Thursday, January 31, 2013


I've lost count of how many times over the years I've praised the presence of the Elmira Independent at public CPAC meetings. They used to be joined many years ago by the Woolwich Observer and the K-W Record. For many, many years the Independent have been going it alone, spending their reporter's time (Julie Sawyer) followed by their Editor's time (Gail Martin) at these meetings. Gail has been carrying the load for about the last two or three years I believe. There are some factual inaccuracies that need clearing up regarding Gail's Editorial today.

In the second paragraph Gail stated that Chemtura publicly criticized CPAC Chaiman Dan Holt at Woolwich Council by suggesting his breech of confidentiality was unprofessional. Chemtura did much more than that. They strongly implied that he bluntly was lying about the verification decision having been made. Secondly there was no breech of confidentiality and Chemtura knows that. As should Gail. She was present at both the Council meeting and at CPAC Monday night.

Third paragraph, no Chemtura were not within their rights to dispute Dan's account of the verification decision at the previous Council meeting, one week earlier. This is because Dan was being truthful and they knew that. They disputed Dan's comments because they had a plan in place to reverse the verification decision and Dan was unknowingly threatening it.

Approximately the seventh paragraph states that "...given the fact that the verification team is expected to reach an unanimous conclusion, Mclean's membership on the committee is unlikely to make a difference...". Good Lord that is completely wrong! Possibly half an hour of last Monday's meeting was spent discussing minority or dissenting opinions on the verification team. There will not be a unanimous decision unless it is as it was, namely no to verification. Verification team decisions absolutely do not have to be unanimous as stated by Mr. Masterson, VP. of CIAC.

Approximately the ninth paragraph suggests that yours truly has more influence with the young CPAC than is accurate. If current CPAC members don't trust former CPAC members and their relationship with Chemtura, this reflects among other things the rude behaviour of three or four former CPAC members towards the young CPAC. The old CPAC members noses are way out of joint because they were not reappointed to CPAC by the new Woolwich Council two years ago. The old CPAC members do indeed have a comfortable relationship with Chemtura. Chemtura would be ecstatic to be back dealing with the old versus the young CPAC. Read between the lines if necessary.

Pat Mclean is both a member of the current verification team and also a member of the National Advisory Panel of the Chemistry Industry Assoc'n of Canada (CIAC). She absolutely hid her membership on the NAP while she was CPAC Chair. It is of great importance that she has been appointed by Chemtura, through APT, to the verification team. Chemtura do not and have never appointed serious critics to their verification team.

I repeat that today's Elmira Independent Editorial is both disappointing and highly inaccurate.


So far I have described both CPAC and SWAT members contributions to the discussion surrounding *Responsible Care verification at last Monday evening's public CPAC meeting. As a formal Delegate I read a two page document and left copies for CPAC, Woolwich Township and Mr. Masterson of the CIAC. Today I will be reproducing here only the last paragraph of my Presentation /Delegation to CPAC.

"I raised three needs in Waterloo Region. Regarding Elmira, product stewardship does not mean leaving solvents, dioxins, LNAPLS and DNAPLS and other chemical wastes in the ground for the last twenty-three years. Secondly honest communication with stakeholders does not mean hiding the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement aka "sweetheart deal" between Chemtura and the M.O.E. from the public. Being given an Indemnity for known contamination and hiding behind it is not the *Responsible care ethic. It also does not mean attending Woolwich Council last month and publicly accusing the CPAC Chair of lying and of breeching confidentiality. Finally and thirdly there has yet not been a legitimate attempt to clean up the Elmira Aquifers. There has been, with the complicity of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, more junk science and psuedo science than anything else. Source removal in conjunction with hydraulic containment twenty years ago would have this cleanup well underway. Recently the Region of Waterloo advised us that they will not spend time or money preparing for the reintroduction of the Elmira Aquifers until AFTER they have nominally achieved cleanup. The earliest date Elmira will be back on their own water supply IF all goes well, is 2050. This company apparently feel entitled to *Responsible Care verification. I suggest to you Mr. Masterson that the honest and informed citizens of this community feel otherwise.

Alan Marshall Elmira Environmental Hazards Team & SWAT team member "

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Sebastian clearly and logically raised the advantages of having two opinions on a technical matter. He compared it to a second doctor confirming a diagnosis. Chemtura however as usual were intentionally obtuse and unwilling to concede any advantages whatsoever. Sebastian did suggest that they were relying entirely on Conestoga Rovers and that a second opinion would be worthwhile. Sebastian was too polite to state the obvious which is that CRA are client driven and thus not nuetral or unbiased. Sebastian again for possibly the third month in a row indicated that CPAC absolutely do not support Chemtura/CRA plans for the partial scraping and cleanup of Dioxins at GP1 & 2.

CPAC have decided to change their name. The original plan was to replace Chemtura with "Citizens". This would hopefully clarify in the public's mind that this is NOT a committee of or controlled by Chemtura. Dwight Este suggested that CPAC should make a greater change as the acronym would be the same. Personally I like the change while incorporating the continuity of CPAC or Citizens Public Advisory Committee.

There was a new person in the gallery Monday night with some interesting questions for Chemtura. Her name is Susannah and her questions related to GP1 & 2 and a possible Environmental Assessment. She has a technical background possibly as a hydrogeological technician. The more the merrier as citizens getting involved is the last thing that Chemtura welcome.

Bob Masterson mentioned the *Responsible Care ethic as being doing the right thing and being seen to do the right thing. This alone is another smoking gun as to why Chemtura do not and have never deserved verification.

Vivian mentioned two other issues with Chemtura such as their failure to promptly report the BLE-25 air emissions to Woolwich Council over two years ago. She also advised that Chemtura had intentionally and spitefully attempted to undermine both CPAC and CPAC's Chair at Woolwich Council prior to christmas.

Regarding minority or dissenting opinions on the verification team, Bob Masterson of the CIAC made it clear that both majority and minority opinions/positions must be documented and that the company must clearly state if there is a dissenting opinion by a verification team member. Furthermore I was a little put off by Mr. Masterson's repeatedly passing the buck from the CIAC (Chemistry Institute Assocn of Canada) onto the team by suggesting that they made the complete or incomplete decision, not CIAC. This may be true but a very large component of the team is determined by the CIAC.

CPAC Chair Dan spelled it out loud and clear and publicly. Dwight (Chemtura) was gilding the lily with his excuses at CPAC about Dan allegedly breeching confidentiality and lying about the verification team having reached a final decision. Dan stated the following without further denial and argument from Chemtura.
1) the decision was verbally agreed to that verifcation could not proceed
2) there was no time for Chemtura's latest "plan" to be implemented
3) the verification team's meetings were over. There were no further plans for meetings expressed.

Clearly after the fact and without Dan's prior knowledge, efforts were made by either or Chemtura and the CIAC to do damage control. This "damage control" meant another kick at the can AFTER the team had made their negative decision regarding verification. Clearly this verification team process needs work and that's all on the CIAC. Clearly there is a bias involved and that's all on the CIAC. CPAC as they always have, have given Chemtura the benefit of the doubt and second and third chances. Agreeing to Mr. Masterson attend CPAC and clarify *Responsible Care is just one more example of CPAC going the extra mile. Chemtura FAILED or were INCOMPLETE with their verification. If CIAC/verification team turn around and claim Chemtura PASSED or COMPLETED their verification then it will sully the CIAC's allegedly open and transparent process. I say to you CIAC that your reputation is as much or more on the line here as is Chemtura's. Doing the right thing and being seen to do the right thing is a no brainer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Last night's public CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) meeting was both elevating and unnerving. Instead of yours truly having to be the only critic present, those duties were ably shared with each and every CPAC member present. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that even Pat Mclean, present for only the second time in two years and Susan Bryant, present probably for only the third or fourth time, both asked some excellent questions in regards to the partial Dioxin removal planned for GP1 & 2. The unnerving part was one of the slickest presentations I've seen in a while, by the vice-president of the Chemical Industry Assocn of Canada (CIAC). This gentleman was affable, well spoken and clearly enjoyed talking about *Responsible Care. He was almost impossible to pin down on the difficult questions that CPAC politely peppered him with. Note I say almost.

In the world of honest persons, a direct answer to a direct question is considered polite. Now if the question is either rude or irrelevant or personal, then an honest person does not engage in a five minute, circuitous dialogue, essentially saying nothing. They bluntly say either no comment or none of your business. They don't bullshit. Last night CPAC members Dan, Vivienne, David and Sebastian asked relevant, pertinent questions of both Mr. Masterson of the CIAC and of Chemtura staff (Josef, Dwight & Jeff). The bulk of these questions dealt with ethics, honesty, forthrightness and how they fit into the *Responsible Care mold. CPAC wanted to know where the CIAC stood on giving *Responsible Care verifcation to a company (Chemtura) who treated their stakeholders dishonestly and disrespectfully. CPAC were searching for straight answers to straight questions and it was nothing but stickhandling, avoidance, smooth talking, deflection and word games in response.

Mr. Masterson reminded me of a flyweight boxer. He danced, spun, twisted and avoided all direct questions. He was far better at it then Josef, Dwight and Jeff who whined about either hypothetical questions or who went off on their own self made tangents such as why should we pay for three, four or five different opinions when we've already paid for Conestoga Rovers? Sebastian bluntly brought that back to earth by stating that CPAC wanted ONE peer review for a total of TWO opinions, not three, four or five. Chemtura danced forever around the makeup of the *Responsible Care verification team at Chemtura. Finally after multiple questions from numerous CPAC members they finally, grudgingly admitted that yes they do appoint local groups to provide them with verification members.

Similarily Mr. Masterson absolutely would not agree that CIAC verification would be viewed by the community as some sort of an endorsement for Chemtura's behaviour and cleanup. Again playing word games and using semantics he avoided being pinned down even by the obvious. Chemtura desperately want this CIAC verification to shore up their plunging public appearance. Whether from CPAC's Resolution of last spring criticizing their alleged cleanup or the ever growing understanding that their partners CRA and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment are promoting their interests, not the publics', their public image is in freefall.

The gloves came off when CPAC members VIV and Dr. Dan (Chair) confronted Chemtura regarding their public, verbal assault upon Dr. Dan at Woolwich Council prior to Christmas. Dwight attempted to bafflegab with comments about how they were merely criticizing Dan's going public with information they considered private. Yours truly joined the fray as I had been present at that Council meeting. Dwight was set straight and I made it very clear to Mr. Masterson of the CIAC that personal, inaccurate public attacks of the public advisory chair grossly violated the ethics of *Responsible Care. Once again he was carefully non-committal.

Richard Clausi of the SWAT sub-committee had participated regarding the makeup of Chemtura's verifcation team and as well he spoke at the end as part of Public Forum. He pointed out to the CIAC gentleman that he Richard had participated in three different public advisory committees, namely varnicolor, Sulco and Chemtura. He advised that Sulco were the gold standard of a company who were honest and forthright whereas Chemtura absolutely were not. They are unreasonable, combative and dogmatic and they feel that their bought and paid for consultants should not be challenged.

There was considerable discussion and questions surrounding minority positions on the verifcation team. Clearly CPAC do NOT remotely support Chemtura achieving verification. Dr. Dan is the only member of a six member team that was appointed through the committee of Woolwich Council, namely CPAC. Pat Mclean was appointed essentially by Chemtura, although through APT Environment. I do not know how many APTE members were involved in that decision but my guess is between two and four. Regardless if Chemtura achieve verification it will be contrary to the wishes of the public advisory committee appointed by Woolwich Council two years ago. I expect that Pat McLean as a National Advisoy Panel member of the CIAC will ultimately favour verification. If so it will be a triumph of rigged process and appointment versus honest earning of what Mr. Masterson referred to in one breath as the gold standard award for industry while in the next claiming oh no it's not an endorsement of Chemtura. Bullshit baffles brains but fortunately not all the time.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Saturday's Woolwich Observer carrys this story "Valentine's fundraiser to help community group fund its gravel pit fight". A dinner and dance are scheduled for February 9 at the Conestogo Golf and Country Club. The CWRA was formed five years ago to block the proposed Hunder gravel pit. They have raised to date $172,000 and feel that an additional $42,000 is required to carry them through the legal processes of the Ontario Municipal Board. These costs will include lawyers for the group as well as expert witnesses to counter the arguments and positions of the experts hired by the proponent.

Herein lies the inherent contradictions within a so called democracy. This pit will lower the quality of life for the nearby residents and it will lower the value of their homes and properties. At the same time, just like the rest of us, they are paying taxes to municipal, provincial and federal governments for services including health, safety and protection from catastrophic losses. Why in the name of God do they have to bear the financial burden of defending their homes and quality of life AND pay taxes to three levels of government who are supposed to be doing the same thing? What is even worse is that the laws passed by these levels of government have long favoured the making of money by small groups at the expense of the taxpaying public. There is absolutely zero need for gravel to be extracted from along the Grand River, from beside the West Montrose Covered Bridge or beside residential neighbourhoods in Conestogo and Winterbourne. The gravel is merely cheaper to extract there as it's closer to the surface than farther away from the river. Cheaper that is when the social and personal costs are transferred away from the aggregate producer and put upon the backs of nearby residents.

The system has long been broken entirely in the favour of the few at the expense of the many. So much for democracy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Last Thursday's Elmira Independent has a Public Notice of a PIC (Public Information Centre) regarding the covered bridge scheduled for 5:30-7:30 pm., February 12, 2013 at Woolwich Township Council chambers. There will be a formal presentation from 6:30-7:30 pm.. This PIC is in regards to proposed construction and management of the bridge for its' long term viability.

It is my opinion that the covered bridge is the underpinning regarding opposition to the Capitol Paving nearby proposed gravel pit. Anything sustaining the bridge is good for both the residents and the environment. The OMB also in their infinite weirdness are more likely to deny the gravel pit based on the presence of the bridge than upon the accumulative negative effects to the heritage Grand River caused by ever growing gravel pits along its' banks. Gravel actually is a filter and improves the health of rivers. Constantly removing it from all our local river banks is simply theft of a public good for private benefit. Our politicians have long passed laws to help the greedy elite, at the expense of the public.

Friday, January 25, 2013


The Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) time has been changed back to 6 PM. this coming Monday at Woolwich Council. Sorry for the confusion but accomodating people's hectic schedules is challenging.


Yesterday's Elmira Independent carrys this story "OMB costs surpass $300,000". Apparently last year Woolwich Township paid $338,236 in legal fees, the bulk of which revolved around several Ontario Municipal Board hearings (OMB) such as the Hawk Ridge Homes and Jigs Hollow Pit hearings.

Although the rationale for refusing the Hawk Ridge Homes development to go ahead was pretty weird, at least it was denied. The Jigs Hollow Pit went ahead with a really sketchy hearing in which the OMB Chair clearly was biased against the citizens and all the evidence they presented. This led to an Editorial on December 13/12 in the Independent bu Gail Martin suggesting that the OMB needs to be reviewed. Aside from the legislation itself and several failings, there simply appears to be no common sense whatsoever involved in these hearings.

This year there will probably be more OMB hearings involving gravel pits as both the Capitol Pit in West Montrose and the Hunder Pit in Conestogo come up to bat. While the legal costs are disgraceful, politically Woolwich Council are up against it. They had better fight tooth and nail for their Woolwich citizens or the pack of them can kiss reelection chances down the drain. Of course Councillor Bauman from St. Jacobs can once again keep his head down and stay out of the fray as the folks in St Jacobs can hardly feel as passionate about gravel pits that are in everybody else's backyard.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


*Responsible Care is more than just rules, regulations and procedures. It also encompasses ethics. For most of the world ethics would include honest communications between parties and stakeholders. Hence for a company to routinely misrepresent facts and distort reality to their self-serving version should preclude them from receiving verification/reverification under *Responsible Care.

Following are but a few examples of what I am referring to. More sensitive readers may choose from the discriptive list in the title if they feel more comfortable in characterizing Chemtura and fellow travellors behaviour, for example, as junk science versus lies.

The NDMA plume centred around OW60, north-west of Chemtura is a "relic" or "remnant" plume. This is a self-serving factual fiction for Chemtura and fellow travellors to prop up their original fiction that only one company contributed to the destruction of the drinking water aquifers. Their definition of "relic/remnant" plume reminds me of Brian Beatty's testimony at the early Environmental Appeal Board hearings that stated that dissolved contaminants left in a westward direction from Uniroyal and then were held essentially immobile by countervailing hydraulic forces due to the north and south wellfield simultaneously pumping. This theory was disproven by among other things the fact that the south wellfield was contaminated with Uniroyal chemicals as shortly afterwards was the north wellfield. Immobile plumes of high concentrations of chemicals do not remain stationary in groundwater. They move and they eventually through dilution etc. decrease. High readings in the same area over years/decades, without extraction wells beside them, indicate a source area of contamination.

Acetone is a co-solvent which has magnified the concentrations of chlorobenzene in the groundwater around OW57-32R, beside pumping well W4. Many solvents will act as a co-solvent for chemicals that do not readily dissolve in groundwater. Examples would include essentially insoluble compounds such as DDT, Dioxins, Mercaptobenzothiazole and numerous other compounds found on the Chemtura site. This phenomenon explains the detection of normally hydrophobic (water avoiding) compounds in groundwater. These hydrophobic compounds readily dissolve in solvents but not in clean groundwater. The M.O.E. without presenting a lick of scientific literature to back them up, claim that no longer present acetone increased the solubility of chlorobenzene, allowing for higher concentrations than in upgradient locations, closer to Chemtura/Uniroyal. That is rubbish and worse. A study that was done by Conestoga Rovers a few years back actually was unsucessful in pinning high dissolved concentrations of Mercaptobenzothiazole upon significant concentrations of acetone also present. Jaimie Connolly of the Ontario M.O.E. appears to have grabbed upon this study with the hopes that no one present at CPAC will remember the conclusions (wrong!) and distort them into "proving" or at least supporting his unsubstantiated theory. I've publicly called him on it and to date no response from him, CRA or Chemtura.

Last but not least is Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. refusal to acknowledge source areas off the Chemtura site. This includes the already mentioned OW60 (NDMA) as well as OW57-32R (chlorobenzene), CH-38 (NDMA)and CH44 area (NDMA/Chlorobenzene) on the Yara/Nutrite site. To date Chemtura only wish to "credit" Yara for Ammonia contributions. There are soil readings with multiple other chemicals above and beyond NDMA and Chlorobenzene.

An honest company wishing to achieve *Responsible Care would not let these strongly disputed facts fester. If they were being honest and forthright they would not sweep them under the carpet primarily using the credentials of their consultants and the M.O.E. . They would take the time and trouble to either find and produce third party unbiased studies backing their positions or they would agree to funding independent peer reviews of these important problems. To date that has not occurred.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Firstly there has been a time change from the usual 6 pm. to 7 pm.. This is to accomodate a CPAC member who will be out of town that day and hopefully can make it back by 7 pm. weather etc. depending.

Also added to the Agenda is a presentation by a vice-president of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), namely a Mr. Bob Masterson. I believe that he is attending as part of Chemtura's and CIAC's attempt to reverse the verbal decision from before Christmas to deny verification (or reverification, whichever). He will most likely be advising CPAC and the public that there are a multitude of factors which determine compliance and that Chemtura may well be in compliance with the majority of them.

I have already written here in the Advocate why I believe that Chemtura aren't even close. This is based not only on common sense and their repugnant behaviour but also on specific principles of *Responsible Care which they do not abide by. As always CPAC and the public will give Chemtura and their friends an honest opportunity to state their case. I will of course be a Delegate and will be speaking against verification. I believe that CPAC will appropriately weigh all the evidence and appropriately put more weight on actions and less on words and promises. That too will not help Chemtura's cause.

The M.O.E. may or may not be present as they originally agreed to the date only to change their minds last week. Classy. Regardless I also expect that the ridiculous and almost asinine response received from the Minister's office concerning the face to face meeting with CPAC and Woolwich Township will be discussed.

This will be an excellent meeting to attend and I expect all of Chemtura's supporters will be there to assist them. It's amazing in hindsight watching some of them rotate 180 degrees and still pretend that they are doing the right thing. The words which come to mind are sellouts and hypocrites.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Is it coincidence that we've finally had several months of excellent on and off-site pumping at the same time as Chemtura are desperately trying to steal back their *Responsible care verification? Based on CRA's computer modelling they again have met all their pumping requirements.

As indicated in each of these monthly Progress Reports, Conestoga Rovers have a statistical analysis which allegedly shows no statistical increase in chemicals downstream from their plant versus upstream. As I've indicated before a simple, direct comparison of the means (averages) however consistently shows slightly higher downstream concentrations than upstream for, this month, NDMA, NMOR and Toluene. I grant you these are tiny increases but increases they are. Also do not overlook the huge dilution effect of surface water on the relatively small but ongoing discharges of toxins to the creek courtesy of Chemtura.

Appendix D Figure D.3 shows us the difference in elevation between groundwater and surface water in the canagagigue creek. All the monitoring pairs show that the groundwater elevations are lower than the creek which would indicate hydraulic containment. The problem is the extremely minute amount of lowered elevation. At the north end of the Upper Aquifer Containment System (UACS) it is only .1 metre or a few inches. Further south the difference in elevation is a significant .5 metre to .9 metre. Why so much in the south and so little in the north? This does not give me confidence that even the limited 1/4 containment of the Upper Aquifer (ie. SW corner only) is doing it's job adequately.

Table F.1 is disappointing as it again shows us the volumes of free phase LNAPL (light non aqueous phase liquid) floating on the watertable, being monitored and then ignored. A couple of wells in particular seem to routinely have .3 to .5 metre thick of this oily liquid floating on the watertable. The technology has long existed to remove it but the will simply hasn't. Shame on both the M.O.E. and Chemtura.

The game goes on unabated. Perhaps as public opinion and outrage rises we will eventually have a meaningfull cleanup of both the on-site source areas as well as some of the off-site source areas.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Currently between Chemtura and the former south wellfield we have in order from north to south, the following pumping wells namely: W5A, W5B, W3 and W4. We have been advised over the years that these off-site pumping wells were located in the middle of "hot spots". W4 had very high levels of dissolved chlorobenzene including higher than the 1% solubility rule indicating nearby DNAPL. W3 had unusually high levels of NDMA which long made me suspect either Borg or Sanyo as possible sources. W5A and W5B allegedly were to intercept the high dissolved ammonia released from the Yara/Nutrite site.

Most importantly neither Chemtura nor the M.O.E. would do any appropriate testing (soil/groundwater) to confirm or deny the possibilty of sources other than Chemtura/Uniroyal especially at W3 which is a huge distance away from Chemtura. This past summer we were treated to some of the most repugnant, tag team, double coverage junk science we've seen in some time. The purpose by Chemtura and the M.O.E. was to deny Chemtura's own consultants (CRA) findings from 1998. They had found what appeared to be free phase DNAPL, 100 feet below ground, essentially beside W4 at well OW57-32R. Again based on proximity and historical useage etc. it seemed likely that either Borg Textiles (Howard Ave.) or Varnicolor Chemical (Union St.) were the culprits. As Chemtura is approximately a quarter mile away I thought that it seemed unlikely for free phase DNAPL containing Chlorobenzene to have flowed that far.

Not so quick! I had found a few years back a subsurface route directly from Varnicolor's Lot 91 directly to W3 (near MacDonald's). This route is based upon the propensity for DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquid) to flow on the surface of denser, more compacted soils such as clay and or less permeable surfaces. This flow is due to gravity and if you think of liquid mercury on an incline, you'll get the idea. I've been looking for some time and only recently have found a direct route from Chemtura/Uniroyal's west side ponds; down through the Upper Aquifer and into the Municipal Aquifer via "windows" in the Upper Aquitard (UAT). It then can gravity flow on the surface of the Municipal Aquitard after passing essentially vertically downwards through the Municipal Aquifer. The Municipal Aquitard (MAT) slopes slightly south-west (mostly west) under Union St. and the former Varnicolor property towards W4. At that point the MAT disappears thus introducing the DNAPL also to the Municipal Lower (ML) Aquifer.

The bottom line is the DNAPL is there and has been there for decades. The M.O.E. and Chemtura are lying about it. One of a myriad of reasons why could be the M.O.E.'s long time excuse that they can't force Chemtura to clean up stuff that hasn't left their site. Here we have DNAPL (chlorobenzene) a quarter mile away. The evidence is overwhelming that it exists and if the culprit isn't Borg or Varnicolor then it is Chemtura. The last piece of the puzzle has been found as far as how it could have gotten there from Chemtura. Chemtura and the M.O.E. both claim that Chemtura are the only source of chlorobenzene in the Elmira Aquifers. Fine. Then man up and remove it.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Last week I posted an article here in regards to an E-Dat tutorial given to CPAC, SWAT and the public at Conestoga Rovers offices in Waterloo. Four CPAC members and two SWAT (soil, water, air, technology) members attended. This E-Dat program (flash drive) contains both incredible amounts of reports, figues and text but also a 3-D subsurface visualization that is quite remarkable. As I indicated two young, thoroughly knowledgable and professional CRA employees did the bulk of the presentation. When it was over they verbally offerred to respond to any technical difficulties, problems and or suggestions that we came up with down the road as we used this model. They also gave out their business cards to myself and everyone else which of course had their contact information on it.

Twenty-four hours ago I e-mailed the CRA employee who had done the bulk of the 3-D visualization tutorial. I cc'd Rich Clausi as he and I together the day before found a significant problem in the operation of the program. Kristen (CRA) has not responded but within a couple of hours Jeff Merriman of Chemtura had. He politely advise me that "We are not prepared at this time to make any modifications to the model..." He further added "Please send future comments and/or suggestions to me rather than CRA.".

Well! I have since sent my e-mails and Richard's as well as Jeff's on to all the CPAC members. I have been assurred that yes the ones attending clearly remember the CRA staff repeatedly promising to respond directly to any problems or questions we had as we work with this program and 3-D MODEL. I have also been assurred that my e-mail to Kristen (CRA) was polite, courteous and respectful. Also I might add, contrary to Jeff Merriman's (Chemtura) response I wasn't asking for "any modifications". I was asking if there was some way of temporarily reducing the visual noise of dozens (hundreds?) of wells represented subsurface by white vertical lines which obscured the subsurface stratigraphy.

Why would Chemtura share (albeit years later) a potentially incredible tool with the public, be present when their consultants offerred to further assist the public (& CPAC), and then shut down a legitimate, good faith request for information? Did my particular request hit a home run? Is their program flawed beyond help? I really don't think so. I think my question could readily easily have been properly responded to and accommodated. I also think that Chemtura's attempt to belatedly share information and data with the public has backfired and terrified them. I think they are worried that CPAC and the public will indeed understand much more clearly what has occurred on their site, moved off and destoyed the Elmira Aquifers (with others assistance). This is NOT within the goals or ethics of *Responsible Care.

Friday, January 18, 2013


This week's Elmira Independent has an article on the first page titled "Council approves issues list for ROMA". ROMA stands for the Rural Ontario Municipal Association and their conference is coming up late next month. Woolwich Council has an issues list and it most appropriately includes several environmental matters relevant to Woolwich Township. They are the status of the review of the Aggregate Resources Act, the need to reform the Ontario Municipal Board and concerns over inadequate time periods given for municipal input on Feed in tariff applications. All of these problems have arisen within Woolwich over the last couple of years and all citizens have borne the brunt of the province's failure to heed earlier calls for reform.

Woolwich Township are also requesting a follow-up meeting with Environment Minister Jim Bradley. This is due to the very unfortunate and unsatisfactory letter sent by his staff to the Township and CPAC following their face to face meeting with Minister Bradley in early December. Quoting Mayor Cowan "We had a good meeting (on Dec.5); unfortunately, the letter from his staff does not reflect the answers we were looking for".

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has the following story "Group wants nuclear waste kept far from Lake Huron". Apparently there are two separate proposals currently underway. One is to bury low and intermediate strenth radioactive waste and the other is for high strength radioactive waste to be buried in a "deep geological repository". This group based in Bruce County are fighting the plan for low and intermediate wastes to be buried near Kincardine on Lake Huron's shore. The high waste stuff has at the moment five possible host communities all in Bruce County including the former Southampton (now saugeen Shores).

The best quote of the article for me is "It defies common sense to bury radioactive waste beside a source of drinking water that 40 million people rely on". The Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump group are taking their campaign to Toronto via billboards. They believe and rightly so that this is a national environmental issue. To date our authorities have utterly failed to show transparency and honesty in any environmental assessments, appeals etc. They wonder why citizens have so little confidence in them when their standard operating procedure is propaganda, public relations and junk science. Add to this just about every community in southern Ontario have their own environmental time bombs courtesy of industry without conscience and government with only token oversight. Locally remember Walkerton, Elmira, William St wells in Waterloo,
coal tar and Safety-Kleen in Kitchener, the Middleton wellfield, C.G.T., Ciba-Geigy and Northstar in Cambridge. Our authorities are not worthy of our trust and haven't been for decades.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Varnicolor Chemical's Severin Argenton knew all the tricks. Dumping of waste liquids especially made him a millionaire. The art was in dumping and not getting caught. This required subterfuge and it required loyal, well paid help. The Ontario M.O.E. essentially ignored the help because they didn't want to know how much and in how many ways toxic wastes got dumped.

He dumped on Lot 91 at the east end of Oriole Parkway and he dumped surrepticiously on his 62 Union St. site. The sneakiest dumping involved a buried septic tank and a buried full sized road tanker. But what about the warehouse over on Howard Ave. known as the Triunion site? The groundwater plumes show very little new source areas from there. What is known is that there were issues with storm water drains running along Howard Ave. There were also issues with sanitary sewers from the Union St. site . It only makes sense that Mr. Argenton was also dumping from the relative obscurity of the warehouse on Howard Ave. Indeed evidence was so found after he closed up shop. This evidence has never seen the light of day courtesy of M.O.E. secrecy and dishonesty. This evidence was not given to me until relatively recently. More to come.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


It's been a terrible year for Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. . Since last spring their expertise, professionalism and credibility have been under polite but serious attack. It seems as if the price of horse manure has plummeted leaving them holding vast stocks of a greatly undervalued commodity. So sad. I've been advising CPAC that some form of "pushback" was inevitable. CPAC's Resolution followed by Woolwich Council's endorsement has emasculated literally decades of carefully orchestrated junk science and misinformation surrounding the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers.

Chemtura have started the "pushback" with their pre-Christmas attack on the CPAC Chair, Dr. Dan Holt. Their bizarre verbal diatribe to Woolwich Council suggesting that Dr. Dan had "breached confidentiality" in regards to the *Responsible Care verification was complete hooey. The decision was made for good reason that Chemtura had failed again. Now the Chemistry Institute Assoc'n of Canada (CIAC) in conjunction with Chemtura are trying to get that decision reversed. Our Ontario Ministry of the Environment have just informed CPAC that they can't attend the public CPAC meeting of Monday January 28/13. This is the first meeting in two months and six or seven days notice after agreeing to the date is nonsense. They have had as many as five reps attend in the past and if there was a major provincial environmental disaster underway, it might be understandable. My interpretation is that they are as usual simply running defence for Chemtura who are trying to buy time as they work on getting verified .

Back on January 5/13 I posted an article suggesting why Chemtura do not deserve verifcation. Two points need to be added. The CIAC and *Responsible Care focus on many things but communication with the host community is a major one. In any sane world that would imply HONEST communications. Thus Chemtura are completely buggered. The CPAC Resolution of last spring, politely but firmly told the universe (& hopefully the CIAC) that over two decades of spin, propaganda and junk science promulgated by Chemtura and fellow travellors was exactly that. It was totally unscientific, inaccurate nonsense. A totally different path was required and should have been followed for the past twenty years plus. The second point is this: Jeff Merriman of Chemtura has repeatedly falsely advised CPAC that they Chemtura will remove any buried wastes or serious contamination as they come across it. Either this is a blatant fib or it is Jeff and company being cute and intentionally deceiving CPAC and the public. In the last several years many new boreholes and monitoring wells have been drilled. Some are on Chemtura's own property, others are on neighbours' property. These borehole logs show subsurface staining of soil, strong odours and high photo ionization detector readings. Some of these discoveries are shallow and some are very deep. To date they have not been addressed much less acknowledged by Chemtura. This is not honest communications with either CPAC or the public.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Today's Waterloo Region Record has an astounding Editorial as far as I'm concerned. The title is "Another view: It's time that we get the lead out". We've all known for decades that lead causes neurological harm especially in developing brains. We've all known that it's removal firstly from paint and secondly from gasoline has been a huge plus for improving mental and pysical health around the world. What I had never heard of before today is the direct, scientific link between lead exposure in childhood and criminal behaviour, especially violent behaviour. Today's Record advises us of multiple ongoing and completed studies showing a direct linkage between lead levels in young offenders versus lower lead levels in non-offenders. Furthermore crime statistics peaked approximately twenty years after levels of lead in the environment, such as homes and outside air peaked, thus indicating that lead exposed infants had reached maturity and were offending.

The ramifications to these studies are incredible including in how we treat our violent offenders. Are they solely responsible for their behaviour especially if there is scientific evidence that their childhood developing brains were damaged/affected by an environmental contaminant? Secondly what does this say to humans ability to incorporate more and more chemicals, metals, plastics into our manufacturing processes? Obviously both with paints and gasoline there was a technical or cost reason for adding lead. In gasoline it helped reduce engine knocking. Are we investigating rigourously enough beforehand? How many different compounds has mankind inflicted upon the world, only to regret it later? P.C.B.'s, DDT, Agent Orange, diacetyl, Trichloroethylene, radiation: the list goes on and on and we are still finding more damage from some we've already addressed after the fact. Science , not politics must prevail if mankind hopes to actually leave anything for future generations, much less a better world.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


The first one was thirty years ago and involved the Township's Works Department responding to repeated complaints of discoloured (orange) liquids discharging at the east end of Howard St. to a surface ditch that then ran towards the Canagagigue Creek. That investigation also involved the former Woolwich CAO, Bill Kowalchuk, who went on to work full time for Varnicor Chemical as their government and waste licensing liason.

The owner of Varnicolor (Severin Argenton) also was involved as the finger was pointed towards them due to a variety of subsurface drains from the Varnicolor site into the Howards St. storm drains. Various pieces of evidence have been provided by yours truly to assist in this investigation being conducted at the highest levels within the Township.

The rationale, at least from my perspective, for this investigation is a follows. The M.O.E. and their partner in pollution, Chemtura, have long claimed that Uniroyal/Chemtura are the sole source of Chlorobenzene to the Elmira Aquifers. At one time they even claimed that Uniroyal/Chemtura were the sole source of all contamination to Elmira's drinking water aquifers but that falsehood has long been disproven. Chlorobenzene was detected in the Howard St. storm drain which runs between the former Borg Textiles and the former Varnicolor Chemical. Both of these companies are absolutely excellent possibilities for improper disposal of chlorobenzene based upon both the type and nature of chemicals they handled as well as their disposal history although the nod must certainly go to Varnicolor as their disposal history is well documented including jail time for the owner.

The M.O.E. were solely responsible to determine all the sources to the multiple chemicals found in the south wellfield in 1989. They, in my opinion, intentionally ignored other sources such as Varnicolor Chemical until we the citizens publicly embarassed and humiliated them into doing their jobs. The experience that Rich Clausi and I had was that the only way we ever got cooperation from the M.O.E. was by publicly hammering them. They were either at our throats or at our heels and we preferred them at our heels when they made it clear that an honest, respectful relationship wouldn't work for them.

It's time again. The M.O.E. continue to defend the indefensible and they need to be publicly raked over the coals if Elmira citizens including CPAC are to proceed to the next level in getting the Elmira Aquifers cleaned up.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Tomorrow's Woolwich Observer is out although not on line yet. Steve Kannon has written the following story "Not enough time to review green projects; township". A total of five projects were presented to Council for their last minute endorsement under new rules by the province's Feed-in-Tariff program. The only one getting an immediate blessing was the rooftop solar panel for chateau gardens. Chuck Martin of Bio-En had three proposals all for immediate neighbours of the Martin's Lane Bio-En facility. One was to use excess heat generated by the Bio-gas faciltiy and the other two to use excess bio-gas itself to produce electricity for a neighbour.

The point of the story is primarily the tokenism being shown by the province in pretending to listen to local council's input on these projects. The problem of course is the extremely short time frame for councils to educate themselves with the facts and thus make an informed decision.

For me there is another equally disappointing fact. I've been carefully watching the lack of activity on the Martin's Lane site for many months since they were given the complete go-ahead. Yes I've seen earth scraped and moved around. I've also seen a few surveying stakes put up. What I haven't seen is any real construction. Keep in mind our winters aren't nearly what they once were with all construction absolutely shut down from mid November through to April. Thus I was still holding out some desperate hope that without footings for foundations at least; that maybe there was some deliberate stalling going on. Maybe there might be a reason to go slow. That feeble thought seems to be a whole lot less likely when Chuck Martin is still trying to expand his sales to nearby neighbours, based upon excess capacity at the Martin's Lane location.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


As mentioned in Tuesday's posting (2 days ago) there was a tutorial held this morning at the offices of Conestoga Rovers in Waterloo. Participants included four CPAC members, two SWAT team members and Jeff Merriman from Chemtura. The CRA contingent consisted of Kristen, Ted and Adam. Ted took us through reports and data available on the flash drive and he was followed by Kristen speaking specifically to the 3-D visualization aspects of the flash drive.

Both presenters knew their stuff and were very availble to questions throughout. Further comments and clarifications were given by Adam and Jeff M. The questions and clarifications pointed out the incredible amount of data, literally going back decades, that is available on theses flash drives. The 3-D Visualization is extremely helpful in understanding the big geological picture as well as the how and where the different aquifers are flowing. Things like windows in the Aquitards can be found as well as seeing directly how the aquifers generally slope to the south-west and thus flow towards the Conestogo River in St. Jacobs.

Much of this data can be learned the hard way over decades of reading reports but this entire program speeds up the process dramatically. It also allows for incredible ability to retrieve data and information without spending hours searching through hard copy reports. Kudos to CRA for their technical talents and kudos to Chemtura for making this information readily available to CPAC and the public.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The Ontario Ministry of the Environment have responded in writing to the face to face meeting they had with Woolwich Mayor Cowan and Chemura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) reps in early December. All things considered it was a very timely albeit disappointing response on behalf of the Minister of the Environment, Jim Bradley. I have been advised verbally by three knowledgeable persons that the letter sent while respectful, courteous and timely basically said no to any and all requests by Woolwich Township and their committee of council, CPAC.

The letter from the M.O.E. bluntly advises that they have confidence in the 2028 alleged cleanup date. This is hardly surprising as they and Chemtura have been hiding behind their, until recently released, secret sweetheart deal for over two decades. I have posted here my belief that this secrecy is slowly breaking down as CPAC and Woolwich Township are forging ahead attempting to get a much better and more timely cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers. As well of late there appears to be a more candid response from the Region of Waterloo in regards to nonsense promises promulgated by the unholy trinity of Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. .

There apparently is also some fairly heavy horse manure included in the M.O.E.'s letter. For example they make the unfactual and dishonest claim that the site has been contained by the on-site pump and treat system. Over the years even the M.O.E. and Wilf Ruland (hydrogeologist) have admitted from time to time that the site is leaking and not properly contained. Secondly the M.O.E. just like Chemtura and CRA are hiding behind their "dynamic" approach to cleanup. Allegedly this means that based on the science they will respond appropriately to problems and make positive changes when required. The reality is that all they react to is public pressure such as CPAC's Resolution, later endorsed by Woolwich Council last spring. CRA have responded with a major list of promises to at long last improve their off-site cleanup including source removal and increased pumping.

All in all Chemtura's partners in pollution by rejecting the intelligent and reasonable requests from CPAC and Woolwich Township have merely reinforced CPAC's resolve and understanding of the inherently dishonest and corrupt position the Ontario Ministry of the Environment has been in for decades.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Chemtura and friends are very lucky in that they have been able to buy support very cheaply. Secondly they are very lucky that their support has had the honour (?) to stay bought. Just look at Chief Spence and the Idle No more movement. Here our federal government, in good faith (Ha!), has willingly permitted high salaries to Chiefs and band Councils for years. After believing that the band representatives were well and truly bought off, they find out otherwise. Is there no honour among thieves (politicians) and those they've apparently bought off?

Soooo sad. There I was yesterday looking up *Responsible Care via google and yes there were a lot of very glossy, professional stories describing the good things about this program of the CIAC. Keep firmly in mind that these are all voluntary programs that the members endeavour to follow. Also keep in mind that there were a couple of very nasty incidents which gave rise to the whole program. One was the Mississauga train derailment which I think was around 1978. Regardless I'm sure that lots of people don't realize how close to home that thousands of people had to be evacuated due to toxic fumes. The second incident may have included the Bhopal India horrendous number of deaths due to a Union Carbide chemical release. Anyhow the real point I was raising is that in and among all the positives for *Responsible Care on google are a number of posts from the Elmira Advocate. I guess I'm hinting that the CIAC may at some point want to think long and hard about having a rogue company like Chemtura as a member.

Oh yes and I would once more like to suggest that they might want to choose more carefully their local reps for Chemtura's verification attempts. If they want Chemtura to succeed then they need to eliminate true and honest representatives of Elmira residents in the future. For example allowing Chemtura to appoint a member from the CIAC's National Advisory Panel who lives in Elmira and has a very jealous axe to grind with the current public advisory committee; is totally inappropriate. This is especially so as she kept her National Advisory Panel status secret from a number of CPAC voting members at the time, including myself.

There is a public orientation/education meeting of CPAC Monday morning 9 am. January 21/13 at Woolwich Council. A week later at 6 pm. in Council will be the normal monthly public meeting. This Thursday will be a tutorial held by Conestoga Rovers in Waterloo to assist users of their flash drives that they handed out prior to Christmas. I expect to see some discussion about Chemtura/CRA's proposed new "cleanup" plans at the Thursday 6 pm. public meeting.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Every now and then if a citizen reads carefully he can detect a message from a reporter that they may or may not have intended. Saturday's Waterloo Region Record is an example for me. Paige Desmond wrote this story "Few takers for new biosolids facility". I don't question the engineering behind the heating of sewage treatment plant biosolids which presumably drys them and makes them lighter and easier to transport. I also understand that presumably and hopefully nasty things like bacteria, heavy metals, syringes and Lord knows what else are sucessfully removed.

What has caught my interest is the response by municipal politicians to having this biosolids facility in their constituency. Apparently Councillor Scott Witmer is adamant that Waterloo should not be the home of this facilty if there are going to be any odours involved. Obviously the City of Waterloo have been on the receiving end of odour complaints from the Erb St. landfill for a very long time including 1,051 complaints between 1999 and 2012. Wow! Meanwhile Regional Chair Ken Seiling says that there won't be any odours. Nada. zero. Huh! So why if there will be no odours are the Region having difficulties finding a willing host? Is Councillor Witmer, perish the thought, suggesting that anytime in the past, the Region has misled the City of Waterloo?

Meanwhile Regional Councillor Claudette Millar is also pointing out the obvious which is why if there will be no odours are the City of Waterloo objecting. Mind you she is also pointing out a little bit of history with her comment "We're (Cambridge) quite used to receiving things that we don't particularily want".

Sewage just like air quality, road congestion, water shortages and so many other environmental issues are the downside to development and constant economic growth. Generally developers and politicians would prefer that the public's attention be elsewhere so that money can continue to be made by the few at the expense of both the planet and of the rest of us.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


*Responsible Care is a term used formerly by the CCPA (Cnd. Chemical Producers Assocn.) and now by the CIAC (Chemistry Industry Assocn. of Canada) to describe the ethics of their member companies. It is an ongoing, evolving and extensive process covering many aspects of a chemical companies dealings with the public in general and with the communities they operate within. What I have read about *Responsible Care quite frankly impresses me. The fact that Uniroyal/Crompton/ Chemtura have ever, even after years of trying, achieved verification, disgusts me.

Recently the Chair of CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) has sent out requests for feedback from CPAC and I believe SWAT team members regarding Chemtura's attempt at verification. This request for feedback was accompanied by a number of pages of the *Responsible care Commitments. In other words it was to focus the feedback appropriately in regards to *Responsible care. For the moment I will try to ignore all the other reasons to deny them verification and follow the script.

Pg. 35 "the feeling of engagement by stakeholders from their opportunity to provide input and feedback on company decisions and actions...". I have lived in Elmira for over a decade and in Woolwich Township for over two decades. I have been actively involved in groundwater issues in Elmira for twenty-three years both as a formal CPAC member and not. I am a stakeholder. Recently at a public CPAC meeting when Chemtura were asked by me why it took them three years to respond either verbally or in writing to my repeated requests for feedback and clarification surrounding their consultants discovery of possible DNAPL off their site; they actually gave me an answer. Their public recorded answer was that oh CPAC hadn't taken up the issue so they didn't feel they had to respond. Apparently Chemtura feel that they can pick and choose which particular stakeholders to respond to or not. How "engaged" does that make me feel?

Pg. 37 AC130 f. "include a regular process of communication and dialogue with the community and response to questions, concerns, suggestions etc." See above paragraph!

Pg.42 E. "Other Ethic vs. Responsible Care Ethic"
"Other Ethic" is "public is who we think are the public" vs. *RC Ethic is "public are those who affected or think they're affected". Again Chemtura does not get to pick and choose who they prefer to deal with. One example only would be choosing friends and supporters to represent the community on verification teams and should not be Chemtura's choice.

Other Ethic" is "Ignore or fight advocates" vs. *RC Ethic is "Seek advocates' input". Chemtura have actively lobbied Council, CPAC and others to minimize my input. They have actively at Council, through individual Council members and through individual CPAC members lobbied to decrease public participation through Delegations, Public Forum and even the asking of questions (through the Chair) at public CPAC meetings. This is not *Responsible Care behaviour and this company does not and never has deserved to be so recognized.

I repeat that I have stuck to just a few pages of the CIAC's own Code and Ethics. There are literally a hundred other examples of reprehensible behaviour towards the community by this company over the last twenty-three years. A most recent example is their false and inaccurate personal attack upon the CPAC Chair at a Woolwich Council meeting with both local media present. They are trying to intimidate Dr. Holt into backing down from his opposition to granting verification to Chemtura. Shame on the company and shame on any organization which would support their behaviour.

Friday, January 4, 2013


This will be a compilation of the "Year in Review" from both our local newspapers, namely the Elmira Independent and the Woolwich Observer. I will of course focus on the numerous environmental issues only that between them I believe both newspapers have covered.

The Elmira Independent "Year in Review" is hereby linked to and I believe I can link to the Observer newspaper and you'll have to flip over to page 5 for their "Year in Review".

Early March and Woolwich Council gave their support to preserving Victoria Glen Park in Elmira rather than selling parcels of it for development. Later that month Safety-Kleen received their 15 acre expansion and development O.K. for a warehouse and parking area once again proving that similar to Chemtura, being a disgusting polluter of the environment rarely has any long term drawbacks for business as usual. Also in March the province gave their approval to Woolwich Bio-En locating within Elmira. The following month Woolwich Council did the same. There was a large protest outside Council Chambers protesting this Decision.

Mayor Cowan appropriately stepped down as CPAC Chair to be replaced by Dr. Dan Holt. CPAC later in April passed their Resolution calling for a major shift in direction for the Chemtura cleanup. In May Woolwich Council unanimously supported CPAC's position to the consternation of Chemtura/M.O.E/CRA. In June Council voted to remove recycling from consideration for the Jigs Hollow Pit only to reinstate it in private negotiations at the OMB hearing months later. The OMB did one good thing locally in dismissing the Hawk Ridge Home subdivision plan. Their rationale was weird but at least it was the right decision.

In November, Chemtura responded to the resounding vote of no confidence from CPAC by introducing an allegedly independent update of their cleanup plan including massive increases in pumping and some source removal. Also Woolwich Council gave their approval for the Jigs Hollow Pit as well as did the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) at a very biased hearing. The next month at a Council meeting, the Woolwich Councillors (less Bonnie Bryant) appropriately got an earful from many residents for their rolling over on the Jigs Hollow Pit.

Both newspapers missed the bizarre and disgusting personal attack upon CPAC Chair Dr. Dan Holt by Chemtura at a Council meeting in December. My only other comment is this: Both Councillor Mark Bauman (repeatedly) and Mayor Todd Cowan (once) had the unmitigated hypocrisy and gall to make statements supporting Chemtura after their dishonest, inaccurate attack upon Dr. Dan. My suggestion to Mark is this: Don't you EVER criticize me again publicly for alleged personal attacks after you permitted and supported Chemtura doing it. The difference is also this: when I make an accusation/allegation it is honest, fact based and in good faith; completely contrary to what Chemtura did and you supported.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Again this information has come from a flash drive distributed by Conestoga Rovers on behalf of their client Chemtura, prior to Christmas. Two more borehole logs have caught my interest namely the ones for OW163-35 and for OW161. The latter is located in the south end of Elmira right beside the former south wellfield which is located beside Voisin Motors on Arthur St. The second is several hundred yards due east from there and can be seen when walking on the trail beside the bush in that area.

I am certain I have seen groundwater monitoring from OW163 in the past and as expected my recollection is that it was clean. This makes sense based upon it's distance from known contamination as well as the fact that it is screened in a very deep aquifer. Much to my surprise however there are PID (photoionization detector) readings which indicate shallow contamination with volatile chemicals. Although there is a corn field right beside this well I am still surprised if that is the cause of these low level readings.

Of greater concern to me is the results from OW161. Here we have only slightly higher readings than at OW163 but instead of being shallow, they are from 38 metres below ground surface to over 50 metres below. Keep in mind this well is beside the former south wellfield and these readings were taken just over eight years ago (2004). What the hell is going on here? We were told way back in 1990 by one of the consultants working on the Elmira water crisis that it had to be a local, nearby source to the south wellfield causing the massive NDMA contamination. Next thing we hear is that Uniroyal Chemical, nearly a mile away is the source. Orange stains and odours over 40 metres below ground at OW161, fifteen years after the wells were shutdown and many years after off-site pumping began is extremely weird. There are yet other sources which we the public have not been told about.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I am very slowly in conjunction with discussions with CPAC & SWAT members coming to a different interpretation regarding Chemtura & Ministry of the Environment story telling. I'm beginning to think that I've taken the partners in pollution junk science and ridiculous technical positions far too seriously. I know they don't believe their own propaganda; I certainly don't and any honest, informed technical people don't as well. What is slowly dawning on me is that Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. folks all know and understand that but they are simply still trying to fool the unwashed, uninformed masses. Even the less technical people on CPAC have long ago figured out that the facts do not support Chemtura's pump and treat system. Heck even Conestoga Rovers have thrown out for discussion a proposal involving In Situ Chemical Oxidation which is a form of source removal. They have only done this twenty-three years after the fact because they need to pretend to the public that they are responsive, proactive and honestly reappraising the "cleanup" as they go.

The most recent technical information being released is not brand new data. It's been in the hands of Chemtura and friends for several years but in the spirit of bafflegabbing and smoke screens combined with distraction and deflection it's only now seeing the light of day. Some of it includes soil and groundwater data from the Yara (Nutrite) site showing incredibly deep soil contamination including into the deeper Aquitards, much less aquifers. Some of the data advises that there have been ten detections of Chlorobenzene in the Bedrock Aquifer over the years. Finally there is further data showing massive petroleum hydrocarbon contamination both on and off the Chemtura site.

It's data like this which in the past has gotten me wound up about the intentional misdirection and deceit going on around technical issues. I'm beginning to realize that it's all a game. The polluter and their friends including politicians at all levels over the decades spin tall tales knowing full well that they can't win them all. Not a problem as they are confident that the majority of people can't possibly keep up with their neverending propaganda. In fact when their credibility is questioned they are offended not because it's true but because they don't feel that that is playing the game fairly.

Their most recent attack/distraction on the CPAC Chair is par for the course. Whether they reinforce their drivel with false testimony or not, they have suceeded in putting out to the public their claim that they are being victimized. They are happy to sidetrack and delay forever. The inadequate soil scraping at GP1 & GP2 has again been delayed until 2013, maybe! The public and CPAC (& SWAT) will be inundated with hundreds to thousands of pages of paperwork in regards to their new "cleanup" proposals including tripling off-site pumping and chemical oxidation (ISCO). It will be years of further delay with approvals, construction and studies. Chemtura and friends including government are simply running out the clock as they've done for the last twenty-three years. The old CPAC played ball; some knowingly and others not. If only Chemtura could get the young CPAC to do the same.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013