Monday, September 30, 2013


As serious as this is, it is the blatant lying to the citizens which makes it even worse. Are our governments so deeply in bed with business, industry and corporate power that they have become their media relations team? Apparently the answer is yes. We all know that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment run interference for polluting companies in an effort to protect them from outraged citizens. Up here in Elmira it's not even questioned anymore. Whether it was Varnicolor Chemical or Nutrite, the coverups ranged from subtle to outright blatant lying and even tipping off the polluter about upcoming actions against them.

Northstar Aerospace has caused incredible pain and sufferring in the Bishop St. community of Cambridge, Ontario. Just because our medical authorities are unable or unwilling to directly link premature deaths of residents living in Trichloroethylene (TCE) contaminated homes to Northstar does not excuse or exonerate them. Similarily with the numbers of cancer cases amongst the residents. This coverup of Northstar's culpability relates to TCE vapours entering homes and poisoning the residents.

Well P6 is located in the Dumphries Conservation Area downgradient of Northstar, in the Bedrock Aquifer. For many years it made zero sense hydrogeologically to me that it was not contaminated. I believe a few years back the well was even overdrilled for the purpose of putting the well screen deeper (ie. lower) into the bedrock formations. This would possibly have delayed incoming dissolved TCE contamination only. Last spring when the Region of Waterloo's Annual Drinking Water Reports were published I saw that there were no results for 2012. The Region merely repeated the 2011 results. Strange.

Back in the mid 90's The Region had contamination problems with wells K70 & K71 downgradient from Safety-Kleen in Breslau. These river infiltration wells had low concentrations of multiple chemicals found immediately behind the Breslube/Safety-Kleen site actually on the Forwell gravel pit property. As P.C.B.s had also been found in the shallow groundwater behind the Safety-Kleen site it seemed a no brainer to shut those wells down which the Region did. The public reason however was a dilly. Apparently this particular part of the Grand River has the world's toughest bacteria. Despite there being other river wells along the Grand, both upstream and down, these wells were closed and remain closed due to bacteria problems.

Back to P6 in Cambridge. Currently there is an Environmental Review Tribunal underway attempting to find responsible parties to continue the cleanup of TCE contamination in the groundwater, both on and off the Northstar and G.E. properties, on Bishop St. Here are the facts supplied by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). The on-site (Northstar) pump and treat system is NOT sucessfully containing the dissolved TCE on site. The reason is because it is only pumping the shallow aquifer not the deeper bedrock aquifer. Secondly the M.O.E. hydrogeologist believes that free phase TCE has moved off the Northstar site and is in the bedrock aquifer downgradient. This free phase TCE is known as DNAPL or dense non aqueous phase liquid. It behaves similarily to mercury found in a broken thermometer in that it gravity flows downhill. It dissolves exceedingly slowly and can contaminate groundwater above drinking standards literally for centuries. Again groundwater pump & treat systems can not stop the spread of free phase DNAPL. Finally the M.O.E. admits that the Interim Remedial Action Plan (IRAP) had three objectives one of which was "to limit the potential impact of dissolved TCE and its' natural breakdown products to the drinking water supply well P6...".

There has been no doubt in my mind after reading numerous hydrogeological reports years ago that drinking well P6 was toast. The only question was when and what excuse the Region and or M.O.E. would use. Quoting Phil Shewen of the M.O.E. "this well has been off-line for approximately two years due to maintenance issues.". That is unadulterated B.S.. The only question left is how many chemicals and for how long were they in drinking well P6 before the plug was pulled. Local residents were exposed to TCE fumes in their homes for years. Were they also exposed to TCE and more in their drinking water?

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I left out my formal ten minute Delegation to CPAC in yesterday's posting here about the public CPAC meeting Thursday evening in Woolwich Council Chambers. Jeff Merriman of Chemtura and I have had numerous arguments relating to contaminated soil and the presence of solvents subsurface on their south-east corner, below GP1 & 2. On page 5 of last month's (Aug.29/13) CPAC Minutes Jeff asks the question as to which particular solvents I am referring to. Well Thursday night I answered his question for him as well as CPAC.

Using an overhead projector I showed on-site plume maps for NDMA, Ammonia, Chlorobenzene, Carboxin, Aniline and 2-MBT (mercaptobenzothiazole). All of these chemicals showed very low to zero presence in the Upper Aquifer 1 (UA1) as Jeff has long stated. However the situation reverses when we look at the next two aquifers underneath. Upper Aquifer 3 (UA3) is still seriously contaminated as is the Municipal Upper Aquifer (MU) below it. The difficulty of disproving Chemtura's nonsense that there are not Dioxins and DDT at depth below GP1 & GP2 arises from a lack of data. Put another way you will never find what you don't test for. Not only do they refuse to test for Dioxins and DDT at depth they've even quit routinely looking for ubiquitous solvents on their site. Thay have for many years focused on only three namely Ammonia, NDMA and Chlorobenzene. Allegedly these three are representative samples. Regardless you can't then turn around and make broad statements such as there aren't solvents present in the south-east corner that could have mobilized the usually hydrophobic Dioxins and DDT.

There is one more quite astounding revelation Thursday evening. While I strongly suspect that the Ministry of the Environment's claim by their hydrogeologist that acetone in the aquifer increased the solubility of chlorobenzene in the off-site groundwater is wishful thinking/junk science; it seems that their hydrogeologist couldn't make Thursday's meeting to back up his story. That being so I added one more technical question to his list and to my surprise and joy Steve Martindale of the M.O.E. gave his opinion and understanding. We have long been told by the likes of Jeff (environmental engineer) that Dioxins and DDT partition strongly onto soil particles. Therefore those two compounds are hydrophobic and preferentially do not dissolve and flow readily in groundwater. That being said over the last twenty-four years we have had numerous instances of Dioxins tested for and found in groundwater as well as their having been found in soils and sediments downstream of the site in the Canagagigue. Clearly they can flow via solvent contaminated groundwater as well as by being flushed by surface water.

The question I asked Steve Martindale (M.O.E.) was if Dioxins and DDT also adhered/bound etc. to either sand or gravel as in aquifer materials versus topsoil/soil. I already was pretty darn sure of the answer and Steve confirmed that his understanding was that Dioxins and DDT did not adhere or bind to the larger particles in sand and gravel and that they would flow through the pore spaces along with groundwater. As the south-east corner has the Upper Aquifer 1 present right up to the surface in most areas (heck it was a former gravel pit) clearly those two compounds had no problem moving downwards as well as horizantly through the aquifer. Chemtura busted again!

Friday, September 27, 2013


The meeting as usual started at 6 pm. and was held in the Woolwich Council Chambers. Councillor and CPAC member Mark Bauman started by advising all of a recent Letter to the Editor published in the local papers. It referred to Chemtura's "duct tape" solution to Dioxins and DDT cleanup on the south-east corner of their site. Mark also lamented the lack of governmental assistance at all levels including municipal. Yours truly commented that while CPAC can't seem to get any money out of the Township for peer reviews nevertheless the township have money for numerous peer reviews of gravel pit applications and lawyers at the ongoing Ontario Municipal Board hearing into the Hunder gravel pit proposed for Conestogo.

I had asked Steve Martindale of the M.O.E. if he would ask hydrogeologist Jaimie Connolly whether Dioxins and DDT bound to sand and gravel similarily as to soil particles. Steve said he would add that question along with the one regarding acetone solubolizing chlorobenzene. Steve then indicated that his knowledge was that DDT & Dioxins did not bind to the larger particles found in sand and gravel. That is huge as it would indicate how easy it is for those two compounds to move downwards through aquifers on the site. Both Ron Campbell and Mark of CPAC asked questions of Mike Spencer of the M.O.E. regarding the latest tests (April 2013) done on sediment in the Canagagigue Creek. Mr. Spencer indicated that there would be more testing and it would be more comparable to the original 1996/97 study regarding downstream locations. He also indicated that there would be biological testing as in possibly clams and leeches being used.

While Mr. Spencer graced us with overhead projected slides showing tables and results from this most recent study; he had ZERO hard copy results to hand out. In other words he presented data showing contaminated sediments above the Severe Effect Level (SEL) for the benthic community and yet shared NOTHING in writing with CPAC. Sometimes the arrogance and stupidity of the Ontario M.O.E. is beyond comprehension.

Regarding In-Situ source removal, Conestoga Rovers are confident that it will work to breakdown NDMA as well as chlorinated solvents. Regarding Chemtura's private by invitation only "technical meeting", they too are showing their arrogance and stupidity. Richard Clausi (SWAT), Ron, Chair Dan and Vivienne all criticized their decision to ignore CPAC's request that they bring their scheduled October 2/13 presentation to CPAC last night. Vivienne advised Chemtura that they were unrealistic to expect advice from CPAC on many technical matters when they refused money to allow CPAC to obtain professional expertise. Richard suggested that Chemtura were intentionally bypassing the citizen consultation process. He also suggested that Chemtura's private meeting excluding some CPAC members, the public and the media (Independent) would be an issue at the next *Responsible care verification process.

There was also lengthy discussion around Chemtura's so called process to review CPAC requests for money for peer reviews. Chair Dan Holt and Ron Campbell in particular made it clear that Chemtura's position was unreasonable if not ridiculous. Basically it was akin to a teenager asking for an allowance each week and then having to justify it constantly even while being regularily turned down. If CPAC are to be an effective citizens advisory group then they need their own experts. Left unsaid but clearly the elephant in the room is that Chemtura's experts and technical staff are just dandy for looking out for Chemtura's interests but unreliable to do the same for the public interest.

In regards to the private "technical meeting" yours truly had some fun at Chemtura's expense. I advised Dwight Este (Chemtura) that I fully understood his reluctance to invite Gail Martin of the Elmira Independent to the meeting. Gail sits quietly through each CPAC meeting taking notes and not making a sound. I suggested to Dwight that she was very scary, loud and boisterous and could even be a psuedo terrorist. I then capped it off by suggesting that she Gail Martin was a weapon of mass public instruction. Well CPAC and Gail enjoyed the moment far more than Chemtura did.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Dan Kennally for the township of Woolwich was back on the stand. He disagreed with Mr. Cisco's position (on behalf of the proponent) that the pit application was driven by market forces. Dan understands gravel pits to be interim land uses only and hence not subject to market forces. This interim use is also why the township believe that a time limit on the life of the pit is appropriate.

Dan described the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) as the provincial minimum guidelines . Municipal planners through their Township Official Plans can go further than the PPS although they must not conflict with or contravene it. Also municipal zoning by-laws work both ways in protecting future aggregate areas from development as well as protecting existing residential areas from new aggregate applications. Dan states that the Woolwich Official Plan also protects agricultural lands along with protecting communities.

Mr. Kennally believes that the Woolwich Official Plan is in conformity with the Regional Official Policys Plan while acknowledging that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Aggregate Resources Act are paramount. Dan bluntly quoted a document stating that the MNR are severely lacking in appropriate resources and indeed an inspector is likely to visit/inspect a gravel pit about once every five years. The "no unacceptable impacts" predicted by Mr. Cisco (for the proponent) is predicated on strict compliance with site rules, regulations etc. which is less likely with minimal supervision/inspections. Further Mr. Kennally indicated that the Township are very small and cannot monitor and enforce gravel pits on their own.

Dan Kennally summarized by saying that the Crowsfoot Corner is already unacceptable (Level F) and the pit trucks will make it worse. Therefore there will be unacceptable impacts. Similarily there will be unacceptable impacts from noise, visual degradation and finally to the condition of agricultural lands. It is Mr. Kennally's professional planners opinion that the pit should not proceed due to all these unacceptable impacts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Mr. Emeljanow, acoustical engineer on behalf of Woolwich Township, was cross-examined by Mr. Pickfield, lawyer for Hunder development. Mr. Emeljanow continued to insist that in order to evaluate noise impacts an ambient baseline knowledge is required ie. initial background noise. Mr. Pickfield countered that the standard approach is to look at Class 2 (urban) or Class3 (rural). In this case Class 3 with its' more stringent noise criteria of 45 decibels was picked. Therefore typically the exclusionary limits (45 decibels) would be appropriate to determine if there were "unacceptable impacts". Mr. Emeljanow insisted that the Draft Landfill Guidelines Table was more appropriate to determine "unacceptable impacts". Mr. Pickfield pointed out that there was not anything specific in Woolwich township's Official Plan Amendment #13 (OPA #13) that takes the Board or anyone to these Draft landfill Guidelines.

Essentially I believe that Mr. Pickfield was attempting to show the Board that Mr. Emeljanow's claim of a "fundamental flaw" in the IBI Noise Study was trial by ambush. There was bickering in regards to the interpretations of documents Mr. Emeljanow had either authored or signed dealing with his noise concerns and whether they included references to his "fundamental flaw" position or not. Mr. Pickfield also compared Mr. Emeljanow's position on the Jigs Hollow Pit to his current position. Mr. Pickfield suggested that Mr. Emeljanow's noise standards were different from the one pit to the other. It was agreed that under the Draft Landfill Guidelines that changes in decibel readings did indeed indicate whether or not the increases were "unacceptable" or not. However Mr. Pickfield worked very hard to indicate that that document was not the norm or usual method to make such a determination.

Finally Mr. Pickfield suggested that Mr. Emeljanow's concerns regarding duration of noise were also raised late in the day. Mr. Pickfield believes that they should have been raised during the peer review process.

Mr. Dan Kennally head of Planning & Engineering for Woolwich township was next on the stand. He gave an extensive background into the entire process over several years in regards to the Hunder Pit Application. His overall determination was that the Application was not good planning and not in the public interest. He also gave the background into OPA #13 and how it was approved by the Region of Waterloo, appealed by the Ontario Sand, Stone & Gravel Association etc.. and finally settled with the Settlement approved by the Ontario OMB. Dan raised points such as the proximity of the Grand Valley Trail, life of the pit and that apparently pits in the Region of Waterloo, on average only extract 23.5% of their total allowable tonnage per year. The Township had numerous peer reviews done on behalf of their citizens including Hydrogeological, Noise and Visual Impacts. Dan suggested that the OMB if they approve the pit should put a fifteen year maximum life on the operation of the pit. He also suggested that the inclusion of recycling will only stretch out the time frame of the pit and was not a good idea.

At 10 am. Wednesday the hearing will continue and the Chair has two participants scheduled to present at 2 pm.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Mr. David Argue was put on the stand with Ms. Loiacono introducing his testimony with her questions. Mr. Argue is the Woolwich Township transportation expert. He testified that Crowsfoot Corner will be degraded further with the addition of ten trucks per hour from the proposed Hunder Pit. He suggested that greater driver frustration with even longer waits will lead to them taking greater chances. He also suggested that statistically greater volumes of traffic lead to more collisions. He recommended that more monitoring of the intersection be undertaken and that Woolwich Township lobby the Region of waterloo hard to move the suggested fixes for the intersection forward in time.

Mr Paton for the CWRA asked about a dedicated left turn lane onto Sawmill Rd. and about left turn lane restrictions during certain phases of the gravel pit. Mr. Argue agreed .

Then came the surprise as the Chair asked Mr. Argue point blank if he recommended the pit be denied until after the Crowsfoot Corner intersection was improved. He said no.

Mr Emeljanow of Valcoustics was the next Township witness on the stand. He is an acoustical engineer. His testimony was powerful and compelling and in direct conflict with Mr. Gastmayer, the noise expert on behalf of the proponent, Hunder developments. He stated that the sounds were seriously underpredicted as all activities were not included. He suggested that the restrictions on simultaneous extraction and crushing will result in greater handling and movement of materials. He aslo believe that there will be unacceptable noise impacts to certain receptors. Mr. Emeljanow does not believe that the M.O.E.'s criteria on their own will protect the residents. He stated that it's not just an absolute decibel reading but the increase in noise levels which determines acceptable or unacceptable impacts.

Mr. Emeljanow also had serious concerns with the phase one processing area. He believes that its' size is underestimated in order to accomodate both the berm and the recycling materials which are to be stored there. Further he takes issue with "construction" versus extraction noise exemptions. He feels that based on the gravel being near the surface that both these activities should be subject to the same noise limits. In a nutshell Mr. Emeljanow believes that on and off-site noise levels are seriously underestimated and that even the M.O.E. criteria will be exceeded.

Cross-exam was supposed to start yesterday but Mr. Pickfield was repeatedly stalled due to procedural problems dealing with Discovery as well as whether or not a particular document was the correct version. This morning (Tuesday) things will proceed again at 10 am..

Monday, September 23, 2013


Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record has this Opinion piece by Thomas Walkom titled " Nuclear waste dump plans hit shaky ground". The initial plan called for low and intermediate radioactive wastes to be buried 680 metres below ground close to Lake Huron. First Nations representatives have recently made it clear that their approval is by no means a done deal. Also a consultant for the federal government has recently indicated dissatisfaction with Ontario Power Generation's calculations of the environmental impact.

The third recent problem is Ontario reactors are producing nuclear waste faster than expected. The Pickering plant is to be shut down and decommissioned by 2020. It's radioactive parts will need storage and OPG have already said that they will go to the Kinkardine facility. "Given that it's politically easier to expand an existing dump than build a new one, my guess is that such permission would almost certainly be granted.". "Bottom line: the Kinkardine project is now about demonstrably more than disposing of a few radioactive mops. At one point, it may have been an easy sell politically. It is no longer.".

Saturday, September 21, 2013


This week's Elmira Independent has a Letter to the Editor with the title "Another duct-tape fix to Chemtura contamination". While I am a strong proponent of duct tape nevertheless I acknowledge the sentiments and metaphor involved. The criticism involves Chemtura doing almost the absolute minimum in order to allegedly "fix" the problem. There is the concern with a flood taking portions of this area and its' toxic components downstream and into the Grand River. The other appropriate criticism is how our governments have abandoned us on this cleanup. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment's position is reprehensible. They will share the responsibility of the eventual second disaster caused by this site . As far as volunteer groups being the only ones showing leadership and responsibility that is correct although Ms. Bryant has obviously forgotten the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (EH-Team). Yours truly did the bulk of the research back in 2003 for CPAC's "July 2003 Request For Action" which asked for proper remediation of this Dioxin contaminated area (GP1 & 2). The Elmira EH-Team have also been front and centre as part of the current CPAC's SWAT (soil, water, air, technical) team and yours truly has spoken on behalf of the EH-Team as a Delegate against Chemtura's mickey mouse cleanup of GP1 & 2.


I missed the morning session and when I arrived for the afternoon session (2 pm.) Mr. Cisco representing the proponent was ready for his cross-examination by Mr. Paton on behalf of the Conestoga Winterbourne Residents Association (CWRA). Mr. Paton attempted to show that some of the topsoil eventually scheduled for rehabillatation would actually spend possibly twenty years sitting on berms and hence would degrade in quality. Mr. Cisco suggested that perhaps two berms only might indeed be present for twenty years. Mr. Paton also suggested that there would be some degradation of topsoil quality due to mixing of topsoil with subsoils on the berms. Mr. Cisco suggested that under best practices this would be minimal.

Mr. Paton suggested that other than the pit operator self-reporting (annual reports); nobody was actually monitoring or enforcing the rules and regulations around the pit. In fact Mr. Paton suggested that it will fall upon the local residents to be the ones to phone and complain in regards to operating violations.

The Chair also asked a few questions of Mr. Cisco. She confirmed that there is absolutely no date set in regards to the life of the pit. Mr. Cisco concurred with that.

The hearing resumes Monday morning at 10 am. and the Chair attempted to set a time for two participants to speak. The participants are Mr. B. Weber and Mrs. Stroobacher.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Mr. Cisco of the IBI Group was back on the stand testifying on behalf of the proponent, Hunder Developments. He advised that the mobile crusher would be used for a maximum of four weeks at the Jigs Hollow Pit and twenty-two weeks at the Hunder Pit out of a thirty-nine week season. The purpose was to show that it would not be difficult to have the Hunder Pit crusher out of commission while the Jigs Hollow Pit crusher was working and hence be able to abide by one of the noise conditions.

Mr. Cisco further testified that a berm at the Jigs Hollow Pit was raised in order to reduce noise to 45 decibels. This may have been done in response to a letter/complaint from a resident, Mrs Stroobacher.

Mr. Cisco repeatedly testified that in his opinion there would be no "harm or material discomfort to any person." He also stated that there would be no "adverse effects to any person".

Mr. Cisco stated that the Township of Woolwich have three major areas of concern namely Traffic, Noise and Visual Impacts. Mr. Cisco then gave his opinion as to why he felt all three areas had been properly addressed.

After lunch Mr. Cisco got into the recycling aspect of the operation. Apparently there will be groundwater monitoring for PAH's (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) as well as for hydrocarbon fractions specifically F3 and F4. After I reread my notes I realized a possible slip up here. F3 and F4 are the heavier hydrocarbon fractions. They would be for heavy oils and greases etc.. F1 refers to C6-C10 which means six to ten carbons. This includes components of gasolines etc. such as benzene, toluene and xylenes. F2 I believe is C10-C20. Clearly there should be monitoring for the lighter hydrocarbons as well as the heavier ones as a gasoline or diesel spill would do considerably more damage than a spill of thick grease for example.

Ms. Costello opened the cross-examination of Mr. Cisco. She clarified that the restriction on extraction and screening while crushing was underway only applied to phase one, not to the other phases. It appeared to me that there was a difference in understanding with Mr. Cisco's understanding of the processing limitations due to noise concerns.

Ms. Costello also got into Sunset Clauses. She made the excellent point that as gravel extraction is considered an Interim use then why not have a hard time frame within which the pit can operate? Mr. cisco is strongly against the inclusion of Sunset Clauses anywhere in the process and advised that so is the Ministry of Natural Resources. The hearing will continue Friday morning at 10 am..

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I received a tutorial Monday in regards to the Municipal Conflict Of Interest Act (MCIA). My overall impression is that it is almost expected that during a municipal councillor's four year term that at some point a financial/pecuniary conflict of interest will occur. Essentially the councillor declares the conflict and avoids either debating or voting on the issue that he has a conflict with. End of story and no big deal.

However when you are dealing with for example a committee of council I believe that things become much murkier. An environmental committee of council may be in a confrontational mode with a local polluter. Examples abound such as Safety-Kleen in Breslau, Ontario; Northstar Aerospace in Cambridge, Ontario; Chemtura in Elmira, Ontario; Ciba-Geigy (Novartis) again in Cambridge. Here you have a committee (of council) essentially focused on cleaning up groundwater and or cleaning up the local polluter's site. All these industries mentioned have hired consultants and unsurprisingly their consultants have no problem minimizing problems and especially minimizing (financially) the solutions.

Now under these circumstances how would John Q. Public react to the news that a committee member charged with the responsibility of representing the public interest; also had a personal financial interest with the polluter? This personal financial interest could be as minor as a small contract for renovations to a building on site or as significant as assisting with an on-site cleanup of a contaminated area. Either way I see a potential conflict between the member's public interest and their private interest.

This particular conflict of interest relates to optics and perception. Once your environmental committee has tacitly approved (with the strong urging of the municipality) the principle of members having business dealings with the polluter that they are supposedly confronting, being O.K.; the door to abuse is wide open. What prevents an unscrupulous polluting industry from "rewarding" committee members less confrontational and more cooperative behaviour with lucrative contracts? Essentially nothing. In my opinion an environmental committee should absolutely prohibit any such financial dealings/contracts. In the future if a member wishes to do business with the polluting company fine; but step down from your position on the environmental committee.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


A consistent pattern emerges when one looks at Councillor Bauman's historic words and voting patterns on issues regarding Chemtura Canada in Elmira. Their position is his position and he appears to see his job as protecting and defending their interests. This is especially pathetic as he has been Woolwich Council's rep on the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) for the last year and a half. He has seen and heard with his own ears the deviousness and lack of transparency with which Chemtura routinely treat CPAC and the public. Yours truly helped put him on CPAC and get Mayor Todd Cowan off. Cowan had been violating the Woolwich Code of Conduct in his rude and disrespectful dealings with CPAC. This is one reason why this past Monday at a CPAC Orientation/Education public meeting I criticized this Code of Conduct as being hypocritical. It is trotted out by the likes of CAO Dave Brenneman when I use the word "crap" but not one word of criticism when Councillors, Mayor or staff are rude and disrespectful to volunteer citizens. A pox on the hypocritical lot of them.

Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Woolwich councillor says rail worries just fear-mongering". Perhaps Mark would like to go to Quebec in person and tell that to the survivors of Lac-Megantic. Somehow I don't think he'll do that. Mark states in the article that Elmira chemical industries are transparent. That is a damn lie and Mark knows it. One company, Sulco/CCC have a well earned reputation as honest. Their neighbour Chemtura (Uniroyal) have a well earned reputation amongst CPAC and SWAT members otherwise. Even in his short time on CPAC, Mark Bauman has seen the gamesmanship involved in Chemtura's recent *Responsible Care verification. They gamed the system and even then the Chair of the current CPAC produced a minority report in opposition to Chemtura receiving verification.

Chemtura deal with hundreds of different toxic chemicals. Apparently they've listed two which they transport by rail. Are all the rest going by truck or are Chemtura being dishonest or disingenuous with us? This is a company with a history of ongoing spills, leaks, environmental convictions and bogus public consultation. Currently they are doing a pretend cleanup of Dioxins (Agent Orange) on the south-east corner of their site. This "cleanup" has been condemned by two local environmental groups as well as by CPAC in a Media Release a year ago. This is the kind of company which Councillor Mark Bauman regularily defends. I see some future campaign donations in the works here Mark. Have there been any in the past; especially when Mark's constituents are from St. Jacobs? Now that would be interesting to find out.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has the following Record Editorial "Tell us what's on those trains". The Record rightly points out that "Lac-Megantic was the game changer". In regards to the Goderich-Exeter Railway sharing information with one , possibly two Fire Chiefs, the Record refers to this as "baby-steps". Police and ambulance workers amomg others also desperately need that information. The Record at long last also realizes that there is "...a compelling argument for the residents of this region to know, in a general sense, what is being transported by rail through the hearts of their communities.". Keep in mind Woolwich residents that these trains go through St. Jacobs and Elmira as well to Sulco and Chemtura in Elmira. Also keep in mind that most of these chemicals have been shared for many decades with Elmira residents via air, surface water and groundwater emanating from the Uniroyal/Chemtura site. Sulco appear to have sincerely embraced the principles of *Responsible Care unlike their immediate neighbour, Chemtura. Finally the Record suggest that the fereral government may have to strengthen legislation to force all railways to comply so that "...vital information gets into public hands.".

Monday, September 16, 2013


Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has this story titled "Nuclear waste hearings set to begin". The proposal for so called low and intermediate nuclear waste to be buried deep underground within 1.2 km of Lake Huron is controversial to say the least. Proponents have either already been bought off or will be bought off. By "bought off" I'm referring to financial incentives to groups and municipalities to accept ie. host a nuclear repository. The financial incentives are significant and in an area already dependent upon Bruce Nuclear and they with a solid local reputation; acceptance as a host really isn't all that surprising. On the other side of the ledger are neighbouring communities around the lake including U.S. ones. Finally there are those like myself who are horrified at the thought of burying nuclear waste underground anywhere near one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Are we completely nuts?

Relative to Woolwich, all water whether surface or groundwater will not flow our way from this site. It will be into Lake Huron and it's tributaries and then flow south towards Lake St.Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Does this proposal further north than the source of the Grand River (Dundalk area) not concern us? I believe it should concern all Ontarians and all Canadians. If this limestone formation, 680 metres below ground is so damn secure than indeed bury nuclear waste in the bedrock; just not beside a massive source of fresh water to millions of human beings. Move it inland or north where we have lots of bedrock and less Great Lakes. Is there something our authorities are failing to tell us here? It seems pretty obvious that there must be better areas than the one they've chosen.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Last Thursday's Elmira Independent has an excellent article describing the just started "cleanup" of Chemtura's south-east corner. This corner (GP1, GP2) was the respository of liquid overflow from all the east side pits and it slowly sank into the ground over decades of use. Chemtura's bald faced blatant BS that only the surface was contaminated is beyond hysterical. The M.O.E.'s acceptance of this blatant BS is beyond criminal. The title of Gail Martin's story is "Remediation of former Chemtura gravel pits underway".

Below these pits the shallow aquifer (UA1) is only lightly contaminated as with M.O.E. tacit permission it has slowly discharged into the Canagagigue Creek for decades; since the surface contamination ceased. Both the Upper Aquifer 3 (UA3) and the Municipal aquifer (MU) are totally different kettles of fish. They have numerous solvent contaminants to this day but Chemtura carefully avoid talking about them. Both pits and areas inbetween have the toxic component of Agent Orange in them above human health standards; namely 2,3,7,8 TCDD better known as the most toxic of the Dioxin group. Despite this only one foot from GP1 is being removed and the rest capped (covered over). The likelihood of both Dioxin and DDT being carried lower by solvents is almost 100%. This is but one more sweetheart deal between Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of Errors, Excuses and Polluter Protection otherwise known as M.O.E.. I believe from this point on I may refer to them as the M.O.E.E.P.P. .


The day started with Mr. Ferris, landscape architect, back on the stand. Ms. Costello, lawyer for the Township, pointed out that the views in a number of Mr. Ferris's photographs are usually better in that the seven foot tall corn present is limiting the view. He agreed. Ms. Costello also suggested that from Hunsberger Rd. as well as Katherine St. nearby that the haul road out of the pit to Katherine St. will be visible and detracts from the view. 324 Katherine St. was discussed and Ms. Costello pointed out that a "well screened" pit means the same as blocking the view from the back of 324 Katherine St. She further indicated that the northern view from Hunsberger Rd. towards the cemetery will be negatively affected by Buffer Planting #3. She followed this up by reasserting that the truck haul route over to Katherine St. is a big negative. This was disputed by Mr. Ferris who suggested that there is no difference between trucks on the haul route and trucks going up and down Katherine St. Well! Nobody's lying but everybody certainly has a different interpretation/opinion of the same facts. Finally Ms. Costello again pointed out that in regard to viewshed #17, Hunder Developments "well screened" pit is the same as saying that the previous views are now gone.

Mr. Paton representing the Conestogo Winterbourne Residents Assocn. began his cross-examination of Mr. Ferris by pointing out that Hunsberger Rd. is part of the Grand Valley Trail system. Therefore the southern view along Hunsberger Rd. would be blocked by the berms along the road screening the excavation phases there. Mr. Ferris suggested that the views would be altered not totally blocked. Mr. Weber's home on Meadowbrook Place in Winterbourne was discussed for the second time. Mr. Ferris believed that both the barn and woodlot south of there, combined with Berm K would be adequate measures to block the pit from Mr. Weber's view. Mr. Paton suggested that either the barn or woodlot could be removed by the owner in the future.

The Chair (Ms. Schiller) asked whether anything prohibited the property owners from planting their own screen plantings and whether farm property owners have any restrictions or prohibitions on which crops they plant down the road. Mr. Ferris was not in a position to answer those questions.

The hearing continued after 2 pm. with testimony from Mr. Cisco representing the proponent. I missed the afternoon session and will also miss Monday mornings session due to a scheduling conflict. I'll actually be next door in the Dodie Hummel Room with the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee.

Friday, September 13, 2013


The day started with a Mr. Paul Ferris, witness for Hunder Developments. Mr Ferris is a landscape architect and his evidence was in regards to visual impacts. There are between 21 and 22 viewshed locations surrounding the proposed gravel pit. The vast majority of them are not in dispute by the parties. Mr. Ferris testified that the progressive rehabilitation means that as the pit operators move from one phase to the next they will immediately begin the rehab of the completed/extracted phase. For example when phase six is being extracted, phase five will be undergoing rehabillatation and phase four's rehab will be completed. A participant (Mr.Weber) was mentioned who lives in Winterbourne. His concerns are visual and Mr. Ferris suggested that Mr. Weber's house was 558 metres from the licensed pit boundary. Also Mr. Ferris suggested that Mr. Weber would not have a direct view to the excavated areas. Finally he suggested that with a berm some distance away as well as existing vegetation that he felt that there would be no unacceptable visual impacts for Mr. Weber.

Viewsheds that are in dispute include #10c, 11, 14, 16 and 17. Two points Mr. Ferris emphasized were that while the stockpiles of aggregate would normally be 12 metres high there was at least one phase (6) where they would be reduced to 10 metres to lessen their visual impact. Also there are a number of phases where the stockpiles will only be permitted in specific locations within the phase to lessen their visual impact on the neighbours. A final point suggested by Mr. Ferris was that the stockpiles of material should be located at the lowest pit floor elevation to again minimize their visibility. Ms. Costello on behalf of the Township did point out to Mr. Ferris that berms and plantings are changes to the natural landscape and can themselves be unacceptable. Ms. Costello also tried without sucess to get a time commitment from Mr. Ferris in regards to how long the various berms would be in place.

Ms. Costello made a point about Mr. Ferris identifyng viewsheds when he was mandated to "assess" them. She also spent considerable time in regards to the south view from the Winterbourne cemetery. While she had a point that screening of pit operations by plantings along the cemetery could also destroy the view from the cemetery; it seemed a bit forced. Also her contention that the plantings weren't necessary due to a proposed Hydro building being built I felt carried only little weight. My overall synopsis of Thursday's hearing was that it was a very good day for the proponent. Visually they seem to have their bases covered although Mr. Ferris's cross-exam is not finished and will continue this morning (Fri.).

Thursday, September 12, 2013


This public meeting was held this past Tuesday evening at 7 pm. in the Woolwich Township Building. The Chair was Earl Brubacher. He advised that construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year with operations beginning immediately after. It will have a ramp up period of approximately six months.

In regards to the flare they have for burning excess gas etc. it will not have regular temperature monitoring. This was described as normal and in line with both landfill and sewage treatment plant flares. Also the 850 C. minimum tempurature is not required although they have the capability to achieve it if necessary. Apparently the Ontario Ministry of the Environment removed that as a requirement. While little concern was expressed Tuesday evening by the participants I do recall from two meetings ago Mr. Gerry Heideburt being concerned that it should stay as a requirement. Gerry was not present Tuesday nite so I don't know if his position has changed or not on the matter.

It was announced that Woolwich Bio-En had obtained a contract to supply 250 KW of power to a nearby dairy farm. This is approximately 9% of Woolwich Bio-En's capacity.

Michael Purves-Smith raised the issue of money for peer reviews if necessary by the concerned citizens. It was recalled that the company has offerred $25,000 on a dollar for dollar matching basis. Therefore Michael and others with the support of Woolwich Bio-En will be approaching Council for funding on this matter. Once again I found this meeting to be calm and respectful and the company appear quite willing to answer questions from both the citizens on the committee as well as the several in attendance as spectators. In my view to date this is an example of what a citizens liason committee can be and should be but it takes co-operation from both parties.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 pm. Monday November 4/13 to be held in the Dodie Hummel Room at the Township Building.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The first witness on behalf of the Hunder Pit was a David Hodsin or Hodgsin. Throughout the day I heard his name pronounced both ways. He was described as a soil scientist and an agrologist. His area of expertise deals with rehabillatation of a site and restoring it back to sustainable agriculture. Apparently the Hunder Pit area currently is 97% prime agricultural lands. It is therefore composed of class 1, 2 and 3 soils all of which are considered prime agricultural lands. After rehabillatation Mr. Hodgsin believes that the Hunder Pit area will then be 86.3% class 1,2 and 3 soils. The difference is due to the side slopes which are at a 3:1 ratio from the bottom of the pit and upwards. This will account primarily for the reduction from 97% to 86.3%.

I give Mr. Hodgsin credit for two statements he made pretty clearly. Firstly he confirms that it will take time for the rehabillatated land to recover. It does not happen immediately. Secondly when pressed he indicated that yes topsoil which is moved, degrades. Apparently the degradation is in regards to microbial activity within the soil as well as due to a lack of organic contant which is provided by crops, grasses etc. As I understood him any degradation of topsoil sitting in a pile is considerably less than topsoil which is being moved around for berms etc.. In other words the more often the soil is moved the more it loses both organic matter and structure.

Mr. Paton on behalf of the Conestoga Winterbourne Residents Association pressed Mr. Hodgsin hard on many matters. To my mind the greatest sucess he had was both in Mr. Hodgins above confirmations regarding degradation and the final analysis of the soils after rehabillatation. While classes 1, 2 and 3 are all defined as prime agricultural nevertheless it turns out that currently there is 84.1 % class 1 soils and after rehabillatation there will be 86.1 class 2 soils. This is a clear degradation although still apparently good soil.

After five days of hearings I am coming to some conclusions. There are what are known as industry wide best practices. When a pit operator incorporates them there can be incredible mitigation of things like noise, dust, visual impacts and soil degradation. Unfortunately there are still two issues. To date we do not know who the pit operator will be and thus how diligent they will be to incorporate best practices. Secondly best practices are exactly that. They are not labelled perfect practices or practices with zero impacts. That is virtually impossible when you look at exactly what the gravel pit is doing. No matter how sincere and socially conscious the operator is there will be negative impacts to the neighbours. I guess the question then becomes acceptable negative impacts or not. Secondly acceptable to whom? The Board may say they are acceptable but that doesn't mean they are acceptable to all the neighbours.

The hearing will resume tomorrow (Thursday Sept. 12/13) at 10 am.. There will be no hearings today or on September 26. 27 and 30.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Over a year ago CPAC issued a Media Release titled "Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) Opposed to Chemtura's Plan for the Remediation of Gravel Pits 1 and 2". It was dated July 31, 2012. As CPAC had mostly likely been misled by Chemtura and the M.O.E., they indicated in their Media Release that the Remediation was voluntary. One of the key pieces of evidence of contamination, probably including more Dioxins and DDT, was Conestoga Rovers March 2012 report identifying strong chemical odours, soil staining and elevated vapour readings from 2 to 5.5 metres below ground surface. The proposed cleanup starting this week will remove all of one foot of topsoil from only one of the two pits. This evidence of chemical contamination years to decades after the east side pits were decommissioned is also very indicative of DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) contamination. These would be liquids with a low water solubility that are denser than water and thus sink through the aquifer. Clearly they will never be found in the top one foot of a contaminated site. Also of interest is that both Dioxins and DDT have the chemical characteristics to be DNAPL chemicals and indeed in the presence of multiple solvents available would so behave.

Monday, September 9, 2013


At first blush that sounds pretty exciting having the Railroad that "...trundles slowly through Waterloo carrying hazardous cargo from the chemical works in Elmira." actually contacting the City of Kitchener to begin discussions. The problem of course is that discussions are only going to begin what...six or seven decades after the fact. Even for politicians this is somewhat slower than usual. The "chemical works" in Elmira probably refers solely to Chemtura although Sulco (Canada Colours) also haul hazardous cargo.

The next problem is this: Mayor Carl Zehr stated "I think it is critical from a public knowledge standpoint, and also a safety perspective for citizens and first responders in case there is an accident". Great but who at the Railroad has agreed to sharing this crucial information with the unwashed masses known as the public? Nobody so far. The Kitchener Fire Chief has been approached and that's it. Do you think Kitchener Council want to share a secret with the public? Not bloody likely. That's one of the perks of being a politician. You get to be in the know on matters that you know absolutely nothing about and you get to keep them secret while telling everybody that you are so important that you are in the know and they aren't.

I'll start to get excited when the people's whose backyards the trains are going by actually get to find out what's on those trains. Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Railway to share cargo details with city".

Saturday, September 7, 2013


The first witness presented on behalf of the Hunder Pit was a Mr. Matthew Caldwell. He is a Transportation Engineer with the I.B.I. group. The preferred haul route for gravel will be from the pit, south onto Katherine St. and then both left and right onto Sawmill Rd. Allegedly no trucks will be going north on Katherine through the village of Winterbourne. Mr. Caldwell agrees that the Crowsfoot Corners intersection is a fairly unique intersection and he feels it's problems have been addressed by the Region of Waterloo. They installed an overhead flashing light, an intersection ahead sign and lowered the speed limit from 80 to 70 km/hour. Possible greater mitigation of this intersection would include traffic signals and or a total reconstruction of the whole intersection. Mr. Caldwell then advised the hearing that in his opinion the pit traffic of ten trucks per hour will not trigger the need for improvements to Crowsfoot Corners. Mr. Caldwell also argued that the number of collisions at this intersection was consistent with other rural intersections. He also stated that there is no evidence that more trucks present will cause more collisions. His final position was that there will be zero issues arising from the gravel trucks from the Hunder Pit using this intersection.

Ms. Costello on behalf of Woolwich Township then cross-examined Mr. Caldwell. She asked and he grudgingly admitted that his in person traffic study of the intersection was over a two day period. He also agreed with her that based on delays at the intersection that it was graded level of service F by the Region of Waterloo during peak times. Two suggestions from Mr. Caldwell to improve the intersection included a dedicated left turn lane for turns from Katherine St. onto either Sawmill Rd. or onto Crowsfoot Rd.. The average wait time currently during rush hour is 112 seconds for a left turn from Katherine onto Sawmill rd. and 70 seconds for a right turn onto Sawmill Rd.. Ms. Costello took exception to the suggested increase in traffic of only 2.5% with the addition of ten trucks per hour. By her calculations there was an increase in truck traffic making particular turns (left or right) of greater than 20%. Mr. Caldwell was not happy with her calculations.

Mr Paton on behalf of the Conestoga Winterbourne Residents Association (CWRA) got Mr. Caldwell to agree that the K shaped Crowsfoot Corners intersection was an undesirable intersection. He then asked him if it was desirable to use it as a haul route for trucks. Mr. Caldwell replied that with operational controls the intersection could handle the trucks. He also suggested that there would be no difference with the addition of ten trucks per hour. Mr. Paton then asked the best question yet as he asked if there are no changes to Crowsfoot Corners will that intersection safely permit 10 trucks per hour from the Hunder Pit. Mr. Caldwell had two answers. The first was adding any additional vehicles will add to delays and I believe he muttered/whispered the word safety. His second response was more on line with his overall message as he said that 10 trucks will not in a disproportionate fashion add to problems at the intersection. That adding of the word "disproportionate" is rather interesting. I believe Mr. Caldwell's overall message is that anybody and everybody has the right to use public roads therefore why are you focusing/picking on my company's client? Very interesting.

The hearing will resume in Woolwich Council Chambers (Elmira) this Tuesday at 10 am.. I believe a witness on behalf of Hunder will give testimony in regards to agricultural rehabillatation of the proposed pit.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Mr. Gastmeyer (acoustical engineer) was back on the stand on behalf of the Hunder Development. He agreed that crushing at the Hunder Pit should not be concurrent with crushing going on at the Jigs Hollow Pit. Also it was agreed that crushing could not run simultaneously with excavating at the Hunder Pit during some of the different phases. Finally it was also understood that the 45 decibel noise criteria would also be breached in some phases (ie.geographic locations) of the operation if more than two loaders were running simultaneously. According to Mr. Gastmeyer "The co-ordination can happen." between the two neighbouring pits. The Board was also told that the preferred traffic route was south on Katherine St. with up to ten trucks per hour and no noise mitigation required. Personally I find these restrictions ridiculous and I doubt any operator will agree to operate under them. Either that or they will only be followed for the first five minutes of the pit being opened and then ignored.

Woolwich Township had a company called Valcoustics do their noise peer review for them. The gentleman involved was a Mr. Emojano sp.??. His peer review contradicts Mr. Gastmeyer's testimony and evidence. Mr. Gastmeyer also responded to a critique by a participant, namely a Mrs. Strobascher. He was very complimentary of her report while respectfully disagreeing with it's conclusions.

Ms. Costello on behalf of Woolwich Township cross-examined Mr. Gastmeyer. She quite effectively pointed out that Mr. Gastmeyer was very late to the process and had indeed missed out on talks with the parties as well as with the peer reviewer for the Township. She cast doubt on his credibility/sincerity when it was shown that the fellow who did the modelling wasn't the fellow (Gastmeyer) defending it at the hearing. No explanation has yet been given as to why. Ms. Costello scored big time when she finally got Mr. Gastmeyer to admit that he had no examples of operational co-ordination between two seperate pits. She then got him to reverse his testimony that there were no non typical conditions attached to the Hunder Pit. He finally agreed that the co-ordination required with another pit (Jigs Hollow) was a specific condition to the Hubnder Pit alone. Mr. Gastmeyer repeatedly indicated that he had no knowledge of the operational rules affecting the Jigs Hollow Pit.

After lunch we learned that at least two agreed items by I.B.I., the consultants to Hunder, had not gotten into the final report. These included that processing included both crushing and screening and that sand exposure levels didn't get in as well. The final change by Mr. Gastmeyer revolved around the crusher language neede to incorporate crusdhing of either aggregate or of the recycled asphalt and concrete. Ms. Costello raised an interesting point namely was there a point at which conditions made a pit simply not viable.

The O.M.B. Chair, Ms. Schiller, right at the end of the day raised the question of some kind of ownership relationship between the two pits. Peter Pickfield, lawyer for Hunder, said there was not. The hearing continues this morning (Fri.) at ten am..

Thursday, September 5, 2013


As there was a site visit in the morning I showed up for the after lunch start time of 2 pm.. I can't say that I feel any more confident after two days than I did after the first. The good news is that I saw both the Township's lawyer (Ms. Costello) and the lawyer for the CWRA (Mr. Paton) in action. They both cross-examined a hydrogeologist for Hunder by the name of Mr. Hems/Hims ??? Ms. Costello asked a number of good questions in regards to the high water mark of the water table and also in regards to the deeper aquitard. She obtained agreement from Hunder's hydrogeologist that a below the water table gravel pit would require major further groundwater studies. I'm a wee bit skeptical about that one. Mr. Paton representing the Conestoga Winterbourne Residents Association asked some very good questions dealing with the storage and possible protection from fuel leaks of all the heavy equipment that will be on site. Mr. Paton also again brought up the issue? that to date there is no designated operator for this proposed gravel pit. For example it will be Preston Sand and Gravel operating the Jigs Hollow/Kuntz Pit just upriver. The Chair Ms. Schiller had raised this question on Tuesday. This would force the raising of the pit floor to keep it 1.5 metres above the water table.

Mr. Paton really hit his stride in pressing Mr. Hems/Hims?? on the "historical" high water table levels. Eventually he did get the expert admission that if climatic conditions changed dramatically then a much higher water table is in the realm of possibility.

The final witness of the afternoon was a Mr. Gastmeyer who is an acoustical engineer. He discussed the change from a Class Two acoustical environment (semi-urban) to a Class Three (rural). There is a five decibel lower noise criteria for Class Three and that was eventually agreed to by all. This did involve peer reviewers on behalf of both the Township and of the CWRA. Other interesting agreements are that the accumulated sound levels from both the Jigs Hollow Pit and the proposed Hunder Pit are on the table. Also there was a proposal that there will be no simultaneous processing from both pits. This I find a tad problematic when both pits are under the gun. Which pit stops processing first?

The hearing reconvenes this morning at 10 am. What I find offputting is almost the atmosphere/attitude well we've come this far there's no turning back but we will consider minor condition changes to appease the folks we're going to bugger royally.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I believe 25 days were set aside for this hearing. Therefore logic says I shouldn't be jumping to conclusions after only one day. The hearing ran yesterday from 11 am to 12:40 pm. and then from 2 pm. till 4 pm.. There was mostly procedural and administrative stuff combined with one whole witness namely Mr. Cisco (planner) on behalf of the Hunder Pit. My impression is that things look bad for the CWRA (Conestoga Winterbourne Residents Association). The lawyer for Woolwich Township, Ms. Costello, appears sharp and intelligent. She made it clear to the OMB Chair, Susan Schiller, that the Township were opposed to the pit and only if the Board decided it could go ahead would the Township then be pushing for a number of conditions to mitigate negative effects on residents. I was not impressed with the O.M.B. Chair. She seems to be enjoying herself and her humour a little too much. One could almost say she was grandstanding. Now keep in mind this criticism is based on one day only. If the lawyer for the CWRA hasn't already told his clients to show up at the hearings, he should. This Board currently is politically vulnerable. There are attempts being made provincially to reform the Board allegedly. This Board has a history of siding with developers and most especially with aggregate companies. I think it would be very beneficial to the Chair if she were to see the faces of the people who will be negatively affected by locating this pit on it's proposed site.

There is to be a site visit this morning restricted to lawyers and planners only. The hearing will then resume this afternoon at 2 pm.. The Region of Waterloo have been excused from the hearing but have not withdrawn as a party. They have signed a Minutes of Settlement with Hunder on their outstanding issues including hydrogeology etc.. Woolwich Township have also signed a Minutes of Settlement but in regards to vertical zoning only. The issue of municipalities attempting to enforce the depth of extraction has been and continues to be problematic with a concurrent O.M.B. hearing going on in K-W involving the Region and the Ministry of Natural Resources plus the Ontario Sand & Gravel Association.

The Township to their credit have insisted on many peer reviews of the reports produced by Hunder's various experts. There have also been 286 letters of objection coming from 86 different households in the neighbourhood. The community are very strongly in opposition to the location of this proposed pit. Mr. Cisco gave a glowing interpretation of "progressive" rehabilitation of the pit to the assembled folks. It brought a tear to my eye and I only wish I could get a gravel pit to locate next to me so that I could enjoy this wonderful natural restoration.....not!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I've been looking over the weekend on the Woolwich Township website for the start time of this Ontario Municipal Board hearing without sucess. In fact although I found tons of details and reports I was unaware of I found absolutely zero mention of today's hearing. As a result I was pretty well convinced it was cancelled until I went down to the Township building at 9 this morning. Lo and behold it starts in Council Chambers at 11 am. and is indeed open to the public. See you there.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Yesterday I received a phone call from CBC Radio in London. They interviewed me with the possibility of CBC Radio Kitchener picking up the story/interview. I had left them a phone message on Friday and suggested they call either Dr. Dan Holt (Chair) or Ron Campbell, both of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Now Dan in hindsight has headed south to visit family and Ron who works and travels extensively due to his company Acute Environmental; may actually be enjoying a little time off work this long weekend.

With this in mind I have spent about four hours so far today reviewing the Agent Orange, Dioxin, GP1 & 2 files I have. Further interviews may or may not occur but I have decided to have everything fresh if not outright memorized . This current non-cleanup being done by Chemtura and endorsed by the M.O.E. is far too important not to. With all due respect to both the current CPAC and the old one there is virtually no one even close to my level of hydrogeological knowledge on the subject. That combined with my four hours effort today has given me an insight into Woolwich Council. They are literally know nothing, ungrateful, petty jerks. Quoting my friend Richard Clausi, what kind of a team benches their best player, permanently? The answer is a very stupid one. Now for the provisos. Not all of Woolwich Council voted against my membership on CPAC; only the incredibly stupid ones. Secondly there is a current CPAC member who is technically very competent although his experience is primarily on dozens/hundreds of other sites. That would be Ron Campbell. Thirdly and this pains me greatly to say but here goes. There was a four page report dated April 2012 with comments about the gravel pit investigation (GP1 & 2) written by the APT Chemtura Committee (ACC). Richard likes to refer to this group as Chemtura's APT Committee. Regardless this report is insightful and makes some excellent points. Now I know Pat McLean has never seen a technical report that has any interest for her; therefore the only possible author would be Susan Bryant. The tragedy is that she and Sylvia Berg sold out the APTE members and co-ordinators back in the early 90's in regards to DNAPLS (dense non-aqueous phase liquids).

Both myself and the current CPAC also wrote critiques of Chemtura's planned work in GP1 & 2. Today's homework has driven home for me the misdirection, deviousness and outright bullshit that Chemtura will indulge in in order to save a few million dollars. They claim there are no solvents in the groundwater. The reality is that there are only low levels of solvents in the Upper Aquifer 1 (UA1). These would include NDMA, Chlorobenzene and Ammonia among others. The other reality is that there are high levels of solvents in UA3 and in the MU (municipal upper aquifer) beneath Chemtura's south-east corner. These have been there for decades. These solvents came from the overflow of the east side pits which drained for decades into GP1 & 2 by gravity flow. This drainage was assisted by Chemtura (Uniroyal) ploughing furrows to help the liquid overflow from RPE 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 flow downhill into GP1 & 2. We have lists of the chemicals and their concentrations in the east side pits and they were horrific. Solvents by the dozens intermingled with pesticides including DDT, and the wastes from Agent Orange production contaminated with Dioxins all flowed into GP1 & 2 where they ponded and slowly sank into the ground. The ground held a little topsoil but was mostly sand and gravel thus aiding deep infiltration. The groundwater levels are very high as this area is floodplain for the Canagagigue Creek which is barely fifty feet away from GP2. Just a few of the known solvents in the deeper aquifers would include 2-MBT, aniline, benzothiazole, carboxin, toluene and many more. Dozens of these are listed as the components of the consolidation pits, RPE4 & 5.

Chemtura's greatest strength is not doing their due diligence and then bragging about how they haven't found Dioxins or other solvents in the groundwater. They also brag that the highest concentrations of Dioxins are at the surface. What they ignore is that they have refused to test the deeper aquifers recently for solvents and they have refused to do deeper (UA3, MU) soil testing looking for Dioxins, DDT or anything else. This south-east area was highly contaminated and the remaining Dioxins/DDT on the surface are merely the tip of the iceburg. Shame on Chemtura, their consultants, the M.O.E. and a Woolwich Council that aid and abet Chemtura by benching their best players using red herrings, innuendo and bald faced lies.