Monday, May 21, 2012


Our two local papers have each published stories concerning Chemtura's latest environmental conviction and accompanying fine. The Woolwich Observer story last Saturday was titled "Chemtura fined $150,000 for chemical release" and the Elmira Independent story was titled "Chemtura fined $150,000 for BLE spill". The Independent story points out the start time for the upcoming public meeting as 5 pm.on June 19/12 in the Lions Hall. The Observer shares what I feel is a significant point that needs to be clarified at the public meeting and that is "...when a rupture disc burst as designed...". Has this old technology (rupture discs) been upgraded or not?

Still flying relatively below the public radar is the ongoing and long term failure of Chemtura's pump and treat system. I find both their reliance and defence of hydraulic containment (pump & treat) to be incredible based on it's history here in Elmira, much less throughout the U.S.. What is also interesting is the new CPAC's attempts to be collegial with Chemtura and how they are being rebuffed. This is the same thing that has happened with the new CPAC's repeated attempts to be courteous and respectful to the old CPAC members. Woolwich Township's new CPAC, appointed six months after the municipal election in October 2010, have worked very hard, while making substantive change, to be non confrontational with all the old players. I personally, knowing all the players and their foibles and biases, would not have wasted my time. That said I can still respect the effort and sincerity being put forth by the new CPAC.

Getting back to pump & treat's ongoing failure here in Elmira let me advise that the most recent Chemtura monthly Progress Report is out. It covers the efforts and failures during the month of April 2012. The good news is that for the first time in five months they have achieved their targeted ON-SITE pumping rates. The bad news is that their OFF-SITE pumping is still a failure, again. In the full eighteen months since the municipal election, Chemtura have achieved their targeted pumping goals to allegedly clean up the off-site aquifer, exactly three times, namely March, April & May of 2011. Fifteen of the last eighteen months have been below THEIR OWN targeted rates. Not my target, not the M.O.E.'s but THEIRS. This is in line with a total of twenty years of pumping history starting in January 1992 with onsite wells PW1 and PW3. Their plan was to wave a Nov.4, 1991 Control Order in front of the public which ordered major source removal of contamination while actually relying on a private sweetheart deal (Oct.7/91) that did not. Thus after deceiving the public into an inferior pump and treat "cleanup" , they aren't even able to meet the requirements of their own secret, self serving plan.


  1. I love the references to "old" and "new" CPAC. The main thing in common between both committees is they would not tollerate the child antics of the author of this blog

  2. Oh oh somebody's nose is out of joint. I have chosen to distinguish the two CPAC's for a very specific reason. I might add that the new CPAC have not chosen to do this only partly because they have never seen the old CPAC when they were CPAC members. My reason is that I can see a day not too far in the future when CPAC(old) will be known far and wide as an example of a co-opted citizens committee. I personally now am happy to have been removed before that happened. The new CPAC do not deserve to inherit the reputation that is coming to the old. I warned the old CPAC from 2007 until 2010 that all their concessions to Chemtura would eventually blow up in their face.

  3. Alan, You are probably causing a lot of "noses to be out of joint" with your blog. Unlike mainstream media, you are advising the public in Elmira of what is really going on with their environment and may I say that you are doing an excellent job of it.....Keep up the good work.

  4. Thanks very much Bev. I appreciate it.