Saturday, March 30, 2013


Last night's CPAC meeting in Woolwich Council Chambers was another gamechanger. CPAC through reason, quiet confidence and persuasion are slowly digging the ground out from under Chemtura's decades plus non cleanup plans. From the Chair Dr. Dan Holt to Sebastian, Ron, Vivienne and Councillor Mark Bauman they are working together as a team and logically undermining the shaky foundations of the Chemtura/M.O.E./CRA longterm psuedo cleanup.

Ron Campbell expressed it well when he referred to both the on-site as well as the off-site pump and treat programs as actually both being nothing more than containment programs. This is not the position of the polluter and their alleged regulator, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Ron also pointed out that back on October 7, 1991 , then Ontario Environment Minister Ruth Grier promised the public via a Press Release that ALL buried wastes would be removed. This is also what the November 4, 1991 Control Order demanded. Unknown to the public, until recently, the M.O.E. on October 7, 1991 had negotiated a private deal with Uniroyal (Chemtura) giving them an Indemnity for known contamination once they had removed two east side consolidation pits (RPE 4 & 5).

Sebastian got the ball rolling with a request that the M.O.E. do a cost benefit analysis of continuing their financial contributions to the off-site pump and treat versus putting some of that money towards source removal. Mark added that "...continually sucking out of the ground..." seemed like a waste of money. Steve Martindale of the M.O.E. defended their position by stating "...kill a contract, go to court...". He was referring to the November 4, 1991 Control Order. At that point I clarified the discrepancy between the Control Order and the private October 7/91 Settlement Agreement/Indemnity.
The Control Order specifically named the west side ponds (RPW 5,6,7 & 8) as having DNAPLS beneath them and requiring source removal.

Dr. Dan asked a very simple question of George Karlos of the M.O.E. namely would he drink water from the Elmira Aquifer when Chemtura's site was still heavily contaminated. George moved up several notches in my opinion when he honestly stated no he wouldn't. Mark Bauman also put them on the hotseat by suggesting eventually Chemtura will leave and put the Ontario taxpayers on the hook. Therefore the M.O.E. should partner with them now and remove what on-site source contamination they can. Sebastian also put things into perspective when he used Chemtura's words back at them and suggested that they Chemtura would not be pumping on-site in perpetuity. The reality is that companies wind up, fold, go bankrupt eventually and when Chemtura head back to the States, they'll leave their on-site mess behind.

Once again I was very pleased with Mark's contributions last evening. He asked whether In Situ Chemical Oxidation worked on breaking down NAPLS which it does. He further suggested that a combination of shallow excavation and ISCO could be workable to remove DNAPLS as well as dissolved contaminants. Both Ron and Sebastian kept on the theme of pumping "in perpetuity" being a poor plan. As Sebastian indicated at some point on site sources will leak and in fact historically that's exactly what has happened. Ron pointed out how much worse the on-site contamination is compared to overall off-site. He also reiterated CPAC's position that they would like a professional technical consultant to assist SWAT and CPAC with detailed peer reviews of Conestoga Rovers reports.

It appears as if Chemtura don't like the present public set up of CPAC meetings. They initially proposed private technical meetings like they've had in the past. Councillor Mark Bauman jumped on that fairly quickly and appropriately said CPAC would not be sitting down privately with Chemtura. Chemtura also made it clear that they would be in charge of the meeting and that "...the smaller the better..." when it comes to who speaks. This matter will be further discussed here this coming Monday.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Former Goodrich worker warned others of cancer risk". Campbell Robertson died Saturday of bladder cancer which the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (former Workers'Compensation) blamed on his relatively brief time working at BF Goodrich in Kitchener. The rubber industry use a wide array of carcinogenic chemicals in their processing of rubber into various products. Company names mentioned in the Record's article include Dominion Tire, Epton Industries, Uniroyal and Canadian Consolidated Rubber.

One of the chemicals mentioned in this article is betanaphthylamine which is an antioxidant used to prevent the rubber from breaking down prematurely. It has been banned since the 1970's for use in factory production. Unfortunately various naphthylamines and other carcinogenic compounds that were used in local industry can end up not only in the air but also in the ground and groundwater. Elmira has a who's who of carcinogenic compounds from various sources still so located. Also just to put things in perspective bladder cancer was being diagnosed in Germany back in the 1880's amongst workers at Hoescht Chemicals. There chemicals similar to those used in the rubber industry were being used in the dyes and pigments industries.

The former Varnicolor has significant quantities of naphthalene in their groundwater. Naphthalene is essentially two benzene rings joined together. Naphthylamine would consist of an amine joined to naphthalene. Amines are one of the building blocks to our NDMA found throughout Elmira with the A in NDMA standing for Amine.

Getting back to Elmira reminds me of one of the longstanding excuses used by Chemtura. During the late 90's when they were fumigating the citizens on Duke St. during the night; they insisted that the fumes weren't toxic they were simply odourous. Basically they were saying that these fumigations won't kill you, they are simply unpleasant odours. I wonder if the same excuses were used by either BF Goodrich or any other companies when workers complained of smells and other symptoms?

Many of these manmade chemicals are highly toxic. Some of them eventually get banned after the fact. Health effects can be immediate or down the road. One thing you can count on and that is that citizens and workers have not and will not receive adequate information early enough to protect themselves and their families.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) meets tomorrow evening at 6 pm. in the Woolwich Council Chambers on Church St. in Elmira. Usual participants include now five CPAC members appointed by the municipal council, Chemtura usually with three present, two or three SWAT (soil, water, air technical) team members including yours truly, the Ministry of the Environment with one to three present, the media usually being only the Elmira Independent and finally any members of the public which can be from one to half a dozen.

It has become much more apparent over the last few years that the true purpose of the Ontario M.O.E. supporting a public advisory committee was basically public relations. This is also why Chemtura have been there mostly consistently since 1991 or so. The real business was done privately with Settlement Agreements, Indemnitys, Orders and other behind the scenes meetings and documentation. The public advisory committees were meant to be nothing more than foils for the dissemination of propaganda from the polluter and alleged regulator. This is relatively easily achieved by giving CPAC the mushroom treatment ie. keep them in the dark and cover them with shit. This has been ongoing since the beginning. It is literally years and decades after the fact that gamechanging Orders, Indemnitys and Agreements reach the public venue. All of this is why Chemtura are so enraged with the current CPAC who understand what they are doing and are not cooperating with this agenda.

Chemtura perhaps via a suggestion from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) are promoting private "mediation" sessions with a couple of CPAC representatives. CPAC, always courteous and respectful, appear to be willing to waste their time on this fruitless exercise.

Tomorrow night will feature discussion around the so called five year updated groundwater plan. The SWAT team have looked this over and will comment. The M.O.E. are supposed to comment on downstream testing of DDT and Dioxins in the Canagagigue Creek. As expected and contrary to CPAC's request it looks as if they and SWAT will not receive this technical data ahead of the meeting. If so this will follow two decades plus of the previously mentioned mushroom treatment. Chemtura will be presenting their Monthly Progress Report (Feb.) which usually is no more than a cheerleading attempt to justify their non cleanup. They will also hopefully be answering a long list of questions presented by the SWAT team, mostly pertaining to their alleged tripling of their off-site groundwater pumping. This plan including potential off-site chemical oxidation (source removal) is in response to CPAC's and Woolwich Council's Resolution of last spring condemning the two decades plus pump and treat program promoted by Chemtura and their partner, the Ontario M.O.E..

The public are encouraged to attend and provisions are available for them to speak as delegates or ask questions through the Chair during the meeting.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Despite an environmental tragedy in regards to a massive bee kill; there is a positive in the mix. Farmers and beekeepers are talking and attempting to find a solution . Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Beekeepers meet with farmers to discuss how to avoid "bee kills". The following groups have been holding discussions since last fall namely the Ontario Beekeepers Association, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario and Grain Farmers of Ontario. The concensus seems to be that insecticide dust released from seeds is highly toxic to bees. Apparently when the seed is handled during the planting process a dust can come off of it and be blown into the air. Also as the seeds are pretreated it pretty well removes the option of not using the insecticide if the individual farmer has reason to believe that a particular field isn't suceptible to particular insects.

While this cooperation is an excellent way to go nevertheless one must not forget past failure with insecticides such as DDT and thinning of birds' eggs or even of herbicides such as Agent Orange and the human health costs. Rachel Carson said it well when she stated that these are poisons we are producing and human intelligence is sometimes overuled by the profit factor. I'm not a farmer but clearly under certain weather and soil conditions, pests will thrive and cause crop damage. They must be controlled but hopefully not at the expense of the farmers' neighbours.

Monday, March 25, 2013


This monthly report has a couple of surprises this month. The front page has a "noteworthy items" section which advises that the Canagagigue Creek "...contained a detectable concentration of toluene (34 ug/l)...". This is a huge understatement as a detectable concentration normally refers to a concentration just above the detection limit which is in the area of .2 ug/l. Secondly while advising us of this toluene concentration in the surface water of the "Gig" they mysteriously ignored an even higher concentration that is in the middle of a Table in the middle of the report. This would be Table C.1 and is Acetone at approximately 86 ug/l. The very next table (Table C.2) is the one that routinely shows downstream arithmetic means higher than upstream ones for usually NDMA, NMOR, Toluene and or Ethylbenzene. This month, rather strangely at first blush, we do not have Toluene with a higher downstream arithmetic mean than upstream. This is unusual and doubly so as we have such a high concentration found upstream in Table C.1 . NDMA and NMOR are as usual higher downstream than up and this particular question was put to Chemtura at the last public CPAC meeting. They have indicated that they will repond to it at this Thursday evenings (6 pm.) public CPAC meeting held in the Woolwich Council Chambers.

There are some conclusions which could be reached from this data. Firstly slugs of contaminants move through groundwater on their own timetable. Secondly once a month testing is by no means conclusive. It is literally hit and miss. Thirdly the dilution factor in surface water is immense. Years ago when surface water testing routinely was showing six to ten chemicals in the "Gig", the quantity of contaminants in the groundwater discharging to the "Gig" had to be huge in order to be caught regularily by testing and after dilution in the creek.

The pump and treat system has for a number of months been performing way above its' historical averages. During February the on-site pumping at PW4 and PW5 was excellent. Keep in mind that the word excellent rarely appears in any of my postings dealing with Chemtura. The off-site pumping for wells that have been very problematic over the years namely W5A, W5B, W3 and W4 met or exceeded their targeted pumping rates. This also rates at least an "attaboy". Old reliable namely well E7 at the extreme south end of Elmira has spoiled this month's picture. It has pumped at a massive 26.5 litres per second for years and done so with excellent reliability. This month it fell to 20.8 l/sec. Hopefully this problem has been rectified and "old reliable" can get back up to speed.

While hydraulic containment is not the answer on its' own for restoring Elmira's groundwater; nevertheless it is a component and it would behoove Chemtura to continue their efforts to maintain their pumping rates on all their wells.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Yes I'm still on Chemtura's 2012 Annual Monitoring Report that came out this week. Page 82 advises us that between 2011 and 2012 Chemtura, while in the process of digging a trench in their south-west yard (M2), came across and removed 290 buried drums. Most of these would have been buried with their toxic contents back in the fifties and sixties. Contrary to mythology the human race had full knowledge at that time that this behaviour was extremely damaging to the environment as well as to human and animal life. The purpose of burying these drums was out of sight and out of mind. They have sat there rusting away and draining their contents into the ground and groundwater for over fifty years. Our wellfields were shut down almost twenty-five years ago, yet these readily accessible and shallow drums were permitted to drain their contents even while the Ontario Ministry of the Environment stood idly by. It's been a decade since local citizens requested in writing that they be removed. Shame on Chemtura and the M.O.E..

On another note on the very next page (83) we learn that surprise, surprise Chemtura have just found xylenes and toluene in wells that they haven't been found in before. That these wells are downgradient from the highly contaminated, including non aqueous phase liquids, Main Tank Farm (MTF) is not a surprise. Years ago we learned of this subsurface contamination and Chemtura and the M.O.E. did what they do best which is talk about it and "monitor" it. By the way xylenes and toluene are both petroleum hydrocarbons and courtesy of Chemtura and multiple neighbours they have shared them with Elmira's groundwater for decades.

Chemtura have claimed that they remove buried wastes as they come across them. Back in 2004 their general manager publicly claimed that they didn't still have buried wastes. In that sense at least the conversation is slightly improving.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Traces of petroleum hydrocarbons were in Elmira's south wellfield back in 1989. Massive quantities were in the soil and groundwater beneath both Varnicolor Chemical and Uniroyal back in 1989. Varnicolor of course was closer to the south wellfield than Uniroyal and did not have a creek running down the middle of their property to flush away their toxic sins. Currently we still have free phase petroleim hydrocarbons on the Chemtura site allegedly hydraulically contained. Specifically toluene has been under the surface of their property floating on the shallow water table and was first belatedly reported to UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) back in the mid 90's.

Last summer and fall we were treated to psuedo science extraordinaire by both Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). They claimed that there weren't free phase DNAPLS behind (west of) Varnicolor 100' below ground. They also claimed that stained soil, odours and iridescent sheens brought up by the drilling rig from 100' below ground were most likely the result of a spill of oil/fuel into the mud recirculation tank sitting on the surface. Chemtura backed this groundwater terrorist/ninja theory by claiming that petroleum hydrocarbons are not in nearby wells or widespread in the Elmira aquifers. Boy that's almost as good as the M.O.E. claiming that essentially non-existent acetone in the Elmira Aquifers has acted as a co-solvent to increase the solubility and hence concentrations of chlorobenzene in the vicinity of OW57-32R which is due west (behind) of Varnicolor on Union St..

Chemtura's 2012 Annual Monitoring report Appendix C, Table C.4 has some interesting pages dealing with groundwater results produced by Peritus Environmental last year. They examined wells essentially surrounding their clients property, the former Varnicolor Chemical. These wells included CH43 to the south, CH69 to the east, CH70 to the west and OW56 to the north. CH70-D in the Municipal Lower was correctly quoted by CRA/Chemtura as having 1,150 parts per billion (ppb) of petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorobenzene at 1,480 ppb. Interestingly Chemtura/CRA went to great lengths to dispute these findings of Peritus claiming that there were not petroleum hydrocarbons, only chlorobenzene. This included reorts dated August 29/12 and September 26/12.

I am not sure why CRA/Chemtura would reproduce this allegedly inaccurate information in their Annual Monitoring Report. Also very strange is this quote from their August 29/12 report "Furthermore, the lack of TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbons) in groundwater samples collected from monitoring wells in the vicinity of OW57-32R suggest TPH is not widespread in groundwater.". This is very strange because Table C.4 has petroleum hydrocarbons detected in every well surrounding the old Varnicolor site and very close to OW57-32R.

There are also nine or ten other specific compounds detected by Peritus in these wells that are recognized components of gasoline or jet fuels, both handled by Varnicolor Chemical. Also interesting is that the math all adds up. The petroleum hydrocarbons are broken down into the various carbon fractions namely F1, F2, F3 and F4. Further the F1 fractions are broken down as to with or without BTEX chemicals which are benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes. These four chemicals are also detected individually and as I stated the math all adds up. These readings from Peritus are accurate and I would love to know if CRA/Chemtura ever advised Peritus Environmental that they were publicly disputing their information last fall and now reproducing it unchanged in their own report.

I have in detail here in the Advocate given my opinion as to both Chemtura's and the Ontario M.O.E.'s position regarding DNAPLS at OW57-32R as well as their opinion on petroleum hydrocarbons in the Elmira aquifers. This I've done on the following dates: Aug. 6/12, Aug. 31/12, Sept. 28/12, Sept. 29/12 and Nov. 3/12.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


As the above title indicates this is Chemtura's 31st AMR. It is also known as the 2012 AMR. Forget about restoring our drinking water within thirty years. Way back in 1981 the Ontario Ministry of the Environment knew they had a problem. In fact any politician who wasn't deaf, dumb, blind, stupid and on the take knew in the mid 70's that the Canagagigue Creek was devoid of life ie. dead. This is what surprised Chemtura (Uniroyal) in November 1989. They knew that the large majority of their toxic wastes were being flushed by shallow groundwater, rainfall, snowmelt and spring floods into the Canagagigue Creek to be shared with the Grand River, Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and everybody else downstream. How dare the Ontario M.O.E. suggest that their chemicals including NDMA had travelled via the deeper Municipal Aquifer a mile south to wells E7 and E9.

Therefore Chemtura's impossible thirty year cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers will, despite their ongoing insistence to the contrary, have to be recalculated. Not thirty years from 1989 when our drinking wells were shut down. Not thirty years from the 1993 Remedial Action Plan (RAP). Not thirty years from 1998 when the off-site municipal aquifer pumping started. Chemtura's cleanup schedule is something like their former notorious neighbour's Varnicolor Chemical. We were given a five to ten year cleanup date in the mid 90's. Guess what? Varnicolor's sucessors are still at it twenty years later. There was an excavation back in the summer of 2011 and we were advised last summer that 200 tonnes more contaminated soil was going to be removed. To date that hasn't occurred. Do we see a pattern here?

Further lack of confidence occurs when one is experienced enough to read Chemtura's consultant's reports critically. Yesterday's post here indicated a number of errors of varying magnitude in this 31st AMR. A few more hours of study and a few more weird errors are popping up. For example in their Table 6.5 titled "Summary of Potential DNAPL Areas" we are advised that their study of the RPW6 (Retention Pond West) area indicates that they have taken action by reviewing the stratigraphy of the OW10 area. This is somewhat strange and requires clarification because OW10 is not in RPW6. In fact OW10 is located south of RPW6 actually on the berm at the south end of RPW7 which is between RPW7 and RPW8. Also further down in this Table they state that their actions for studying RPW7 indicate that they have sampled well OW10.

Another anomoly has popped up in regards to a local consulting company who are working on behalf of the current owners of the former Varnicolor site. Either they are constantly changing their name or else Chemtura's consultants need to learn how to spell. To date they are referred to by CRA as Peritus Environmental, Pertitus Environmental or finally Peirtus Environmental. Yes this is pretty minor in the scheme of things although if I were the owner of Peritus, Pertitus or Peirtus I wouldn't be amused.

There are more strange things in store before I finish reading these two volumes of Chemtura's 2012 Annual Monitoring Report (AMR). Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


This Chemtura annual report use to consist of three volumes namely text, figures and tables and thirdly appendices. It is now down to two volumes and has considerably less information included. I received my two volumes yesterday in the mail and to date have spent but an hour looking it over. Here's what I've found within the first hour. The second page is the distribution list and it has three errors in it. Two former CPAC members are listed as current CPAC members incorrectly. One current CPAC member resigned only a few weeks back so that error is hardly a major one.

The parameter list has been whittled down ridiculously over the years to NDMA, Chlorobenzene and Ammonia. As minimal as that is I've just gone through the figures section and lo and behold there are lots of figures with NDMA and Chlorobenzene groundwater concentrations but what happened to Ammonia? I'm still looking for Ammonia data and its' absence is disconcerting. Table 2.3 , page 1 of 2 relates to Sentry Wells and has concentrations over time of chlorobenzene. The same table but page 2 of 2 also is concentrations over time of chlorobenzene. The dates and wells are the same but the concentrations are dramatically different. My guess would be that page 2 of 2 is supposed to be titled NDMA, not chlorobenzene.

Table 6.3 also has me somewhat confused. It is labelled as LNAPL thickness in Upper Aquifer Containment System Monitoring Wells. So far so good. Then it lists three wells namely OW80, OW115 and OW148 with the thickness of light non aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) floating in them. Well to my knowledge none of those three wells are UACTS monitoring wells. It is entirely possible that they have LNAPL in them but the title of the Table is confusing.

These discoveries are after only an hour into this report. I will be spending considerably more time and will report back further information, anomolies etc. as I find them.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Land cleanup incentives given nod". Once again it is a method of transferring taxpayers money to ongoing profitable businesses. It is a direct result of past politicians making sure that there were not practical legal methods to prevent polluting businesses from abandoning their environmental responsibilities. Therefore major manufacturers who made millions of dollars of profits for their owners were able throughout Waterloo Region to legally walk away from their contaminated sites. The result is a legacy of "brownfield" sites throughout the Region that have sat polluting groundwater for decades. They are only redeveloped into condominiums, seniors homes, residential developments and other purposes after they have been cleaned to at least a minimum standard.

The three biggest areas of concern are of course Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. Here in Elmira and St. Jacobs our tap water comes from a pipeline from Waterloo to us. Therefore the sins of Waterloo's drinking water become ours. Trichloroethylene is the most obvious culprit and comes from the downtown Waterloo area due to multiple past manufacturers. The William St. wells have long been polluted with this carcinogenic chemical. Quoting today's Record "City staff estimate there are at least 24 contaminated properties in Waterloo, mostly uotown, at major intersections and old industrial sites along the rail line.". My first question is whether this means there are 24 different sources of contamination or whether this is the number of contaminated properties after the groundwater contamination has moved onto neighbour's property? Secondly I find the comment that there is contamination at major intersections more than a little strange. Is this no more than there has been significant excavations at major intersections for installing sewers and other infrastructure hence city staff have more empirical evidence (soil & groundwater samples) from these areas?

What I do know is this. Environmental data is not shared with the public. What I do know about Waterloo's water scares me but perhaps not as much as what I don't know. All three cities are paying for past industrial prosperity with the health of their citizens. Yes better these cleanups are done but better if they are all done, sooner than later.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer has a story about a local Elmira manufacturer on the front page. The story is called "Wind power continues to increase capacity". Wind Simplicity is located on Union St. in Elmira and are best known for smaller turbines such as their Windancer. It is a wind turbine for residential or commercial applications. While wind turbines are having problems including to date a lack of completed peer reviewed studies dealing with alleged health effects from large wind farms; nevertheless the smaller units as well as individual ones have not had those same negative comments. Also as president and CEO Sharolyn Vettese advises " of the advantages that small wind turbines have over big ones is we can build them, implement them, and install them faster than the big ones. We could also be a shot in the arm for the economy.".

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Page 22 of this week's Woolwich Observer carrys a Public Notice that Woolwich Township will be holding a public information session in regards to the proposed Hunder Pit. It will be held at Council Chambers on Tuesday April 9, 2013 at 7 pm.. Apparently there is additional information provided by the applicant to this pit on the edge of Conestogo near Golf Course Rd. This is to ostensibly give the public a chance to comment upon it.

If any of you have wondered why this process seems literally unending and goes on for years and years it is to discourage opposition to these "development" proposals that have major social, environmental and or health impacts. Literally even people who have the money for lawyers nevertheless are not built for these ongoing external stressors in their lives. It becomes easier to throw in the towel or even sell your home at a loss and move elsewhere. That is precisely why there are years and years of headaches and delay built in. Meanwhile the proponents are still operating their businesses with the knowledge that 90% of the time individuals and small groups can not sustain the energy and disruption to their everyday lives. The system is unfair and totally meant to be that way courtesy of your provincial government in favour of the aggregate industry.

Friday, March 15, 2013


At first blush that was my synopsis of the behaviour of Pat McLean in approving Chemtura's receiving their *Responsible Care verification from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). Keep in mind that Pat has just under zero legitimacy to be representing Elmira/Woolwich residents as she has been rejected at the polls both in 2006 (as Councillor) and in 2010 as Mayor. Nevertheless Chemtura wanted her there (which speaks volumes) and accepted her on the team. As expected, Pat delivered for Chemtura when the chips were down. Nevertheless while Pat's behaviour certainly has exhibited its' spiteful moments this encompasses much more. Two weeks ago (March 1) I posted details here of the verification team makeup. It turns out that I was misinformed in that the original team back in July 2011 which denied verification was made up of six members; two from Elmira (Pat & Dr. Dan), one from Chemtura West Hill and three appointed by the CIAC itself. I had understood that the same team was again involved this past December and January. In fact it was reduced by one as the West Hill member did not attend. Therefore out of five votes on the team which was determining verification or not for Chemtura Elmira, West Hill and a research facility in Guelph, two were from Elmira and zero from West Hill. Also as mentioned here in the Advocate, the West Hill facility was fined by the M.O.E. last December for a toxic air release in 2010.

Therefore four members of this oddly constructed verification team voted to approve Chemtura receiving verification, including Pat McLean. Dr. Dan Holt, the current Chair of CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee), voted against it and submitted a four page detailed dissenting opinion. He made clear that his dissenting opinion was both his own as well as representing the extremely clear opinion of the current CPAC; that Chemtura under no circumstances deserved to receive verification. Therefore Pat was able to not only nullify the opinion of the current CPAC Chair for whom she has expressed animosity in front of witnesses but she also was able to nullify the opinion of the entire current CPAC appointed by the duly elected Woolwich Council. Keep in mind that this current CPAC did not include her despite her desire to remain on it as Chair. This was not an oversight and was based upon her long term leadership of a former CPAC who went along with the inadequate and pathetic "cleanup" plan of Chemtura and their partners in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. It has long been my opinion that Pat McLean's loyalties lie with Chemtura rather than with Woolwich citizens.

Pat also submitted, after Dan, a 1/2 page Comment regarding her verification approval. Dr. Dan's dissenting opinion included specific codes by number relating to *Responsible Care's Operations, Accountability and Stewardship categories. In other words using the *Responsible Care Manual Dan specifically detailed which codes Chemtura was failing to achieve and therefore did not deserve to be verified. Dan then signed his dissenting opinion as follows:
Dan Holt, Ph.D.
Member, Responsible Care Review Team
Chair, Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC)
Property Owner and Resident of Elmira, Ontario

With Pat's 1/2 page Comment she mainly made excuses about how hard Chemtura had to work to overcome their past history and legacy of environmental failure in Elmira. She absolutely did not even attempt to justify her decision based on the empirical codes set out by the *Responsible Care Manual. Interestingly to me here is how she signed her 1/2 page comment submitted after Dan's.
Pat McLean
Former Chair, Chemtura Public Advisory Committee, 14 years
Former member of Municipal Council, 18 years
Elmira resident, 40 years

Hoo boy! Is somebody's nose still way out of joint? You decide for yourselves.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) have been very busy of late doing what they do best, which is after the fact paperwork. They have issued three Director's Orders last year dated on March 15/12, May31/12, and November14/12. Further to that they also issued an Instrument Exception Notice dated December 14, 2012. As I understand this last Notice is simply to advise that they didn't give timely notice to the public or allow for public participation due to the imminent danger to the public if the ongoing remediation of the Bishop St. area in Cambridge was interrupted. These concerns appear legitimate as afterall Northstar Aerospace declared bankruptcy last August.

What an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. I predict that the time will come when the media, both local and provincial/national, will awaken from their snooze. Then they will suddenly discover the extent of environmental and human damage done by a corporate manufacturer sucessfully being shielded from the public by our very own provincial Ministry of the Environment. I have this morning posed the question to some friends in Cambridge as to whether it was common knowledge that Northstar had a horrific spill (34,000 litres) in 1995 as indicated in the November 14/12 Director's Order. The claim is that the spill was cyanide effluent along with chromic acid. This would explain the issue of hexavalent chromium but not the TCE directly. That being said it's been my experience that polluters never have one single spill of one single chemical. Usually there are multiple spills with mixtures of chemicals involved. As the M.O.E. were notified of this environmental disaster in 1995 they should have been all over that company by installing monitoring wells and testing groundwater immediately. That could well have gotten people either out of their homes a decade sooner or gotten the indoor air remediation installed a decade sooner.

If heads are going to roll over two deaths from a mall collapse in Elliot Lake then why shouldn't there be formal inquiries into the Bishop St. disaster which included deaths and hundreds of health impairments?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The CLC or Citizens liason Committee met last evening in the Lion's Hall to discuss Woolwich Bio-En business. On the Agenda were construction scheduling, removal of a couple of requirements such as flare temperatures as well as the mechanics of the CLC. The meeting was chaired by Earl Brubacher with Earl Martin beside him and Chuck Martin sitting in the gallery with the small audience. Also around the table were Gerry Heidiburt, Michael Purves-Smith and I'm embarassed to say both a gentleman and lady whose names I failed to obtain. In the audience with Chuck were Bob Jonkman, (Dr.) Dan Holt, (Dr.) Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach and myself.

At the risk of sounding corny and from the position of not being a member of the BFCC let me offer this overall observation. I've been involved with two other Liason Committees in Elmira over the years as well as having sat in on other Liason Committees within the Region of Waterloo. Those were and are excercises in being on the receiving end of the mushroom treatment. That was not my impression of last night's meeting. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that what I saw and heard were two good faith parties attempting to breech their differing perspectives and concerns.

We were advised that the start of construction, which would be things like installation of underground services, is tentatively set for April 2, 2013, weather permitting of course. There were brief comments about past serious attempts to relocate Woolwich Bio-En out of Elmira. The sticking point is not Woolwich Bio-En, it is the Ontario Ministry of Energy. In theory a miracle could still happen although as stated over two years have been spent trying to change the location unsucessfully and construction start up is now less than three weeks away.

The next public meeting is set for Tuesday May 7, 2013 at 7 pm.. The location may be set for a smaller venue than Lion's Hall and will be announced as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Well we're only a few days away from mid March which means construction season will soon be upon us. This is crucial to the folks at Woolwich Bio-En as they have power generation contracts dependent of course upon getting their plant built, up and running. Tonite's meeting is at Lion's Hall, beside the Woolwich Recreation Centre at 7 pm. This would be an excellent opportunity to see how this project is unfolding, including construction schedules. I've heard a couple of odd rumours that hopefully will be dismissed, confirmed or at least clarified this evening. The Agenda for this evening is on the Stop the Stink website and can be accessed simply by googling "stop the stink".

Monday, March 11, 2013


The document mentioned in the headline above was a groundbreaking, long overdue response to both the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) and to Crompton/Uniroyal's failures to get on with source removal of toxins on their site. This document was mentioned in last Saturday's posting here on the Advocate. Unknown to myself ten years ago, the M.O.E. and Uniroyal had pulled off an elaborate bait and switch scheme. They signed a Settlement Agreement (Oct. 7/91) between each other a month prior to issuing a public Control Order (Nov. 4/91). The public Control Order stated that DNAPLS and other buried wastes were to be removed as contaminant sources from the Uniroyal site. Unfortunately the private Settlement Agreement now known as the "sweetheart deal" said the opposite and took precedence. It stated that Uniroyal had an indemnity ie. no liability for known contamination on their site. Thus it is incredibly hypocritical of both the M.O.E. and Chemtura to currently complain about alleged hostility from CPAC now when they took part in a scam and a fraud (bait & switch) for the purpose of deceiving CPAC and the public.

This July 2003 Request for Action lists eight locations which require remediation and or removal (excavation). Number 2 (GP1 & GP2) is scheduled for only partial completion this fall or late summer. Number 8 which is excavation of all locations with high dioxin levels on the east side has been partially fulfilled. Number 5 dealing with a dry channel and island in the creek was actually completed a number of years ago, quite sucessfully. Number 1 involves fencing off the downstream floodplain areas from local cattle. I believe there has been some progress only on that front.

Therefore there has been a total of one totally sucessfully completed remediation out of eight to date. The rest have either been ignored or subjected to pretend investigations by Chemtura. These areas are of no surprise to anyone. The M.O.E. publicly admitted via the Nov. 4/91 Control Order that there were DNAPLS requiring removal beneath the west side ponds. To date little or nothing.

By the way there were a few select members of the public who were tipped off that Uniroyal had an Indemnity for known contamination on their site as of 1991; but they chose to keep that information to themselves.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Via e-mail yesterday I advised CPAC and SWAT of the long history of ignoring this large area (M2) by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and by Chemtura. This of course would be at least partly as a result of the October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement aka "sweetheart deal". That private deal between Uniroyal/Chemtura and the M.O.E. released the company from liability for all known contamination on their site including M2.

However now we have a company who are pretending to be bound by the principles and ethics of *Responsible Care. Among those ethics are a committment to cradle to grave responsibility for and management of toxic wastes produced by the company. We know where these buried wastes are and it's long past time to remove them.

A decade ago the former CPAC with my major collaboration produced a document referred to as the "July 2003 CPAC Request for Action". It spoke to numerous areas on-site with buried wastes including the M2 area. It stated that free phase DNAPL and free phase LNAPL were within M2. The LNAPL came from Building # 15 and the DNAPL was found both at OW88 as well as on the border of TPW2 and M2. Further Uniroyal used this former town dump to dispose of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T wastes. These chemicals together make Agent Orange which was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-TCDD, the most toxic of all the Dioxins. Furthermore most of the highest readings of Dioxins in the creekbanks of the Canagagigue were found adjacent to M2 indicating that they were mobilized by solvents and moved to and into the creek.

CPAC members have shown themselves to be open minded and willing to learn. That is why Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. are so unhappy with them. While this committee still suffers from being a committee of council at least in theory, the reality so far is that this current Council has overall been very supportive. Of interest is the last line under M2 in this 2003 document namely "May contain unexcavated drums of waste chemicals". Chemtura only removed those that were in their way for a trenching operation across M2. Imagine what they'd find if they were actually looking.

Friday, March 8, 2013


There are two types of coverup. One is referred to as "capping" and simply means putting some sort of barrier over top of wastes and contaminated soil. The other is your more typical coverup, whereby through deceptive means one trys to hide a scandal. In this case on Chemtura's Elmira site, both are involved. Yesterday's Elmira Independent carried this story "Committee opposes partial excavation of waste pits". It is referring to GP1 and GP2 on the south-east corner of Chemtura. They are former gravel pits where liquid wastes from the east side pits were allowed and even encouraged to overflow and gravity drain towards them and then settle into the ground. These liquid wastes included solvents, pesticides, Dioxins and literally all Uniroyal wastes.

The Ministry of the Environment claim that there is no evidence that Agent Orange (Dioxin), DDT and more is leaving Chemtura's site from this area. As long as the M.O.E. continue to wear mittens, blindfolds and ear muffs they can continue along that track. The reality is that area is all part of the Upper Aquifer as well as being floodplain for the Canagagigue Creek. Leakage, groundwater and surface water flow have been going on forever and indeed are counted on by Chemtura and co-conspirators to reduce their on-site quantities of toxic wastes.

During a trenching operation buried drums were discovered years ago in Chemtura's south-west corner and removed last summer. Composite soil samples were taken in order to characterize the level of contamination. Besides dark soil there were also tarry globs found. These tarry globs as admitted by Conestoga Rovers could have been from the days of Uniroyal cleaning out their two on-site tar pits (TPW1, TPW2) and depositing them in the town dump now owned by Chemtura and called M2. Based on past history dealing with both DNAPLS (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) and Dioxins, these tarry globs should have been tested and chemically identified. They were not which is bad enough but it gets worse when Councillor and CPAC member, Mark Bauman, suggests that it wasn't necessary. Really? Does the five minute man have knowlege, past or present, that the rest of us don't? Hardly. Mark is sending out strong signals to Chemtura and the M.O.E. that he is reasonable and flexible. In other words he is politiking first instead of putting Woolwich citizens first. Smarten up Mark or you will continue to read about it here and you won't like it.

The next CPAC meeting is March 28/13 at 6 pm. in the Woolwich Council Chambers.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I have now drawn up a chart with approximately 26 Cambridge wells down the left side and the years from 2003 to 2012 across the top. At present I have the chart filled in for the last five years plus. What I am filling in is the number of weeks the particular well is offline during the year as well as whether the monitoring data presented is for the current year or not. The results are worrisome.

First off let me say that the Region of Waterloo may or may not be abiding by the letter of the Ontario Safe Water Drinking Act but they absolutely are not abiding by the spirit of it. Specific chemicals that were being tested for a decade ago plus and being detected in Cambridge wells are no longer being reported in the Annual Reports. This would include Dioxins, 1,1,1 TCA, NDMA, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene etc. Glyphosate which was detected years ago in well H3 (Hespeler) has had its' Method Detection Limit (MDL) dramatically raised from 2 ppb. to 25 ppb. thus guaranteeing it will not be reported again.

There are complete years of monitoring results missing from wells that are currently in use for drinking. This would include all three Hespeler wells and wells located near Ciba-Geigy (Novartis). Similarily wells located near Northstar Aerospace and Allen-Bradley as well as those further south of Ciba-Geigy are missing years of monitoring data. What seems fairly clear is that wells that have been shut down for substantial time frames do not have their routine monitoring done for a year or two or three or even for four years afterwards.

Over time the "problem" wells become obvious. For example all three wells in Hespeler have been alternately shut down for periods between one and two years. Past local manufacturers have included American Standard as well as Inglis. It seems obvious that they or others have "enriched" the groundwater which is still being used for drinking . Just over a decade ago Dioxins were found in two of their three wells. Back when Ciba-Geigy was found to have contaminated the ground with allegedly only Dinoseb, the Region and M.O.E. claimed that the contamination could never get to the deeper drinking water aquifers. That was horse manure and numerous drinking wells have since had low detections of solvents and herbicides including metalachlor. Further south wells G38 and G39 were shut down and locked out in 2006 and stayed off for two to three years. They are back in use now as well.

I suggested earlier that shut down wells weren't being monitored regularily. A more accurate comment would probably be that the Region are monitoring them but simply not reporting the results in the Annual Reports. It would be similar to car manufacturers recalling cars for mechanical faults but refusing to tell the public what they were. This deception is uncalled for and needs to be drastically improved.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Oh boy, this could be playing with fire! Therefore let me state that the following posting is my opinion. It is not based upon idle speculation however; it is based upon a serious and ongoing study of the Region of Waterloo's Annual Drinking Water Reports. I've been trying to look at the big picture over a number of years and I am finding some very strange drinking well shutdowns as well as occasional detections of industrial chemicals in them. These detections of industrial chemicals are not too surprisingly related to nearby industries whether Cnd. General Tower, Ciba-Geigy (Novartis), Allen Bradley, Northstar Aerospace as well as the Cambridge Landfill. Keep also in mind two terms namely Interceptor Wells and Pumping to Waste. These terms are connected in that an Interceptor Well is situated between drinking wells and a point source of contamination. The idea is to intercept contaminated water before it reaches the drinking wells. The drinking wells therefore primarily are pumping cleaner groundwater that is outside the cone of influence of the Interceptor Well. These Interceptor Wells therefore need to discharge their water somewhere. It can be onto the surface, into storm water sewers and hence a nearby creek or even into the sanitary sewers for treatment at the local sewage treatment plant. Hence the term pumping to waste.

It is quite possible to have an Interceptor Well also doing double duty as a Drinking Well. Here however is where things get tricky and complicated. By the way everything I am surmising here is absolutely contrary to the Justic O'Connor Report on the Walkerton tragedy. Justic O'Connor emphasized a multiple barrier approach to drinking water safety. In other words from the original source of water, surface or groundwater, to the treatment and distribution; the water should constantly be monitored at all points and any problems or issues needed to be isolated and removed from the system immediately. In other words a single world class treatment system for example is not a multi barrier approach. One failure whether mechanical or chemical at the treatment plant and contaminated water is into the distribution system. Ideally the source water is safe and clean and proven to be so, and continues throughout multiple stages with testing ongoing. Similarily the distribution system piping also needs to be continuously monitored.

What I believe I am seeing in Cambridge is multiple sources of contaminated water being "managed" via the use of many nearby pumping/drinking wells. As nearby wells are pumped they draw the contaminated water towards them until the plume has reached the well. Then after an adverse reading that well is either shut down allowing the plume to shift in direction or the well merely goes "offline" for weeks, months or years. By "offline" it means that the well piping is disconnected from the distribution and or treatment system. Again the well is free to pump to waste or into sewers etc.. When one looks at wells nearby to the above mentioned contaminated sites a pattern appears to emerge. I am the first to admit that this is not immediately obvious for many reasons. Most Cambridge residents have absolutely no idea which wells by name are located where. The Annual Reports certainly are not very helpful in that regard. Also most citizens do not know which chemicals have been found in the nearby groundwater of these various past polluters. Finally most citizens also don't know in detail the extent of cleanups done or the long term charteristics of specific industrial chemicals leaked or discharged into the natural environment.

If I am correct, even partially, in what I believe I am seeing, then the Region of Waterloo have some serious explaining to do. Perhaps the Region are actually on to some kind of incredibly complicated but possible long term contaminated groundwater management system here. Regardless I believe they owe the public the whole truth, not a varnished one. They and the Ontario M.O.E. generally try and minimize the extent of industrial pollution by routinely suggesting that the drinking wells are safe and protected whether by geological formations, depth to wellscreens etc.. My experience has been that once solvents and other industrial chemicals are into the shallow aquifers they keep spreading both vertically and horizantly. I'm beginning to suspect that the Region will be bragging about their tap water right up until the day they have the Lake Erie pipeline completed. Then suddenly they will advise the public that golly gee things aren't quite as rosy as we thought they were.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


As usual it was done quietly and without fanfare. I had predicted the eventual shutdown of this well due to Trichloroethylene contamination for some time now. Only somewhat surprisingly is the fact that other wells in Cambridge with consistently high TCE readings are still used on a daily basis. These of course are the Middleton Wellfield wells. Similarily the William St. wells in Waterloo have had TCE in them for decades. The significance is that those are both major wellfields with multiple wells involved. The Middleton wellfield is diluted via both well G15 several hundred yards to the south as well as by a massive aquifer flowing from the west. Despite this, last year the concentrations from the wells rose on occasion to between 3.0 and 3.3 parts per billion (ppb). While this is below the Ontario drinking water standard of 5.0 ppb it is higher than a number of U.S. jurisdictions.

Well P6 in the Dumphries Conservation Area has been on life support for some time now. Nearby well P7 has been shut down for a very long time which gives me suspicion that our authorities may have known of a local source of TCE long before the Northstar/Bishop St. tragedy became public. To the credit of the Region of Waterloo they haven't had their head in the sand in regards to P6. If this amateur hydrogeologist, after reading dozens of hydrogeological reports could figure out that P6 was doomed, then so could they. In fact P6 was the only individual well in Waterloo Region that was being tested for TCE multiple times per year. Yes the Middleton and the William St. wellfields are also but they are multiple wells with proven and consistent TCE concentrations found. As of last year P6 was below .5 ppb according to the Region's Annual Drinking Water Report. This year's 2012 Annual Report which just went on line a couple of weeks back states that well P6 "was offline for all of 2012". Hence there are zero readings given to the public for well P6 in 2012.

One tidbit of good news for Cambridge tap water drinkers. These reports which the Region produces annually due to provincial legislation are just that namely Annual Drinking Water Reports. Therefore in theory any breakthroughs of plumes to drinking wells should be caught relatively early. Indeed Middleton is tested each year for many industrial chemicals as well as bacteria. The same cannot be said for numerous other Cambridge wells. I'm in the middle of going through these dozens of reports but I've already found numerous "Annual" Reports which simply have last year's (2011) data in them. I'm not sure what is going on here but will continue to investigate.

Consumers of tap water in the northern end of the Region (Elmira & St.Jacobs) should also be concerned. While a few of us are still fighting desperately against apathy, governments, industry (Chemtura) and the M.O.E. to restore our local wells; the populace have all been reassurred that in the interim we're drinking sparkling City of Waterloo water via pipeline. The two major wellfields namely William St. wells and the Erb St. wells have significant problems. Not only do the William St. wells have TCE in them but three of the four were shut down from the whole year (W3) to four and thirteen weeks respectively (W1C, W1B). Two of the Erb St wells were shut down for major time frames (23 & 11 weeks) plus individual well W10 was shut down for the entire year.

Amazing isn't it how politicians respond to money, power, influence and donations to their political campaigns. Their response is primarily protection of the guilty.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Following is part of the reason why I would eventually like to see our drinking water in Elmira and St. Jacobs come from our own local sources. Each year the Region of Waterloo put out a Public Notice titled Water Supply Notice. This year's report came out a couple of weeks ago and is based on testing done throughout 2012. While the Region apparently comply with province of Ontario (Ministry of the Environment) guidelines, quite frankly that doesn't mean much. There is an astounding list of industrial chemicals that are not included, some of which are quite common if not ubiquitous in our groundwater. This may well be why they aren't included in the first place. Also each year there are unexplained long term shutdowns of supply wells which is very disconcerting. These wells have been in production for decades and it sure isn't as if our summers are getting wetter and our population smaller, hence the huge question is why are these wells being shut down .

This information is on the Region of Waterloo's website and is accessed under "About the Environment", Quality & Treatment. Our local water comes via pipeline from the City of Waterloo and was installed in the very early 90's when the two Elmira wellfields were shut down due to NDMA and so much more. There are many groundwater wells pumping into either the William St. System or the Erb St. System. Both of these systems have wells that were shut down for extended periods of time. In the case of the Erb St System there does seem to be some sort of change underway in their pipng systems which I will look into further. In the case of the William St. System there are four wells named W1B, W1C, W2 and W3. "*Well W1B was offline for 13 weeks in 2012. W1C was offline for 4 weeks in 2012. Well W2 was offline for 2 weeks in 2012. Well W3 was offline for all of 2012.". I would be very interested in seeing some documentation about these longer term shutdowns. For example a one or two week shutdown could possibly be chalked up to routine annual maintenance, pump repairs, cleaning etc.

The piece de resistance is the joys of neverending trichloroethylene in the groundwater. This TCE is the long term result of a number of now defunct manufacturing industries immediately west of downtown King St. in Waterloo. There are levels of TCE at just below 1/2 the drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion (ppb). This Ontario drinking water standard is considered unacceptably high in a number of U.S. jurisdictions who prefer 1.5 to 3 ppb. What I can't determine but suspect is that these levels in the 2.0 ppb. range are probably the result of mixing and diluting within the four supply wells. At the same time if these wells are close enough together then all four are probably contaminated although different depths of wellscreens could certainly alter the concentrations. This is the water locals have been drinking for decades from the William St. wellfield. Elmira and St. Jacobs to date have only been drinking it since as stated the early 90's. I will be following up with further examination of these wells and others in the 2012 Annual Water Quality Report.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


First of all there was less tension in the room than in the previous month. I expect this had to do with CPAC & SWAT members knowing that *RC verification was a done deal. Not much point in continuing to beat a dead horse. Similarily Chemtura personnel seemed much calmer, more relaxed and less defensive than usual.

I went first with the Delegations and was pleased to actually have four people ask me questions afterwards. All questions were relevant and worthwhile and included Sebastian and Mark from CPAC, Jeff M. from Chemtura and George Karlos from the Ministry of the Environment.

Councillor Mark Bauman of CPAC did his politician's best of trying to appease everybody. Nevertheless he did make one wonderful statement to the fact that the M.O.E. accept Conestoga Rovers reports at face value. Mark also gently prodded Chemtura to pony up money to pay for peer reviews of their technical reports done by Conestoga Rovers (CRA).

Again CPAC members by asking followup questions were able to clarify that despite Jeff Merriman's original comments about empty drums and "rusty remnants" as well as non detect levels of soil contamination; that indeed chemical wastes were found and removed. These wastes were black, tarry globs. Steve Quigley of CRA also added to the overall knowledge by advising CPAC that Chemtura's former tarpits (TPW1 & TPW2) were excavated when full in the past and deposited within the former municipal landfill (M2) which they now own. Susanna, the latest addition to the SWAT team combined with Sebastian did a bit of a back and forth questioning of Chemtura as to the comparison in excavation depths for GP1 & GP2 on the east side (1 metre) versus the 1-3 metre excavation on the west side (M2) to remove drums and waste materials.

We were advised by George Karlos of the M.O.E. that the downstream monitoring in the Canagagigue was complete and the report should be coming to CPAC prior to its' public presentation at CPAC. Personally due to the lack of a presented work plan up front, I am doubtful that the M.O.E. obtained information that can be clearly compared with past information. For example which parameters, which locations, what depths etc.. Regardless I'm always interested in new data and will see what can be determined from this latest effort.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Well at the very least Chemtura had the decency to be low key and quiet last evening when they announced they had received their *RC verification, albeit with one dissenting opinion. To say that their verifcation is tainted is a huge understatement. The lone dissenting opinion, in writing, was submitted by Dr. Dan Holt, Chair of the Woolwich Township appointed Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). CPAC had made their position very clear a month ago at the January public CPAC meeting that Chemtura absolutely did not deserve to receive *RC verification based upon multiple failures on their part. As stated earlier Chemtura's West Hill facility was represented on the verification team as was CPAC with one solitary vote out of six. That vote was negative ie. incomplete for Chemtura.

This verification as also expressed earlier was a Do Over. The decision had been made early last December and it was appropriately negative based upon the negative vote of Dr. Dan (and CPAC). When Dr. Dan advised Woolwich Council of what he clearly understood was the team's decision, Chemtura went all postal on him. Unknown to Dr. Dan, Chemtura and the Chemical Industry Assoc'n of Canada (CIAC) were already discussing the Do Over.

As early as July 2011 I knew that the fix was in. When I found out that the current CPAC had but one vote and former CPAC Chair Pat McLean had been appointed to the verification team, I knew she was there by Chemtura's choice. Indeed when the chips were down Pat delivered in favour of Chemtura. This is completely in line with my opinions expressed here over the last couple of years and absolutely no surprise whatsoever. What is even more incredible to me is that as rigged as the verification team was, Chemtura and CIAC have advised us that other companies don't even use the pretence of going through community groups. In other words other companies appoint unilaterally their CAPs (citizen advisory panels) and then use them as their verification team. Finally as I also expressed here in the Advocate on January 29/13, Gail Martin's Editorial in the Elmira Independent was dead wrong. Gail claimed that Pat's vote would not change anything. Rubbish! Pat's vote was the deciding vote. If the two local residents and representatives (Dr. Dan & Pat) had voted negative the verification team would have been committing suicide by approving verification. As badly tainted as the decision already is, can you imagine the public disgust and contempt when they found out that our local ongoing polluter had received *RC verifcation contrary to both local reps?

There were three Delegates to last evening's CPAC meeting including myself, Richard Clausi and Councillor Mark Bauman. Richard made it clear that he had figured out the verification decision some time ago based upon the written comments of Bob Masterson of the CIAC. So much for Chemtura's paranoia around confidentiality. Yours truly in Table form showed the extent of the below computer modelled target pumping throughout the Elmira Aquifers over the last fourteen plus years.

Sebastian of CPAC dug into the recent excavations of old drums on the Chemtura site in the former M2 landfill. It took a little prodding but low and behold chemical wastes in the form of black tars were found and removed along with drum carcasses. These tars were not analysed for their chemical composition.

Yours truly as promised in yesterday's Advocate asked Chemtura to clarify the difference between statistically significant increases in chemicals in the Canagagigue Creek as it flows through Chemtura versus arithmetic means which for me appear more accurate and straightforward. Jeff Merriman of Chemtura has promised to so clarify at the next CPAC meeting on March 28/13.

More will be posted about last evening's CPAC meeting including the contributions of numerous CPAC and SWAT team members.