Thursday, July 31, 2014


Following is an e-mail I sent this morning trying to get Woolwich Council directly involved as a group in not allowing the Region of Waterloo and Ontario M.O.E. to pull off yet another public relations scam directly affecting residents drinking water.

Region & M.O.E. response to West Montrose water contamination
To and 11 more

I am sending this to Council because it's your duty to understand this and rise above a laid back reliance upon the Region & M.O.E. to be protecting Woolwich's water. I am sending it to CPAC & SWAT because there has been and still is a decades long campaign to undermine my environmental credibility by Chemtura, the M.O.E. and at least one Woolwich Councillor who's gone so far as to brag in Council about kicking me off of CPAC. I am sending it to the media because of my lack of confidence in the political process being capable of doing the right thing without some incentive.

I have in front of me the Region's Annual (Drinking Water) Reports for the last decade (2004-2013) for West Montrose. They are an unmitigated disaster including Boil Water Advisory's in 2004, 2005 and 2008. The ongoing problems are "Adverse Incidents" as stipulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act and by Ont.Reg. 170/03. These, while not marked on the Annual Reports as Adverse Incidents, are all on page three and are marked as " accordance with subsection 18(1) Safe Drinking Water Act or section 16-4 of O.Reg. 170/03".

These serious problems are primarily related to too much chlorine, too little chlorine, too much chloramine (ie. total chlorine or combined chlorine), too little chloramine, Turbidity (cloudiness/murkiness), and too little CT or Contact Time. The Ministry of Environment have just sent a letter suggesting that they are going to remove the requirement that the Region report allegedly "short term analyser spikes" for chloramine exceedances as an Adverse Incident. The inference is that these are an in process, unnecessary requirement that apparently one lay citizen (yours truly) has discovered and pointed out to everyone's embarassment. That does not make sense. From 2004 until 2010 chloramine exceedances ( > 3.0 mg/l) were corrected by the Region sometimes resampling alone and many times resampling and flushing the water mains. There was zero mention or suggestion of "...on-line analyser spikes". Suddenly in the 2011 Annual Reports we have the claim that many but not all of these health related exceedances are "short term on-line analyser spikes". Again since then, when these alleged "...spikes" have occurred the "Corrective Action" on page three of the Annual Report is sometimes resampling alone and many times resampling and flushing of the mains. Why would the Region on an ongoing basis be flushing mains for nothing more than faulty readings or paperwork issues? Why would they and the M.O.E. insist that there is a health related standard for chloramines, report those readings for years and take corrective action for years and then suddenly decide when questioned about it, to drop the reporting requirement?

Chloramines are a serious health hazard as are the other issues relating to Turbidity which impedes proper disinfection and free chlorine levels as well. The Region's answers to my three pages of questions are evasive and in many instances simply don't answer the question. I sat down with two Councillors and gave them a brief overview back in early April. Councillor Bauman requested from me a list of technical questions that the township could give to the Region for their responses. This request was based upon the simple fact that neither the Council nor respectfully the staff have the knowledge or expertise to fully understand the issues. Your staff may be experts in their field, such as planning/engineering but they fairly clearly are not so regarding either industrial or microbiological drinking water issues. Similarily I am highly skeptical that any Councillors or staff can competently on their own, interpret accurately the Region's responses to my questions.

So Council can pretend confidence in the Region & M.O.E. who are as usual backing each other up. This despite Council's own committee (CPAC) who are with Council and CAO Brenneman currently in the process of formallly attacking the M.O.E. for their failure to enforce the Environmental Protection Act here in Elmira, on another front. Or Council can roll up their sleeves, sit down as an entire group and learn, ask questions and most importantly understand that the health of West Montrose residents has been put at risk for many years due to the raw water source in their town. The Region are belatedly going to bring in a different water supply but meanwhile they and the M.O.E. are in full spin control and crisis mode. Their failures if once again swept under the rug will only ensure more health problems for Woolwich and Region of Waterloo residents down the road.

Al Marshall SWAT member and Elmira EH-Team member
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Whose bullshit? Mostly the Region of Waterloo and a little of the Min. of Environment. Whose brains? Yours, mine and all the public. 36 questions were asked, 11 of them I had marked on my copy as barnburners. Of these eleven key questions the Region responded to three questions with direct, specific answers. Five of the questions they absolutely waffled, stickhandled and did not answer. The remaining three they answered by saying that neither the province nor the legislation requires them to provide that important data in their Annual Reports . In yesterday's posting I mentioned one "idiotic" answer by the Region. Upon rereading their answer I have put it into the above non-answer, waffle group of five questions. Their response of "The statement is for information only" actually is a gutless way of saying "NO" that the neither the Safe Drinking Water Act nor Ontario Regulation 170/03 make any reference to "short term on-line analyser spikes".

The overall score for the Region's answers is thusly: there were 18 out of 36 responses directly related to the question.
Of those 18, six of the responses were that they didn't supply the requested information in their Annual Report because they didn't have to. Six more responses directed me either on-line or back to the Township for the answer. Keep in mind it is understandable that based upon the Region's overall performance here I have little confidence in the answers they did give which directly related to the questions I asked.

For me what are the biggest issues, answers and non-answers? The above first paragraph indicating that the Region and M.O.E. have joined forces to interpret chloramine exceedances as being "short term" without either party indicating some backup in the legislation (SDWA or O.Reg 170/03). Then the M.O.E. advising that they are going to remove the obligation for the Region to continue reporting these in their Annual Reports is bizarre.

Neither the Region nor the M.O.E. answered my question as to whether the Ministry has given the Region permission to operate the West Montrose wells with Turbidity (cloudiness etc.) above guidelines or standards. The Region claims that "filtered water effluent is consistently below the regulatory reportable limit when water is directed to the consumer.". That did not answer my question. Turbidity is measured prior to consumer distribution for a very good reason. It affects the abilty to disinfect bacteria etc. from the water. The guidelines I have and which the Region refused to state their guidelines, indicate that Turbidity is too high both in raw water and in cartridge filtered water.

They refused to answer three other urgent questions namely : "Is it essentially impossible to remove 100% of all E.Coli and Coliforms from West Montrose wells without exceeding 3 mg/l of chloramines on a regular basis?"
"Is NDMA formation by chloramines increased in the presence of dimethylamine which is ubiquitous in municipal and septic wastewaters?"
"Up until 2013 the Region included the actual chloramine readings. Now they simply show the greater than symbol ie. > for exceedances. Why the change?

Last but not least is NDMA levels not being reported in the Annual Reports. Shame on the province , shame on the Ministry of the Environment and shame on the Region of Waterloo. Put that and much more in your Annual Reports or don't bother wasting our time with more sham, mickey mouse reports that are more for show than clarification.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Last March 25, 2014 I appeared as a Delegate at Woolwich Council to inform them and the public regarding drinking water issues in Woolwich Township. I briefly described the problems with water received via pipeline from Waterloo. My focus was on the highest detections of Total Coliform and E.Coli bacteria throughout Waterloo Region being consistently found in the raw water for West Montrose. After a meeting on April 2/14 with Woolwich Councillors Bonnie Bryant and Mark Bauman I was asked by Mark to produce written questions that could be put to the Region of Waterloo. Within a couple of days and many hours of hard work I sent the Township three pages of technical questions regarding the West Montrose water supply and treatment.

Based upon a slew of paperwork e-mailed me yesterday by the Township from both the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment; I have come up with the following timelines. On April 15/14 the Region of Waterloo sent a response to Woolwich Township regarding my written two page Delegation to Woolwich Council on March 25/14. Thus I received this formal response from the Region of Waterloo to my Delegation, three and a half months after the fact. Thank you very much Woolwich Township.

The Region then responded to my questions sent to them in early April by e-mail on May 26/14. E-mail that is to Woolwich Township personnel, not to me. After complaining in early June to Councillor Bauman about the delay in receiving the Region's responses I was advised that indeed the Region had responded to the Township but that I couldn't have those responses until after the Ministry of the Environment had also responded to my questions. When the hell did the M.O.E. get involved and added to the picture? Sure enough they took their sweet time in responding to my questions. Well actually they didn't. First of all they claim they received my list of questions from Woolwich Township on JUNE 18 TH. It took Woolwich Township from May 26 to June 18 just to get the three pages over to them. I've been advised that several carrier pigeons expired on route due to the contaminated air between Elmira and the M.O.E.. Secondly the M.O.E. then took from June 18/14 until July 25/14 to send not technical responses but a two page letter telling the Township that they agreed with and supported the Region's answers and position regarding West Montrose drinking water. This two page letter from the M.O.E. to the Township is undated and I have only the e-mail trail to go by.

This is quite a strange letter from the M.O.E.(Lisa Williamson). The M.O.E. apparently are going to remove their monitoring requirements regarding chloramine exceedances that are allegedly of short duration. This is quite a turnaround from their longterm practices. The 2013 Annual (Drinking Water) Report published by the Region for West Montrose has chloramine exceedances printed on page three as well as the bottom of page six and all of page seven. This is quite a method the M.O.E. have devised to avoid further embarassing evidence that disinfection of highly bacteria contaminated water produces dangerous compounds including chloramines. Perhaps future reports will simply avoid embarassing data and go straight to the world class puffery of which they are famous.

Finally the Region's answers to my detailed questions. One of them they answered surprisingly straightforwardly. They answered YES to this question: "Do the West Montrose wells have the largest number of detections of E.Coli and Total Coliforms of any wells in Waterloo Region?". Many questions they answered with a non answer. In other words they stickhandled and avoided a straight answer. The M.O.E. actually directly answered this one following question in their letter that the Region wimped out on. "Has the Ontario M.O.E. given the Region of Waterloo permission to operate the West Montrose System with regular chloramine levels in excess of the ODWS?" (Ont. Drinking Water Standards) The M.O.E. categorically answered NO. The Region also very annoyingly answered numerous straightforward questions by advising me to go online and look up a specific report they have done. Of course there was no page number, chapter number or other reference given. That is not being transparent or honest when you could simply answer the question directly. To date I've only noticed one internal contradiction in the Region's responses. Similarily I've only spotted to date one apparently idiotic answer. By their numbering system question #32 "Does the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act or O.Reg 170/03 suggest this differentiation?". I am referring to chloramines being defined as "short term analyser spikes". The Region's answer was: "The statement is for information only.". What the hell kind of an answer is that???

Therefore I and the public have waited from May 26 until July 28 for the M.O.E. to advise that they are going to remove the requirements surrounding allegedly short term chloramine exceedances. They answered all of one of my questions initially written strictly for the Region's response. The Region's responses require further study but to this point they are devious and unacceptable. Does the Township understand that or do they even care? Did making me wait two months to see the Region's responses have any legitimate purpose or was it simply bureaucratic and political delay and obstruction?

Monday, July 28, 2014


I think that this local industry is an example of what *Responsible Care is supposed to be. For many years I've been receiving reports that this company truly embraces the ethics of the *Responsibe Care program. Canada Colours (formerly Sulco) had issues twenty years ago plus in Elmira. I recall one major fire and several instances of noxious air emissions. Noxious as in seriously health related including a Hydrogen Sulphide release. That was a long time ago and I am unaware of any serious environmental problems for many years. The company have a Community Advisory Panel who meet several times a year.

Last week the company sent a memo to their Advisory Panel informing them that the company had received an odour complaint from the Ministry of Environment. Although the complaint came in several days after the incident nevertheless the company went back and checked their records carefully. They determined that a start up done after a July 2 power failure was not done properly and indeed could have been the cause of an odourous air emission. They therefore took responsibility and ownership of the problem.

They sent the results of their investigation to their Community Advisory Panel including a number of preventative actions designed to avoid any future repeat of the problem. This is an example of how industry are supposed to work with their citizens, residents and nearby neighbours. This is also an example of how the *Responsible Care program is supposed to work.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Pollution is like the gift that keeps on giving. It's been twenty-five years since the Elmira wellfields (6-7 wells) were shut down courtesy of Uniroyal/Chemtura. It's been twenty-eight years since the Woolwich Landfill, north of Elmira has been shut down. I'm wondering if the final donation, heaven help us, to this insecure landfill was the cleanup in the mid 80's of numerous pits and ponds around the Uniroyal site including the contents of the west side ponds RPW5-8.

Twenty-five years ago there was a known plume of contaminants extending 900-1100 metres south-east of the Woolwich Landfill. The leading edge of this plume was most likely the inorganics such as Chloride (CL) and Sodium (NA). Following on behind would have been chlorinated ethanes and methanes as well as Benzene and possibly NDMA. Keep in mind that NDMA wasn't allegedly discovered in Elmira's groundwater until 1989. This makes it extremely unlikely that the researchers at the University of Waterloo would have been testing for it throughout the 80's. What do you think is the likelihood even now that the Region of Waterloo and their consultants testing nearby private drinking wells; aren't testing for NDMA?

There are two questions of significance that come to my mind. The first is how far out currently is the inorganics plume and secondly how far extended is the leading edge of the organics? We already know that three wells have been seriously impacted by one of the organics namely 1,1 DCA. I have driven the area and my odometer causes me to worry. There are numerous homes and businesses between 600 and 800 metres east and south of this former landfill. While Seiling Rd. runs along the front of the landfill, Sandy Hills Dr. runs mostly 600-800 metres south of it. Obviously the extreme west end of Sandy Hills Dr. at Arthur St. N. is further away. Noah Rd. on the east side is only 700 metres away at its' north-east corner and perhaps 900 metres away at its' south-east corner. None of this even mentions any flow of contaminated groundwater allegedly upgradient towards the homes on Seiling Rd.(Township Rd. 7).

The Region need to release their Annual Monitoring Reports immediately to all nearby residents, Woolwich Township and interested and capable environmentalists with the ability to quickly read and understand the contents. Anything else is just one more coverup.

Friday, July 25, 2014


A colleague presented me recently with a series of reports written by Eco Logic on behalf of the Region of Waterloo. These reports were written in 1989 and 1990 during the height of the Elmira water crisis. Following is the complete list as I know it of industrial chemicals found in the Elmira drinking water wells and distribution system during 1989 and 1990.

Cyclohexamine, Styrene, Toluene, NDMA, Xylenes (m,o,p), Anthracene, fluoranthene, Phenanthrene, pyrene, ethyl hexyl phthalate (BEHP), Benzothiazole, Napthalene, Tetrachloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Ethyl Benzene, Di-n-butylphthalate.

Some but not all of these were also found in the St. Jacobs distribution system. This is not unexpected as the two systems were joined at the time. Also a few chemicals on this list were found in "Trace" quantities. Essentially that means they were positively identified however their actual concentration was difficult to quantify because it was very low.

A couple of significant points need to be remembered. There were many complaints during the early and mid 80's about the taste and odour of Elmira tap water. In hindsight despite assurrances from authorities, the water was polluted. Secondly nobody, nowhere can quantify the health risk and or damage sufferred by Elmira citizens due to this contaminated water. There is no scientific way to quantify the health risks with multiple industrial chemicals in the drinking water. Also Eco Logic flat out stated there is also no way to know how long NDMA was in Elmira's drinking water, both above and below the current, very low drinking water standard for it (.009 parts per billion).

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Referring back to yesterday's memo from the Region of Waterloo there are some interesting comments. Firstly " installing a well into the deep bedrock, where to date, no 1,1 DCA has been detected". Hmm, I wonder what else other than DCA has been detected? Secondly is this a tacit admission that by pumping the bedrock aquifer you will speed up the process of drawing the DCA down into it? There will be two more nearby wells as of late summer/early fall drawing water from the bedrock aquifer. This will only exacerbate the likelihood of drawing the contaminants deeper. It appears to me that this is the Region doing what they do best which is little or nothing ahead of time and wait for the contaminated water to show up. This is reactive not proactive.

Further "...while we don't anticipate any more wells being impacted there is another residential well approximately 750 metres downgradient that we will monitor closely.". Sure they will. Maybe once a year they will sample it for a very limited set of parameters. Also is this an additional 750 metres past where the first three wells are being replaced or is this 750 metres in total from the Woolwich landfill? That is clear as mud. Also what is not clear is the alleged "annual monitoring program". Who is the "engineering consultant" involved? Why if these annual reports have historically observed "impacts" in some residential wells has it taken until now to either provide alternate water or to stop the spread of the plume? These annual reports going from a consultant to the Region of Waterloo and the Ministry of Environment are totally inadequate to protect citizens, which has been proven over and over again whether in Elmira, Cambridge or Walkerton.

Thirty years ago (1984) hydrogeologists at the University of Waterloo stated about the Woolwich landfill the following : "the chlorinated solvents are migrating further while aromatic hydrocarbons are only found in low concentration even near the landfill. Aerobic conditions appear to dominate here, resulting in persistence of chlorinated methanes and ethanes and degradation of aromatics." 1,1 DCA or Dichloroethane is one of those chlorinated ethanes exactly as the Region were advised thirty years ago.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


"...staff have historically observed low level impacts in some residential wells downgradient from the former landfill." This is in a recent memo from the Region of Waterloo Waste Management Division and is refering to the former Woolwich Landfill site just north of Elmira. The memo further states "Although the impacts are not an immediate health concern, staff have taken a conservative approach and replaced one residential well in 2012." The memo goes on to advise that two more off-site private drinking wells are being replaced in 2014 due to "...low level contamination...".

Really gives you a warm feeling doesn't it knowing that staff are conservative in their approach to poison in other people's wells? Also the fact that they have been monitoring not an advancing plume of industrial poison but impacts already in their wells. By the way this former landfill is appropraitely located on Seiling Rd. in Woolwich Township and yes it is named after you know who's family.

The sole chemical allegedly found in the drinking wells is 1,1 DCA otherwise known as 1,1 Dichloroethane. The memo claims that there is no Ontario Drinking Water Standard for DCA. Well actually there is although it's for 1,2 DCA. The chlorine molecule is slightly shifted in position from 1,1 DCA. The standard for 1,2 DCA is 5 parts per billion (ppb). DCA is a breakdown product of TCA or Trichloroethane. As is not unusual the breakdown products are more toxic than the original. Other chemicals are leaching from this site including trichloroethylene (TCE). It's breakdown products include Dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride among others. Vinyl chloride is significantly more toxic than its' parent TCE. Funny there is no mention of vinyl chloride levels.

The amazing coincidences just keep on coming. Both TCA and TCE are groundwater contaminants on at least two sites in Elmira namely Uniroyal/Chemtura and Varnicolor Chemical. Both of these sites cheerfully dumped their toxic wastes both on and off-site untreated. This included multiple "municipal" landfill sites whether legally or illegally such as First St. Landfill, Bolender Landfill and the Ottawa Landfill in Kitchener. The Woolwich Landfill is all of what, three miles north of Elmira? The concentrations of these contaminants and especially their breakdown products in Elmira are hundreds if not thousands of times higher than drinking water standards. Oh and finally this information has been available to the Region of Waterloo since the mid 1980's. I sure am glad that they are so "conservative" in their approach to the health and safety of local residents a few miles from Elmira.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I learned yesterday that not only does the former Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) have a new Minister but they also have a new name. It is the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change or MOECC. I believe that my preferred name, as written in the above title, is much more fitting and accurate.

Over the last couple of months I have posted here about a manmade drain running north to south and parallel with Chemtura's eastern property line which then swings in a loop easterly, turns south again and then swings westerly where it discharges into the Canagagigue Creek. The northern end of this drain which has a subsurface pipe discharging into it, is within twenty feet of Chemtura's property line and at an estimate perhaps 50 to 70 yards south of their former waste pit RPE5. There is a manmade swimming pond slightly east of the drain near its' southern end. This swimming pond is on the Martin's property and a citizen came to CPAC a couple of years ago with concerns that she felt an aerial photograph of Chemtura's south-east corner might be indicating the possibility of overland flow of liquid contaminants/water heading directly towards this pond used by Mennonite children. The M.O.E. "investigated" and publicly told CPAC that there was no possibilty of overland flow from Chemtura's property eastwards towards or into the Martin pond. They also took soil samples from the berm around the outside of the pond but upon my specific questioning admitted that they took no sediment or other samples from inside the swimming pond.

The MOECC misled, misinformed, obfuscated, bullshitted and bafflegabbed CPAC, SWAT and the concerned citizen. Firstly there is overland ie. surface water flow from within twenty feet of Chemtura's property line running north-south for approximately 150 metres/yards. From there as indicated it continues to flow primarily southwards and goes extremely close to the Martin pond. Secondly written text was presented at a public Working Session of CPAC last evening clearly indicating that Chemtura/CRA /M.O.E. were fully aware twenty years ago plus that the eastern pits overflowed and leaked their toxic contents easterly across their border as well as south and west. Furthermore contaminated groundwater also flowed eastwards across the Chemtura property line.

Last night there was one more revelation. Councillor Bauman decided to share with CPAC/SWAT, six weeks after the fact, that he had learned that this manmade drain is and has been actually used to directly fill the Martin pond as its' level drops during dryer weather. There is a concrete structure and pipe which permits the drains' contents to be diverted directly into the Martin pond. I thought it was not possible for me to have even less respect for the MOECC. I was wrong. This isn't just collusion, it is gross negligence and dereliction of duty. We use taxpayers money to have this Ministry protect citizens from environmental hazards, not to protect polluters from the consequences. This Ministry is far, far worse than simply being ineffectual and incompetent.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Several years back when the beetle was first reported in south western Ontario it was felt that Ontario's winters would limit its' northern march. Unfortunately that isn't happening so far. The emerald ash borer has now been found past Goderich in Ripley, Point Clarke and even north of Owen Sound. Besides removing and destroying dead trees there is very little available to stop the beetle and spare ash trees. Innoculations per tree are possible but prohibitively expensive. Plus each innoculation only lasts for two years. Experiments are underway with introducing a parasitic wasp to kill the ash borer when in the larvae stage.

Once the insect has infested an area up to 98% of the ash trees will die. It is believed that many of these insects entered Canada via wooden shipping containers bringing in "cheaper" Chinese manufactured products. One could suggest that this invasive species is a direct result of Canadian manufacturers finding another method of lowering costs. Or in the alternative it is yet another example of "externalizing" costs. Increse one's own personal profit at the expense of society and the environment. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Beetle that kills ash trees spreads".

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Crews from Enbridge started an "integrity dig" along the Line 9 pipeline in North Dumfries a few days back. This dig was part of the proposed change in flow direction and contents of this decades old pipeline. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the story "Line 9 protesters put stop to work in North Dumfries". Some of the protesters were from the Six Nations and stated that the digging was occurring on disputed land. Their issues are also concerns that the old pipeline is going to be used for a heavier, higher pressure oil product and that a rupture or spill could be disasterous. While police were in attendance it seems that cooler heads prevailed and at least for the moment Enbridge have departed from the site. The protesters vowed to keep an eye on the site to ensure that digging does not resume.

Friday, July 18, 2014


First and foremost Chemtura Elmira's off-site pumping is back in the crapper. I know, I know, Jeff Merriman of Chemtura warned us ahead of time that there would be pumping slowdowns allegedly as part of the process of speeding things up. The trouble is when you are years behind schedule in your off-site pumping for a myriad of creative reasons, slowing down in order to allegedly triple your off-site pumping is hard to take. Also after twenty-five years of brazen horse manure, excuses, truth massaging, factual fictions, alternative realities and going in circles while allegedly "progressing", their promises mean absolutely zilch. Last month well W3 averaged 1.6 litres per second with a minimum target average required of 11.4 l/s. Well W4 which just a few months ago had its' minimum target reduced from 11.4 to 3.5 managed a paltry 3.3 ll/s. Dress it up any way you want Jeff.

There was a loss of hydraulic containment in the highly contaminated Upper Aquifer on Chemtura's south-west corner. Again it's the same old excuse about "bank storage effects". Apparently when the creek runs high after the spring melt or even after a significant thunderstorm, the shallow aquifer near the creek rises as well. Then apparently the creek level drops faster than the shallow aquifer thus causing a lack of hydraulic containment as the contaminated shallow aquifer then discharges back into the creek. This happens every spring and every thunderstorm but apparently the solution of increasing the pumping rates of the 10 or 11 UA wells isn't implemented until after the loss of containment occurs. Here's just a wild guess. I'll bet it's cheaper for the company to allow a "temporary" loss of containment and then increase pumping versus the other way around.

The MISA (municipal industrial strategy for abatement) outlets into the Canagagigue Creek from Chemtura continue to bleed small quantities of pesticides. Lindane (insecticide) discharged last month from Misa outlet 0400, 0800 and the SWS outlet. Tolune discharfed from the SWS at 3.5 parts per billion as well. There is so much ongoing leakage from this site that these MISA outlets might even be some of the smaller ones.

Three parameters were discharged into the Canagagigue Creek above their treatment objectives albeit below their treatment limits. This would be toluene, nitrosomorpholine (NMOR) and bis(ethylhexyl)phthalate. The last one also known as BEHP has again been found upstream in the "Gig" as well as being discharged in low quantities by Chemtura.

The "cleanup" continues.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Ecojustice refers to 189 substances regulated in other countries for which Canada has no standards. They then suggest that in 84 instances this may be justified based upon the substances being banned or not in use. To this I say horse manure. Right here in Elmira, Ontario, courtesy of Uniroyal Chemical (Chemtura), we have many of those so called banned and not in use chemicals in our groundwater, thank you very much.

Ecojustice specifically point out 2,4 D and Styrene as problems. Again both are in Elmira's groundwater courtesy of Chemtura. Indeed Styrene was one of the unpublicized industrial chemicals found in Elmira's south wellfield in 1989 by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Ecojustice also refers to Canada as having no standards for microbiological treatment. By this they are referring to legally binding, across Canada, standards. There are general rules for example here in Waterloo Region (& hopefully elsewhere) that there should be zero E.Coli for example in the final, treated water. The U.S. absolutely demands "advanced filtration" (or equivalent such as UV treatment) of all drinking water, unlike Canada. Allegedly Ontario has a multi barrier approach as advocated by Justice O'Connor after the Walkerton, Ontario drinking water disaster in 2000. Unfortunately right here in Woolwich Township, the village of West Montrose have had highly bacteria contaminated source water for well over a decade. Only now are the Region beginning to address this problem with new source water.

Ecojustice also suggests that some of the drinking water objectives we have are based upon health standards whereas others are based upon economic costs and technological constraints on treatment. Isn't that just lovely?

Canadian standards do not require but only recommend adequate filtration and disinfection of surface water or groundwater influenced by surface water. Seniors deaths occurred here in Waterloo Region twenty years ago exactly due to that failure by the Region of Waterloo. Crytosporidium was not adequately treated or removed until after deaths occurred.

After perusing their data base a few trends have become obvious. Here in Canada our politicians either love farmers or pesticide manufacturers or both. The number of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides without drinking water standards are truly awful. Most people wouldn't recognize most of the chemicals but after twenty-five years of reading their names in Uniroyal/Chemtura reports I know many but not all of them. 2,4 D for example has a Canadian standard of 100 parts per billion (ppb). The U.S. standard is 70 ppb; Australia 30 ppb and the World Health Organization (WHO) is also at 30 ppb.

Common groundwater contaminants here in Elmira and throughout Waterloo Region are on Ecojustice's list. Dichloromethane has a Canadian standard of 50 ppb while the U.S. are at 5 and WHO at 20 ppb. Vinyl chloride found in Elmira and the Bishop St. community in Cambridge has a Canadian standard of 2 ppb while the European Union are at .5 and WHO at .3 ppb. Pentachlorophenol here in Elmira has a 60 ppb standard while the U.S. is 1 and WHO is 9 ppb. Xylene, styrene, carboxin, chlorophenol, trichlorobenzenes, trichloroethane, hexachlorobenzene, silvex and even 1,4 Dioxane have no standards whatsoever. The last one is courtesy of Varnicolor Chemical and Uniroyal and migrated from the Ottawa St. Landfill in Kitchener over to the Greenbrook pumping station necessitating after the fact improvements in their water treatment in order to remove it.

Laws, standards and regulations are routinely ignored and unenforced in this wonderfully corporate controlled country of ours. Nevertheless Ecojustice are correct in that formal standards are the bare minimum to attempt to achieve safer, healthier drinking water. It's easier to ignore industrially contaminated drinking water without legally binding standards than with them. These called for improvements in Canada's regulatory system are decades overdue.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Ecojustice out of Toronto have just released today a report titled "Waterproof: Standards". It is lengthy and detailed and I will get into it seriously over the next few days. Here is what I've gleaned in a half hour perusal. Firstly Canada does not remotely lead the world in drinking water protection. Claims by various Canadian jurisdictions about world class standards, treatment and source water are essentially no more than puffery. Secondly even our individual provinces have widely varying standards, treatment and source water. Finally individual municipal jurisdictions within provinces suffer the same problem as above.

Ecojustice breaks down Canada's water standards into three groups namely The Good, The Bad and The Ugly after the old Clint Eastwood spagetti western. The Bad includes substances for which Canada has or is tied for the weakest standard around the world (27 substances). Also substances for which Canada has at least one other member with a standard or guideline stronger than Canada (13 substances). The Ugly refers to substances for which Canada has no guideline or standard but at least one other country does (189 substances). Future postings will go into specifics and more detail although I must add the following. Overall Ontario unlike the other provinces has two general grade readings. The first is a "D" and refers to Ontario's drinking water protection prior to the Walkerton disaster (2000) and the second grade is "B" and refers to Ontario's grading since the Walkerton disaster.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Some environmental issues are black and white. Others are not. In the former group would be drinking water in Woolwich's rural areas namely West Montrose and Heidelberg and in the latter for me would be Woolwich Bio-En and the formerly proposed Hunder gravel pit. To date it is my understanding that Woolwich Bio-En have been ramping up and operating with little or no conflicts with their neighbours. Make no mistake I was certainly opposed to their location in Elmira as I felt it was just asking way too much for the long suffering community to have yet another noisy, dusty, smelly, truck traffic dependant industry so close to a residential area. There are also legitimate concerns around methane gas production and possible fire hazards. Well to date all problems appear to have been sucessfully met. Furthermore I would suggest that they are sincerely interacting with the community and keeping them informed of issues and responses through their Citizens Liason Committee. Congratulations are in order and I hope that I will be of the same opinion years down the line.

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing into the proposed Hunder pit was an eyeopener. Again I went into that hearing as a spectator with a strong anti gravel pit bias. By the end of the hearing I was appalled at the incredible rigidity, length and expense of the entire process which literally spans several years. The hearing itself while professionally conducted by all parties did however shine a light on the provincial bias in favour of any and all gravel pit applications. It was all the more stunning when the Board turned down the application. I did suggest and still believe that it was yet one more politically motivated decision by the OMB. There has been significant backlash across Waterloo Region against approvals for new pits. The West Montrose proposed Capitol Paving gravel pit was an egregious example of what would have been poor planning and congratulations are in order for Woolwich Township and the local Bridgekeepers group. I believe that despite, in my opinion, the Hunder Pit sucessfully leaping all regulatory hurdles and crossing their i's and dotting their t's, that their application was dismissed due to political pressure from the province (M.N.R.?). Again while I personnally believe that it was too close to a long established residential neighbourhood; nevertheless it was ridiculously and unnecessarily stretched out over too many years, too many hurdles, too many meetings and way too much money for the proponent. Far better if years earlier the province, instead of encouraging him and other proponents, had told them upfront that this location was a poor one. At what point will this entire unweildy, expensive and inherently unfair process be streamlined?

Monday, July 14, 2014


Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Toxic giant hogweed spotted in region". This article both describes the weed as well as gives instructions as to the proper and safe way to remove it. Importantly skin and eyes can be harmed by the sap from the weed and thus serious protections including goggles are required when removing the plant. Generally the plant prefers low lying areas such as floodplains and water basins. This year there have been fifteen confirmed sightings of the giant hogweed versus 300 in 2010. The Region of Waterloo will send out inspectors to confirm the presence of giant hogweed if called. Their number is 519 575-4400.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Steve Kannon in the Woolwich Observer has under Editor's Notes an article titled "Enjoying the fresh air while it lasts". I would describe it as an excellent primer on the causes and makeup of air pollution and smog in North America. The extent of health effects, including premature death, are staggering. Also of interest is the fact that as our manufacturing economy has imploded our air is improving. Heavy industry, coal fired power plants and automobiles are the main culprits and the first two are in decline. The decrease in manufacturing has also freed up electricity requirements dramatically which is another good thing for the environment. On a daily small basis Steve advises us that believe it or not, barbecues, campfires and gas mowers are all actually relevant to the problem. Hunh!

Friday, July 11, 2014


A couple of days back I posted about an article in the Waterloo Region Record concerning neonics. Today I'm posting about an Opinion column in the Elmira Independent by David Suzuki that isn't on-line yet. It's titled "It's time to save the bees and ban neonic pesticides". Mr. Suzuki emphasizes the quality and quantity of science behind the determination that neonics are indeed responsible for massive bee dieoffs. He then points out that science is outgunned by money and politics. In Europe a temporary ban was put in place "...despite fierce opposition from the agrochemical industry and several governments.". David Suzuki then asks "What will it take to get governments and industry to put people - and pollinators - before profits?". If I might answer that question it seems to me that our political system is corrupt from top to bottom. It's all about money and power and until more citizens demand democratic reforms it will remain that way. Whether democratic, socialist, communist or dictatorship it's all about the wealthy and powerful in a country maintaining and growing their wealth and power at the expense of the rest of us. They elect governments which will continue to insulate and protect them from policies that will help the majority of the people, if it's even slightly at their expense.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Woolwich Bio-En, three proposed gravel pits and Chemtura's ongoing mess were all environmental issues going into the last municipal election. There was a housecleaning with only the councillor from St. Jacobs (Bauman) getting back in. Today almost all those issues are settled with the notorious exception of Chemtura. In fact today two of the three proposed gravel pits were turned down and the one with the go ahead outside Winterbourne (Jigs Hollow Pit) appears to be on hold due to a higher than expected water table. Woolwich Bio-En are up and running and all appearances to date are that they wish to cooperate and communicate appropriately with the community. Only the future will tell whether forecasted issues of odours and traffic will be overcome.

On a very simplified basis one could give credit to Woolwich Council for their success in opposing both Capitol Paving's proposed pit in West Montrose as well as the Hunder Pit proposed outside Conestogo. Similarily one could criticize Council for both the Jigs Hollow Pit and Woolwich Bio-En presence. I emphasize that this is a bit of a superficial rating both positive and negative. There is a new issue which although it has been presented to Council by myself; only two Councillors were directly involved in discussions including the submission by me of three pages of questions for the Region of Waterloo. That would be Councillors Bonnie Bryant and Mark Bauman. This issue deals with the misrepresentation of both facts and safety around the drinking water for over a decade in West Montrose. The evidence is very strong that the Region have long minimized and improperly allowed chemicals from the disinfection of bacteria contaminated water to remain in West Montrose's water. They are currently overhauling the system but the exposures most probably have caused health issues in that community. It is the lack of transparency and full disclosure to the residents through various means including the Annual Drinking Water Reports that is reprehensible. To date Councillors Bryant and Bauman at the minimum appear to be running interference for the Region by not releasing to me and Advocate readers the completed responses to my three pages of questions which Councillor Bauman had requested I submit to the Township.

Currently we have former Councillor Sandy Shantz, current Councillor Bonnie Bryant and current Mayor Todd Cowan all running for the Mayor's position this coming October. All three have strong positives and all three have feet of clay. Mayor Cowan overall has been a positive influence in bringing Chemtura Chemical to heel. I use that term to heel because for many years Chemtura and their council supporters have sucessfully run interference in attempts to get source removal of toxins (especially DNAPLS) from the site undertaken. Strangely enough on at least one occasion all three have voted to keep me off of CPAC. This includes last August when the only CPAC member opposed to my membership was councillor Mark Bauman and he parlayed the stupidity and pettiness of councillor Julie Ann Herteis to get Council to vote 3-2 against my membership. CPAC voted 4-1 in favour and the same Bauman who voted against me at CPAC induced/bribed two councillors to join him namely Herteis and Bryant. Keep in mind that CPAC are a committee of Council and were all appointed by Council including me in early 2011. Sandy Shantz did a similar thing back in 2008 and she had zero honest and legitimate reasons for so doing. While she has attempted to explain her decision as being best for me, that is self serving bull. She apparently decided that Susan Bryant, then Mayor Bill Strauss and his then buddy Pat McLean needed to be supported regardless. The bottom line question is this: What is the real reason that municipal councillors and their friends don't want me having a voice and a vote on CPAC? Keep in mind that this current CPAC overwhelmingly recognize my contributions and support and want me on. Keep in mind that there is absolutely no single Woolwich resident with my technical and historical knowledge and experience with that site as I have. None even close. I am the sole local citizen with the ability to oppose Chemtura and the M.O.E. from having their dishonest way with the facts and the truth. That said I recognize and absolutely require the assistance and support of the current CPAC. They need me and yes I need them. It is a team effort and they have kept me involved and active for the public benefit despite the disgusting efforts of Woolwich Council past and present. For me this is a difficult choice between Cowan, Bryant and Shantz. As I said all three have strong positives and all three have feet of clay.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Ontario may restrict pesticide". This is referring of course to neonicotonoid pesticides implicated in massive bee dieoffs. Ontario set up their own panel to study the issue and they suggested a temporary ban at least until the federal government complete their re-evalution of neonicotonoids. According to today's Record "A Health Canada report has suggested that seeds treated with the insecticide contributed to the majority of the bee deaths in Ontario and Quebec in 2012, likely due to exposure of the pesticide laced dust during planting.". Therefore Ontario seem to be comprimising by talking about a permit system rather than a ban. They are also setting up a fund to compensate beekeepers for their losses. This sounds to me like allowing the chemical companies to continue making profits with a dangerous product while subsidizing the most immediate victims (beekeepers) from the taxpayers pocket. Same old, same old. Allow carcinogenic discharges and additions to our food, water and air but then fund forever our health care system to treat the victims. What is wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


July 8, 2014. It's a few months shy of twenty-five years since Uniroyal Chemical were found to have grossly contaminated the drinking wells in Elmira, Ontario. More than likely based upon complaints about the taste and odours of the water through the 1980's the wells had been comprimised for a very long time. Also the groundwater on-site was known to be contaminated for years prior to the south wells being shut down. Also the 1989 M.O.E. Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP) indicated a number of low level solvents in the south wellfield. More than likely so did many earlier years.

What I also find very strange was the apparent rush to close down various smoking gun in ground waste pits and lagoons just prior to the "discovery" of NDMA in the drinking wells. 1986, 1987 and 1988 were a rush of activity on site primarily on the west side (lagoons) but also on the east side. There had been a major "cleanup" and consolidation of wastes back in 1970 but in the late 80's there was also a shutting down of various pits and ponds including off-site disposal. Almost as if Uniroyal knew the hammer was getting ready to drop on them for their four decades plus of dumping and environmental destruction.

I've been reviewing various historys of Uniroyal's so called waste "handling" and disposal. There is considerable guesswork involved as well as disagreement between various documents. One document talks about closing and covering, another says "decommissioning", others talk about waste removal, pumping out liquid contents, sludge removal and or even digging into the clay liner a little bit. Again some documents categorically claim that 2,4-d wastes weren't handled in the west side ponds and then a few pages later both different documents and the same document state that oh for a while they did handle 2,4-d wastes. So despite the amount of work that has been done there is still huge amounts left. Or as one CPAC member recently advised me there has been as much paperwork management as there has been actual hazardous waste management. The northern RPW ponds require work as does around the Main Tank Farm on the west side. The former operating ponds (RPW6, 7 & 8) have DNAPLS beneath them despite a Lance Armstrong style of denial and coverup. Former landfill area M2 in the south-west corner has never been properly investigated. The east side had claimed that all was well right up to the discovery of free phase DNAPL in RPE1 and RPE3. The northern and eastern pits IR-1 and IR-2 are also problem areas requiring attention. From aniline sludges, DPA tars and chlorobenzene they are long term sources of groundwater contamination. Buried drums have partly been removed in the south-west and maybe fully removed in the south-east. It's difficult to be certain. Even when burial areas have been dug up there has been grossly inadequate investigation beneath the pits for DNAPLS and other sinking contaminants.

The site was and is a disaster. The government assisted coverup of the facts and the truth will forever taint the Ministry of the Environment and continues to this day. Disinformation and misrepresentation by Chemtura is routinely supported by the M.O.E.. Both parties are absolutely shameless and will deny their own data and past reports if they think they can get away with it.

Monday, July 7, 2014


There were ten DNAPL Technical meetings between May 3, 2006 and October 28, 2008. I attended at least seven of those with number eight being suspect as it was after Pat and Susan were attempting to boot me off CPAC. In fact knowledge of the November 5, 2007 DNAPL Technical meeting, based on Pat Mclean's history of manipulation, was probably witheld from me at the time even though I wasn't formally kicked off CPAC by Woolwich Council until the spring of 2008. It was after this meeting number eight out of ten that Wilf Ruland and Jaimie Connelly wrote their May 2008 DNAPL letters that were so clearly opposed to Chemtura and CRA's positions.

I noticed that Jeff Merriman (Chemtura) didn't start bragging about "concensus" on the DNAPL Technical Committee until after Jaimie had departed the June 26/14 public CPAC meeting. Speaking of concensus it's just amazing how Chemtura can whine and complain about criticism of their efforts at the time but a couple of years later pretend there wasn't any conflict. Similarily, recently we at CPAC/SWAT have exposed an example involving an elected official publicly claiming that agreement and concensus was reached with CPAC regarding the "cleanup" of dioxins/DDT at GP1 & 2. Nothing was further from the truth but with CPAC not present (Chemtura was) this elected official blatantly lied.

At the last CPAC meeting in June I presented as a Delegation to CPAC, a comparison between Wilf's DNAPL letter versus the "Summary" allegedly of concensus between all members of the DNAPL Technical Committee. This "Summary" is Table 6.5 in the 2013 Annual Monitoring Report. At least five major areas that Wilf had requested were not completed. Finally I dug up an Elmira Independent newspaper clipping of February 6, 2009 titled "Report still upsets Marshall". The newspaper article was reporting on my Delegation to CPAC at the January 19, 2009 public meeting. I described in detail numerous DNAPL criticisms filed and signed by CPAC members including one by Pat McLean and more by Susan Bryant. I intentionally put them on the spot to point out how they had dramatically reversed their positions on DNAPL as per the PowerPoint presentation given by Chemtura at the November 24/2008 CPAC meeting. This remediation plan was all about monitoring and studies versus either removal or excavation of DNAPL "hot spots". Well the backtracking by McLean and Bryant was hilarious at the January CPAC meeting. My comment of "There is no data to justify their turnaround" got to them. Both then denied that there was concensus yet as Susan stated that the committee is "still in the early phases in DNAPL" remediation. CPAC Chair Pat McLean followed with "It's fair to say that nobody has signed off on the DNAPL work to date". Gosh Jeff maybe your "concensus" is all in your head. Or perhaps it's a case of private "concensus" without the courage or honesty to make it public "concensus".

Saturday, July 5, 2014


I have here over the last few years mentioned unusually high NDMA readings in wells near Arthur St., Industrial Dr. and Oriole Parkway. Well CH38 is located beside Sanyo Canada across the street from Perk's coffee shop. Some old readings in private wells have recently come to my attention again namely the Soehner and Hackert private residences. I know Harry Soehner lived right on the west side of Arthur St. and the north side of Oriole Parkway. Mr. Hackert also lived on the west side of Arthur but the south side of Oriole . Both these residences two decades ago plus were on private wells and they had the dubious distiction of having the highest readings of NDMA found in all of Elmira with the possible exception of one or two on the Uniroyal property. The drinking water standard for NDMA currently is .009 parts per billion (ppb) and their wells were measured at greater than 40 ppb. which is approximately 4,000times higher.

Of late CPAC & SWAT have been focusing on large unremediated areas of Chemtura including a nearby off-site (east) area. Today I will remind readers of two further on-site unremediated areas namely IR-1 and IR-2. These areas are both on the east side of the creek at the extreme northern end by Church St.). The Environmental Audit stated that they had been filled with iron oxide sludges, chlorobenzene and DPA (diphenylamine) tars. They remain unremediated to this day although currently the Envirodome (Toxidome/Mausoleum) is sitting on top of part of IR-2.

Years ago the M.O.E. insisted upon measuring concentrations of contaminants in nearby groundwater wells. Not so much in the last decade plus however. The old readings near OW1 included benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, chlorobenzene, diethyl ether, aniline, nitrobenzene and get this over twenty unidentified chemicals many in the 100 to 200 ppb. range. Apparently Elmira neither need updates on how these toxic compounds are being remediated nor do they need any form of source removal to get them out of the ground. After all if you can't trust politicians, Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment, who can you trust?

Friday, July 4, 2014


I believe that it was CPAC member Ron Campbell who recently wrote the above title in one of his e-mails. Of late the skeletons have been fast and furious. I am more often than usual finding myself torn between writing to the public and advising them of Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. malfeasance versus sitting on it briefly and allowing the honest parties to figure out and strategize their plans. The honest parties would include CPAC and SWAT and the public. I have just looked up the word malfeasance and see a slight problem. I thought it referred to wrong doing in general but it seems to be more to do with wrongdoing by government officials. Hence for starts it can hardly apply to CRA/Chemtura.

Recent skeletons include suppressed DNAPL letters by hydrogeologists and denied surface water drainage from the east side buried pits towards the Martin swimming pond. Both Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) sat on their hands and mouths while being questioned about this possibility. The M.O.E. deflected the question and claimed they had "investigated" the swimming pond. It was a typical five minute investigation.

More recent skeletons are emerging. Yours truly (and others) have been digging and found evidence indicating both surface liquid flow as well as groundwater flow from the eastern pits onto the farm off their eastern boundary. These liquid flows both from overflowing open pits, whether stormwater enhanced or simply overfilled with Chemtura liquid toxic wastes, as well as groundwater flows through the bottom of the acknowledged leaking pits have carried solvents, pesticides including DDT and Dioxins and Furans. It is possible that the solvents have been diluted and discharged southwards via both ground and surface water into the Canagagigue Creek. Meanwhile the more hydrophobic substances, once the solvent levels have decreased, have attached themselves to soil particles and are offsite both south and east of Chemtura's property. They continue to be flushed via heavy rain and spring flooding into the Canagagigue Creek. Even recent sediment and soil samples verify this. Finally these Dioxins/Furans and DDT are also throughout Chemtura's south-eastern quadrant. The M.O.E. know this full well but along with Chemtura are pretending otherwise. It's all about funding, budgets and politics and least about protecting either people or the environment.

There are other skeletons involving polluters and friends lobbying various political and allegedly environmental local bodies. Apparently Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers personnel occasionally attend these general meetings to give their side of the story. This would be the untruthful side or perhaps they would prefer the more optimistic side. Regardless it goes beyond the pale when staff from some of these organizations begin presenting falsehoods as gospel. It also goes beyond the pale when local politicians attend in support of Chemtura and their paid consultants. Finally when these local politicians knowingly gild the lily in favour of polluters and against the public interest, it becomes more than abhorrent. There is a municipal election coming folks and your skeletons are screaming to be released.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


In just over three years you have made major accomplishments. No longer do the claims of world class polluters and their government enablers and protectors go unchallenged. Puffery and credentialism while always formidable, no longer have a cakewalk in Elmira. One week ago we heard an Assistant Director M.O.E. (West Central Region) blather, babble and banter with CPAC & SWAT members about migrating contaminants from RPE4 & 5. Either he blatantly lied or he is blatantly uninformed. Most likely it is both, however he does know what his marching orders are from his superiors and that is exactly what he will follow. CPAC and SWAT are researching facts, telling the truth and being incredibly polite and respectful in the face of disrespectful, blatant factual fictions by Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Chemtura are preparing an exit strategy. The M.O.E. courtesy of George Karlos are trying to keep them at CPAC by eliminating me from the equation. While I may be an extremely well informed catalyst I am not a member of CPAC albeit I am a proud member of the Soil, Water, Air & Technical Team (SWAT). George has been lobbying privately to get me off of SWAT but he overplayed his hand badly and it's blown up in his face. For the M.O.E. it's all about community buy in. Or at the very least the appearance of respectful listening to the community's wishes. Chemtura folded their tent and stormed out of CPAC/UPAC way back in 1999 while under heavy fire for their air fumigations in Elmira. They were also advised by the then CCPA (Canadian Chemical Producers Assoc'n.) that they would not receive *Responsible Care verification without being a part of CPAC/UPAC. After private discussions/concessions they made their way back to CPAC a year and a half later. Currently CPAC & SWAT are holding their feet to the fire regarding suppressed DNAPL letters from both a M.O.E. hydrogeologist as well as a hydrogeologist paid for by Woolwich Township, both back in 2008. Also both Chemtura and the M.O.E. are struggling badly over their blatant neglect and lack of due diligence regarding toxic contaminants flowing from their RPE (Retention Pond East) pits on top of the hill on their eastern property border. The evidence is mounting that not only is their entire south-east quadrant a toxic repository of DDT and Dioxins but also off-site to the farm on the east.

Chemtura's exit strategy could be from Elmira altogether although that can't be accomplished overnite very easily or in the short term by running once again from CPAC. That is clearly in the cards. Amazingly they sat last Thursday at CPAC and said nothing about the extensive and detailed Minutes taken by the new CPAC Secretary. These Minutes quoted verbatim comments including yours truly that were highly critical of Chemtura. Then at one point Josef (Chemtura) started the ball rolling by closing his paperwork abruptly and apparently preparing to depart. Dwight Este and Jeff Merriman of Chemtura followed suit instantly as well. Clearly this was a prearranged response to Josef's signal that unfortunately fizzled as yours truly had made a critical comment of two CPAC members (Mark & Susanna); been appropriately interrupted by the Chair, and I instantly retracted and apologized leaving Josef and followers treading air. They are desperate and will undoubtedly continue looking for excuses to get them out of very hot CPAC public meetings.

To CPAC/SWAT and Woolwich Council I tell you what I told Pat McLean back in 1999. You are neither responsible nor guilty for Chemtura's chickenshit behaviour. In fact it is a badge of honour for you if they throw in the towel because they no longer can manipulate CPAC and have their own way. CPAC (& Council) have a duty to the public and it must never be subverted to the interests of one corporation. CPAC have been professional and polite despite massive provocations from the M.O.E. and Chemtura. Stay strong and proud because you are doing the right thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Oh that is so much not a surprise. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record advises us that "Methane gas found in McLennan Park". Discolored grass tipped off authorities that there might be a little problem lurking underground. Sure enough it turns out that subsurface water drainage pipes were actually acting as conduits for methane gas. If the methane gas has been told once it's been told a hundred times to flow towards a collection system on the site's perimeter. This of course is the same methane gas which caused 80 townhouses to be abandoned in the 1980's due to gas infiltration into homes. Currently there are monitoring and venting systems in these homes. The moral here is it's easier to do it right the first time rather than attempt to engineer your way around a problem afterwards. The other moral is that pollutants whether liquid, solid or gas like to migrate and will despite human best efforts. Finally keep this in mind. Our authorities are long on claiming that this methane is all naturally produced by rotting municipal garbage. This may only be half a lie. The fact is if this site as well as most other landfills illegally permit the dumping of liquid wastes including solvents; then you don't have to wait for methane generation. Methane is CH3 which is just an everyday hydrocarbon as found in tons of industrial solvents including the ones dumped in the former Ottawa St. Landfill, now known as McLennan Park.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer carrys this story "Water table concerns delay work at Jigs Hollow gravel pit". It turns out that higher than expected groundwater levels have reduced the amount of accessible gravel. This proposed pit is located just outside Winterbourne along the Grand River. It was the subject of much debate and many Delegations to Woolwich Council over a period of a few years. Jan Huissoon expressed concerns that currently the pit is not economically viable due to the reduced material available however that might cause an attempt to change the aggregate license to permit below the water table extraction. This would however require an application for rezoning which would again be a lengthy process.

It seems that the operators, Kuntz & Preston Sand & Gravel based their gravel forecasts on a lowered water table. how often does this happen only to have extraction going on after the water table has risen significantly? In other words the 1.5 metres above the water table regulation can become mere inches above as normal groundwater levels are restored after a dry period. This is yet another loophole in this process.