you in the back. There were a couple of old CPAC members who were not of such a character and although they know who they are, unfortunately they still haven't fully comprehended the nature of their past colleagues on CPAC.

Thanks to Esther Thur of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (1994), there is a collection of documents and newspaper articles covering Uniroyal. It currently is housed at Wilfred Laurier University. The second copy is owned and operated by me. It is up to date, current and ongoing. Even though I tried my hardest to put the truth forward as a member of the public at the old CPAC, they refused to discuss or debate any of those issues. I look forward to working with a new CPAC who will embrace public discussion and debate. I look forward to working with a new CPAC who believe that input from the public should be considered and seriously debated. I look forward to a new CPAC whose members are knowledgeable enough to make up their own minds and not be led by the nose by two others whose skills are not technical but political. See you tomorrow night!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The week before last I spoke at Woolwich Council in regards to the Region of Waterloo's Annual Drinking Water Reports. In a nutshell my argument was that there were far too many common and ubiquitous chemical contamianants in our drinking water which the Region either wasn't testing for or certainly weren't publishing the results thereof. Mr. Peter Clarke of the Region did respond to my questions of March 18/11 in a timely fashion and I simply have been tardy in reporting his responses here. Back on March 19/11 I did report on having sent my letter to Mr. Clarke with numerous questions enclosed. I must also comment on a short article in the Elmira Independent from two days ago, titled "Few concerns over water tests". The refernces to concerns is presumably within the body of these reports because again yours truly has lots of concerns and they were presented to Council. One thing I am slowly learning is that often responses by the appropriate authorities do not occur instantaneously. In my presentation (or at least in my written one) I strongly recommended again that the Township have a need for a hydrogeologist who is not on loan from either the M.O.E. or the Region. It is my confident hope that this suggestion has been heard and acted upon.

Getting back to Mr. Clarke of the Region, his answers were a mixed bag. Peter did point out my mistake in identifying entry point locations and water storage facilities incorrectly. He also gave the rationale for Method Detection Limits used for different contaminants. While I don't wish to criticize what may well be an honest answer, nevertheless the answer is totally unacceptable. Allowing individual laboratories to set their own MDL's and accepting them because they are only 10% of the Drinking Water Standard is ridiculous. Also there are several MDL's that still don't meet this arbitrary and unacceptable standard. Also I can only characterize Peter's repeated answer that various toxic contaminants are not reported because the Ontario Ministry of the Environment doesn't require it or there are no other regulatory requirements to report Dioxins, radiological readings, NDMA, Toluene, XYLENES, Chloroacetic acids etc. etc. as also totally unacceptable. All in all I believe that my numerous postings here in the Advocate make much more common sense than the responses I've received from the Region. Our drinking water can not be deemed "SAFE" until so much more is carefully tested for and reported to the public.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This is the small headline in the Elmira Independent's "In Brief" column in this week's edition. It refers to the Application to the new CPAC which was withdrawn by Ken Driedger a former CPAC member. The first point to remember is that former Councillor Sandy Shantz who did not run again for Woolwich Council also did not reapply to CPAC where she had been a member for four years. Also I believe it deserves mentioning that Ken Driedger while only having been on CPAC for a year nevertheless did a good job and was both outspoken and very questioning on points that needed clarification. I personally felt that he would be an excellent candidate for the new CPAC and am sorry to see him withdraw.

This one is courtesy of Hawk Ridge Homes and is indeed very strange. Today's Woolwich Observer (pg.3) informs us that the Ontario Municipal Board will hear a Motion of Dismissal on May 17/11 in the Woolwich Council Chambers. How often exactly does one developer of a proposed residential development in town, turn around and appeal another developer's proposal at the opposite end of town? What is going on here? Is this no more than an expansion of the sour grapes behaviour underway in regards to the new imminent CPAC? Are these particular sour grapes due to both the old and new Council listening carefully to cogent health and safety arguments against the location of the Hawk Ridge proposal?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The above title is the title in today's K-W Record Opinion piece by Peter Shawn Taylor, Waterloo resident and editer-at-large for Maclean's magazine. On occasion I've had difficulty finding opinion pieces on line in order to provide a link to them. As I'm a little bit stumped on this opinion I'm very glad it's on-line and I've been able to link to it. This leaves it up to you the reader to come to your own conclusions.

Mr. Taylor is taking issue with claims two weeks ago in the Record by Derek Satnik stating that 9,000 deaths a year occur in Ontario due to coal fired plants emissions. This claim was also written up here in the Advocate on March 26/11. Although the Ontario Medical Association agrees with Mr. Satnik, Mr. Taylor is presenting different opinions as well as computer modelling which he says does not support the 9,000 deaths per year claim. Although I'm skeptical of Mr. Taylor's facts nevertheless he does make a good argument.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


This notice I received recently. The last date of appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board is April 14/11. The document potentially being appealed is a Decision of the Committee of Adjustment. The decision essentially approves transfer of a parcel of land from the former Forwell's Sand & Gravel to Safety-Kleen, behind their site in Breslau. One of the conditions of this approval is the providing of a site plan. I had a number of objections to the proposed cleanup of this contaminated land . At the moment I am still awaiting information as to whether the site plan and or cleanup has been improved.

I received a copy of the Notice of Passing of By-law 16-2011. Essentially it is the third such by-law with the last two being extensions to the time frames. This last extension runs from March 29/11 until February 2012. Of course what we are speaking of here is the ongoing study into the West Montrose area and hence possible restrictions on development. Clearly the final results of this study should have a major bearing on the gravel pit applications in the vicinity. The final date for Appeal of this by-law to the Ontario Municipal Board is May 24, 2011.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Today's K-W Record states "Region joins move to slake water thirst". I find this program very strange to say the least. The big question for me is Why does the Region feel the need to promote the use of municipal tap water? Is there something wrong with it in the first place? Is the taste objectionable? Is the quality, especially in regards to industrial contaminants suspect? With the current interest on radiation due to the ongoing Japanese experience, can the Region and Province no longer justify not publishing the results of radiological testing of our municipal water? Afterall there are radiological standards in our Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS). Why aren't they published in our Annual Drinking Water Reports?

Monday, April 4, 2011


I don't believe that planning for the new Agenda is remotely premature. Certainly Councillor Herteis, the new CPAC Chair will want to schedule the first CPAC meeting as soon as possible after April 12/11. Either this or the naming of the new members on April 12 will trigger release of the Minutes of the last CPAC meeting, namely November 29, 2010. There will be a few items under Business Arising from the Minutes such as odour complaints etc. that were brought up at the last meeting. Hopefully there will be very little under New Business from Chemtura and then the Ministry of the Environment. The reason for this is that they will want to quickly gauge what they are up against with this new CPAC. My expectation is that New Business from CPAC will be the big item. Of course the new Terms of Reference will be handed out. Then if CPAC are smart they will open several cans of worms early in their mandate. This will include discussion of the M.O.E.'s habit of amending Control Orders first, then bringing suggestions for change to CPAC for discussion. It will include discussions around the M.O.E. refusing to enforce 20 year old Control Orders upon Uniroyal/Chemtura. It will include discussion around Chemtura's never ending excuses about not removing sub surface Dioxins on the southeast corner of their property. It will include discussion as to why a July 2003 "Request for Action" document produced and passed unanimously by CPAC has not been implemented. It will include discussion as to why the old CPAC kept handing concessions to Chemtura in the form of reduced ground and surface water monitoing. It will include repudiation of reduced data publishing in Annual Monitoring Reports and monthly Progress Reports.

Personally one item I hope to see is a blunt Declaration by CPAC. It would indicate that all private deals, arrangements and agreements between individual members or sub-committees of CPAC and the M.O.E. and or Chemtura are improper. They MUST be debated in full; including public input at public CPAC meetings. No longer will one or two members negotiate privately with the M.O.E. and or Chemtura and then bring the finished result (or not) to CPAC for ratification. There have been neverending private "technical" meetings between two or three past CPAC members and Chemtura in regards to DNAPLS and in regards to a long term cleanup plan for the site. Both these meetings themselves as well as the results of them must be ended immediately. The results must be cancelled not only because of their improper and probably illegal nature under the Municipal Act but also because there was a very good reason that they were done in private. They are NOT in the public interest. The results are bogus and they are not supportable in open, honest public debate.

There is more. Chemtura will not be pleased but this Committee no longer exists to please them. It exists to further the public interest around a public health issue. From now on it will be conducted openly and with transparency. If Chemtura does not agree to this and wish one more time to pick up their marbles and go home, then so be it. The days of giving them concessions just to get them to the table are over!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Local environmentalists lost their favourite bad guy years ago after another in a series of fires and explosions at Uniroyal/Chemtura. David Ash was then replaced by Ron Lackner who has since been replaced by Dmitri Makares who has since been replaced by..??? The Wednesday afternoon fire at Chemtura was in Building # 33 and allegedly wasn't a big deal. I beg to differ somewhat. Back in the mid to late 90's there was a bigger fire and we learned that Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) was a chemical used in production in this building. Isocyanate refers to a chain of Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon. Methyl Isocyanate was the killer of thousands in Bhopal India in 1984. Back in the 90's I was reassured by David Ash that TDI was less volatile or able to move from a liquid to a gas than methyl isocyanate. At the same time he advised me that it was however technically more toxic. Yet another isocyanate involved in production at Chemtura is MDI or methyl diisocyanate. The prefix "di" simply refers to two isocyanates. At first blush this does seem to me to validate David Ash's statement that TDI is more toxic. The bottom line here is what we all know in our hearts. This is a chemical factory and yes they and the Township are blessed with excellent firefighting capabilities. The real question is " When are the fires and explosions at Chemtura going to end?" I won't even get into either the illegal air emissions like late last September or the ongoing legal toxic emissions. This company has never been under control, either it's own control or the communitys'. Do not trust anyone who says otherwise be it the M.O.E. or former CPAC members.

Friday, April 1, 2011


For many years Uniroyal/Chemtura tried unsucessfully to obtain the *Responsible Care designation from the Canadian Chemical Producers Assocn. (CCPA). The new name for this group is now the Chemical Industry Assocn. of Canada (CIAC). Two CPAC members got themselves onto the Verification group which continued giving Uniroyal/Chemtura opportunities to obtain the Responsible Care verification. This they finally suceeded in doing but not until after they had allegedly improved their relationship with CPAC. One of these CPAC members, Ron Ormson, made no bones about his support of and affiliation with the C.C.P.A. (now C.I.A.C.). The other CPAC member was no less than the Chair Pat Mclean. To find this information on-line please Google "catalyst magazine 25th anniversary of responsible care" pg.8. What is astounding is that at no public meeting of CPAC did she or anyone else share this information with those in attendance, such as the public and the media. Why not? Was she ashamed? Was this somehow a conflict of interest as she was the CPAC Chair? Was she worried about the perception and optics of her and Ron's strong support for Chemtura's Responsible Care verification? Could this appointment and accompanying status and prestige to the National Advisory Panel be viewed by some as a bribe?

Keep something clearly in mind. There have been honest and legitimate environmentalists on this panel. There have also been the exact opposite. Also the members of the CCPA (CIAC) are a who's who of the chemical industry's polluters. In my opinion this body is and continues to be nothing more than a public relations arm whose purpose is to affect the public's perceptions and attitudes in a more positive way towards the chemical industry. Once again the old CPAC have demonstrated their inability and refusal to be transparent with the citizens of Woolwich Township. I personally spoke against Chemtura receiving their verification because they did not remotely deserve it. I was outvoted by Pat, Ron, Susan and gang.

Well this could be embarassing or not. It all depends on your outlook I guess. Thursday's Elmira Independent advised us that most of the old CPAC members were withdrawing their Applications to be on the new CPAC. Today's Woolwich Observer (dated April 2/11) are back advertising for new CPAC members. One obvious interpretation is that the application withdrawals depleted the ranks of the already chosen, or not.