Friday, October 31, 2014


The meeting was longer than usual, tempers flared and facades evaporated. Out of fairness to Steve Martindale of the Ministry of the Environment it must be said that he had sufferred a sprained ankle recently, was walking with a cane and did advise us that he was on pain meds. The pain meds may have contributed to his astounding attack of candour but I don't believe that they in any way altered the accuracy and honesty of his message. But first back to Chemtura. They knew that Peter Gray of MTE Consultants was presenting his Report to CPAC and they were psyched and ready. Steve Quigley of Conestoga Rovers was there as well as stalwarts Jeff and Dwight. While they moaned and groaned incessantly about not having Peter's Report ahead of time they still had no problem trying to criticize it. Of course that got quite humourous especially when Steve Quigley insisted that there was no Upper Aquifer on the east side of the creek. While first of all there certainly is although in the north-east corner they prefer to call it the SA or Surficial Aquifer. I kind of deflated his balloon by referring to Peter's Figure 2.52b which was from a 2010 Conestoga Rovers Report. The Figure showed the extent of the Upper Aquifer at Chemtura covering the entire Chemtura site including the entire eastern half.

Jeff's meltdown occurred during my presentation of the SWAT report. Sebastian preceded me and discussed the alleged recent further work done at GP1 & 2. Allegedly Chemtura did further excavations on them in early October. I find that odd as one there were no photos, data or documentation of any kind to back them up and two I've been keeping an eye on GP1 & 2 from off-site and I've seen no work done there at all. Did they do this work in the dead of night? After Sebastian finished I proceeded with comments and questions about the Stroh Drain. Lisa, CPAC Secretary, had an overhead of the Google earth satellite map of the area. The Stroh Drain was very clear. Both Jeff Merriman and Steve Martindale (M.O.E.) claimed that they had no knowledge of this Drain prior to this past summer. Hmmm! If that is true it certainly does not speak well to the so called field investigation conducted by the M.O.E. in the summer of 2013. George Karlos (M.O.E.) had claimed that the M.O.E. walked the property from Chemtura's south-east corner over to the Martin swimming pond looking for any kind of contaminant pathway. News flash George. Running water is considered a pathway! Anyways this pathway oops Drain has sucessfully dewatered both Chemtura's and Stroh's wetland area for the past few decades. It was nice of Steve Quigley to confirm that for me especially as Conestoga Rovers have so thoughtfully provided maps marking the former wetland areas next to their eastern border and the Drain. Then after thoroughly assessing the proximity of this Drain to Chemtura as well as it's enormous significance to understanding the flow of contaminants off-site I switched gears.

There was almost an audible inhalation of breath when I had Lisa shift the overhead satellite view of Chemtura further north. There clearly marked from north to south on the surface of their site is a line, a scar or a trench. This line, scar or trench runs mostly south until it jogs eastward right over to the Stroh property line immediately underneath (south) of the eastern pits namely RPE-5, BAE-1 and RB-1 & 2. I got Jeff and company to suggest that they had not seen that strange line before on their property via the aerial view. Steve Quigley suggested it was a fence. The defensiveness of Jeff Merriman was absolutely stunning and immediate. I made it clear that I did not know what it was and that I hoped to get some insights via a series of questions I had. Jeff shut down, got very hostile and refused to answer further questions relating to what was so visible on the overhead screen. Ron Campbell intervened and made it clear that he and CPAC wanted some answers and why couldn't Jeff at least try. Jeff was adamant and quite ignorant. I conceded that it could be a fence except I didn't understand how 1/8" wire from a post and wire fence as was stated could show up so clearly from a satellite view. I also suggested that the so called fence might very well simply be a delineation for some kind of barrier wall, collector trench or other constructed method to either block groundwater flow or even collect it. I also asked if Jeff agreed that the location of these lines appeared to encapsulate all the eastern pits by running immediately south-east beneath them. Jeff shut down completely. What a performance from representatives of a world class polluter who still aren't even close to restoring Elmira's drinking water.

Back to Steve Martindale. Poor guy I feel sorry for his ankle issue as I've fairly recently also come off of crutches and a cane after hip surgery. Steve blurted out twice the incredible information that CPAC was being disciplined by senior M.O.E. staff because they didn't like the environmental blog of yours truly which you are currently reading. CPAC were stunned. Steve claimed that because of my unflattering viewpoint regarding the Ministry of Excuses that unless CPAC got rid of me from SWAT that they the M.O.E. would not cooperate in a variety of ways. OMG! Chair Dr. Dan Holt jumped all over Steve for that one as did vice-chair Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach. Mention was made of Bill Bardswick's (M.O.E.) trashy comments in Bob Burtt's recent book as well as of the disgusting behaviour of George Karlos (M.O.E.). Dr. Dan demanded to know why a citizen was required to give up his freedom of speech in order to be on a volunteer committee. Once again as I recently posted we have irrefutable proof that the Ontario M.O.E. meddle and lobby in order to influence the makeup of citizens on public consultation committees. What a joke and what a damning indictment of the state of public consultation in this province. More to follow on last evening's meeting.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Tonite at 6 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers at 24 Church St. Elmira we will have our regular public CPAC meeting. Tonites meeting will be extra special both due to a guest appearance by Peter Gray of MTE Consultants on behalf of CPAC as well as appearances by a number of local illuminaries and dignitaries. I hope that both Chemtura and the M.O.E. will be on their best behaviour for this occasion. I believe that the M.O.E. are only sending Steve Martindale as they are still sorting out responsibilities etc. after the departure of George Karlos. Steve is nearly unflappable and always calm and polite hence I expect bigger issues from Chemtura reps who not surprisingly as the tables turn and their fortunes wane have become somewhat brusque, short and impatient.

As has been presented at Woolwich Council, discussion will focus on what I view as wilful negligence by both Chemtura and the M.O.E. regarding decades long toxic discharges from their east and southern property borders. While the more readily soluble components may be long gone down the Canagagigue to the detriment of both animal and human life, there are less readily soluble components still causing environmental and human harm. These less soluble components include their ever present DNAPLS. These Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids that are heavier than water, reside in the sub-surface where they slowly dissolve in the groundwater effectively contaminating it above drinking water standards for literally decades to centuries. Secondly there are more hydrophobic persistent organic pollutants (POPS) such as DDT and Dioxins. While they tend to adsorb to soil particles and dissolve poorly in clean groundwater they have been mobilized by solvents in the on-site contaminated groundwaters. There they have flowed off-site either via this groundwater or while attached to soil particles they have been flushed by either heavy rains or flooding in the creek.

Tonite should be very interesting as I expect the excuses, buck passing and overall wishful thinking by Chemtura to be top notch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



Last Saturday I wrote about the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's attempts to undermine me as a volunteer on SWAT which stands for Soil, Water, Air & Technical. By the way Chemtura despise both me and the name SWAT. SWAT members were appointed by CPAC members who themselves are appointed by Woolwich Council. I applaud CPAC's willingness to recognize free talent and experience when it is offerred to them. I also must add that they reached out to the old CPAC 3 1/2 years ago with courtesy and respect and were rebuffed by Susan and Pat with extreme rudeness, pettiness and nastiness in front of multiple witnesses. Despite Pat & Susan's past behaviour CPAC continue to welcome them with open arms at public CPAC meetings and when they attend treat them with courtesy and respect. This is the nature of the current CPAC.

Yesterday I received some stunning news. I learned that losing Mayor Todd Cowan had lied. This of course isn't front page news. It was the sheer breathtaking audacity of the lie as well as who he lied to that took my breath away. I bumped into a Woolwich councillor yesterday morning removing their election signs. I was out walking Grizelda my black lab. We were joined by a candidate for council also removing their signs. The current Woolwich councillor was bluntly asked by me why they had voted against my being on CPAC on two occasions. I was told it was because I had "broken the Blog rules". "What the hell are the Blog rules" I asked. Their response was: Todd told Council that you had agreed to stop blogging here on the Elmira Advocate if appointed to CPAC.

I stood there momentarily stunned. I always suspected that Todd and Julie Anne Herteis had fudged to their fellow councillors about their behaviour at the meeting in the Councillor's Board Room back in the spring of 2011 prior to the first CPAC meeting getting off the ground. They weren't likely going to get much sympathy from their fellow councillors if they honestly advised that Julie Anne went into the meeting with a huge chip on her shoulders and then walked out in the middle of the meeting. People tend to gild the lily somewhat when they are describing their less than stellar behaviour to third parties. That however is nothing compared to Todd's lie. I had sat down with Todd and Woolwich CAO Dave Brenneman prior to being appointed to CPAC. They both wanted to express to me their concern over my Blog (Elmira Advocate) which I had started in May 2010, five months prior to the October 2010 municipal elections. I advised them both that yes I was keen to be on CPAC but no I was not interested in "buying" my way on or in "conditions" being set for my membership. I also advised that my Blog would continue to be blunt but scrupulously honest and fair. While they were not thrilled with my position nevertheless I was appointed by Council to CPAC in the spring of 2011.

Todd attempted the same thing in the summer of 2013. The CPAC Chair and a friend of Todd's were discussing with him my being put back on CPAC. This was because I had been front and centre assisting CPAC & SWAT both before Council gave me the boot (April/May 2011) and ever since. I was a valued and respected member of the team and they wanted me formally on CPAC. They advised me that Todd was again insisting that I must drop the Elmira Advocate. Again I politely refused categorically. This went back to Todd and again he relented and advised that he would support my Application at Council. Turns out he did so after an in camera meeting where once again he advised Council that I had broken my word by not ending the Elmira Advocate. Therefore Todd knew that he could visibly support my Application while the rest of Council turned me down due to his lie. I'm not sure what excuse he gave them for his apparent support but it worked.

Therefore Woolwich citizens your Mayor bald faced lied to Council. Once again we have political interference and abuse of authority in the appointment of volunteers to a municipal committee. I will admit that I am much less upset with this old council now that I know at least a significant part of why they refused me CPAC membership. The question is will this blatant political partisanship continue in the appointment of citizens to committees? I know that Todd was under pressure from both Bill Bardswick of the M.O.E. and Chemtura back in early 2011. How much of that also figured into his lying to Council I do not know. If indeed CPAC must be a committee of Council; it is far too important a committee to have its' appointments done in secret and under cover via in camera meetings. Furthermore Chemtura and the M.O.E. categorically must not be permitted to lobby either Council, staff or the mayor regarding appointments. This committee must on occasion be in an adversarial mode with either Chemtura or the M.O.E. when their priorities do not align with the public interest.

As far as this Blog goes I think it is here to stay. I challenge anyone, anytime to engage in a public debate about anything I have or will post here. I do not censor comments unless they are gratuitously profane or gratuitously insulting and probably inaccurate. That said I do not claim perfection. If indeed I have made a mistake I want to know about it and will correct it. Come on you backdoor and backroom heroes. If you have the nerve to call me a liar to my back then man up and do it publically to my face in a forum where I can defend myself. Unless of course you're either yellow or a liar like Todd.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Last Friday's Elmira Independent carrys a story titled "Website highlights Woolwich candidates' positions on gravel pits". The website involved is at and it has some beautiful photos of the river, bridge and area. Their most recent concern involves the possibility of a reapplication to have the Jigs Hollow Gravel Pit become a below the water table gravel pit. The location for this pit is just on the western downstream side of the historic bridge right along the banks of the Grand River. We were advised some months ago that a higher than expected water table has reduced the financial viability of this pit for above water table extraction. I believe that the financial viability of this pit had been one of many issues brought forth at Woolwich Council by dedicated citizens including Jan Huisson and Lynne Hare.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Last Monday I posted in regards to Chemtura's "toilet seat" remediation. This had to do with their pathetic off-site pumping rates as described in their September Progress Report. Further to that we have some other issues with the September report. On page 2 a meeting between Chemtura and the M.O.E. is described as being about Remedial Action Plan closure demonstration requirements. A CPAC member also spotted this prior to myself and neither of us are remotely clear as to what Chemtura/CRA are saying. Or not saying.

On page 3 we are advised that off-site well W5A groundwater is being redirected away from the W3 piping and treatment system and into the W4 pipeline. The reason given is that this will allow greater future pumping at W3 as part of the longterm off-site cleanup. Hmm! Is it also of consideration that the W3 and W5A groundwater did not require treatment in the Ammonia Treatment System but the W4, W5B and PW5 all do? Therefore this redirecting of W5A groundwater is effectively directing it towards Ammonia treatment that it didn't require before. Hence one can conclude that pump and treat technology has again drawn contaminated groundwater (with ammonia) deeper below ground due to the longterm pumping at W5A.

On page 5 and in Table C.1 we find that we have a hit of aniline in the Canagagigue Creek. Perhaps it has come from reduced pumping of the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System or perhaps it is from an uncontained part of the site such as the entire eastern side. Aniline is a Uniroyal/Chemtura signature chemical and was originally used as an explosives stabilizer during the second world war. Maybe this hit of their chemical at 8 and at 3 parts per billion is simply the odds playing out. Normally the volume of water in the "Gig" can hide a multitude of sins but occasionally you will get a hit if you test at the right time and at the right location simultaneously.

Once again this Canagagigue Creek testing all occurs on the Chemtura site and has conveniently avoided downstream testing for these solvents and signature chemicals for decades. This is extremely relevant as we have learned this past May of the bypass of their site via a drain to the "Gig" on their eastern property border.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


They say hindsight is 20/20 and it sure does clarify a lot of past strange going ons that have occurred. Most recently we have the spectacle of a recently retired Director of the West Central Region of the M.O.E. badmouthing not only an individual private citizen intrinsically involved with CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) but also the entire volunteer committee itself appointed by Woolwich Township Council. This Director, one Bill Bardswick, has a past history in Cambridge where he had been the ineffective head of the Cambridge abatement office. This was in the early 90's when contaminated sites such as Ciba-Geigy and Candian General Tower were popping up. Just before he retired last summer he did attend all of two CPAC public meetings where he spent most of his time at the back of the room muttering out loud and interrupting speakers. Real classy guy. It kind of begs the question why he would badmouth and insult the current CPAC and SWAT from the safety of a book written by an author who hasn't remotely been involved with Uniroyal/Chemtura in a decade.

Then we have the most recently late (of the Ministry) and not so great George Karlos. I believe he had the position of Assistant Director of the West Central Region. Georgeous George embarked upon a serious backdoor campaign to remove myself from SWAT which is a sub-committee of CPAC. George apparently did not approve of my very informed criticism of the M.O.E.'s efforts in Elmira, Ontario. I had been known to actually have the nerve to suggest on occasion that Chemtura and the M.O.E. were "partners in pollution". Did George approach Woolwich Council as a Delegate at a public meeting? He did not. Did George approach CPAC as a Delegate at a public meeting. He did not. George did however repeatedly privately approach the Chair of CPAC demanding that I be removed from CPAC/SWAT. The Chair, to his credit, exercised his authority and commonsense and understood that George's demands on behalf of the M.O.E. were totally inappropriate as well as being against the public interest. Even if I had not been a major player in the issues it still was not appropriate for the M.O.E. to be interfering in the makeup of a citizens' committee whose purpose included oversight of the M.O.E.'s efforts.

And now finally this behaviour of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment raises some interesting questions. Back in the fall of 2007 the CPAC Chair Pat Mclean and her sidekick Susan attempted to force me into resigning. Unknown to me at the time that was their second attempt. The first was much more subtle and disgusting and I did not recognize what the goal was. When both attempts failed Pat went to CPAC members, many who had been appointed via either herself or Susan (neighbours etc.), and spoke to them first without my knowledge. They acquiesced and then Pat and Susan went to Council and lobbied equally hard for my removal. While I have had no doubts over the years that Chemtura have lobbied Mayors and others to keep me off CPAC, considering the source, that was to be expected. The Ontario M.O.E. is a completely different kettle of fish. They are the ones who twenty-three years ago decided that they needed public consultation in Elmira as an intrinsic part of the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers. For them to then surrepticiously subvert that very same public consultation is beyond dispicable. So did Pat and Susan on their own for personal reasons decide to eliminate me? Were they sucking up to Chemtura? Did they view me somehow as a rival for public attention? Or was the Ontario M.O.E. again pushing hard, possibly in regards to my DNAPL pressure on them and Chemtura, to have me bounced from the group? Or is it a combination of all the above? Based upon the now proven interference by senior Ministry officers I expect they were involved. Like all good manipulaters they do their best work behind the scenes. As do cowards.

Friday, October 24, 2014


In a moment I will be quoting with permission a highly competent friend and colleague's remarks concerning one Wilf Ruland. They are partly in response to Wilf Ruland's behaviour both seven years ago and recently. Yellow journalism is of the kind practiced by those who hide behind third parties to do their dirty work. It includes manipulating others to badmouth persons you view as either rivals or opponents. From the safety and anonimity of not putting your words in writing you can smear others. That is what Bob Burtt's book is all about. The driving force is listed as a major contributer in his book while not being quoted regarding myself. She gets others such as Wilf, Bill Bardswick and Todd Cowan to do her dirty work. Wilf in particular has an axe to grind as he lost his position as a technical consultant to CPAC when the old CPAC were replaced in their entirety by the new Council in 2011. Wilf was hired specifically by Susan Bryant and Pat McLean. Susan hired him originally on behalf of APTE and then Pat hired him on behalf of the old CPAC. I stand behind my words in the Elmira Advocate as well as these following words by Dr. Henry Regier. Henry resigned from APTE in 2005 and joined the Elmira EH-Team. He has many years experience on CPAC and has dealt with Wilf Ruland during that time.

from Henry in an e-mail to myself:

"With respect to Wilf and his comments in Bob Burtt's book, there has never been a university course on the detailed hydrogeology as related to transport of many kinds of chemicals specifically under our Elmira site. No professor has ever assembled the necessary information to offer such a course. If Wilf has not spent endless hours in careful study of endless reports, regardless of academic credentials, he can't match your competence with respect to particular issues that you have raised. And I saw no evidence in numerous meetings witrh him over the years that he had spent much time on such study. His intuitive talents apparently were focused elsewhere..."

A final comment: Incredibly and unbelieveably Bob Burtt's book implies that my blaming Pat and Susan for my departure from CPAC in 2008 is misplaced. Wow talk about rewriting history if that's what Bob has been told by that pair. The entire old CPAC know that is the truth as does the entire old Woolwich Council including Sandy Shantz who is running for Mayor. Pat and Susan first pressured me to resign from CPAC ostensibly over my appealing the Ammonia Treatment Certificate of Approval and when I refused they lobbied the old CPAC first via a meeting to which this voting CPAC member wasn't informed of or invited to. Then when it got to Woolwich Council's attention, private meetings were held including myself and PAT & SUSAN speaking against me. Such a pair of liars!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Unfortunately the two are inextricably linked. This is because CPAC is a formal committee of Woolwich Council. That said we have had an absolutely excellent CPAC this past four years under this format. It is also possible that this new Council will see fit to let the current CPAC continue on in its' entirety which consists currently of six members namely Dr. Dan Holt, Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Ron Campbell, Vivienne Delaney, Graham Chevreau and Mark Bauman. SWAT is a sub-committee of CPAC and consists of myself (Al Marshall), Richard Clausi, Henry Regier, Paul Menkveld and Ken Jensen. To date one mayoralty candidate has suggested an increase of two members of their choosing to CPAC. While I do not agree with their choice I am not suggesting any nefarious intent by this potential incoming Mayor.

The CPAC meeting next Thursday will be well attended whether or not the Ontario Ministry of the Environment intend to grace us with their presence. In fact even if Chemtura cut and run as they did back in 1999 when things weren't going their way, it will still be well attended. Peter Gray of MTE Consultants will be presenting his report to CPAC and the public and shame on any local media who don't show up (Hint, hint Joe, Pat & Steve). The M.O.E. are currently on the hot seat and quite frankly their optics are very bad. Chemtura will be on the hot seat as well after Thursday and they can bluster and swagger until the cows come home but they have a lot to answer for. Perhaps we might even get the Region of Waterloo to drop by and see how Peter's report effects themselves and other downstream water users.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


O.K. I admit it. I quoted the late Charlton Heston, former president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) a couple of days back. His quote went like this : "You will have to pry it from my dead, cold hands." Former actor Charlton Heston was of course referring to gun control in the U.S. and as to whether he'd ever voluntarily give up his guns. Clearly he wouldn't. Well recently I used the exact same quote referring to the MTE report that had just been given out to CPAC and SWAT members. The author offerred to bring the official stamp to the upcoming CPAC public meeting in order to stamp each and every copy. The alternative was to give the reports back for him to stamp prior to the meeting and return at the October 30th meeting. I hung on to mine.

The report is credible, cautious and conservative. The author lets the data do the talking and it speaks very loudly. He does not go out on a limb with editorial comments or opinions as to why both the M.O.E. and Chemtura have failed to obtain specific vital data and information. Again the author does not suggest neglect or corruption from any parties. He uses data from respected experts in the field and puts it together in a very readable format that most citizens will be able to follow. In my opinion he also uses some data from less respected experts in the field but as they are hired by Chemtura their efforts are nevertheless relevant.

It is my opinion that despite Peter Gray's professional care and caution, the partners in pollution, Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. will be outraged. They have essentially had a monopoly on providing information and reports to CPAC and the public and that's exactly how they like it. This report I hope will bring into question the very essence of the system of company hired consultants treating the public to whatever client driven drivel they wish. It is also not only what data is available and presented by MTE Consultants; Peter Gray also explores carefully the missing data that should have been available for the last couple of decades. There will be ramifications beyond the immediate and obvious and they are all positive and in the public interest.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Well it's official. MTE Consultants and Peter Gray have presented their report to the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee. CPAC have voted to formally accept Peter's report after being briefed and various questions answered. To say that both CPAC and SWAT (soil, water,air & technical) are impressed with Mr. Gray's report is an understatement. The decision has been made by CPAC to have Mr. Peter Gray attend the next CPAC meeting nine days hence (Oct. 30 6:30 pm.) and give a presentation to the public, Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment. Most likely Chemtura's longtime consultants, Conestoga Rovers, will also be present in order to give a tiny modicum of credibility to their inevitable criticisms. At that time copies will be given to Chemtura and the M.O.E.. The preceding information is of course available at the Township offices to be shared with any members of the public or vested interests. I believe that there will be a nominal photocopying fee charged by Woolwich Township for additional copies beyond CPAC, SWAT, M.O.E. and Chemtura. This I understand is absolutely not to discourage any and all members of the public etc. from receiving this excellent document paid for by Woolwich taxpayers through Woolwich Council. I have been advised that the Township have a standard policy regarding recovering things like photocopying costs.

I have been advised that to date both Chemtura and the M.O.E. have requested copies of the MTE report. I also believe that they would preferably have them yesterday. Apparently both parties are deaf, dumb and blind to their own hypocrisy. Literally over years and decades both of them have been asked to provide technical documents prior to public meetings in order for the dedicated volunteers to have time to read and digest the contents and then be able to intelligently ask questions at the public meeting. These reasonable requests have by far been ignored, avoided and seriously refused. Furthermore relevant and serious questions have been posed to both parties and instead of them replying either prior to the next public meeting or even at the meeting; rather we have repeatedly been put off and delayed often for months. Several of these matters are still outstanding such as specific monitoring well results, aquifer cleanup criteria for 2028 and much more. Despite this I am confident that CPAC as previously stated will provide this game changing document to Chemtura and the M.O.E. on October 30/14.

Two citizens to date I am told have also requested copies of the MTE report. One of them, former Councillor and former CPAC Chair Pat McLean, will of course receive a copy from the Township presumably on October 30th. The irony of course is that a groundbreaking DNAPL document from hydrogeologist Wilf Ruland, dated May 15, 2008 was suppressed, on her watch, until this past spring. Only in 2014 did the public, longterm active stakeholders such as myself and the current CPAC receive this document which was addressed to Pat McLean CPAC Chair, over six years ago. Once again this CPAC unlike past ones will play fair and ensure that all documents and important public interest information will be released in a timely fashion.

Monday, October 20, 2014


We've often heard the complaint that we are trying to hit a moving target. In other words a government bureaucracy or an on the job boss keep chamging the quota, the goals and or deadlines. In the case of Chemtura Canada in Elmira, Ontario it's much the same. They have been promising , promising and promising restoration of the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards via hydraulic containment by 2028. They have a Target pumping rate for each and every off the Chemtura site well, since 1998. The poor folks have been dealing with that Target rate changing on an ongoing basis. At the same time they have for the last two years been promising that they were going to triple the total pumping rate of all their off-site wells. At least that is until last month at the public CPAC meeting when Jeff Merriman of Chemtura suddenly verbally advised us that well maybe they will only double it versus tripling the pumping rate. As if that was only of minor significance reducing their promise from tripling to only doubling.

At one time the total Target pumping rate for all their off-site wells was 64.5 litres per second. This was for wells W3, W4, W5A, W5B, and E7. Then the Target rate for all five off-site wells was reduced to 53.1 l/sec. The latest revision for these wells has further reduced their target pumping rate to 45.6 l/sec. Thus while promising huge pumping increases to CPAC and the public they are lowering their Target rates.

Meanwhile their excuses are literally neverending. This broke down, that requires rehabillatation and this electrical system has a fault and it never ends. September's off-site pumping is another prize winner. June and July were respectively 40.9 and 47.5 l/sec but September was 36.1 l/sec. This is the second worst total pumping rate in the last three years. Keep in mind that the pumping Targets keep declining and they still can not consistently meet them. This has been the history of pump and treat (hydraulic containment) since January 1992. Chemtura's promises are wind and their off-site pumping is up and down like a toilet seat.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I now have a link to yesterday's Woolwich Observer story. Besides their front page story they also had quite a neat Editorial which I enjoyed greatly. The Observer in the past have indicated that they are not enamoured with Chemtura and their alleged cleanup due to the glacial pace exhibited over the last twenty-five years. Essentially for example a weekly headline could be "Elmira Aquifers one week closer to drinking water. Only fifty years left to go". Nevertheless they have in their Editorial given a brief synopsis of the last four years and how to date the M.O.E. simply are not responding appropriately to informed and appointed members of the public (CPAC). They and Chemtura have simply been playing to the general public's uninformed assumptions that something/anything is happeneing.

The MTE Consultants Report should be handed out this coming week. It too is but one more railroad spike in the Chemtura/M.O.E. balloon. Interestingly it deals with leakage off the east and south-east sides of Chemtura's property. Look for your favourite chemical company to be making some bizarre moves soon. The M.O.E. are also desperate as witnessed by the spectacle of a barely retired M.O.E. Director (west central region) lashing out at a respected within CPAC & SWAT citizen (moi). You know as soon as I found out that Bill Bardswick was the Director of the west central region I realized how hard up the M.O.E. really are for talent.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Well yesterday I reported on the Elmira Independent's take on Tuesday evenings Woolwich Council meeting. Today I'll advise Township residents that both local newspapers clearly recognize that our so called environment ministry would be better named the MOCPP or Ministry of Corporate Polluter Protection. The front page headline in today's Observer is "Woolwich backs call for action on Chemtura contaminants". Further the Observer's Editorial is titled "CPAC, township out of patience with MOE inaction". This must be a shocking turnaround for both Chemtura's corporate headquarters in Waterbury Conneticut and for Kathleen Wynn's apparently teflon coated Liberal majority at Queen's Park. Under the old CPAC we were used to hearing the MOE brag about how the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) was the best Community Advisory Panel in the province. What they didn't say was that it was the best CAP going for both Chemtura and the M.O.E.. Afterall under the "leadership" of Pat Mclean, the old CPAC were constantly making "nice' to Chemtura including giving concessions relating to reduced monitoring for both groundwater levels and chemical concentrations plus much more. Worst yet the old CPAC grossly failed in their duty to see and understand that the alleged "cleanup" was exactly that ie. alleged. Finally they failed to exercise their duty and mandate to accurately and honestly advise both the Township and the public that the "cleanup" of the Elmira Aquifers and the Canagagigue was off the rails. I do not blame all the individual members as they were under the spell of an award winning, highly personable individual. The cult of personality did not end with horrible examples such as Mussolini or Stalin. The cult of personality has always expolited human weaknesses to overlook accountability and transparency when certain particularly respected individuals are involved. Some of us know how to ride that human weakness and others (like myself) do not.

Regardless Chemtura and the M.O.E. are finally up against a determined, informed and honest CPAC. This CPAC has done far more to let the public know how bad the situation in Elmira is. The creek has been greatly improved regarding reduction of solvents and some pesticides. The colours and odours are gone which is all the M.O.E. ever wanted. Persistent organic pollutants including Dioxins and DDT are another matter all together. This CPAC is working intelligently for the public interest and are ignoring various blandishments handed out and received by the former. Much more needs to be done and the pressure most especially must stay on the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Chemtura and their fellow travellors are all about the money. That is their bottom line and everything else is simply puffery and horse manure liberally applied.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Karma is absolutely a bitch! The masters of delay and suppression of game changing documents, namely Chemtura and their closest ally the Ontario M.O.E., are now complaining that they haven't received the report produced by MTE Consultants and Mr. Peter Gray. Mr. Gray's Draft Report is a bombshell from which Chemtura, their consultants and M.O.E. allies may never recover. Back in May 2008 (2nd & 15th respectively) two huge DNAPL reports were produced by Jaimie Connolly of the M.O.E. and by Wilf Ruland on behalf of CPAC. These two reports were sucessfully suppressed by these three parties from the public and other stakeholders and only became public knowledge this year after I and CPAC shamed Chemtura into grudingly releasing them. Today's Elmira Independent has the following front page story "Council pushes for action on Chemtura cleanup". Gail Martin accurately describes the MTE report as suggesting that "...there is a good possibility that liquid waste found its way off the Chemtura site from former waste pits, onto neighbouring sites.".

Editor Gail Martin also goes into greater detail concerning the manmade drain that runs parallel and at points within twenty feet of the Chemtura property line south and east before discharging into the Canagagigue Creek. She mentions that it also runs by a nearby Mennonite family's swimming pond. In fact there is a diversion built expressly to divert water (& more) into the swimming pond when its' level drops. While Gail specifically mentions high levels of DDT found in the sediments of the creek, the fact is that Dioxins including the most toxic 2,3,7,8 TCDD are also present at disturbing levels.

Gail also has an Editorial in today's Independent titled "The saga continues". She refers to the "glacial pace" of the cleanup and that "...both ministry officials and Chemtura representatives did all they could to slow things down.". Further she refers to their complaints as follows "...given both the ministry and Chemtura's history of stalling on matters like this one..." they would have stalled and objected regardless of how much more time they were given to study the Resolution and the MTE Report. As my friend and colleague Richard Clausi is fond of saying you will never solve a problem until after you admit that it exists. To date Chemtura and the M.O.E. are unwilling to admit that they are and always have been the problem and that they refuse to admit their goal is both to delay and to misrepresent the facts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Last evening in Woolwich Council, environmental history was made again. Woolwich Council rose to the occasion, stood up and sent a loud and clear message to the province of Ontario, M.O.E. and to rogue polluting industries: Enough is Enough. The time for talk, bantering, obfuscation, delay and psuedo science is over. The citizens of Woolwich Township as represented by the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) have had enough bullshit and other hot air pollutants spewed forth by Chemtura, Conestoga Rovers and the Ministry of Excuses and Corporate Collusion (M.O.E.C.C.), to last a lifetime. CPAC through their Chair, Dr. Dan Holt, presented a Resolution to Council which unequivocally condemned the behaviour including inaction of Chemtura and their various partners in pollution. This inaction specifically is in relation to their gross failure to examine and investigate off-site contamination of soils, groundwater and surface water emanating from their multiple former eastern toxic waste pits. As one CPAC member has stated the company have used their neighbour's wetlands and property as their own personal toxic leachate bed. They have done this with reckless and wanton disregard for the environment and human health of nearby downstream inhabitants.

CPAC's Resolution with Council's endorsement is demanding that the province of Ontario through their own Environment Ministry follow the laws of the land regarding the protection and conservation of the natural environment. Woolwich Council through their support and endorsement of this Resolution will be forwarding this Resolution to Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment, Gord Miller Environmental Commissioner, the Region of Waterloo, our local M.P. and M.P.P. as well as to all municipalities in Ontario.

CPAC and SWAT members were out in force last evening both to support Dr. Holt as well as to let the Council know the seriousness and gravity of the situation. Yours truly spoke as a last minute Delegation in support of Dr. Holt and CPAC's Resolution. I also clearly advised Council that both the M.O.E.'s and Chemtura's last minute e-mails requesting Woolwich Council to delay their vote, were entirely predictable and typical delay and stall tactics by Team Chemtura. Their combined claims that they were uninformed and had been blindsided by the issue of contaminants leaving their eastern and southern boundaries was categorically rejected by myself including advising of the absence of both e-mail authors at the last public CPAC meeting. I then spoke to the years of debate and discussion around the south-east corner pits GP1 & 2 as well as the months of discussion around "The Drain" running parallel to their eastern property border which drains both their wetlands and their neighbour's into the Canagagigue Creek.

Honourable mention goes to Vivienne Delaney, Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Ron Campbell, Graham Chevreau, Rich Clausi and Mark Bauman. Councillor Bauman continues to drive me crazy as right up until his last sentence I didn't know if he was going to support the Resolution or not. He did so and he did so extremely well. Woolwich CAO David Brenneman also deserves congratulations for his clear and concise advice to Council on the issue. This CPAC and this Council have acquitted themselves admirably regarding the Chemtura file and Elmira Aquifers. Further congratulations go to Peter Gray of MTE Consultants whose Draft Report has condensed and focused so many previous technical documents into one reasoned argument for long overdue action .

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


It would be dishionest to suggest that this current Woolwich Council has been without controversy and or criticism. Hindsight always being clearer I think that I can state that $11,800 is a ridiculous sum of money to be paying Councillors entrusted to find difficult solutions that are always in the public interest. That said one of our local papers, the Woolwich Observer, has been particularily critical, but I would suggest that while the Council do indeed have feet of clay they have made many excellent decisions including environmental ones. I refer to Victoria Glen, the OMB hearing into the Hunder Pit albeit my huge discomfort with the entire MNR & OMB process, the proposed Capitol Pit in West Montrose, to a certain extent Woolwich Bio-En and the overall Chemtura/M.O.E. file. In particular, excepting the incomprehensible decision to deny me a formal place at the CPAC table, this Council have done excellent work on the Chemtura file. They fully supported and endorsed CPAC's 2012 groundbreaking Resolution requesting a major improvement in the off-site cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers via increased source removal.

This evening at 7 pm. they will again be given an opportunity to step up, necessarily confront both the province and the M.O.E. and demand they do their duty, follow their mandate and comply with the laws of Ontario. Anything less will be a vote for the status quo and the inadequate decades long foot dragging accomplished by Uniroyal/Chemtura with M.O.E. neglgent oversight.

The numerous professional reports including both independent third party consultants as well as two consulting firms on behalf of Uniroyal/Chemtura is staggering. All of these reports are consistent in their determination of decades long toxic waste leakage, spillage and even intentional diversion ending up on Chemtura's eastern and southern neighbours' property. The two consulting firms working on Uniroyal/Chemtura's behalf are Morrison-beatty and Conestoga Rovers. The M.O.E. themselves even have a couple of reports by Bob Hillier and Wayne Jackman which are very helpful. The most recent report (October 2014) by MTE Consultants Inc. puts everything together nicely. Their conclusions incorporate the findings of all these other consultants and are consistent as well with the work of CPAC and SWAT in their research and investigation. There is no wiggle room left for Chemtura and their fellow travellors. Either cleanup or allow the M.O.E. to at long last do their duty and clean up your grotesque off-site damage.

Monday, October 13, 2014


After decades of waiting it is now irrevocable. A committee of citizens from a broad range of interests, careers and perspectives have come together and formed a cogent, clear understanding of the big picture surrounding Chemtura Canada's on and off-site pollution. They have also assessed and found terribly wanting the efforts and credibility of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. While past public advisory committees (CPAC) have had individual members with a good understanding of what's been going on in Elmira; those past CPAC's had not publicly and in writing done their duty and unequivocally advised the public that the company and M.O.E. were involved in a coverup and in a pretend cleanup.

Tomorrow evening the Chair of CPAC, Dr. Dan Holt will be a Delegate to Council. He will be presenting a Resolution and asking for Council's support and endorsement thereof. This Resolution is a bombshell publicly stating that the M.O.E. have refused to do their duty regarding investigation and or cleanup of the property to the immediate east of Chemtura, immediately beside their eastern former toxic waste pits. These compounds include Dioxins as well as DDT in the soils, sediments, ground and surface water. Some of the details can be found on the Woolwich Township website which carrys the Agenda and Package for Council meetings (see October 14/14).

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Despite my posting here often the two days following a public CPAC meeting nevertheless I enjoy reading the formal Minutes taken by the CPAC Secretary, Lisa Schaefer. Lisa has stepped in and taken over after the old CPAC Secretary resigned earlier in the summer. The old CPAC Secretary was appointed by Pat McLean and replaced Brenda Kempel from the Region of Waterloo. Brenda was excellent and well informed and no appropriate explanation was ever given for her being replaced by Pat.

These Minutes are much more detailed and complete than anything we've had in many years. Lisa captures both the specifics as well as the flavour of the meeting. Twenty-two pages of text give a much more comprehensive look at a three hour meeting than a mere handful would. I particularily enjoy the back and forth when Chemtura reps are stickhandling around inconvenient facts and then a CPAC or SWAT member steps up and shoots them down. This of course would not be necessary if Chemtura and fellow travellors weren't continually massaging the truth past the point of contorsionism.

Speaking of "oops my bad" moments it would appear as if the strength of CPAC & SWAT is the diverse talents and skill sets of their combined membership. Two CPAC members namely Councillor Mark Bowman and Susanna Meteer incorrectly promulgated the theory, that after walking the Chemtura eastern site border, it was unlikely for surface drainage to flow from the Chemtura site onto the Stroh property. Their observations of course occurred two decades after major excavations of massive quantities of toxic waste were removed from the ground and regrading had been finished.

Since that time both written text and diagrams from technical reports of the day (MOE, Terreaqua, Morrison & Beatty etc.) all indicate the opposite. These reports have been studied by SWAT & CPAC members and then finally by a professional hydrogeologist who has presented his DRAFT report to CPAC & SWAT. This Draft has been perused for typos etc. and the Final Report is imminent. This Tuesday evening CPAC Chair Dr. Dan Holt will be a Delegate to Woolwich Council. He will present a CPAC Resolution to Council requesting their endorsement and support. This Resolution will be an even bigger bombshell than the last major Resolution in 2012 advising that 2028 Elmira groundwater cleanup would not occur without major improvements including source removal of Chemtura toxins.

Friday, October 10, 2014


At last month's (September 25/14) Chemtura public advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting the Ministry of the Environment failed to show for a regularily scheduled public CPAC meeting. They did so with four hours notice and zero reason or explanation given. Dr. Dan Holt read a statement near the beginning of the meeting from which I will quote exerpts.
"The Ministry representatives are paid to attend these meetings and represent the government and people in the proceedings which are designed to clean up the toxic materials in one of the most contaminated sites in all of Canada. If they cannot or will not show up for a clean-up of this magnitude than I can only speculate regarding the professionalism and effort put forth, or not put forth, to investigate and clean up other lesser known and/or toxic sites.
The lack of attendance by the MOE tonight is an insult to those in attendance, especially those who volunteer their time and effort, but it does seem consistent with the way the MOE operates. When faced with difficult situations they ignore their duty. The meeting will continue as if the MOE is present. An email, and registered letter, will be sent to Mr. Karlos as soon as possible listing questions and statements directed to the MOE tonight with any and all time lines as delineated tonight in effect."

Readers: As of a few days after this meeting we were advised that Mr. Karlos is no longer with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Interestingly we were first advised by the MOE that he was on a temporary reassignment. Then after that we received news of his departure.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Watchdog warns of crisis over bees, air pollution". The bees is of course in regards to the use of neonicotonoid pesticides and the air pollution is primarily due to the impacts of petrochemical air emissions in Ontario's notorious "chemical valley" near Sarnia. According to Gord Miller these air emissions have caused a health "crisis" in a First Nations reserve nearby. Years ago I can recall newspaper articles about the gender imbalance of newborns in the area. The concern was that chemical hormone mimicers were causing fewer male babies to be born in the area. Health effects of that nature may be the most obvious and possibly just the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


As usual the above meeting took place at the Elmira Library at 7 pm. Chuck Martin gave a Bio-En update as the Chair Earl Brubacher could not attend. Doug chaired in his place. Chuck advised there was a firecall last week by a neighbour which turned out to be a false alarm. The flare for burning excess gas had been running at the time and the neighbour also incorrectly thought they had seen smoke. Woolwich Bio-En's Application for Amendment is still before the Ministry of the Environment. This concerns adding different forms of feedstocks to their approval such as papers and mushroom wastes. The Amendment is also to clarify the meaning around 80 trucks per day versus 80 truck movements per day. Also Chuck seemed quite disappointed that Bio-En's plans to provide energy to a neighbouring farm have fallen through due to the M.O.E.'s strict requirements. These requirements would have included two full REA's (renewable energy approvals) one for the farm and one for Bio-En. These approvals would have required studies including an archeological one. Chuck advised that for August and September Bio-En were at about 2/3 capacity.

A motion was passed that these meetings would continue every second month and after six months would be reviewed again. There was also a brief discussion around which documents and reports should be made available to committee members. Chuck suggested Annual Reports to the M.O.E. were appropriate but perhaps committee members would like to see more. This will be an Agenda item for the next meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for December 2, 2014, 7 pm. in the library.

There was an amusing story after the meeting as to how metamucil in bulk quantity does not flow well through the pump system at Bio-En.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Jeff Merriman of Chemtura has often verbally responded that he has been physically present for various source removals at pits and ponds on the property over the decades. Furthermore he has solemnly advised us that he and others visually inspected the bottom of the excavations and ensured that digging continued until there was visually clean soil. This criteria ie. visual inspection has no scientific standing or relevance whatsoever. In fact current CPAC members with decades of experience in site remediations have suggested that Jeff must have "calibrated eye-balls" and secondly that these were actually "non clean-ups". Allegedly there are no vapour readings, soil analyses or any other valid scientific proof that indeed all wastes or contamination was fully and properly removed as promised. This therefore brings into question and disrepute each and every past excavation they have done and claimed success. This also explains why several pits have been done multiple times as they clearly were more interested in appearances than in complete removal of toxins.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Most recently CPAC & SWAT have received a report from the Ontario M.O.E. indicating a chronology of studies done in the creek by the EMRB or Environmental and Reporting Branch of the M.O.E.. The title of the report is "Canagagigue Creek Proposed Study Design for 2014 dated May 29,2014". They indicate that sampling for P.C.B.'s in the creek has occurred in 1987, 1994, 1995 & 1996.

My copy of the original report by Rein Jaagumagi and Donna Bedard in 1997 shows positive detections of PCB's in the sediments of the creek on the Uniroyal/Chemtura property. These detections are in ng/g which equals parts per billion which are substantial detections. In 1995 there are both trace detections as well as one detection of 120 ng/g. There are several other detections including 200, 320 and 880 ng/g which then have p54. I believe that that indicates which type of PCB was detected such as Aroclor 1254. Other results for 1996 in the floodplain soils downstream indicate results such as 40p40 up to 140p40. Again while I'm not overly impressed with the minimal user friendly approach to their Tables I believe that this indicates detections of 40 and 140 ng/g of Aroclor 1240.

The focus clearly was not on PCB's at the time nor to my knowledge have the M.O.E. released any further test results for PCB's since 1997. This is unfortunate but not surprising.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Part of the above title comes from the on-line posted Minutes of the National Advisory Panel for the Chemical Industry Association of Canada held May 2, 2013 in Toronto. Item #4 on the Agenda is Chemtura, Elmira: A Tale of Two Caps. I particularily enjoy the title because indeed it is a tale. I also enjoy watching former CPAC members align themselves with Chemtura (Dwight Este) on environmental issues. Afterall we all know how honest, forthright and proactive Chemtura/Uniroyal have been for a very long time in Elmira, Ontario. Or for that matter throughout the United States. Go on-line and see who are currently suing Chemtura U.S. for which assorted contaminated sites.

Pat Mclean and Ron Ormson, two former CPAC members, are members of the National Advisory Panel. Ron is both technically competent and informed and would have no difficulty comprehending any and all issues raised in that forum. Pat however is technically incompetent in all fields environmental and scientific. Both of them in conjunction with Dwight Este misrepresented the differences between the old CPAC and the current one. Once again I must point out that Ron Ormson has not attended a single CPAC meeting since the current CPAC was formed (4 years). Nor have any other former CPAC members with the occasional exception of Pat McLean and Susan Bryant. Pat was embarassed into it by way of the verification team in Elmira in 2012. She was appropriately asked as to whether she was up to date with the current goings at CPAC. She weakly replied that she had a colleague occasionally attending ie. Susan Bryant

This lack of participation and attendance by past CPAC members parallels a decades long lack of participation and attendance by Assuring Protection for Tomorrow's Environment (APTE) members. This is precisely how one or two people can gain inappropriate influence over a group. If the one or two members are unduly enamoured by influence, status or ego and they are more willing than their peers to put in the time; then they can return unchallenged and give their version of reality to the group.

The lies promulgated by Pat, possibly Ron as he was present although the Minutes fail to specify which former CPAC member is speaking, and Dwight Este are blatant fabrications. Dwight's are the most obviously self serving and he admits his discontent with the requirement that CPAC meetings be public. The old CPAC and Pat are very keen on private, by invitation only meetings.

One notable comment by either Ron or Pat is "We want the ministry (M.O.E.) involved as they are the only body with authority. We don't want the municipality involved." Pat you are a world class hypocrite. The municipality (Woolwich) gave you the CPAC Chair's position in 1999 and as well after you lost the 2006 election and were off Council. Your buddy former Mayor Bill Strauss was the operator of at least two contaminated sites in Woolwich Township (Strauss Fuels & Heidelberg Garage). His influence was a major factor which kept you on as CPAC Chair from 2006 to 2010. Then when the Mayor and most of Council were turfed, then and only then you criticize the new Woolwich Council. Even more hypocritical is the fact that YOU are the one responsible for making CPAC a formal committee of Woolwich Council in 2000/2001. Dwight Este confirms the timing in these on-line Minutes and I was present arguing against you in 2000 on this issue.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Yesterday's Elmira Independent carrys the following story "Ministry censured by CPAC". This is a writeup of the CPAC meeting last week. It not only includes information about the censure (for non attendance) but also about the M.O.E.'s latest sediment sampling this past June in the downstream Canagagiue Creek. Finally it describes in some detail the presentation made by Graham Chevreau at last week's public CPAC meeting.

I believe that we are at a critical point in our understanding of the negligent or worse behaviour of our local chemical company in regards to their using the natural environment for their toxic waste disposal . Furthermore the major reason it's taken this long to get to where we are is due to Chemtura's ongoing client driven consultants' misinformation and misinterpretations of data. This of course has been aided and abetted by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Both the Director and Assistant Director of the West Central Region of the M.O.E. have left recently. This is no loss to the public nor to the environment in my opinion. Bill Bardswick retired in June and George Karlos has just left under pressure from CPAC and under strange circumstances including false statements issued by the M.O.E.. These statements stated he was on temporary assignment followed up a couple of days later by his statement that he had a new position outside the M.O.E.. George has made at least two incredibly bad moves for the M.O.E.. He actively lobbied to have a citizen removed from a sub-committee of CPAC (SWAT) namely myself and he promoted a study of the downstream Canagagigue Creek in 2012 in order "to reassure" the public. What a bone headed move that was at least regarding reassuring the public. The newer data is anything but reassuring as it clearly shows over the last two summers (2012 & 2013) ongoing sources of Dioxins and DDT in the Canagagigue. DDT is at especially dangerous levels.

This will be the second Elmira crisis. DDT and Dioxins are persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They adversely affect life in and around the creek as well as any human contact such as in the Martin swimming pond. Furthermore PCB's were also found in the creek in 1987, 1994, 1995 and 1996. P.C.B.'s are also POP's and not surprisingly appear not to have been tested for during 2012, 2013 and the latest round this past summer. George has opened a can of worms and CPAC have done their duty and discovered major contaminant pathways off the Chemtura property's east side. The evidence is becoming overwhelming and Chemtura and the M.O.E. are reeling. Do they continue their coverup and lying or do they downplay the seriousness? George and Bill Bardswick are now on the record in a recent self published book with their fatuous and stupid statements regarding both myself and more importantly the current Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC).

It's time for the new Environment Minister to show his chops. Step up and meet with CPAC and SWAT and do your duty to the public and the environment.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Well, well, well! Do you believe in coincidences? Last Thursday George Karlos Assistant Director of the West Central Region of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment failed to show, with minimal advance notice, at a public CPAC meeting. We were advised a few days later by e-mail that he was on "temporary assignment" for the M.O.E.. The next day Bob Burtt's book was publicly released with all kinds of blatantly stupid and false comments by the recently retired Director WCR, Bill Bardswick. George kept his comments in the book mostly to the company line (ie. Chemtura's) that pump and treat (hydraulic containment) was working and that the current Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) were off base. Lo and behold late yesterday CPAC received an e-mail from George Karlos stating "I have accepted a position outside of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and would ask that you direct future requests to Sue brooks in the WCR Directors Office. George Karlos".

Not only did CPAC unanimously pass a Motion of Censure (including Mark Bauman) against the M.O.E. a week ago they also unanimously passed a Motion requesting immediate data from the M.O.E. regarding soil and groundwater analysis on both the eastern and southern borders of Chemtura next to the Stroh and Martin farm. The M.O.E. are under pressure from CPAC to do their jobs properly and apparently that is too much for them to handle.

I mentioned Mark Bauman in the above paragraph specifically. Mark has come through on a number of important votes during his time on CPAC. While I'm still struggling with his raison d'etre I did receive some interesting and significant news yesterday from a past colleague of his. To the best of my knowledge this colleague does not have an axe to grind. She claims that often Mark plays the devil's advocate on purpose. He doesn't mind being the odd man out on some Council issues. She believes that he is basically honest but simply quirky. Huh! Well maybe Mark has fooled me with his "devil's advocate" positions in the past although they have included improperly keeping me off CPAC thus playing directly into Chemtura's and the M.O.E.'s hands. Oh well as long as he keeps supporting the current CPAC I'll keep struggling with trying to understand where the heck he's coming from on other issues.

I've been predicting major pushback by Chemtura and the M.O.E. for some time now. It is underway. The new Council need to inform themselves quickly and unfortunately they will find that this is not an issue with two groups of honest people allegedly pursuing the same goals. Both Chemtura and the M.O.E. talk out of one side of their mouths while pursuing goals that are self serving and not in the public interest.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


If my memory serves me correctly it was a good friend and colleague who suggested to me a few years back that Pat McLean liked to make a virtue out of her complete lack of technical knowledge and understanding of groundwater, contaminant transport, chemistry and a number of other disciplines helpful to understanding the big picture in Elmira. While most citizens are in the same boat I can advise that there hasn't been a single citizen involved with the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) who hasn't vastly increased their knowledge and technical understanding of the issues with less than half the time involved as Pat. I can also advise that these same citizens while expressing an opinion when requested are not nearly so opinionated, adamant and dogmatic as Pat. I confess that in a moment of pique I once suggested, only half in jest, that Pat didn't know the difference between a DNAPL and a horse apple.

The preceding paragraph might not be relevant or necessary if those self same hypocrites weren't so aggressive in criticizing the current CPAC for 1) not having 100 years experience like the old CPAC as Bill Bardswick in writing recently and incorrectly stated and 2) weren't so aggressive in condemning the current CPAC for including me and my 25 years experience studying and researching contaminated sites throughout Waterloo Region while maintaining my position as the single most technically knowledgeable citizen specifically related to the Elmira water crisis.

1) in the preceding paragraph. The old CPAC did not remotely have 100 years of CPAC experience. Pat McLean at best had one years experience ten times. Susan Bryant had the most and lets give her 21 years (1989-2010 when she was dropped from CPAC). Ron Ormson and Gerry Heideburt both had considerable CPAC experience as well as private experience but nowhere near enough to add up to one hundred with or without including me. Funny how dropping me from CPAC in 2008 wasn't considered by Pat, Susan & Bill B. to count as a loss of experience.

2) Wilf Ruland in a moment of candour has suggested that he's never met an individual such as I with such an immediate and intuitive grasp of hydrogeological principles combined with an almost photographic memory. I appreciate that Wilf as well as I appreciate your May 15, 2008 DNAPL letter expressing your ongoing concerns that DNAPLS are not being removed at source, on the Chemtura site. Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment have been lobbying partially sucessfully for years to exclude me from CPAC expressly because a) I am intelligent and extraordinarily well informed and b) they can not intimidate me either intellectually with their experts or financially or legally. This has been attempted indirectly through third parties sympathetic to themselves.

The greatest flashing neon sign that this CPAC has done more, accomplished more and made the largest inroads against Chemtura/Uniroyal and M.O.E. obfuscation, delay and gamesmanship is the fear and loathing expressed by both groups publicly and privately against this CPAC. This loathing is despite, as documented here over the last 3 1/2 years, the professionalism and never failing courtesy and respect exhibited by CPAC members and Chair Dr. Dan Holt.