Friday, August 30, 2013


Many CPAC meetings of late have figuratively left the wounded guilty parties in a dazed state by the end of the meeting. Last night was a little less painful than usual for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and their partners in pollution, Chemtura. That being said truth as always was a victim however all CPAC members plus this SWAT team member worked hard to defend the truth against vested interests.

Even Councillor Mark Bauman seemed a little keener than usual to ask questions that could possibly reflect badly on Chemtura/M.O.E.. I used an overhead projector to show the chlorobenzene plumes in the Municipal Lower Aquifer beneath the former Varnicolor Chemical area. This plume has dramatically changed it's shape over the last fifteen years as pumping from W5A has drawn chlorobenzene eastward towards both CH70D as well as W5A. The purpose of my plume maps was to show that this area as well as the two further north west of Chemtura require special attention.

There was again considerable discussion surrounding Chemtura's imminent plans to slightly dig and mostly cap GP1 & 2 on their south-east corner. Ron, Vivienne and Mark all asked questions on this matter suggesting that more testing should have been done deeper and then the final decisions made. I suggested that the pumping well downstream of GP1 & 2 namely off-site well W5A had not been routinely tested for DDT or Dioxins. Jeff Merriman of Chemtura confirmed this.

George Karlos (M.O.E.) somehow convinced CPAC that they should give him the go ahead regarding downstream testing prior to all the current lab results being shared. In fact there will be a presentation at the next CPAC meeting in September first and then the results handed out from this spring's "confirmatory" testing. Also the soil results from the nearby farmer's swimming pond will be shared AFTER the presentation. This is a mistake but I guess you have to be burned over a period of years as I have been with promises of data that either show up late or never. Examples would be groundwater readings on both the former Varnicolor Chemical site on Union St. as well as on the old Lot 91 at the east end of Oriole Parkway.

There was also discussion on multiple sources of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Elmira Aquifers. Ron Campbell and other CPAC members were concerned about the focus on only three Chemtura chemicals namely NDMA, Chlorobenzene and Ammonia courtesy of both Chemtura and Yara (Nutrite). This discussion as well as later on when we learned that Chemtura bring in "flammable petroleum hydrocarbons" by railcar certainly had Jeff Merriman squirming. He has in the past had the gall to suggest that petroleum hydrocarbons are a non issue to Elmira's groundwater and to Chemtura.

Apparently the pilot tests of In Situ Chemical Oxidation are being reconsidered due to anomolies discovered in the two areas west of Chemtura. Well OW60 near Park and Queen St. has long held high NDMA readings. New wells were drilled in the backyard of this residence and the NDMA readings are extremely low while only being 15 yards away. Jeff agreed with me that this is very weird. Also the Municipal Lower Aquifer at CH44 on the Yara property now appears to be much smaller than originally thought based on recent new drilling. Obviously I would like to see all this data for myself as there could be some self serving psuedo science interpretations going on (or not- who knows?).

Getting back to the "flammable petroleum hydrocarbons " being transported by rail Dwight Este was asked by me for the common name of the PHC's. He refused to say which seems a tad unecessarily secretive. Hmm.

Last but not least I received a promise from George Karlos that Jaimie Connolly, M.O.E. hydrogeologist, would get me some literature references dealing with acetone allegedly solubolizing chlorobenzene. Currently my opinion is that this is junk science at best but if Jaimie comes through we will indeed see. This is of course relevant to the chlorobenzene DNAPL found just west of the old Varnicolor about 100' below ground. The next public CPAC meeting is on September 26, 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment