Friday, July 5, 2013


This week's Independent which isn't on-line yet, carrys this article "Cleanup deadline questioned". Also Editor Gail Martin has an Editorial titled "No easy fixes". Both of these writings are excellent and because of them have helped me connect a few more dots in this long running local tragedy.

Gail points out in her front page article that M.O.E. hydrogeologist, Jaimie Connolly, while supportive of Chemtura/CRA's new remediation plan, nevertheless has major concerns with their computer model and doubts that they will actually be able to achieve their mandated cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers by 2028. Gail in her Editorial gives appropriate credit to CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) for publicly sounding the warning months prior to the M.O.E.; that there is doubt that the Elmira Aquifers will be cleaned up to drinking standards by 2028.

At this point I'm going to give the background to the current scenario. In the spring of 2012 CPAC unanimously passed a Resolution which stated that the past and current cleanup plan wasn't even going to come close to cleaning the Aquifers adequately and on time. Woolwich Township Council then took this Resolution and unanimously endorsed it and sent it on to
the Region of Waterloo, the province of Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. These three groups were not happy campers and believe me neither were Chemtura and their longtime consultants Conestoga Rovers. None of them would agree with the CPAC Resolution and indeed some were greatly offended by it. Overall resounding silence was their response.

These guilty parties (which included former Woolwich Township Councils but not the current one) went into damage control.
Chemtura and CRA trotted out their 5 year Model Update last November (2012). Lo and behold they and they alone supposedly determined that their current off-site pumping rates and non source removal of subsurface wastes were inadequate. They solemnly and with straight faces advised CPAC that Conestoga Rovers had devised a new plan which included a tripling of the quantity of off-site groundwater being pumped as well as In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) of two highly contaminated off-site areas. ISCO is considered a form of source removal.

Keep in mind that until last November your Ontario M.O.E. has consistently supported Chemtura/CRA cleanup plans since the mid 90's. Last Thursday the M.O.E.'s hydrogeologist formally and publicly advised that the M.O.E. support the direction that Chemtura/CRA are now going BUT have doubts that with this new and improved plan; that they can still achieve the 2028 cleanup deadline. What the hell! If you hypocritical buggers have doubts with the vastly improved new plan where the hell have you been for years (decades) with the old ones????

A further bit of history and background. The old CPAC and their Chair, former councillor Pat Mclean were very supportive of Chemtura/CRA's cleanup plans. The old CPAC occasionally parachuted in, allegedly independent hydrogeologist Wilf Ruland, primarily in my opinion to support Pat, Susan Bryant and CPAC's positions and opinions. Dr. Henry Regier was the least impressed with Wilf's alleged independent opinions and I slowly began to understand why. Henry is a legitimate scientist with a deep respect for truth, facts and logical thinking. Hindsight being 20/20 ; the old CPAC didn't know what the hell they were doing and they resented my contrary opinions to their support of Chemtura/CRA's now proven grossly inadequate cleanup plans for Elmira.

In summation I ask the public to understand that your young CPAC have blazed the way through twenty years of hard core bull...., politics and self interest. The young CPAC have shaken up the game and put the cleanup back on track. None of this would have happened without Woolwich voters turfing out the old councillors in October 2010 and bringing in new thinking. This new thinking was led by Mayor Todd Cowan, who while no longer my friend; I will not deny the truth which is if he hadn't won the October 2010 election, this incredible turnaround at CPAC and the cleanup would not have happened.

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