Friday, April 27, 2012


I will admit that strength and power can go hand in hand with a velvet glove. Last evening the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) spoke calmly and quietly but with incredible force. They listened to a presentation from Dr. Gail Krantzberg first in which she indicated that in her experience the concentrations of contaminants in groundwater in Elmira is unprecedented. She indicated that in her discussions with CPAC it was clear that they would not support leaving any source of contamination in the ground. Further she indicated that Pump and Treat technology south of the border was in disfavour with the regulatory agencies because it simply doesn't accomplish the cleanup job. Whatever time frame the experts gave was never accurate and always downplayed the time and expense necessary. In most cases they still don't know the end date for cleanup because it hasn't been accomplished. She gave an example of a scenario where pump and treat (hydraulic containment) might work and that is where the contaminants are inaccessible for removal such as fractured bedrock yet the source area is well defined and very limited. Neither of these conditions exist by the way at the Chemtura site or within the Elmira aquifer. After her presentation Dr. Krantzberg was asked questions by her audience. CPAC members, Dr. Henry Regier and myself asked her questions as did the M.O.E. and Chemtura. Dr. Krantzberg easily handled what I felt were trick questions from Chemtura meant to weaken her position and opinions.

My suggestion that the Ministry of the Environment and Chemtura trembled when CPAC spoke is a subjective one. My personal experience is that yes one honest individual can make a difference, however the powers that be are truly terrified of multiple citizens standing up as they did last night and clearly saying enough is enough. Although I am speaking of CPAC's quiet assurance and confidence I also must thank Henry Regier and Richard Clausi. Literally off and on for years I've felt like a voice in the wilderness at the old CPAC, speaking aginst preposterous and illogical claims by Chemtura and their hired consultants. Henry and Richard especially have been able to attend regularily since the new CPAC changed the timing to the evening away from the 9 am. start time.

Honourable mention needs to go to Woolwich CAO David Brenneman. I have been very concerned over the last year with the influence exerted upon CPAC by Woolwich Township. Well last evening both the newest CPAC member, Councillor Mark Bauman and CAO Dave Brenneman did exert influence, either directly or indirectly, but it was all positive. Dave Brenneman has been deeply involved in the drafting of a groundbreaking CPAC Resolution. This Resolution will be presented to Woolwich Council for their ratification this coming Tuesday evening. This document was presented jointly by a number of CPAC members after they had first commented negatively towards Chemtura's grossly inadequate Dioxin "cleanup" plans .

This Resolution is based upon input from many sources including the 2003 Request for Action, researched primarily by yours truly and passed unanimously by the old CPAC. It is also clearly based upon input from Dr. Krantzberg as well as upon the environmental experience of CPAC members Ron Campbell and David Marks. Finally it is based upon the common sense and discerning talents of the other four CPAC members Dan Holt (Chair), Vivienne, Sebastian and Mark. This resolution is asking Woolwich Township to endorse going to the Province of Ontario both for cleanup money as well as for money to hire consultants, lawyers and other experts. Just as importantly in my opinion it is telling Woolwich Council and the world at large that the current M.O.E./Chemtura "cleanup" by 2028 WILL NOT HAPPEN. It is telling everyone that pump and treat as a cleanup remedy is inadequate and incapable. It is telling us that Chemtura's chemicals that are in their groundwater are still leaving their site and polluting the Grand River and eventually Lake Erie. Finally it is telling all that will listen that SOURCE REMOVAL is the only way to ever restore Elmira's drinking water aquifers.

I have been waiting for twenty years for CPAC to stand up on their hind legs, confront the powerful and speak the blunt unvarnished truth. THANK YOU CPAC!


  1. Mr. Marshall. Did I not speak last year of help coming this year? Though you deserve all credit, and we are very happy for you understand the point sir that you now have a group of individuals that will assist you behind the curtains. Well done Mr. Marshall, well done. Things may fall into your lap more often this year Al if the truth gets lost or people wish to play hard ball we can assure you someone will have a full mailbox. I shall be in touch. You made the weekend brighter for many. Till then Al,Best Wishes!