Monday, August 5, 2013


At a public CPAC meeting last fall I requested some information from Woolwich Township in regards to an investigation that occurred in the mid 1980's. The investigation involved ongoing discharges of orange coloured liquids in the Howard Street storm drains between Varnicolor Chemical and Borg Textiles. These discharges could be seen just east of Union St. as the drains were exposed on their way to the Canagagigue Creek. Testing of these liquids determined that at least some of them were comprised of chlorobenzene. This information I had found in a number of reports and I sent all the titles, dates, page numbers etc. to Woolwich Township who would already have had this info as they were the ones in charge of the investigation in the mid 80's. I posted about this issue and my request to Woolwich Township back on January 12, 2013 here in the Elmira Advocate. To date I have not received the courtesy of an update or response of any kind.

Why is this significant now you ask? Firstly CPAC's mandate is the restoration of the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards by 2028. The Elmira Aquifers cover several square miles and geographically encompass dozens of industries and service stations sitting above them. The list of known polluters is extensive including Varnicolor, Yara (Nutrite), Chemtura (Uniroyal) plus service stations such as the former Beckers, Voisin Motors and Gord's service station. The list of lesser known polluters is also extensive and includes the former Strauss Fuels, cleanup done in front of Martin's Pet Foods, Lot 91 at the east end of Oriole Parkway and more.

Last October 31/12 Jaimie Connolly of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment wrote a report in support of Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. pathetic denials of the presence of DNAPLS behind (west) the old Varnicolor site on Union St.. The CRA report was dated August 29, 2012. Jaimie's report in support of a hopelessly unscientific and unsound document was itself filled with errors, falsehoods and factually fictitious nonsense. I have posted details on these reports here in the Advocate on Novemebr 12, 13 /12 as well as on January 24/13.

Near the end of Jaimie's second page, Jaimie makes the following incorrect statement: "However I do note that there is no evidence that either the Borg or Varnicolor sites are source properties for chlorobenzene contamination.". This flies in the face of the discoveries and investigations done in the 80's which found chlorobenzene in surface water storm drains running between those two properties. Of significance is that Chemtura's extensive off-site chlorobenzene contamination is in the deeper Municipal Aquifers. On the Chemtura site of course it's in all their aquifers. As all groundwater contamination starts at the surface and slowly percolates downwards one can see the significance of surface chlorobenzene contamination between Borg and Varnicolor.

The significantly and historically elevated chlorobenzene concentrations plus physical discovery of DNAPL behind (west) Varnicolor at well OW57-32R are of great significance to both the attempted cleanup methodology as well as to the credibility of the M.O.E./Chemtura/CRA. For this reason their closing ranks and hiding behind erroneous psuedo science can not be allowed to stand. There is one final thought as to why those three parties are in full denial mode. If the free phase DNAPL and chlorobenzene didn't come from nearby Borg/Varnicolor then the really scary thought is that just like the massive contamination of Benzothiazole and MBT (& more) beneath Yara (Nutrite) that most likely gravity flowed from Chemtura westwards; then free phase DNAPL may well have flowed all the way from Chemtura, on the surface of one of the westward sloping Aquitards to just west of the Varnicolor site (ie. OW57-32R area). This also would destroy one of the planks (excuses) of the M.O.E. as to allegedly why they can't order Chemtura to do on-site source removal. The M.O.E. keep backing Chemtura's nonsense that everything is contained on site. That is unadulterated bull as nothing has been fully hydraulically contained permanently in any aquifer and DNAPLS gravity flow without regard to hydraulic (pump & treat) containment anyways.

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