Monday, June 30, 2014


Approximately a year and a half ago citizen Susan Bryant publicly expresed her concern to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment that an aerial photograph possibly depicted some sort of pathway, or overland flow of liquids from near the highly contaminated GP1 & 2, southerly towards a family swimming pond (Martin). GP1 & 2 are on Chemtura's extreme south-east corner and allegedly were the recipients of "seepage and overflow from the east pits". They are also highly contaminated with Dioxins and DDT at a minimum. Our illustrious M.O.E. "investigated". They advised that they took soil samples from the berm around the pond as well as doing a walkaround for visual examination. They advised Susan (& CPAC) that all was well and the pond was safe and uncontaminated. They did not take sediment or other samples from the interior sides or bottom of the pond. More importantly they deflected and avoided the basic question as to whether there was or had been overland flow from Chemtura's highly contaminated south-east corner towards the Martin pond. The answer we now know is that there is a man made drain running parallel to and twenty feet away from Chemtura's property line for several hundred yards which runs southwards excruciatingly close to the Martin pond. It is also downslope from the south-east end of GP1. Thank you George Karlos and the M.O.E. for your lack of forthrightness and honesty.

I wrote down a particularly funny quote from last Thursday's CPAC meeting. It was "...the neighbour's property rights need to be respected.". I think it came from George Karlos although Mark Bauman was also on the same kick. According to that opinion it would be inappropriate to do soil sampling on the neighbour's property to determine if there was a long term repository of Dioxins/DDT which slowly are discharging downstream and negatively impacting both human beings and the environment.

Further to "...seepage and overflow from the east pits..." the story changed a little on Thursday evening. Jeff Merriman advised that he'd received information from the now deceased Harry Soehner, former Industrial Relations Manager at Uniroyal, that occasionally (annually?) they would " the gates to drain them (east pits).". Really? I'm not exactly sure how that somehow helps Uniroyal's image as uncaring, unthinking, dirty polluters. In fact what it does do for me is indicate that on a regular basis (annually?) there was quoting Susanna "...a tidal wave..." of water, solvents and DDT/Dioxins flowing downgradient from RPE 4 & 5. While "tidal wave" was Susanna's words she was actually attempting to suggest that there wasn't enough volume of liquids to flow through the Chemtura wetland over to the neighbouring property. While undoubtedly lots would simply soak into the ground if there was enough volume at once it could certainly flow overland.

I wonder if you tell a lie long enough, such as GP1 & 2 collected all the "seepage and overflow from the east pits"; can you actually begin to believe it? In other words if Uniroyal/Chemtura were blatantly lying twenty years ago about this; are they still blatantly lying or are they beginning to believe their own BS?

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Jaimie Connelly, senior M.O.E. hydrogeologist, referred to his May 2, 2008 DNAPL letter as a technical review of the status of the Investigation to date. By this point in time eight of the ten private meetings had been completed as well as the bulk of the written reports. I wonder if both Jaimie's letter as well as Wilf Ruland's were more along the line of Minority Reports. Both of them parted ways severely with Conestoga Rovers on a number of huge DNAPL issues. While Jaimie was forthcoming, albeit technical and carefully worded, it was strange as to how early he departed. Thus after he was gone Jeff Merriman of Chemtura had free rein to claim there was a concensus on the DNAPL Technical Committee. George Karlos (M.O.E.) alleged that Jaimie had a very bad back and thus we were to assume that was why he left early. If these parties had a history of honesty It would be easier to buy that scenario.

George K. responded to further inquiries regarding the cleanup criteria that will be required in 2028. Once again the M.O.E. don't have an answer although George claims that they are working on it.

We were advised that the *Responsible Care verification is set for March 2015 and thus to date no decisions have been made as to who will represent Elmira citizens. Clearly there are only one or two CPAC members out of seven that Chemtura would care for but it should be CPAC as a whole who choose. I expect that Chemtura again this time will use all manipulative means to stock the team with their fellow travellors.

Financial assurance was again raised with me suggesting that the M.O.E. required it from Varnicolor Chemical so why not Chemtura. Chair Dr. Dan also advised that Woolwich Bio-En provided one as well so why not Chemtura. Ron Campbell indicated that as the taxpayers were paying 50% of the off-site cleanup on an ongoing basis we had a legitimate basis to want our investment protected by a Financial Assurance from Chemtura.

Jaimie answered many questions regarding his DNAPL letter including ones related to source removal rather than hydraulic containment. Jaimie emphasized that the latter was good for short and medium term stopping the spread of dissolved contaminants but that it does not deal with long term threats or with Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids. Regarding the shallow aquifer containment, he referred to it as imperfect. Jaimie had little or no answer to my question why the shallow DNAPL beneath RPW5, 6 & 7 could not be removed. Interestingly Jaimie indicated that there was no stopping date for on-site hydraulic containment as long as DNAPL source material remained there.

Graham Chevreau inquired as to whether the Bedrock Aquifer was contained. Jaimie indicated that it was not on site but that it was off-site at wells W4, W5A and E7.

Mark Bauman asked questions around In Situ Chemical Oxidation. Jaimie advised that the big problem with ISCO was the delivery to the appropriate areas. I advised that Chemtura do a test run on site in areas of higher contamination. Ron Campbell suggested that if it worked off-site then try it on site. It would be "a great opportunity" he said. Jeff Merriman actually agreed that Chemtura would seriously consider it. That and a cup of coffee might give you a decent cup of coffee on a good day.

Jaimie commented that on-site cleanup at Chemtura will never happen in our lifetimes. He also oddly suggested to me that the June 21, 2000 Amending Order relieved Chemtura of the higher standards/criteria demanded in the November 1991 Control Order. I knew it did this regarding 100% containment in all aquifers provision but Jaimie seemed to be suggesting that it also took away the requirement for removal of DNAPL as a contaminant source. I've reread the 2000 Amending order and i don't see that.

Both Susanna and Mark Bauman took strangely strong positions in favour of agreeing to only two additional soil sample points. George (M.O.E.) wanted this agreement from CPAC and those two were clearly agreeable. Fortunately Graham, Ron and I discussed "representative" sampling as well as two sample points only in such a large area being hit or miss. Ron even suggested "Do it right or don't do it at all. ". While it was suggested that "a tidal wave" would be required to send water and solvents through Chemtura's wetland onto the neighbours property (east); interestingly we were given a somewhat similar scenario. Jeff M. described a scenario whereby on a regular basis (annually?) gates in the retention pits were opened and they were drained en mass allegdly towards furrows directing them southwards towards GP1 & 2.

Ron Campbell worked hard to convince George to do the right thing despite Susanna and Mark's attempts to undermine. Ron suggested that two sample points weren't enough, weren't adequate and definitely was not normal sampling procedure. George mostly talked in circles trying to avoid both Ron's and my points. Finally Ron said "Come on George there's lots of evidence to support an Order" to do the work off site. George kept making excuses as to why the M.O.E. couldn't take samples on the neighbour's property as well as why they were only going to take two samples near the property line. George's excuses were exactly that. They and Chemtura are covering up yet again.

I also advised that as Chemtura's contaminants had been found one mile away in the south wellfield as well as five miles away at the mouth of the Canagagigue Creek at the Grand River; then who was he fooling that they hadn't moved a few feet across an imaginary property border. Graham stated that the sample points had to be necessary, reasonable and protective of the environment and that so far they were not. He also stated that "representative" sampling had a formal process. There is a methodology involved to determine how many samoples are representative and that George was ignoring that standard operating practice.

CPAC as a whole, less Mark & Susanna, were not impressed with either Chemtura or the M.O.E.'s excuses, delays and obfuscations. They are unable to give intelligent, reasonable answers to important questions. Quite frankly in hindsight Chemtura and the M.O.E. have also lied again regarding pretending that they don't have evidence that these eastern pits, especially RPE 4 & 5 have not discharged either directly onto the neighbouring property or southwards into the wetland and from there overland ionto the neighbour's property.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Do not ever forget the names Chemtura Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Factual fictions, manipulation and extortion are part of their methodology. M.O.E. extortion goes like this. Oh we won't bring our experts to the next meeting unless you rein in your hardnosed questioning. Our experts are intimidated. The next stunt George Karlos Assistant Director Central Region pulled was advising that without questions in advance to Jaimie Connelly, senior hydrogeologist, he wouldn't bring him to last night's meeting. Jaimie to his credit went through the written questions he'd received in advance after first advising he'd do that plus answer any other questions that came to him. Jaimie then backed his May 2, 2008 DNAPL letter.

Chemtura extortion is hanging in the wind. They had been asked to explain why they refused to assist CPAC in order to hire a peer reviewer after CPAC jumped through their hoops and loops regarding details and specifics as to what, where and who the money was going to. They then flatly refused and to date are avoiding an explanation. Furthermore they advised last evening that they still want a sitdown meeting with CPAC and the Township regarding that matter and other financial matters. Hmm. There's a strong odour of little boys taking their bat and ball and going home when they are losing. Is it possible that those little shits are going to lift their funding of the CPAC Secretary ? Ahh now it's getting clearer. Is this why Corrinne recently stepped down after many years as CPAC Secretary? Did she get tipped that Chemtura were getting peckish over their waning influence over CPAC and thus what Chemtura's possible infantile response would be?

Factual fictions are next. George fibbed like a dog in avoiding acknowledging Ron Campbell's points about contamination knows no boundaries. GP1 is highly contaminated with Dioxins and DDT and literally comes within inches of the farm to the east. The eastern pits on Chemtura's property are also right up against their eastern property boundary. Ron wanted an appropriate number of sampling points to have some meaning from whatever the results were. George just played dumb throughout. Finally in exasperation Ron told him he wasn't going to banter any further with him. Simiarily Graham Chevreau advised George that sampling had to be "representative". In other words you have to have enough samples of an area to logically be able to interpret the results, relative to the area. For example taking two soil samples fifty yards apart in an area one hundred and fifty metres square is essentially meaningless. Especially so when George advises you that you'll wait a year or two for the results and then go back and maybe do the same thing all over again.

Chemtura have always been economical with the truth. I'll leave that to Jeff Merriman. His statements about the DNAPL Investigation are beyond ridiculous. His statements about Jaimie and Wilf's DNAPL letters are humdingers. Blatantly truth challenged has been raised to an art form.

Manipulation by George Karlos goes like this. You have alleged that there is a large Dioxin/DDT "sink" in the south-east area both on and off the Chemtura site. Therefore in response we are prepared to add two soil sampling sites at the location of your choice. CPAC can protest this meaningless two site travesty of an "investigation" but if they advise the M.O.E. of two possible sites then from that point on CPAC were "consulted" and the M.O.E. were "responsive".

Chemtura manipulation has been ongoing for twenty-five years. I'll focus on the present. Maybe they'll say to CPAC we're pulling our funding of your Secretary plus stationery expenses unless we get the following. That's possible and I've already told CPAC not to dare sell me down the river for a stinking ten thousand dollars. However for fifty thousand payable annually to CPAC for a secretary plus ongoing peer reviews; hell I'd be flatterred. I believe that my honest efforts do far more damage than that to Chemtura's credibility so they'd be getting a bargain if I got bounced from SWAT (soil, water, air & technical) and it only cost them fifty grand.

Last night was another shit kicking for both Chemtura and the M.O.E.. The more you see them the harder it is to have any sympathy for them. The next CPAC meeting isn't scheduled until August 28/14 at 6 pm.. Maybe if we're lucky one or both of them will run for the hills. If they do, expect the spin doctors out in full force.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story ""Neonic" pesticides are bee killers: study". O.K. maybe it's just me but is the reference to "neonics" simply a shortform for "neonicotonoids", or are they different? According to the first paragraph it seems as if they are indeed different. Presumably they are somehow chemically related with the closeness in their names. Regardless an international panel of scientists categorically state that these pesticides are killing bees and should be phased out. Environmental groups on the other hand believe they should be banned outright immediately. More than half a century after Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" we have yet different pesticides implicated in the deaths of bees, birds and earthworms. The moral is that yes human beings learn but we have a political system in place to insulate and preserve the "right" to make money regardless of the cost to society and the natural world. Shame on us!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


6 pm. tomorrow in the Woolwich Council Chambers on Church St. in Elmira; we the local citizens will once again be forced into taking several rounds out of Chemtura, their consultants and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. This is unfortunate but as those parties routinely gild the lily in order to make the lack of cleanup look less unconscionable, it becomes necessary.

Some of the items up for discussion tomorrow include downstream monitoring for dioxins and DDT in the Canagagigue Creek as well as upstream both on the Chemtura property as well as on their eastern neighbour's property. Unless or until reliable information is presented clarifying the surface flow of solvents, dioxins and DDT into the former gravel pits (GP1 & 2) in Chemtura's south-east corner; then it appears as if their entire south-east quandrant and part of their neighbour's property is suspect.

A timing update for Chemtura's *Responsible Care verification will also be requested. We the citizens got gamed last time with the former CPAC Chair aiding Chemtura in getting a do over after they had initially failed their verification. This time round Chemtura will either follow the spirit and rules of the *Responsible Care verification or they will be publicly outed prior to their cheating again.

It is possible that the M.O.E. will bring their senior hydrogeologist Jaimie Connelly to the meeting tomorrow night to answer inquiries around his May 2, 2008 DNAPL letter. Meanwhile George Karlos (M.O.E.) has stated in an e-mail that unless their is new evidence since, that Jaimie stands behind his letter. Well I would certainly hope so although it's that "new" evidence that is concerning. Afterall the Ministry's idea of public consultation certainly includes public suppression of key documents.

There should also be a discussion concerning the proposed In Situ Chemical Oxidation as well as the tripling of off-site pumping. I am hoping that the M.O.E. start these Certificate of Aprroval negotiations for additional discharge of treated water to the creek immediately. What we don't need are two to four year process for off-site improvements only to be stymied by the new discharge criteria not being ready.

Chemtura are also supposed to be comparing Wilf Ruland's May 2008 DNAPL letter recommendations #5,6,7,10 & 11 to their so called concensus Summary Table 6.5 . The comparisons are huge and the similarities slim but never count out the bullshit baffles brains talents of Chemtura and CRA.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


This spring, most likely in early April I was posting here in regards to the long time drinking water issues in West Montrose, the home of our famous covered bridge. By comparing years of regional Annual Drinking Water Reports I determined that West Montrose's drinking wells have consistently had the highest levels of Total Coliforms and E.Coli of any drinking water sources in Waterloo Region. These bacterial contaminants are associated with fecal bacteria such as those discharged from septic tanks.

After bringing this in detail to the attention of Councillors Bryant and Bauman of Woolwich Township, I was asked by Councillor Bauman to produce a list of technical questions to be handed over to the Region for their response. This was done nearly three months ago. Since then I have been informed twice by Councillor Bauman that the Region have responded in writing but no he will not give me their reponses allegedly until sometime after the Ministry of Environment provide their responses. Councillor Bauman has been advised that any future cooperation and free work done by me on behalf of the Township hangs upon my receiving the answers to my questions now.

The following are a verbatim selection of some of the questions regarding West Montrose water that the Region received.

Has the Ontario M.O.E. given the Region express permission to operate the West Montrose System with regular chloramine exceedances?
Turbidity (NTU) appears to be regularily above the standards but not regularily reported as an Adverse Incident or anything else. Have the M.O.E. given the Region permission to relax those rules/standards?

Why does the Region not report on Haloacetic Acids and Cyanogen Chloride as by-products of disinfection?

NDMA readings should be a vital part of West Montrose's Annual Report. Why not?

Is the most likely source of bacteria to the four West Montrose wells nearby septic systems? If not what is, considering bacteria from the river must travel both horizontally and vertically through sand and gravel to get into the wellscreens of WM 1, 2, 3 & 4?
Why are the ongoing deliveries of water to the West Montrose reservoir not mentioned in the Annual (Drinking Water) reports?

Is NDMA formation by chloramines increased in the presence of dimethylamine which is ubiquitous in municipal and septic wastewaters?
Allegedly many chloramine exceedances are "...from short term on-line analyser spikes." What time definition does the Region use to differentiate between regular versus short term exceedances?

Does either the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act or O.Reg 170/03 suggest this differentiation?

Up until 2013 the Region included the actual chloramine readings. Now they simply show the greater than symbol 1e. > for exceedances. Why the change?

How many other West Montrose wells ahve been shut down and for what time periods? Have any of these shutdowns or service interruptions, off-line periods etc. been reported in any of the Annual Reports? If so please provide or so indicate. Thank you.

Three months and I'm still waiting for the responses to my own questions that have already been answered. Has somebody made a deal with the Region of Waterloo and for what exactly? Why do I think that as usual it's the public who are the losers in this coverup?

Monday, June 23, 2014


For a very long time I've felt that Uniroyal/Chemtura were an integral part of the community in Elmira, Ontario providing employment and a tax base, at a minimum. This belief is being shaken. I'm slowly beginning to realize that it is unlikely that this company's American masters will ever be willing to pay even a small proportion of the full costs to undo the environmental damage they have done. As far as the health damage those costs also will never be recaptured by Ontario taxpayers. I am aware of government jurisdictions sucessfully sueing tobacco companies and indeed now looking at Big Sugar for the health damages they have done. Will the time come when complicit governments will also go after particular chemical companies for their antisocial behaviour and resulting injuries?

This last month has not been kind to either Chemtura Canada or the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. With a little literary license here I could be persuaded that the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) are howling for blood. They are not amused at even more recent revelations indicating dishonest and nefarious behaviour by 2/3 of the partners in pollution. The October 7,1991 Settlement Agreement aka "Sweetheart Deal" and associated Indemnity was bad enough. Now despite protestations from Susan Bryant that "nothing was suppressed - maybe lost, maybe not attended to but not suppressed", the evidence says otherwise. Two breakthrough letters regarding removal of on-site DNAPLS were suppressed by the past CPAC Chair with the complicity of Chemtura and the M.O.E.. Jaimie Connelly, M.O.E. senior hydrogeologist, and Wilf Ruland hired and paid by Woolwich Township stepped up and put in writing their opinions on DNAPLS. Wilf's May 15, 2008 letter not only didn't get to multiple CPAC members at the time, as admitted by Susan Bryant, but it never even got filed into the Township's CPAC archives. I of course as a decades long member of CPAC and environmental activist never even so much as heard about these two letters until this past January.

Next we have the recent revelations surrounding Chemtura's eastern property border and previously unknown surface water drain. How do we suddenly discover twenty-five years later a major surface drain immediately downgradient of their eastern retention pits (RPE 1,2 3, 4, 5) running parallel to their property line, only twenty feet away? After the very same Susan Bryant raised concerns about potential surface drainage over a year ago does the M.O.E. "investigate" and advise CPAC & Susan that there is no surface drain from Chemtura going overland towards an old order mennonite swimming pond when there certainly is! The likelihood of Dioxin and DDT transport is huge and even after the fact the M.O.E. so far do not appear to be taking it seriously.

At the last CPAC meeting (May 29/14) Chemtura and the M.O.E. got roasted as reported in detail by me here in the Advocate. Well our new CPAC Secretary Lisa, released the Minutes of the meeting last Friday. Again I've reported some of the details but briefly stated Chemtura and the M.O.E. must be squirming. If they had had to suffer these public humiliations on an ongoing basis over the last twenty-five years then we'd either have a cleaned up Elmira or they would have slinked off, never to be seen again, a long time ago.

Obviouly the M.O.E. are attributing at least some of the heat to me. I've long known that both they and Chemtura have lobbied Woolwich Township for years to get me off and keep me off CPAC. Their attitude is that as a formal CPAC member it gives weight to my opinions. This is true but they have also miscalculated badly. Even as a member of CPAC's sub-committee known as SWAT I've done serious damage to their credibility. George Karlos, Assistant Director of the West Central Division of the M.O.E. has been mounting a campaign to remove me from SWAT. Basically he's been not so subtly harassing the CPAC Chair with ongoing comments and complaints that my "behaviour" is contrary to Woolwich Township's Code of Conduct. Clearly public consultation for this government Ministry is a one way street involving the Ministry being given carte blanche the right to lie, cheat and deceive the public, whereas the long suffering public are expected never to get upset by the M.O.E.'s dispicable behaviour. It is to the credit of both CPAC and their Chair that this hypocritical behaviour has been recently squelched in a most professional but firm manner.

Hence Chemtura head office in Waterbury Connecticut; I think you've overstayed your welcome. My preference is for you to stay and clean up your mess but if you're not willing to do so then please leave.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I posted here in the Advocate on Friday May 30 and Saturday May 31/14 regarding the Thursday (29th) evening CPAC meeting. Well the draft Minutes of that bombshell meeting have been distributed and are they fabulous! Talk about play by play and colour commentary! Every verbal shot to the head, every kick to the groin, every eyegouging, hair pulling and ear ripping blow laid upon the Ministry of the Environment and Chemtura was detailed. Thank you Lisa ! Undoubtedly the powers of darkness and coincidentally recipients of these manifold blows by manifold CPAC & SWAT members will be screaming for relief. They will come up with a hundred reasons why her incredibly detailed (and accurate) Minutes are inappropriate. It also won't surprise me if a couple of their less obvious fellow travellors come to their defence. Great respect and admiration goes to the following citizens who with surgical precision cauterized the rot and gangrene which accompanys bacteria, horse manure and verbal diarrhea. That would include Dr. Dan, Sebastian (Dr.), Vivienne, Ron, Graham, Richard and oh heck even Susan. Susanna also presented her excellent graphs which visually indicate how terribly far we have to go to achieve NDMA drinking standards. Back to Susan. While she continues as an apologist for the company on DNAPL matters (due to the Oct.7,1991 Indemnity) nevertheless she is taking no prisoners on the downstream toxic contamination by Chemtura. Well done!

Be still my beating heart! Jeff Merriman once again feels that there is no fabrication unworthy of his skills. On page 11 of the draft Minutes he states "...contrary to what Alan Marshall states, virtually all the items we heard have been addressed.". Jeff also stated the " DNAPL Technical Committee that they met with for years and received a satisfactory resolution to virtually all of these points raised.". Wow! "virtually" is such a difficult word to stickhandle around Jeff. Well son of a gun but on page 26 he does it! On page 26 of the Minutes Jeff states "...he did not say that every item is settled but that the vast majority of items were addressed.". At first blush an impartial, unbiased reader might think that Jeff Merriman has just been caught in a blatant lie. Au contraire, I think not. My good buddy Jeff on page 26 is correct in that he did not previously say that "EVERY item is SETTLED". What he previously said was "virtually ALL the items we heard have been ADDRESSED" and they "received a satisfactory "RESOLUTION ". Therefore literally "every" does not equal "all" and "settled" does not equal "addressed" or resolved ("resolution").

Hence Jeff & Chemtura have once again managed to avoid being caught lying to the public and stakeholders. Isn't it wonderful to be dealing with people of these high standards and morals? *Responsible Care please be proud of this valuable addition to your Canadian membership.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Richard Clausi has a theory that he calls the teeter totter theory. Basically the farther out and more outrageous the nonsense coming from the opposition; the further out the other end of the spectrum we must be. In other words to balance someone close to the centre of the board you move in and to balance someone way out on the end you move out to your end. For a long time I took this theory with a grain of salt but like many of Richard's ideas and metaphors; they tend to grow on you. Of late I've been realizing that a middle of the road, calm, low key approach is exactly what lying polluters and their enablers are hoping for. Hence for example the addition of the word lying in the above sentence. It's truthful and honest but also inflammatory. If Chemtura and their partners in pollution including historically, particular members of Woolwich Council, were moderate and reasonable and even slightly honest in their positions and communications; then it would be very easy to move towards their position, find some common ground and comprimise on some issues. As it is however they adamantly refuse to acknowledge or respond to reasonable requests, questions and or comments. So be it.

The latest in a long line of M.O.E. twits would be George Karlos. I will give him credit in that he has acknowledged my right to criticize/insult him here in this forum as I see fit. He does however object to any critical characterizations of him in my e-mails. Interesting. Regardless I do not easily or readily publicly criticize anyone without ample evidence of their serious efforts to earn such criticism. George is making a habit of it. At last month's CPAC meeting he was sending e-mails and more to the CPAC Chair advising that yours truly must be brought under control because certain M.O.E. employees new to CPAC meetings had expressed concerns about my conduct. Really? They had never been to CPAC before and allegedly they were worried about me. Gee I wonder who the jerk was that whispered in their ears. If he did at all? Now this month George promised CPAC that he would bring Jaimie Connelly, the M.O.E.'s senior hydrogeologist to the meeting to answer some questions pertaining to the recently received six year old letter Jaimie wrote to the last CPAC. This May 2, 2008 letter is a breakthrough regarding source removal versus hydraulic containment on the Chemtura site. George either on his own or with Chemtura's help has now figured out how badly this letter portrays Chemtura, their consultants Conestoga Rovers and the Ministry's (M.O.E.) positions. Therefore George wants to renege. That's the only logical explanation for his last minute conditions he's putting on Jaimie's attendance. That's right conditions on the attendance of a professional hydrogeologist who CPAC requested attend this meeting in regards to ONE, 6-7 page letter he wrote six years ago. George claims that Jaimie wants questions about the letter in advance or he will not attend. Frankly George I find that unlikely. I've seen Jaimie at CPAC meetings over the years and he is confident, calm, professional; totally unlike various CRA reps who know they can't sell their bullshit sucessfully. Jaimie will be strong when he is certain and I believe when he is less certain he will say so.

Dr. Dan the CPAC Chair is in a difficult position. He was the one who requested Jaimie's presence to assist CPAC's understanding of the weight and significance of Jaimie's May 2, 2008 DNAPL letter. Even more astounding was the DNAPL letter written thirteen days later by Wilf Ruland which while following up on Jaimie's also went further in regards to excavation of free phase DNAPLS downgradient from RPE 4 & 5. I'm also not holding my breathe expecting Wilf to show up to comment on his letter. Chemtura, CRA and the M.O.E. would not approve so that pretty much cans that. Dr. Dan has incorrectly suggested that George's request is reasonable. It is not. George's request is manipulative. I am not remotely disappointed in Dan's immediate opinion. Dr. Dan is of good character and has proven himself over and over again.

Councillor Mark Bauman seems to be responding to recent criticism here regarding his refusal to provide me with the Region of Waterloo's answers to my three pages of technical questions about the West Montrose water supply. I was promised these responses from the Region when I handed over my questions at the request of Councillor Bauman. The criticism will continue until I receive them. It appears as if your less than clever sidekick is attempting to muddy the waters but their feeble attempts are backfiring. The rest of CPAC & SWAT know what game you two are working. Your ongoing campaign to assist Chemtura keeping me off CPAC has only been partially sucessful. You have also exposed your pro Chemtura position in constantly attacking my "style" and attempting to undermine my influence with the vast majority of the honest and publicly motivated CPAC and SWAT members.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Note carefully how I worded the title above. It does not say the Ministry of the Environment are no brainers despite the possibility that some regular readers of this Blog could come to that conclusion. Occasionally I have been guilty of thinking that corruption could be masked via an intentional personna of incompetence; but oh boy that really is a double edged sword. Who will then take you seriously when you are telling the truth and attempting to be straightforward?

O.K. the "no brainer". Ron Campbell, CPAC member, has formally added a question to the Outstanding Questions List regarding testing and sampling east of GP1 and hence east of the Chemtura property line. My understanding was that Ron and others, including myself, were somewhat taken aback by various new and different maps showing GP1 actually extending right to the property line between Chemtura and the neighbouring farm. My recollection is that Ron expressed his concern about soil sampling stopping at an artificial line as if there was some invisible, impermeable barrier on the east side of the site preventing migration of Dioxins, DDT and more.

Well over a year ago Susan Bryant raised a concern that the next farm south (Martin) had a pond within the Canagagigue floodplain that possibly could be impacted by Dioxins or DDT. We (CPAC & SWAT) took her concerns as being honest and legitimate and asked the M.O.E. to investigate. They assurred us later on that there was no overland route possible to permit flow from GP1 or GP2 carrying Dioxins/DDT to approach this pond. They also advised that there were no sediments in the pond and it was also bermed with soil all the way around again preventing overland flow and deposition.

Five and a half weeks ago, myself with support from two CPAC members made a discovery that to say the least clouded the M.O.E.'s assurances. We found that there is and has been for a considerable length of time a man made excavated drain running parallel to the Chemtura eastern property line heading primarily southwards for discharge into the Canagagigue Creek. This drain is only twenty feet off the Chemtura property line and starts just south of their numerous retention ponds and pits which run from just below or south of their Envirodome, several hundred metres southwards. The drain takes both water and whatever else over the decades has drained from Chemtura's higher elevation property onto the adjoining farm.

It is this "whatever else" which requires clarification and that is a no brainer. This drain goes agonizingly close to the Martin pond. Councillor Bauman has advised that he has given the family a heads up as to possible serious contamination. When Mike Spencer (M.O.E.) was asked recently by me for more details and specifics about his examination of the pond, quite frankly I was not reassurred. It is of great likelihood that this entire area south and east of Chemtura's property is a Dioxin/DDT "sink" which if not remediated will forever be discharging via heavy rains and spring flooding downstream in the Canagagigue Creek. The first step is extensive and proper soil sampling to delineate the extent of off-site contamination. The M.O.E. originally suggested adding two more sites along the creekbank of the "Gig". When this was deemed inadequate two more sites on Chemtura's eastern property boundary were suggested. These also are grossly inadequate and will tell us little or nothing. I have suggested that an independent firm be retained to report directly to CPAC on this matter. The M.O.E. have always assisted Uniroyal/Chemtura in minimizing all issues and contamination and no longer have the moral authority or credibility necessary to investigate this. Their proposed inappropriate four locations only for a probable DDT/Dioxin "sink" in the floodplain of a creek discharging into the Grand River are pathetic and oh so typical. Long past time for them to step aside.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Agreed it's not directly a local environmental issue but here it is. Yesterday I received four different e-mails all regarding our Federal cabinet's decision to give the go ahead to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline running from the Alberta tarsands through to the British Columbia coast. from there it is loaded onto supertankers for transport across the ocean. The four groups who sent the e-mails were the Sierra Club, Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation and finally the Green party of Canada.

These four well known and respected bodies agree that this project is unsafe, unsustainable and unnecessary. A Joint Review Panel had previously given the go ahead as well, albeit with 209 conditions attached. Currently aboriginal groups are in opposition combined with hundreds of independent scientists as well as the government of British Columbia. There are also five legal challenges from First Nations. Ecojustice has filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Appeal stating that the Review Panel's final report was based upon insufficient evidence and does not satisfy the environmental assessment process.

For me once again it is an example of a majority government running roughshod over the other members of parliament, elected by Canadians. Currently the Conservatives are on their own in supporting this project. My personal experience is that most boards appointed by governments are biased and merely looking for ways to say yes. This is especially true for boards dealing with environmental issues.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


This is precisely why 25 years later we are still waiting for the Chemtura site to be cleaned up and secondly why we are still waiting for Elmira's groundwater to be cleaned up. The bureaucrats and politicians in charge are masters of delay. In order to rise to the top they must be able to master the intricacies of neverending delay. They must embrace the maxim that if it's worth doing then it's worth doing over the longest possible time frame. One week ago I posted here about various ongoing delays by the Ontario M.O.E., the region of waterloo and by Woolwich Township.

Last Tuesday June 10th I expressed my discontent with Woolwich Councillors Bauman and Bryant not having given me the answers provided by the region of waterloo to my April 4, 2014 three pages of questions. I indicated last Tuesday that Councillor Bauman had advised me that they had received answers from both the Region and the Ministry of Environment and the township wished to look them over and compare answers before sending them on to me. This was a surprise to me as I didn't know the Councillors had sent my questions along to the M.O.E. as well. Nevertheless I clearly expressed my position that there was no reason not to send those answers along to me immediately. Yesterday morning in a CPAC meeting at the Township building I again asked Councillor Bauman for the responses to my three pages of questions. He stated that they were still waiting for the M.O.E.'s answers and so they would compare them before sending them along to me. While there has been a confusion in his answers nevertheless the point is very clear. The township while soliciting assistance from me in providing intelligent, detailed, technical questions to the Region are not readily willing to provide the answers to me on a timely basis.

I advised Councillor Bauman yesterday that if they are waiting for the M.O.E.'s response they could well be waiting for a year or more. To date it's been 2 1/2 months allegedly without a reply. As far as anyone at the Township intelligently being able to understand and compare the two answers both to each other and to the original questions; I am highly skeptical. Besides two current CPAC members I am not aware of any others with sufficient expertise to fully understand the issues. If such persons are currently working at the Township then it kind of begs the question why it took me to find the problem and then why I was asked to formulate the technical questions (3 pgs.) to be put to the Region of Waterloo.

I was blunt with Councillor Bauman yesterday morning. I don't work for free for the Township or anyone else unless I so choose. Get me whatever answers you've got now, or forget any further cooperation. I spent many, many hours in research and reading of technical documents to further educate myself on bacteria issues in water and then further hours formulating intelligent, penetrating questions to the Region. They are not "softball" questions but to the Region's credit they've responded. That said until I read and study their answers I don't know how seriously and honestly they have responded. Nor do I know how seriously and or negligently they've treated the health and safety of West Montrose residents. There are many more steps in this process to ensure that all Woolwich residents are drinking safe, clean water and it is not up to the uninformed at Woolwich Township to be assisting in delaying or avoiding this process. It also begs the question as to why the Township would bother asking for help and then intentionally stonewall, delay and provoke one of the very few willing to give them that help for free.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story "Water rates could rise 45 per cent by 2023". One of the interesting points is that rates to consumers actually are rising because of Reduced demand. Isn't that counter intuitive? The good news is that the long ago proposed pipeline to lake Erie seems even farther away then originally projected. We are also advised that the region plans on spending $103 million "between 2022 and 2040 to create new water supply systems.". This is indeed good news, depending. Are they talking shutting down their urban, contaminated wells in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge and replacing them with new rural wells or at least moving them further outside the industrial urban areas? Or is this $103 million simply more bandaids to stickhandle around their and the municipalities and provinces failure to control polluting industries over the last fifty years? What we don't need our money being spent on is more treatment for solvent and pesticide contaminated drinking water. We need new source water and it is available albeit the cities can expect criticism from the rural areas for wanting their cleaner water.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


The latest Bishop St. Community newsletter (June 2014) has come out. In my opinion it is paternalistic, condescending and deceptive. We are advised of the "diligent" work of various government agencies on our behalf and I suppose we should be thankful. Afterall wouldn't it be sad if we were paying high taxes for the protection of ourselves and our children only to find that local industry had sucessfully evaded scrutiny long enough to contaminate the air in over 500 of our nearby homes?

Yes according to the Table on page two, the indoor air concentrations of Trichloroethylene are definitely decreasing. However they have a long ways to go but meanwhile human beings are still living in those homes at levels above the current Ontario standard of .5 ug/m3. This standard a few years ago was 2.3 ug/m3 but was lowered based upon U.S. jurisdictions combined with the latest health studies.

Who the hell does the Region of Waterloo, Ministry of the Environment, Grand River Conservation Authority and City of Cambridge think they are? Their names and logos are on the last page of this Newsletter and they are obviously endorsing its' advice to residents who continue to live in TCE contaminated homes. Contaminated by two local companies who allegedly were being monitored by our Ministry of the Environment. Nearby drinking well P6, monitored by the Region, we are informed has not been impacted by TCE. Horsefeathers! The Region in one breath can tell us in the newsletter that well P6 has been out of service for three years due to a deteriorated well liner but there is no urgency or priority to repair it. Then starting June 1 each year the whole Region including Cambridge are on lawn watering restrictions to conserve our water supply. Utterly ridiculous and unbelievable!

We are also advised that the total number of homes being monitored or remediated are constantly decreasing. This is so based upon "...when homes have two sequential air samples with TCE concentrations less than or equal to .5 ug/m3, they are taken off the annual winter home air monitoring list.". Really! Please, M.O.E. and Region firstly show us one single scientific validation for your assumption that contaminated indoor air by TCE cannot have two anomalous low readings. Secondly please scientifically validate if two readings taken weeks apart, perhaps a few minutes after doors were open, could not be below the standard while the rest of the time they are above the standard; never to be tested again. This is unconscionable at least until the entire aquifer has had TCE removed from it. You are still testing seeps and Grand River water for TCE further away from Northstar and G.E. (Rozell) than these homes; so how dare you remove any of them from monitoring!

Our authorities continue to pat themselves on the back for closing the gate long after the horse has bolted. Do any Region of Waterloo Health Department personnel live in the Bishop St. community? How about the M.O.E.? It never fails to amaze me how little tax dollars can be spent where they are desperately needed versus how many can be spent on politicians' pet projects and legacy projects.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Sunday May 18, 2014 at Quinte Health Care in Trenton, the world lost one of the good ones. Pat Potter left us and her family behind. There are always regrets when someone you know and like leaves this world and Pat is no exception. I and my wife Betty and two children met Pat at her home in Dunnville just over twenty years ago. We were introduced to her husband Chuck and her daughters Kathy, Toni and Patricia. Pat was no shrinking violet and we were just beginning our battle with Uniroyal Chemical at the time. Pat put it in perspective well when she told us what to expect. Over the years we did not get up to see her in Gilmour, south of Bancroft. That I will always regret. I did stay in touch occasionally by telephone and that was always enlightening. Whenever a crisis arose Pat could be counted on for good advice and a razor sharp perspective. It was Susan Rupert (Gow) who took us down to see Pat and her family all those years ago and I'm glad to say that I still keep in touch with Susan Rupert (Gow). Rich Clausi and I were both so impressed with Pat and Chuck that we had no difficulty, with their permission, in naming our new group the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team; after we left APT Environment in January 1994. The world has indeed lost a powerful, intelligent and articulate voice. My sympathies to her family and many friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


The May 30/14 Elmira Independent carried a Letter to the Editor from Tony Dowling both a member of Gravel Watch Ontario and also of the Bridgekeepers in West Montrose. The title was "Ontario must stop preferential treatment of aggregate industry". Tony lists various exemptions they receive including exemptions from environmental assessments and Class 111 zoning. They are also allowed reduced setbacks from residential housing as well as the ability to do recycling of industrial waste (concrete/asphalt) on rural extraction sites. According to Tony the following relevant documents need to be reviewed and modernized namely the Aggregate Resources Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. I will say that during the O.M.B. hearing about the Hunder Pit near Conestogo; indeed these two documents were repeatedly referenced by the proponents of the pit as being strongly supportive of new gravel extraction in the province.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Chemtura behind on groundwater cleanup". How incredibly frustrating this must be for a multi national, multi billion dollar company to have to share their failures with the world, despite their best efforts to mislead and deceive. From public relations firms, client driven consultants, co-opted local citizens and partners in pollution the Ontario Ministry of the Environment; it should be a cakewalk for them.

Yesterday's story was written by Paige Desmond and while it is based on CPAC Chair Dr. Dan Holt's Delegation to Woolwich Council last week; she has interviewed Woolwich Councillor and CPAC member Mark Bauman. He states "It's a 30 year plan...We're halfway done the time frame, but we're not halfway done the cleanup". Be still my heart but that is a pleasure to hear Councillor Mark Bauman talk like that. Ms. Desmond also states correctly that "Township officials have said in past years they had doubts about the speed of the cleanup.'.

Both the planned tripling of pumping and treating groundwater combined with In-Situ Chemical Oxidation to break down contaminants are mentioned in the article. Of course neither one has started yet however they are in the test phase right now. It is worth mentioning that at the last public CPAC meeting Steve Martindale of the M.O.E. assurred everyone that prior to any tripling of off-site pumping a new Certificate of Approval for discharge to the creek would be required and it would be reducing the concentrations of permitted contaminant discharge compared to their present concentrations.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


They do it because they can. They do it because they aren't accountable to the public. Many months ago the issue of cleanup criteria was raised at CPAC by either Ron Campbell or Graham Chevreau. I think it was Graham who asked whether the Ministry of the Environment would consider the Elmira Aquifers sucessfully remediated even if either deeper or shallower aquifers were still polluted above their drinking water standards. This has led to a response by Steve Martindale of the M.O.E.. He has advised that historically yes, in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge there are contaminated aquifers that are pumped for drinking water although Steve feels that they are pumped upgradient of any contamination.

George Karlos (M.O.E.) on the other hand has again at the last CPAC meeting (May 29/14) advised that he has yet to date not obtained the specific conditions and criteria that will be required prior to the M.O.E. declaring the Elmira Aquifers remediated. Keep in mind it is most likely higher up the food chain within the M.O.E. that reluctance may reside over this issue. Fourteen years from now most or all of us may well be retired from our environmental watchdog roles or even retired from life. I've always felt that that was the whole idea back in the early nineties when the thirty year cleanup was first announced. Eventually the date got moved back to thirty years from the start of the off-site pumping which was July/August 1998.

Similarily I've been waiting for feedback on the West Montrose drinking wells since early spring. While my initial study of the Region of Waterloo Annual (drinking) Water Reports found no industrial contaminants; a more thorough and detailed look showed a very peculiar situation in regards to bacteria and both Total Coliform and E. Coli contamination. It turns out that West Montrose has consistently had the most polluted with bacteria (septic) raw water of anywhere in Waterloo Region. As a direct result their water has been treated and possibly overtreated with chlorine and chloramines for at least the last decade, most probably longer. Lo and behold as expected the by-products of disinfection which themselves are toxic have been very high for years. These include Trihalomethanes, Haloacetic Acids and potentially NDMA although no results for it are ever given.

I sat down with Woolwich Councillors Bauman & Bryant many weeks ago and laid out the evidence for them. As a result, at Councillor Bauman's request I submitted to them three pages of questions for the Region of Waterloo to answer regarding West Montrose drinking water; past, present and future. To date I have not received any response from the Region although I was advised by Councillor Bauman eight days ago that Woolwich Township have received responses from both the Region and the M.O.E.. Very nice and while I've been promised the answers to my own questions, I am still waiting. Allegedly the Township wish to study the results before I get to see them. That too is interesting because frankly the Township do not have staff with expertise in these areas, to my knowledge. Therefore what is the purpose of yet more delay?

Monday, June 9, 2014


Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Old landfill may put Waterloo at odds with region". The good news in this story is the listing of several old landfill sites in Waterloo Region. The bad news is the "rationale" behind "monitoring" of these sites. Allegedly the Ministry of the Environment requires post-closure monitoring and care for the next 25 years. Well the fact is that lots of this garbage will take that long just to begin to break down. Steel, plastic and rubber that aren't exposed to sunlight and oxygen in particular will still be in good shape 25 years later. Yes foodstuffs and paper products may well be breaking down but then you still have the issue of leachate. Most if not all of these old landfills were never built with any kind of leachate collection and treatment systems. Even the still open Erb St. landfill in Waterloo was merely retrofitted after the fact with leachate control and pumping to the Kitcheber Sewage Treatment Plant. The reality is that both the Region and the M.O.E. are counting once again upon dilution being the solution to pollution. Leachate ends up in groundwater which eventually discharges to surface water hopefully in low enough concentrations not to cause acute health problems for either humans or wildlife. What a system.

Here in Elmira which is part of Woolwich Township we have several former landfills including M1, M2 (on the Chemtura site), Bolender Park and the First St. Landfill at the end of Howard & First Ave. So much for the Record article suggesting all of Woolwich Township only has two landfills. The other one outside of Elmira is known as the Woolwich Landfill and the Record article does mention that it is currently leased to a model airplane club.

A word of caution to residents on private wells located near former landfills. Sending water samples to the Region of Waterloo only tells you about potential bacterial problems. A private lab will test for industrial chemicals common in landfills and that testing unfortunately will be expensive.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


The Woolwich Observer yesterday reported on last week's televised Woolwich Council meeting with the following story "Change of tactics needed to clean Elmira aquifers, CPAC argues". The day before the Elmira Independent published their story titled "CPAC expresses frustration over DDT study". While Gail Martin and the Independent focused on off-site transport and deposition of Dioxins and DDT both in the Canagagigue Creek as well as onto a neighbour's property; Steve Kannon and the Observer took a broader view and described source removal versus hydraulic containment, Wilf and Jaimie's DNAPL letters and the M.O.E.'s lack of an action plan to deal with downstream Dioxins and DDT.

Susan Bryant appropriately criticized the M.O.E.'s approach of long on study and testing while very short on action (remediation) in the Independent article. She also advised that years ago local families knew to keep themselves and their children out of the creek due to its horrible chemical smells whereas today while the creek doesn't smell so bad it is still highly polluted with Dioxins and DDT. Thus children could well be attracted back into the creek. Gail Martin also described CPAC's desire to expand testing to include both runoff areas from GP1 and GP2 as well as onto the neighbour's property where ground surface contours indicate the probable destination of overland flow from Chemtura's east side pits (RPE1-5).

Steve Kannon quotes Chairman Dr. Dan stating that the Elmira Aquifers may well take another 25 years or more to be cleaned up rather than the alleged 2028 date, only fourteen years away. Dr. Dan is also quoted regarding source removal of buried contaminants on site including DNAPLS as described in the May 2 and May 15, 2008 letters written by Jaimie Connelly and Wilf Ruland. Both these letters are gamechangers and were deliberately witheld from stakeholders six years ago including myself as well as some CPAC members. They unequivocally advise removal of known areas of subsurface contamination with Wilf's letter specifically naming TPW2 and downgradient (towards the creek) from both RPE4 and RPE5. Steve Kannon states further that both these letters assert that pump and treat (hydraulic containment) is unlikely to sucessfully remediate the Elmira Aquifers by 2028. Lastly the comments by Dr. Dan Holt regarding the Ministry of Environment's lack of plans to take action (remediate) downstream in the Canagagigue Creek are reported.

Friday, June 6, 2014


I've waited twenty-one years to see even one professional report flat out stating that there is free phase DNAPL on the Uniroyal/Chemtura site and it needs to be removed. Well apparently I'm not the only one who has been waiting for just such a report. Ironically and contrary to my expectations two have surfaced and contrary to my expectations they were produced by a M.O.E. hydrogeologist (Jaimie Connelly) and by hydrogeologist Wilf Ruland. That they have surfaced six years after the fact (ie. May 2 & 15, 2008) is more than a little disturbing. It speaks to an ongoing coverup of the extent of Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) on the Chemtura site.

Twenty-one years ago APTE vice-president Sylvia Berg refused to make a formal response to the M.O.E.'s December 10, 1993 letter accepting Conestoga Rovers' DNAPL Investigation report. This acceptance by the M.O.E. was critical to then Uniroyal's alleged compliance with the November 4, 1991 Control Order. The CRA report was wholly unacceptable as described by both Wilf Ruland and APTE (Al Marshall, Sylvia Berg & Glenys McMullen) in writing. Sylvia then went on to defend the Ministry's position on DNAPLS contrary to her own very recently written collaberative critique. She strongly advised the APTE co-ordinators to do nothing. Richard Clausi and I presented the various reports and critiques to the APTE co-ordinators who for numerous reasons preferred the word of vice-president Berg to doing serious study of the reports on their own. The results have been catastrophic for the Elmira cleanup. Unknown to me and Richard at the time (and Esther Thur a week later) Susan Bryant and Sylvia Berg were in possession of the Uniroyal-M.O.E. October 7, 1991 Settlement Agreement and its' Indemnity to Uniroyal for known on-site contamination ie. DNAPLS. Susan and the three other Environmental Appeal Board parties received this agreement directly as she was representing APTE at those hearings. The public only received a fluffy media release from the Ministry of Environment which carefully did not talk about the Indemnity.

Richard and I made no demands or ultimatums whatsoever to APTE as they were friends and colleagues. To say we were perplexed by Sylvia Berg's intrangience and refusal to discuss or debate this huge issue is an understatement. It was Richard and I who insisted upon a formal sitdown with the co-ordinators to discuss what we felt was a huge mistake and in fact has so turned out. At a minimum all we expected of APTE was their public support of the critique written by Sylvia, Glenys and myself as well as a statement criticizing the M.O.E.'s December 10/93 formal acceptance of CRA/Uniroyal's DNAPL plans. I was the least aggressive, most fact based of Richard and I. Unfortunately Richard did bring up a recent letter from Pat Potter of Dunnville asking what Sylvia Berg was doing thanking Uniroyal in a letter to the then Canadian Chemical Producers Assocn (CCPA). While I agreed with Pat's concerns I still had 100% trust in Sylvia Berg's integrity. Much to my surprise when the co-ordinators backed Sylvia's do nothing "plan"; Sylvia immediately demanded that I be removed as an APTE representative at the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC). But for that incredibly petty and nasty position I (and Richard) wouldn't have resigned then and there from membership in APTE.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20. I expect that the remaining APTE members may still have regrets as I do about how things turned out. That being said you were betrayed by your president and vice-president. They accepted a grotesquely flawed October 7/91 Settlement Agreement without getting input from either the co-ordinators (including Richard & Esther) or from the membership at large. Since then they have taken extraordinary means to coverup their sellout, being co-opted or even naiviety; whichever term you prefer. From inducing Rich Clausi, Esther Thur (an original APTE founder) and myself leaving APTE to years later Pat Mclean and Susan Bryant manipulating my exit from the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) over the then again ongoing DNAPL Investigation to ensuring via the office of CPAC Chair held by Pat McLean that the Jaimie and Wilf DNAPL letters of May 2 & 15, 2008 never were publicly released or discussed; Susan (Sylvia is apparently long gone from Elmira) has continued the coverup of her and Sylvia's original behaviour. While Susan was in India in late 1993 and early 1994 again hindsight has shown that she was in league with Sylvia from the early days.

There will be a book coming out in the future written by former Record reporter Bob Burtt. While I like and respect Bob, I've long known that he has been dazzled by Susan Bryant, as I was, for decades. I am attempting to give Bob all the relevant documents based upon his questions to me around APTE, Varnicolor, Uniroyal, the Environmental Hazards Team etc.. and I have confidence in his sincere attempts to write the truth as he sees it. My fear is that similar to January 1994, when the facts are difficult or conflicting, that personality will win the day. If that occurs I may be forced to set the record straight and have my own book written. This will be to let future generations know that there is no limit to corporate degenerate behaviour specifically including co-opting of citizen activists as well as promoting internal discord within legitmate citizen groups. It is shameful and disgusting but it is the truth and has happened here in Elmira.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Last week's Elmira Independent did a story on Rich Clausi's career as a teacher at Elmira District Secondary School (EDSS). This is part of their coverage of the 75th anniversary of EDSS as they have featured a few very longtime teachers recently. Richard has been very active over the years in other areas that were not mentioned in this story. Currently and for many years he has been a participant in the Sulco (Canada Colours) Citizens Advisory Panel. Before that he was the Chair of the Varnicolor Chemical Liason Committee. Richard was front and centre during the heyday of exposing M.O.E. lies and corruption surrounding their initial refusals to admit environmental problems at Varnicolor despite M.O.E. firsthand experience with the company, otherwise.

Since retiring Richard has been able to attend CPAC meetings for the first time in years. Two reasons for this are his greater time flexibility combined with CPAC being moved from 9 am. to 6 pm.. For many years I pressed former Chair Pat Mclean and her sidekick Susan Bryant for evening meetings both to assist Rich and possibly other citizens; all to no avail. 9 am. seemed to work very well for their schedules.

Richard sent the following e-mail last Saturday to CPAC and SWAT following last Thursday's CPAC meeting and further exposure of six year old DNAPL letters only recently received by CPAC as well as by myself.

"What transpired on thursday is a sterling example of why there must always be full transparency and indeed, why there must never be private meetings and tete-a-tete with the company...we now have 3 non-trivial documents...that is, the indemnity agreement and 2 landmark letters that appear to have fallen into cracks...real or otherwise...I imagine the best we can do now is to learn from this and not let it happen is 3 strikes and you are out, right....are there any other oversights out there "

I greatly missed Richard's presence, cool head and analytical thinking at CPAC for years; which most probably is why the time was never changed to accomodate him. I also miss Dr. Henry Regier's presence now due to his hearing difficulties. I will say that Woolwich Township have tried to assist Henry and others with hearing impairments via the use of headphones etc..

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


We were advised during the Bio-En update that they are receiving incoming feedstocks almost every day. The Engines (to produce electricity) have not been running since May 14 and won't be doing so until June 7/14. This is not a problem at the Woolwich Bio-En but I believe due to issues/updates at Waterloo North Hydro.

There were two noise complaints which were caused by an H2S (hydrogen sulphide) signal causing the biofilter fan to go at 100% output. Thus the fan was the noisemaker. That said the problem has been corrected.

Chair Earl Brubacher also advised that they have had some web issues regarding Minutes and Agenda being posted in a timely manner. This is also under repair.

Earl advised that the Amendments to their operating procedures were received and are 311 pages long. These Amendments were in regards to feedstock additions as previously announced as well as the link to a gas pipeline to take their gas to a service station at the south end of town.

Their flare has been running about four hours out of every 24 hours. This is to burn off excess gas that they produce and currently as they can't use their produced gas to run their engines they need to flare it off.

The Bio-En Committee as well as members of the public present were again given a copy of the truck movements for the previous month (May). There were two days with much higher truck movements based on a single supplier with several very small loads sent over those two days. This is considered unusual.

Currently the second Digester is being filled towards its' normal operating fill level.

The Ministry of the Environment were on site to conduct a noise audit. Of course without the engines running as previously mentioned the readings were lower than to be normally expected.

One of the plant operators (Derek) advised that incoming feedstocks were about 10% solids and 90% liquids. This is considered routine and very easy to handle as the liquids are in a closed system and moved with pumps.

Two dates were given for upcoming Woolwich Bio-En CLC Meetings namely July 8 and August 12/14. All parties however seemed fine with the July 8 date only being used if something unusual arises in the meantime. Otherwise everyone will most likely get together only on the August 12 date.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


This evening's Woolwich Bio-En meeting is being held once more at the Elmira Public Library at 7 pm. and is open to the public. While it generally lacks the fireworks, high sticking and elbows sometimes on display at CPAC meetings; it actually is a pleasure to watch and listen to discussions and progress being made.

Dr. Dan Holt, Chairman of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) spoke as a Delegate to Woolwich Council last evening. It is my studied opinion that there has never been as forthright, blunt and honest expression of the state of non cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers as Dan advised Council last evening. From hydraulic containment (pump & treat) to Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs) and Dioxins and DDT; Dr. Dan told it like it is. No sugar coating and no pap as has characterized past CPAC Chairs' performances. While Rogers TV broadcast late last evening, I'm hoping they will show last night's Woolwich Council meeting again.

Regarding the two recently received DNAPL letters from Jaimie Connelly (M.O.E.) and Wilf Ruland; Dr. Dan did point out that both were received by the past CPAC Chair Pat McLean but were not properly distributed hence their "discovery" six years later. Dr.Dan also pointed out that most of their recommendations have been ignored by Chemtura and their partners in pollution, Conestoga Rovers and the M.O.E.. How hypocritical is it to be able to ignore the advice of your own senior hydrogeologist? Boy does politics and self interest ever trump facts and right.

The Dioxins and DDT downstream in the Canagagigue Creek should be a provincial and indeed national embarassment. The lack of substantive action to protect wildlife, humans and domestic animals is way beyond negligence. I hope to live long enough to be able to attend and perhaps testify at the "Uniroyal trials" some day. My only question is how far up the chain of political command will the charges go.

Dr. Dan concluded by advising that the cleanup has been going for about twenty-five years and will probably continue for another twenty-five. This is not what the guilty parties including politicians want to hear.

Monday, June 2, 2014


Wow! Until one starts remembering, reading one's notes and posting; one can come away from a powerful meeting thinking it couldn't have been as good as one's gut tells them it was. Well it was good for the citizens and the public interest. Not so good however for the Ministry of the Environment and a whole lot worse for Chemtura. These two bodies hide behind public consultation to justify their do little or nothing action. They also pretend that everything is peachy keen with understanding, respect and fair play by Chemtura & the M.O.E. at these meetings. Nothing is further from the truth and CPAC, SWAT and the public made that very clear last Thursday evening.

Back in the 1995-96 M.O.E. report concerns were raised about extremely high readings in ponds downstream in the floodplain of the Canagagigue Creek. We were told however that despite these very high readings thet they were of limited risk as they were not directly connected to the creek. I find this interesting as obviously they are connected (via flooding) as that's how they became contaminated in the first place. This also speaks to the potential for the downstream swimming pond located in the floodplain to become contaminated. Dr. Dan Holt, CPAC Chair did suggest that a caution or warning to the owners of that pond from the M.O.E. would be appropriate.

I asked Mike Spencer of the M.O.E. for details of his examination last summer of this swimming pond and his answers were not confidence building. He examined it visually from outside the pond and saw a geotextile membrane with algae. No samples were taken from inside the pond either on the sides or bottom. He seemed to feel that the berm was 12-18 inches high around the outside of the pond. Mr. Spencer could neither confirm nor deny if there were sediments of any kind in the pond.

Regarding further downstream testing Susan Bryant commented "more testing is a recurring nightmare". Her concerns related of course to a lack of action following testing.

Jeff Merriman made yet another outrageous claim in regards to on-site DNAPLS when he stated that all of Wilf Ruland's concerns as expressed in his May 15, 2008 letter had been taken care of. Bullshit! I requested that Jeff carefully examine Wilf's requests for cleanup in his points #5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 and respond at the next CPAC meeting on June 26/14.

Regarding Chemtura/CRA's wish to triple off-site pumping and discharge to the creek; Steve Martindale (M.O.E.) unequivocally stated that their individual chemical discharge criteria would have to be reduced in order to protect the receiving body of water ie. the Canagagigue.

Lastly Dr. Dan Holt advised all present that CPAC were always pleased to see citizen activists honoured for their efforts and indeed Elmira was blessed with numerous citizens who have spent decades working on behalf of the public interest.