Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Last evening in Woolwich Council Chambers, after listening to five Delegations , our Woolwich Council showed that they have both common sense and a backbone. They unanimously endorsed and ratified CPAC's Resolution to reject the current aquifer cleanup in favour of source removal of buried toxins and wastes. Twenty-one years ago different members of this Council received a copy of the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement (sweetheart deal) and while criticizing parts of it, chose along with five other parties to keep the Indemnity given to Uniroyal secret from the public and citizens of Elmira.

Chemtura General Manager Josef Olejarz with minor assistance from Dwight Este defended Chemtura's pump and treat system. Ron Campbell, David Marks and CPAC Chair Dan Holt spoke in favour of CPAC's Resolution. I was the last speaker and I briefly highlighted and clarified a few technical misunderstandings that came up from previous speakers. Ron Campbell made what I view as the quote of the night. "DNAPLS are the enemy". I looked over at a few APTE members in the audience who appeared to be in some mental anguish . DNAPLS are the reason Esther Thur, Richard Clausi and myself parted company with APT Environment way back in January 1994. I also answered Councillor Bauman's question to Ron Campbell in regards to the location of DNAPLS. They are on site beneath the former operating lagoons in the south-west corner of Chemtura. They are also off-site by the Elmira water tower behind (west) Varnicolor Chemical. David Marks is the professional hydrogeologist on CPAC and while clearly explaining the inherent failings of pump and treat (hydraulic containment) he was both conciliatory and non-confrontational towards Chemtura. Dan Holt's presentation was excellent and pointed out quotes from the Ministry of the Environment and Chemtura in support of source removal of buried toxic wastes. Two major points for which I applaud "Dr. Dan" are these. Regarding Chemtura Dan said "The level of trust...has not been earned.". Secondly Dan again pointed out that it was the M.O.E. who (secretly) indemnified Uniroyal/Chemtura from legal and financial liabilty in 1991.

In my presentaion I also pointed out a minor misunderstanding concerning the number of toxic contaminants in the Elmira aquifers. This misunderstanding is to be expected as the company, their consultants and the M.O.E. have focused solely on NDMA, Chlorobenzene and the last few years Ammonia allegedly only from Nutrite (Yara). Josef their general manager thought that only NDMA and Chlorobenzene were present in the groundwater. I listed about ten other chemicals while advising 100 was a more accurate number than two.

Both CPAC and Woolwich Council went out of their way to be polite and respectful to Chemtura. While this is "nice" and probably the Canadian way it is also disconcerting. This company has (with assistance) poisoned the drinking water of thousands of people. They have hidden behind weak environmental laws and an even weaker enforcement system called the M.O.E.. On top of that they have hired lawyers and consultants to protect themselves from appropriate legal demands to clean up their mess. Kudos are in order to CPAC, the current Woolwich Council and Mayor Todd Cowan. Citizens ask yourselves this question: Why has it taken twenty-three years simply to confront this coverup and scam involving our precious drinking water? For me this confrontaion, albeit polite, and this clear and honest stating of the truth has been long overdue. Provincial, Regional and Municipal governments have been aiding and abetting the polluter since the contamination was discovered in November 1989. Shame on the pack of them.

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