Monday, December 31, 2012


Well the pumping wells have again done their thing! Why if they can do it now were they totally unable for years at a time to maintain both the on and off site pumping rates their own modelling indicated was necessary? The next question of course is when is their pumping going to be back in the dumpster? And why? What excuse of the month will they come up with?

Table A.3 is titled "Supplementary Sample Analytical Results". It lists a variety of chemical detections found in the shallow aquifer pumping wells. Keep in mind that this Upper Aquifer pumping system has been in operation since 1997 ie. fifteen years. look at some of the concentrations found in UA500I namely :
Toluene 110,000 ppb.
2-MBT 12,000 "
Aniline 6,900 "
BT 240 "
Carboxin 18,000 "
Chlorobnzne 3,300 "

Clearly we have free phase LNAPL (light non aqueous phase liquid) present as indicated by the massive Toluene concentrations. This would be the never cleaned up LNAPL released from Building 15, decades ago. Chemtura insist that they clean up wastes (solid & liquid) when they come across them but clearly they've had to make serious attempts to avoid these wastes since we were advised of them seventten years ago.

Table C.2 deals with surface water detections of Uniroyal chemicals in the Canagagigue Creek that runs through their property. It also uses a statistical method to determine if there are significant increases in chemical concentrations downstream . ie. differences between upstream of their property and downstream which would indicate discharge from their shallow aquifer. What I do is simply look at the absolute difference between upstream and downstream results to tell me what at a minimum is discharging into the creek. This month the usual suspects have indeed been identified in the Canagagigue namely NDMA, NMOR and Toluene. Looking at the quantity of Toluene in the groundwater in the second paragraph certainly makes that understandable.

Overall the current pumping is up to standard but the overall "cleanup" remains horrendous. Promises have been made by Chemtura/CRA but it's hard to have confidence in a company who are long on promises and short on delivering.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Yesterday's Elmira Independent on page 6 carrys this story "CPAC Chair denies breach of confidentiality". Unfortunately despite my efforts I couldn't get a link to it. This story is similar to the one in last week's Woolwich Observer in which Dr. Dan Holt advises that Chemtura/CIAC had attempted to get the verification team to sign Confidentiality Clauses a year and a half ago. Appropriately, Dr. Dan refused to sign.

So far there is no followup to Chemtura's claim that a verbal decision to deny verification did not occur. Dr. Dan has absolutely zero motive to make his statement that that decision was made and clearly expressed to team members including himself without it having occurred. Chemtura and friends however have a huge motive to attempt to throw mud at Dr. Dan; the Chair of CPAC because he and CPAC have dramatically undermined their myth and sham of a cleanup. It all boils down to money and pride. Chemtura want to do the minimum cleanup they can get away with but they don't want the public contempt and condemnation that appropriately should follow.

They would like a new Chair and preferably dramatically less public input which would include the SWAT (soil, water, air, technical) team consisting of Rich Clausi, Henry Regier and myself. Any attempts in that direction would also diminish input from the floor and the audience. We have had input from former CPAC members this year as well as a couple of other residents. Ideally Chemtura would like an entire new CPAC membership made up primarily of the former one. They could "work" with the former CPAC. By work I am being sarcastic.

I believe there is an attempt by the CIAC and Chemtura to reverse the verbal decision that was made concerning verification. For me I see the basic integrity of the CIAC about to be exposed. We will know shortly.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Politics makes strange bedfellows. Partisanship and pollution make even stranger bedfellows.

What is the defining behaviour of spiteful little girls in the schoolyard? Mean malicious gossip for the purpose of elevating their status and preeminence at the expense of anothers. This is the original form of schoolyard abuse practised by the girls. They let the boys do the rough and tumble scrapping while they practiced the fine art of character assassination.

Last week I asked the rhetorical question as to what "...the idjits..." were doing. This was in reference to Dwight and Josef's performance at Council a week ago last Tuesday. It made no sense to me their attack upon Dr. Dan Holt including suggesting that he breached confidentiality. Well I've been doing some serious thinking since and rarely have I ever seriously accused Chemtura of being stupid. Untruthful, dishonest, manipulative absolutely. So if they're not stupid why would they also accuse him of distorting the verification team's position and claiming a verbal decision was made denying the verification? I briefly touched on this last week and suggested that they are counting on the former extremely resentful CPAC Chair to undermine Dr. Dan. Readers please keep in mind several points here. Firstly this hasn't happened yet or at least it hasn't gone public yet therefore I am merely predicting the future here. Secondly the former CPAC Chair has a history of manipulation including five years ago getting a former consultant to CPAC & Council to submit his resignation claiming that he couldn't work with me on CPAC. This of course eventually led to my expulsion from CPAC by Council (ie. spiteful little girls in the schoolyard). Then Pat & Susan a year ago last spring had hydrologist Richard Petrone submit his resignation to Woolwich Council claiming that Council were disrespectful to the old CPAC . Clearly Pat and friends hoped (unsucessfully) to spook the new Council into reappointing them. The hypocrisy of course was that Richard Petrone spent more time on his publicly distributed resignation letter than he ever did at CPAC, including not attending meetings.

So three times the charm perhaps? Dr. Dan accepted the appointment to the verification team in good faith. In good faith he believed that they would play by the normal rules of civilized society. I believe that he walked into the lion's den and gave Chemtura and CIAC (Chemistry Institute..), CPAC's position on refusing verification to Chemtura . This is combined with his good work as CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) Chair which has absolutely infuriated Chemtura. The CPAC Resolution last spring and followup has undermined twenty-three years of manipulation, deception, obfuscation and co-opting of CPAC.

So when I refer to spiteful little girls I am including Chemtura and their fellow travellors. If my prediction is wrong then Chemtura are indeed stupid. If my prediction is correct then they are beyond the pale with their outrageous behaviour as they will be in full cooperation with their friends and former CPAC members. The lesson here to an honest CPAC is this: DO NOT ATTEND ALONE anything at Chemtura, M.O.E. or any of their fellow travellors. In fact quite frankly, however this turns out, I think CPAC should bluntly advise the Chemistry Institute Assoc'n of Canada (CIAC) that in future CPAC will only deal with any body or group in public and in numbers. If my prediction is accurate then the CIAC also have very dirty hands in all of this disgusting scenario.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Now is when our politicians and authorities will pay the price for decades of psuedo public consultation and pretend transparency with the public. Whether there is a safe way or not to store high strength radioactive waste; trust and credibility are the issue. Personally I no longer have any trust of our politicians and Ontario Ministry of the Environment, based on their decades old reprehensible behaviour.

Normally I try very hard to keep local environmental issues front and centre here in the Advocate. In regards to Deep Geological Repository of nuclear wastes we are looking at proposals anywhere from fifty to one hundred miles away (NW). That being said I certainly posted in regards to the proposed mega quarry in Melancthon Township as it could have negatively affected the source of the Grand River which flows through Woolwich Township and the Region of Waterloo.

Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story " Opposition grows to burying radioactive waste". For me it is absolutely ridiculous to bury this stuff anywhere near the largest supply of fresh water in the world. To say that location is counter-intuitive is a huge understatement. Whether the Nuclear Waste Management Association will have credible peer reviews or just the usual tame bought and paid for junk scientists at their beck and call, I do not know. Again prior to having read their rationale for location beside or near Lake Huron; I suspect that the location may have to do with very good road access combined with relatively low population. In other words in a worst case scenario, there wouldn't be millions of people in Bruce and Grey Counties requiring emergency evacuation. My first common sense approach would be that IF burial is the only option, then bury it above the water table, hundreds or thousands of miles from population centres. My prediction is that with the ending of the mega quarry threat there will be an equally large resistance to this idea. Again if it turns out to be sited using legitimate science and legitimate public consultation, that is unfortunate. Our history here in Ontario at least, is both those conditions are unlikely.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


In the December 13/12 Elmira Independent, Gail Martin wrote the following Editorial "OMB should be reviewed". The headline above was not a quote or even a direct takeoff from Gail's Editorial. Gail emphasizes the procedural difficulties including financial ones which make it difficult for citizens to get involved. Her Editorial while focusing on the Jigs Hollow Pit here in Woolwich Township, nevertheless covers all pits and issues before the Ontario Municipal Board.

The Aggregate Resources Act has been described by various writers as a cudgel among other things. It does not remotely balance legitimate, competing interests such as agriculture or the rights of already present neighbours and residents. The old idea of a man's home is his castle is dashed to pieces when a gravel company eyes the gravel beside your home. What amazed me at the Jigs Hollow Pit hearing as well as at numerous Council meetings were the self serving, client driven reports and "studies" submitted on behalf of the proponent. Keep in mind I've been exposed to that kind of dishonesty for the past two decades and now realize that bafflegabbing and credentialism are standard operating procedure when you are allegedly "consulting" with or including the public in the process. It's all a massive whitewash done for the benefit of the well connected and well off and aided and abetted by their tame politicians. The system is rotten.

Monday, December 24, 2012


From time to time, here in the Advocate, I've presented facts and data which could certainly be interpreted as casting doubt on Chemtura/Uniroyal's credibility. In the spirit of Christmas as well as fair play, it would seem acceptable to advise readers when or if I find hard data which would support their view of the universe or at least Elmira. Back in 1990, Dr David Ash the manager of Uniroyal publicly and repeatedly claimed that Uniroyal would pay their fair share of the Elmira cleanup and that they were not the only source. Dr. Ash went so far as to offer $1,000,000 towards a study of ALL the sources of contamination to the Municipal drinking water Aquifers.

At the time these comments were looked upon as just a tad self serving. While initial attempts to blame either Martians or lubricating grease in the well pumps had been disproven, the Ministry of the Environment and many others were pointing fingers squarely at Uniroyal. Turns out that Uniroyal actually were telling the truth.

Recently CRA (Conestoga Rovers), long time consultants to Uniroyal/Chemtura provided a flash drive to CPAC & SWAT members as well as to the Elmira Independent who faithfully attend all meetings. While a tutorial is being set up for next month for all of us to better access the data on the flash drive; nevertheless I've been mucking about with it on my own. Do I castigate Chemtura/CRA for having kept to themselves vital information relevant to the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers or do I thank them for finally giving up this data? Secondly do I castigate them for iterally decades of deception and misdirection around other sources or do I congratulate them for having told the truth, figuratively for five minutes twenty -three years ago?

Firstly in regards to Nutrite/Yara, our authorities knew in the early nineties at the Environmental Appeal Board hearings that they were culprits. The public however were kept in the dark about Ammonia issues on their property for more than a decade after the wellfiellds were shut down . Here's where it gets icky. It wasn't just Ammonia that they discharged into the natural environment. There are borehole logs on this flashdrive which indicate them enriching our groundwater with petroleum hydrocarbons including diesel fuel as well as various pesticides. Some of these borehole logs are only five to ten years old and others go back to the nineties.

The old Varnicolor site at 62 Union St. was an incredible coverup by the Ontario M.O.E. right from day one and it's never ended. As recently as this past summer, M.O.E. personnel have been delivering outright bullshit served up on a platter to CPAC and the public. They have of course been ably assisted by their partners in pollution, Chemtura/CRA. There was a surface removal of approximately the top four to five feet of highly contaminated soil back in the early nineties. The deep boreholes, wells and investigation, publicly promised by the M.O.E. never happened. Sure enough on the flash drive we see why. There are boreholes on the property in the name of Elmira Pump, the current business on site. These boreholes indicate staining and significant petroleum hydrocarbon odours subsurface approximately seven to eight years AFTER the "major" cleanup in the early nineties. Some of this contamination is below the level that was removed close to twenty years ago and some is actually above it indicating that areas were missed.

So in hindsight thank you Chemtura/Uniroyal for telling the truth at least once in the last twenty-three years.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Two more environmental items were on last Tuesday's Woolwich Council Agenda. A Frances Lea of the Solar Panel Network spoke to Council requesting their support for a zone change to allow solar panels at a business on Reid Woods Dr.. Apparently municiapl "points" via municipal approval of these projects are now a necessary component to the process. While the REA or Renewable Energy Act exempts green projects from considerable municipal oversight such as the Planning Act; nevertheless municipal support will help these green applications along on their way to the OPA or Ontario Power authority. Coincil made the zone change hence helping this project along.

The next Delegation was made by Rick Stroobosscher who wanted to know in detail Council's rationale for accepting the Jigs Hollow Pit Settlement. Specifically he wanted to know how the Settlement helped the rest of Woolwich residents as Council has publicly stated. The answer was a tag team response, back and forth between Councillor Bowman and Dan Kennally of Woolwich Staff. They claimed that they had achieved for all residents a couple of precedents such as a partial sunset clause and that they came close to a vertical zoning clause. If indeed they had achieved an outright sunset clause and an outright vertical zoning clause it would have been an impressive achievement; but they did not. Apparently the applicant instead of ignoring Council when they decide to go below the water table now have to inform Council that they are breaking that major promise to the community. Secondly the sunset clause does not put a maximum ten or fifteen year deadline on ending and rehabilatating the pit. It seems to ensure however that the usual games of leaving pits idle and then only hauling a few loads out per season is avoided. The last point by Councillor Bauman was interesting. He claims that Council's (ie our) $50,000 donation to the paving of Jigs Hollow Rd. will actually save Woolwich residents money as the Township will no longer have to pay for regular grading and maintenance of the road after paving. Hmmm! I need to think about that one.

Friday, December 21, 2012


A formal written Rebuttal has been sent to both local newspapers as well as to CPAC members from Chair Dr. Dan Holt. Dr. Dan is responding to the bizarre attack upon him by Dwight Este & Josef Olejarz of Chemtura at last Tuesday's Woolwich Council meeting. It seems peculiar in the least for a company who are spending money on a Public Relations firm (Sussex Group) to be behaving in such a fashion. One can only conclude that they are desperate and realize that they are losing the public relations war. Make no mistake that it is indeed a war. Part of CPAC's mandate relates to public education and this could spell the death knell of a two decades plus campaign by Chemtura and their fellow travellors, CRA and the M.O.E. to convince the public that the Elmira cleanup is under control. It is not and never has been and yours truly along with Dr. Henry Regier and Richard Clausi have been the voices in the wilderness. It is extremely gratifying to have both an honest and informed young CPAC fulfilling their duties to Woolwich residents .

Both our local papers this week have covered this issue. The Elmira Independent went to press yesterday ("Chemtura, CPAC chairman at odds over Responsible Care)" prior to being able to include Dr. Dan's Rebuttal. The Woolwich Observer came out this morning with the title "Chemtura, CPAC chair at odds over Responsible Care designation". They have included parts of Dr. Dan's Rebuttal including "There was no breach of confidence because there was/is no confidentiality agreement". Also "...we were given a confidentiality agreement to sign, but we the team members, objected to signing it and never did." Further Dr. Dan stated "I, as the chair of CPAC, represent CPAC, Woolwich council, and the residents of Elmira and I owe them truthful information regarding the process of cleaning up their aquifer, not something that has a spin to it.".

Dr. Dan maintains that verbally a firm decision was made to refuse verification by the verification team of which he is a member. Unfortunately the former and very upset CPAC Chair is also a member, courtesy of being appointed by Chemtura. She is and has been a friend of Chemtura's for far too long and I wouldn't be surprised for her to seize the opportunity to stab Dr. Dan in the back and help her polluting friends at the same time. A "Gosh I don't recall any decison having been made." would be a simple and gutless way to do it. Afterall how do you criticize someone who claims not to have heard?

This is a major part of Chemtura's anger at the current CPAC Chair. He spilled the beans which is both his right and his duty to the public whom he is representing. Unlike former CPAC members & Chair, Dr. Dan has not lost his way. This is extremely detrimental to the interests of our local world class polluter and their friends and they have gone on the offensive. Being able to count on Councillor Bauman for support at both Council and CPAC is helpful to them. I expect he will be getting an earful from other CPAC members for his inappropriate lack of support to date for Chairman Dr. Dan Holt.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


The petty nattering between Mayor Cowan and Councillor Poffenroth is becoming annoying. It appears that the Councillor somewhere/somehow has failed to satisfy the Mayor's high standards. That being said it also appears that the Mayor is the one provoking the exchanges. I do know that the Mayor was a little too yappy at a public CPAC meeting over a year ago and the CPAC member involved publicly dressed him down. When they got into it a second time, a meeting or two later, our Mayor wisely backed off very quickly.

We currently have the situation whereby one major party to Chemtura's *Responsible Care verification has publicly advised Council that they failed again. Chemtura responded two evenings ago at Council and claim the Decision isn't final or hasn't been made. They furthermore publicly attacked the Chair of CPAC although ostensibly not for CPAC's failure to bow to the will, charm and technical experts paid for by the company. Dr. Holt was called out for allegedly breaking a confidence. This will be settled as it's gone public and both local newspapers are following up. My comment is this: I've known Chemtura and their predecessors for twenty-three years. I've known Dr. Holt for less than two years. My impression of Dr. Holt is a very positive one based on many qualities and characteristics. My impression of Chemtura is a very negative one based upon many characteristics, behaviours and statements which have been specified in many postings in the Advocate. My money is on Dr. Holt.

I will also add these comments about the Chemistry Institute Association of Canada (CIAC). Their mandate appears to be making a SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW'S EAR. They have extensive procedures, processes, standards that must be met prior to a member company receiving verification under *Responsible Care. I understand that companies are also supposed to embrace the ethics of *Responsible Care. It would not surprise me in the least if some chemical companies out there truly have done so and they and the public are better off for it. For that I say well done CIAC. In regards to Chemtura however you are dealing with a whole different kettle of fish. They are supposed to be working and communicating hand in hand with the local community for everyone's benefit. Instead two nights ago they make a public attack upon the character of the Chair of Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). I believe that their attack was grossly inaccurate and totally inappropriate.

Councillor Bauman made one very funny comment at Council Tuesday night. He suggested that "the mind can absorb only as much as the butt can endure". While funny it was another comment which could be interpreted as supporting Chemtura's complaining. They and the M.O.E. are primarily responsible for the odd long meeting. They literally bafflegab and try and run out the clock and then go and complain the meetings are too long. Councillor Bauman also agreed with Dwight Este about decorum by suggesting that discussion sometimes "...degrades to a level he's not comfortable with.". Poor baby! Maybe when he spends a little more time dealing with Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. and all their games, misrepresentations and basic rudeness by so doing; then he can voice his opinion with just a touch of knowledge behind it. Right now he personally knows squat but that doesn't appear to stop him from spouting nonsense at Council meetings.

Yours truly also had a presentation to Council prior to Chemtura's. I basically advised Council that CPAC had done their due diligence and informed themselves through multiple avenues and sources prior to producing their Resolution last April. I also advised that the interests of the unholy trinity namely Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. are not remotely the same as the interests of the public and Woolwich residents. Finally I advised that Dr. Holt's update to Council the previous week was done in consultation with and supported by CPAC and SWAT team members.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Yesterday's post here in the Advocate asked if Chemtura would be whining and crying last night in front of Woolwich Council. Those words capture some of Dwight Este's performance as well as the words bizarre and macabre. My bottom line is what the heck are those idjits doing? Dwight's comments, with manager Josef Olejarz there in support, almost looked like part of an exit strategy. His presentation was neither factual, relevant nor honest. I personally and frankly enjoyably watched them stage a walkout from CPAC back in late 1998. They were gone for over a year and Chair Pat Mclean jumped through hoops and loops without public CPAC debate to bring them back. As usual I expect that most of the discussion and debate involved individual Council members and Pat in private. Perhaps Chemtura and their new PR firm have decided as a strategy to leave CPAC for a while, hoping to have a more comfortable time of it when they come back.

The other ongoing issue is Chemtura's umpteenth failed verification by the Chemistry Institute Association of Canada. CPAC Chair Dan Holt attended on behalf of CPAC and he reported a week ago Tuesday at Council that they had failed to achieve it again. He did this openly and publicly and clearly with full confidence that that indeed was the verbal Decision made and that it was appropriate after the fact to share that with the public. Chemtura instead of directly complaining/engaging Dan with their version of things instead went to the Woolwich Observer last Friday. Then last night they made a personal attack upon Dan (by name repeatedly) accusing him of inaccurate, misleading statements and of breaking confidentiality. Hoo boy the hypocrisy! How many times have I been accused of personal attacks but I guess it's different when it comes from Chemtura or just as an example from a tame, in the pocket Councillor.

It is no secret that Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. are not happy with the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Chemtura not only aren't getting their own way as they've become accustomed to but nobody is swallowing their BS anymore and that really rankles them. No matter how calmly and professionally CPAC advise that they do not agree with the unholy trinity; Chemtura are deeply offended as indicated by last night's performance. They remind me of undisciplined five year old bullies.

Speaking of Councillors I think Mark Bauman may have slipped from his pretend nuetrality last night. He was way out of line to advise Dwight Este that if confidentiality had been broken by Dr. Dan Holt, that an apology would be forthcoming. Indeed if Mark is referring to he himself apologizing then I'd suggest that is appropriate as he's got lots to apologize for. If as it appeared he was trying to manoevre Dan into that position then I suggest that both as a Councillor and as a CPAC member, he should keep his mouth shut when he doesn't have all the facts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


First of all Chemtura Canada have every right in the world to address Woolwich Council. They do not however have every right in the world to gild the lily, obfucate, BS and bafflegab. Tonite's Council Agenda has two Chemtura employees speaking "...regarding CPAC Update from December 11, 2012..." meeting. It seems likely that Chemtura will attempt to downplay and deny what CPAC said last week which basically expressed their lack of confidence in Chemtura and fellow travellors willingness or ability to restore our drinking water by the mandated (toothless) 2028 deadline.

Democracy is a wonderful thing which I feel has long been lost in this country. If you come out tonite to listen please do not bring tomatoes or any other weapons of mass destruction. Keep in mind democracy has been stolen in this country by professional liars without a shot being fired. This is the reality of Canadian revolutions. It can only be restored by loud and legitimate citizen involvement.


Two plus months ago (Oct.5/12) I posted an article here about public meetings being held regarding a proposed wind energy project in North Perth as well as Perth East. Last week there was another Notice in the Woolwich Observer advertising upcoming Public Information Centres (PIC). The company are called the Conestogo Wind Power Partnership and thay have plans for turbines as I recall just south of Highway #86 and just east of Listowel. These of course are all under the authority of the Renewable Energy Act (REA) which essentially means nearby residents and landowners will have precious few rights. Here in Elmira we had the spectacle of so called democracy with our very own Bio-Energy project, also under the auspices of the REA.

Three upcoming PICs are in St. Clements, Milverton and Listowel on February 26, 27 and 28 respectively. All run from 6-8 pm. and again respectively are located at the St. Clements Community Centre, Perth East Rec Complex (Milverton) and the Royal Canadian legion (Listowel).

Monday, December 17, 2012


Last Thursday's Elmira Independent had this article "Study recommends closing St. Jacobs treatment plant". The proposal is for commissioning a new system in St. Jacobs in 2024. This system essentially would be the closing of the current plant and building a large pump station to send sewage to Waterloo for treatment in their plant. On the other hand, much larger Elmira is fine with their sewage treatment plant for the next three decades. That is of course after significant upgrades were completed over the last couple of years. One of the biggest problems for Woolwich Township is the ongoing I & I (inflow & infiltration) battle. This involves sundivisions which had both their roof drains and sump pumps improperly connected to the sanitary sewers. It is also possible that water could infiltrate subsurface sanitary sewers if their condition has deteriorated. For further information on this project you can check out the region's website .

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Both Editors of our two local newspapers were present in Council Chambers for the Committee of the Whole meeting this past Tuesday evening. As the Independent come out a day before the Observer, they got first kick at the can here (yesterday). Therefore rather than repeat I will try to pick and choose carefully what gets added today.

Firstly Dr. Dan Holt, CPAC Chair, emphasized that source removal of contaminants is a must; contrary to Chemtura's wishe$. "These contaminants can and do last for hundreds of years, and if they are left in the ground and aquifer, why would anyone believe that they will suddenly stop making our drinking water toxic?".

Secondly Chemtura and their consultants, decades after the startup of on-site pumping and fourteen years AFTER the startup of off-site pumping, are now acknowledging that major changes are necessary in their cleanup plans. They would have us believe that they came to this decision independently, based upon the science in their recent five year review. This is Conestoga Rover's & Associates Plan affectionately referred to as CRAP. Woolwich Township's young CPAC rejected the very same CRAP that they and their client had been selling to the old CPAC. The young Chemtura Public Advisory Committee did this last April and then Woolwich Council unanimously endorsed CPAC's Resolution in May.

Chemtura/CRA's new plans are ambitious, sort of. They are early days plans (23 years late) and they are problematic. Dr. Dan has advised Woolwich Council of several difficulties with them that need to be publicly addressed prior to startup.

Apparently Dwight Este of Chemtura was unhappy with Dr. Dan's comments regarding Chemtura failing (AGAIN) to receive verification from the Chemistry Industry Assoc'n of Canada (CIAC). In fact Dwighte claims that a decision has yet to be made. Really? That is very strange and I wonder what either Dwighte or the CIAC have up their sleeve. I have long held a lack of confidence in the inherent honesty of the CIAC based upon their membership of well known industrial polluters. Each and every time they've said no to Chemtura has been proper and appropriate but their rationale has been ambiguous, in my opinion.

The title of this article in the Observer is "CPAC continues to have qualms about cleanup deadline". The Observer also carrys an article titled "Residents call on council to reverse Jigs Hollow pit". The sub title of this article says it all namely: "Plenty of condemnation heaped on Woolwich officials over decision to settle rather than fight project".

Friday, December 14, 2012


First off the Elmira Independent published this story: "CPAC meets with environment minister". While meeting with Jim Bradley was a worthwhile plan, with only one downside primarily initiated by Mayor Cowan, nevertheless I am very doubtful that the minister can or will do anything substantial. Afterall in order to do so he's going to have to dismantle everyhting the M.O.E. have done over the last twenty-three years here in Elmira. In my opinion the most important aspect of the meeting is that CPAC again can get their position regarding the "cleanup" out front and centre in the community via the media. Indeed Tuesday night Dr. Dan Holt specifically asked the media to assist CPAC in their campaign of public education. Clearly Dan was looking at the Woolwich Observer and perhaps the Waterloo Region Record as the Elmira Independent has been doing the lion's share of the coverage, it seems forever. I am thrilled to see and hear CPAC publicly confronting and contradicting Chemtura's self serving platitudes and plain nonsense surrounding the cleanup of the Elmira aquifers.

Yesterday's Elmira Independent also carrys this story "Gravel pit opponents blast council". I wonder at this point in time if Council have finally figured out that Councillor Bauman's direction, leadersip and experience should not be followed. Mark Bauman has made a career out of making decisions in the best interests of minorities while mouthing platitudes to the majority about allegedly having their best interests at heart. As I indicated here on Wednesday, the nearby residents of the Jigs Hollow Pit have taken his number. Literally the only reason he is still on Council after all these years is because he's constantly re-elected by the St. Jacob's folks who don't have gravel pits, Bio-Fuel facilities or Chemtura. Gail Martin of the Independent clearly wrote up the mood of the residents in her article.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


A few days back Dr. Regier (Henry) sent me an e-mail with some amazing historical information in regards to climate change. Apparently in 1896 "...the swede Svante Arrhenius forecast climate warning due to massive burning of fossil fuel in a well known publication...". That same forecast "...was included in a conservation textbook written by the geologist Charles Van Hise in "The Conservation of Natural Resources in the United Staes (1910)."". To me this information is stunning and underscores that it is not a lack of good science but a lack of good political leadership that is slowly destroying the earth.

Henry also included a three page partial list of publications by himself and colleagues all related to climate change. Yes I said a partial list and it's three pages long. This list of scientific publications starts in 1973 and runs until 1996. For me I see a parallel here with our problems with Chemtura. We have literally hundreds of reports, critiques and data including Figures & Tables all of which paint a terrifying picture of Elmira. The problem is quite simple. The people reading these publications are directly or indirectly on Chemtura's payroll. Nary a so called honest politician in sight are going to read these reports and act appropriately on them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I have to believe that after last night certain Woolwich Councillors are reconsidering their running for Council over two years ago. Dr. Dan Holt hammered Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, but four residents of the Winterbourne/Conestogo area hammered Woolwich Staff and Councillors (less Bonnie Bryant).

Dr. Dan reminded Council, the public and the media that the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) passed a Resolution last April condemning the alleged "cleanup"of the Elmira aquifers by Chemtura. He also reminded Council that they had unanimously endorsed that resolution. Just last week Woolwich reps and CPAC reps met with the Minister of the Environment for discussions on the matter.

Dr. Dan also advised that the M.O.E. have been unsupportive as far as any legal means to enforce the 2028 cleanup of the Aquifers. Finally Dan also indicated how ridiculous the M.O.E. are in regards to supervising and reviewing technical reports produced by Chemtura's consultants (Conestoga rovers). Dan used the words "rubber stamp" to indicate the level of oversight involved by the M.O.E..

Dan advised that the Region of Waterloo, for a myriad of reasons, will not have the Elmira Aquifers back into the Elmira distribution system before 2050, even in the unlikely scenario that they are pronounced clean in 2028.

Finally we heard that Chemtura have formally turned down a request for increased funding for peer reviews from CPAC. The good news we heard is that Chemtura have AGAIN been turned down by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) for verification under their *Responsible Care program. This is very appropriate and they should NEVER have been verified with approval by past CPACs. Two Chemtura reps were present last night and it looked to me as if they were not enjoying the taste of a very sour pickle.

Gordon Haywood, Della Stroobosscher, Isabel Price and Lynne Hare took turns reaming Woolwich Council for selling their citizens down the river regarding the Jigs hollow Pit Settlement. While not 100% of the gallery enjoyed the spanking of Council and Staff, most of us did and felt it was well deserved. Mr. Haywood asked Council to reverse their Decision supporting the Settlement. I was not surprised to see Councillor Bryant make that Motion but was surprised to see Mayor Cowan second it. Things then got murky as Staff and CAO Brenneman asked Council to Defer their Motion until Council had received legal advice. This they did with Councillor Bryant voting against the Deferral. Many of the most contentious issues included silica dust from concrete recycling and diesel fumes not having been properly addressed by the proponent, Kuntz Sand & Gravel.

Della Stroobosscher laid into the perceived and fairly evident bias of the OMB Chair, Mary-Ann Sills at the Hearing. I had attended and was shocked by some of the regrettable and biased comments made by the Chair. Further Councillor Bryant also spoke up and indicated support for what Ms. Stroobosscher was saying.

Isabelle Price was absolutely priceless! She appearred to be an elderly lady but certainly her spirit and tenacity belied that. She took Council to task for their rabid support of Kuntz Sand & Gravel while ignoring the legitimate concerns and rights of their constituents.

Lynn Hare spoke last and cheerfully pointed out numerous factual errors in the Settlement, in Woolwich Staff's position and in Council's handling of the entire matter. She took aim at Staff reintroducing the recycling business back into negotiations privately, after Council had removed it at an open, public Council session. She also made her disdain clear for Council's weak-kneed excuse that they were looking out for the interests of all Woolwich residents by not spending Township dollars fighting this at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). She stated that Council were afraid to spend "...our tax dollars to defend our rights.". Lynn is correct. She and other speakers pointed out that this Council was voted in to replace the old one who were too friendly with the aggregate industry.

Every once in a long while I see a glimmer of real democracy in this country. It is a shame that our provincial and federal politicians couldn't be on the direct receiving end of angry citizens at the provincial legislature and the federal parliament. It just might smarten them up a bit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


O.K. it's actually a Committee of the Whole meeting and it starts at 6 the Council Chambers on Church St.. I expect that Dr. Dan Holt, CPAC Chair will be presenting as a Delegate very early in the meeting. See you there.


Too little about a century too late. I have commented here before that a lot of the written reports, maps etc. are very informative. Another advantage might well be keeping unemployed hydrogeologists off the streets and out of the homeless shelters. Afterall exactly how many experts in how many fields can be employed by our various polluting industries and developers of brownfield properties, gravel pits etc. ?

Yesterday's K-W Record carrys another one of the DRINKING WATER SOURCE PROTECTION Act For Clean Water advertisements. This one is advising us that as part of their public consultation they are looking for comments by mail, e-mail or fax by the Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 deadline. Keep in mind this whole exercise is mandated by the province of Ontario after the Walkerton water tragedy. Many lessons were learned although for me the biggest lesson was that promoting unqualified people into positions of authority; while ostensibly having them supervised at arm's length by government employees who are equally unaccountable is a recipe for disaster. In other words when politicians and bureaucrats are more interested in appearances than in results, then their subordinates will give them exactly that. So in short we can study, research and file reports until the cows come home; I doubt that we've learned or improved a damn thing.

The plan is at

E-mail comments to
Fax " " 519-621-4945
Mail " " Martin Keller, Source protection Manager c/0 Grand River Conservation Authority P.O. Box 729, 400 Clyde Rd., Cambridge ON N1R 5W6

So just to make my opinion perfectly clear keep in mind that this is coming from our blessedly infamous Ontario Ministry of the Environment. It is being passed on to our GRCA who are affectionately and accurately known as the Grand River Construction Authority. The GRCA Board are made up primarily of municipal politicians and their appointees. Hence the same idiots who have allowed our local industries to get away with murder environmentally are now slamming the gate shut loudly and proclaiming their desire to keep our water safe. It would all be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. I repeat, it's all about appearances not substance.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Last week I received an e-mail from the Environmental Commissioner titled "Ontario Government retreats on Climate Change". Our EC, Gord Miller, released his 2012 edition of his annual review of the Ontario government's Climate Change Action Plan. The title of Mr. Miller's 2012 edition is "A Question of Commitment".

Apparently "the Ontario government is ending or scaling back programs to fight GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and will fall far short of meeting it's 2020 and 2050 targets.". Commissioner Miller recognizes the fiscal difficulty the provincial government is currently in but nevertheless the reality is that "...delays now will cripple efforts later to fight climate change.". Furthermore "With each passing year, it becomes clearer that without new policies and a drastic change in the current upward trajectory of GHG emissions, our planet is headed for a frightening future.".

Although here at the Elmira Advocate I generally try to focus on local environmental issues I think we can all understand that when it comes to climate change and its' results no one anywhere on the planet will be immune. Perhaps coastal areas will suffer first and perhaps areas with already extreme temperatures and weather patterns will be more suceptible to the greatest damage. Nevertheless all of us on this planet can not escape what is coming and quite frankly our politicians are failing us. Perhaps we are also failing us with our reliance on our politicians to fix this.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


The first upcoming Delegation will be this Tuesday evening at Woolwich Council by Dr. Dan Holt. As Chairman of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC), he will be giving an update to Woolwich Council in regards to all the latest news. His Delegation to Council was announced at the last CPAC public meeting namely November 29/12. While Chemtura and their fellow travellors are thus aware of Dan's delegation, I would be surprised to see them there as one they are chicken and two they like to be frontrunners. In other words if they aren't in charge and control they usually make themselves scarce. We will see this Tuesday.

The following week yours truly has booked himself as a Delegation through Woolwich Township. I will be recommending changes to the CPAC Terms of Reference so that individual members of CPAC will need to vet their membership in other industrial or environmental bodies with both the township and CPAC. There have been CPAC members involved in dealings with industrial bodies and even with consultants to Chemtura at the same time as their duty and loyalty were ostensibly to CPAC. Keep in mind there are some excellent groups and choices out there but as well there are many problematic, essentially political bodies as well. Transparency is the issue and at a minimum, membership in other groups with either actual or perceived conflicts of interest; needs to be made clear to all parties involved. All means all of Council and ALL of CPAC.

It would not surprise me if Chemtura are offended enough by Dr. Dan and CPAC speaking the truth publicly this Tuesday that they turn around in the New Year and take a kick at the can, themselves. My expectation would be a typical CRA presentation of jibber jabber focusing on dynamic this and dynamic that interelated with the magic of three dimensional computer hydrogeologic models. In other words they will use their talents to bafflegab the audience into submission. Please keep in mind that computer models are just that, models. You figure out the answer you want and then you plug in various variables to get there. As the person in charge of the model you can weight it any way you want. In particular without telling others you can weight cost if you wish as the biggest concern. Or you can weight pump and treat technology as being inherently superior to source removal, which it isn't. The opportunities for deception are endless. No one but Chemtura's consultants will have 100% access and understanding of their model and most importantly the correct or otherwise assumptions they put into it. The most obvious source of error will be their incorrect and ridiculous insistence that there are no off-site sources of contamination. Similarily they will probably program into their model that there are no on-site sources of free phase DNAPL, which again is both incorrect and ridiculous. The expression is GIGO or garbage in, garbage out. Their models are garbage based at least partially on their inputs.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Kitchener, Cambridge and the Region of Waterloo all have brownfield incentives plans; unfortunately. These plans reward anti social behaviour. They enable irresponsible property owners to cut their costs of production by passing on waste disposal and treatment costs to the public. This "externalizing" of costs is common and is simply a method for private industry to steal from the public purse. These cleanup costs to the public occur when either municipalities, the Region or the Ontario Ministry of the Environment become involved in cleaning up either ongoing businesses or abandoned ones. The other way they accrue to the public is when these government bodies don't take the initiative but simply sit back and wait for a private developer to come along. Then they offer him "incentives" as in tax reductions for him to do the cleanup.

There will be a public open house on December 13/12 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. It's purpose will be to discuss brownfield incentive plans for the City of Waterloo. Today's waterloo region record has the following story "Lack of brownfield program could be liability, city hears".

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I have sent out feelers to various interested and possibly uninterested parties in regards to changing Woolwich Townships Terms of Reference for the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) specifically; with the proviso that maybe all their committees Terms of Reference may require updating. As currently written CPAC's Terms of Reference are illogical, inconsistent and essentially ignored anyways. This time round their update should include serious consultation and input from all of the current CPAC and SWAT membership.

The problem no longer is one of speculation or mere say so. Recently at a public meeting CPAC were treated to the spectacle of a former long time CPAC member admitting that they had been working with Conestoga Rovers, consultants to Chemtura, on the side. This work whether directly related to CPAC issues or not (it was) should have been made transparent to all CPAC members at the time because there was the possibilty of a conflict of interest between their private interests and their public duty as CPAC members.

This is not the first time a CPAC member, appointed by Woolwich Council, has been in a conflict of interest position. We've had two others who were members of the National Advisory Panel of the then CCPA and the now CIAC (Chemistry Institute Association of Canada). They were members at the exact same time as Chemtura were attempting to receive Verification from CIAC. This Chemtura Verification which was just denied again this week was done so with current CPAC members being consulted and advising against Verification. It would be totally inappropriate for any of those current members to be also members of the CIAC.

It is conceivable that a CPAC member could be a member of a related body or even collaborating on a project with another CPAC party such as Conestoga Rovers without a conflict of interest. The icing on the cake however is the blatant lack of transparency. This information was kept secret from the CPAC members at the time, including myself. It was relevant in the extreme and the individuals had a duty to advise both Woolwich Council and their fellow CPAC members of any possible or apparent conflict of interest. Clearly these requirements need to be enshrined in the Terms of Reference for upcoming CPAC members.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I'm not even going to bother with crocodile tears. It would be an affront to companies who have seriously made efforts to engage their communities in honest dialogue if Chemtura had been verified yesterday. They were not and again I suggest that their failure is of their own making and actually increases the credibility of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). I do not remotely endorse the CIAC because I don't know enough about them. I do endorse this their latest decision regarding Chemtura in Elmira.

One reason why I am still wary of them is of course their membership. They are comprised of a who's who of chemical polluters in Canada. That being said if their mandate is sincerely to promote more responsible and safe handling of chemicals then who can criticize that? My other concern is the reason they've given currently and in the past for Chemtura's ongoing failures to achieve verification. It is stated as being a lack of community involvement. I'm sorry but perhaps there is a lot that can be read into that simple reason but I wish they'd be a whole lot more specific. It would give me confidence that future attempts by Chemtura, without substantive change in their honest communications, will continue to be rebuffed. Two days ago here in the Advocate I stated that Chemtura's basic dishonesty with the Elmira public needed to be drastically changed.

Phony long term DNAPL investigations and never ending junk science surrounding issues such as petroleum hydrocarbons and DNAPL in the off-site Elmira aquifer must end. Honest admissions of Chemtura off-site chemical sources must be made along with the ramifications of their presence to the overall Elmira cleanup. Bait and switch documents involving the M.O.E. must be acknowledged. An Indemnity was given Uniroyal for known on-site contamination on October 7, 1991 and then a public Control Order was issued on November 4, 1991 which was significantly different than the private sweetheart deal/Indemnity.

This is the heart of the matter. Any company that feels that long term deception and misrepresentation of facts to the public is O.K., does not deserve the *Responsible Care designation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


O.K. I just got off the telephone where I was confirming tonite's meeting at the St. Jacobs Community Centre. A fellow from XCG Consultants indeed confirmed that the exciting and sexy topic of sewage will be on the Agenda. This is an important topic however. Recently I posted here in the Advocate the fact that the Elmira WWTP (STP) was the third worst offender in the Grand River watershed for either intentional or accidental by-passes of partially treated sewage.

While the Region of Waterloo are currently underway with both planning and actual construction improvements at a number of sewage plants in the region; obviously it's not a moment too soon and indeed probably should have been down five years ago. We are still slowly learning of varieties of chemicals which are not broken down or removed by our treatment plants. Among others these include pharmaceuticals which are harmful to both human and natural life in the watershed.

Apparently there are choices as to the preferred wastewater treatment plans. It would be helpful if more citizens made it clear to our politicians that more treatment is better. Yes more treatment costs more money but it is money well spent not only for all of us now but for future generations.

Monday, December 3, 2012


*Responsible Care covers quite a large area of matters and issues and I will admit that it is by no means a rubber stamp or done deal for Chemtura (Uniroyal) in Elmira, Ontario. They have been unsucessful in achieving it; many, many times and they have however received it on occasion as well. Although I am extremely skeptical and rightly so of all in house, internal, self policing bodies whether professional or industrial nevertheless the biggest boost to the Chemical Industry Association of Canada's (CIAC) credibility for me has been their repeated past refusals to verify Chemtura.

Partly what concerns me is the CIAC's (former CCPA) stated reasons for denying Chemtura verification under *Responsible Care in the past. A big part of it has been Chemtura's alleged failure to engage the local community. This lack of communications if you will has been perplexing to both myself and I'm sure to Chemtura. Indeed their hiring of a Public Relations company last summer (Susex Group) presumably is to address this shortcoming.

The problem for me in a nutshell is a very simple one. Honesty. They don't have it in their dealings with the public. In over twenty years of dealing with them either as a formal member of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) or as simply a member of the community I have long lost count of the misrepresentations, deceptions, obfuscations and or simple refusal to respond to relevant questions regarding their environmental operations and impact here in Elmira. I am sorry but by any defintion you want, a company that is inherently dishonest with the public, especially after that company has permanently shut down the public water supply does not deserve a *Responsible Care designation.

Tomorrow is a meeting with the CIAC verification team. It includes a representative from Chemtura's West Hill facility as well as two from Elmira. One is the current Chair of CPAC, namely Dr. Dan Holt. Three more are assigned by the CIAC. Dr. Dan has been soliciting opinions of CPAC members on this matter and will appropriately represent them and Elmira citizens. I wish I had the same confidence with all the other verification team members but I do not. It would be grossly irresponsible to reward this rogue company for their decades long misrepresentaion of the truth to the public.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I'm not sure what is worse namely consistent bad decisions or inconsistent ones. If you know ahead of time your Council is beyond hope then you ride out the storm and don't waste your time and energy appealing to their better sides. Also if citizens are convinced that their Councils are there only to protect and serve the interests of the priveleged few then they can go to Council and basically publicly confront them for their sins. In the case of our current Council we definitely have problems. That being said both individuals on Council as well as the entire Council have made some good decisions along the way. Woolwich Bio-En and Jigs Hollow Pit are not in that category.

Today's Woolwich Observer is filled with stories, Letters to the Editor and an excellent Editorial by Steve Kannon. The story is titled "Jigs Hollow gravel pit cleared to proceed". Steve makes it clear that 70 residents in Council chambers were not buying what the gravel pit lawyer and the OMB Chair Mary-Anne Sills were selling. Jan Huisson, one of the Participants, afterwards stated that allowing four of them to speak last Monday "...amounted to so much window dressing.". That's what most of this hearing was. It is outrageous and disgusting for the OMB Chair to suggest that the only evidence of value came from the proponent's bought and paid for experts. Over the last couple of years as well as last Monday the Participants representing the Friends of the Winterbourne Valley outlined numerous holes in the so called "evidence" produced by the proponent. They also correctly pointed out that the onus is on the proponent to prove his case.

Clearly both the law and its' interpretation are biased. Once again citizens in an allegedly free democratic country are seeing the truth. You buy your justice and truth in this country. Our politicians have sold out long ago to vested, wealthy interests and democracy and individual citizen rights have gone as well. Environmentally, constructing gravel pits along the Grand River is prima facie, gross stupidity. The gravel is merely more accesible and hence cheaper to remove from the ground. That's what this is all about. Meanwhile our lying politicians pretend that they are following allegedly honest process and procedure but they are really nothing but window dressing. Shame on the OMB, shame on the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and shame on any of the three on Woolwich Council who knowingly sold out their own residents and taxpayers for the financial benefit of a few.