Monday, November 30, 2015


I mentioned recently that CPAC are quite enjoying how the Chair of TAG has been publicly condemning the gross failures of the Elmira cleanup. This has been an unexpected bonus and pleasure after Woolwich Council in their infinite bias and stupidity decided that the self serving polluter responsible for destroying Elmira's water needed to be relieved of any form of direct citizen accountability. The fact that part of the alternative arrangements more suitable to Chemtura's wishes are now jumping on the CPAC bandwagon regarding discharges to the creek, off-site cleanup failures and on-site intrangience around LNAPLS and DNAPLS is hilarious.

I give CPAC and SWAT credit for not showing up at Council meetings and taunting Council with I told you so's. Maybe this is why our still new Council are changing the rules yet again to cover themselves from criticism they've earned. The new Procedural By-laws are just another example of an incestuous group of self serving politicians and bureaucrats looking out for each other at the expense of taxpayers. Really the problem is not a few critics, albeit many regarding the Breslau sale of parkland, it is the Council themselves. Their solution is so Woolwich typical. Blame the citizens they are supposed to be serving. Blame the messengers.

This Thursday afternoon at 4 Pm. RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meet in Council Chambers. Part of the Agenda will be their examination of recommendations from TAG (Technical Advisory Group). This will be RAC's first opportunity to step up and do the right things. The recommendations from TAG include that RAC advise the Ministry of the Environment to initiate suspended sediment sampling asap and that signage and fencing be installed downstream to the Grand River, for the hot spots in the Canagagigue Creek.

TAG will also recommend that RAC advise Chemtura to seek external advice on future ISCO (In Situ Chemical Oxidation) pilot tests for example from the University of Waterloo or from Geosyntec. Chemtura should also be advised to begin multi-level monitoring wells to monitor their groundwater quality. Finally Chemtura should institute a program of annual performance assessment of remediation by a team of outside experts.

It is my opinion that these recommendations from TAG to RAC indicate a huge vote of NON-CONFIDENCE in the years of work of the Ontario M.O.E., Chemtura and CRA. Based upon the glacial speed of these three groups I expect we will see some of these recommendations become actions within five years or so. The question is will Chemtura have packed their bags and run for home by then? Imagine that, a host country seriously expecting them to clean up their mess. Unheard of when there are still hundreds of third world countries around the world willing to donate their environment and health of their citizens to the wishes of chemical companies.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Over the last year I have been asked my opinion as to whether Todd Cowan "stole" expense money. My answer has been that I don't know if he's a thief but I do know he is a liar. Possibly a pathological liar whose motive often isn't for personal gain but more for self agrandizement or even to simply get his way. If you aren't winning an argument then make up the facts and claim that you are 100% certain of them. Todd deserves credit for being the catalyst that is still destroying the myths and falsehoods surrounding the "cleanup" of the Elmira Aquifers. He deserves the discredit he is currently, publicly receiving for his apparent abuse of the expenses system designed to legitimately reimburse Woolwich politicians for their expenses on behalf of Woolwich citizens.

I received this morning a copy of an e-mail suggesting that Dick Jackson did not suggest signage and fencing for the length of the Canagagigue Creek because of the known DDT and Dioxin/Furan contamination in both the Floodplain and the creek sediments. While a number of known prevaricators were involved in these e-mails, I have zero reasons or evidence to include Mr. Jackson within that group. His response seems to be that he said (or meant to say??) that any "hot spots" along the length of the creek should be signed and fenced.

I wrote what I heard back at the November 5/15 meeting. Knowing the dishonesty and self serving nature of some Woolwich Township senior staff and politicians, I know that access to the tapes of meetings in Council Chambers is not available for honest citizens. That said let me also suggest the following: Could Dr. Jackson's clarification of what he said be somewhat akin to a homeowner putting signage and fencing across one end of his swimming pool because he knows his four year old child routinely pees as soon as he enters the water?

I mean really Dr. Jackson, you have indicated that the entire length of the creek needs professional, grid pattern testing to really know where the hot spots are. And yes as of right now we do have data (very old) that there is contamination in both the sediments and floodplain at specific sample points, extending the length of the creek (Jagumagi & Bedard 1995-96). If I misunderstood what you said then I apologize but I think you can understand how easily that misunderstanding occurred based upon the known facts of the situation.

Regarding other Woolwich liars meeting their Waterloo, I am of course referring to the abortion that has been the Elmira "cleanup". Probably eight to ten years ago I was publicly stating that "the cleanup is a sham". I also stated publicly that Conestoga Rovers, Chemtura's long time consultants were "client driven". I have wondered about the recent sale of CRA to GHD, whoever or whatever they are. The timing is interesting. All I know is that I would not want to be senior staff at CRA as Dr. Jackson continues to criticize their apparent incompetence. References to MLS (multi level sampling) being the industry norm for decades certainly raises concerns about CRA's professionalism. References to their failure to analyse DNAPL samples, contaminants in suspended sediments and much more are providing a clearer picture as to how Elmira residents have been ill served by my favourite partners in pollution namely Chemtura/CRA and the M.O.E..

Right now CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) and SWAT are fully enjoying this public thrashing at TAG meetings of the power brokers in charge of the twenty-six year deception. That said keep in mind as to how these committees were set up by Councillor Bauman and mayor Shantz. TAG can be scrupulously honest and forthright but can only make recommendations to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee). Also to date the Woolwich Observer shockingly have not stepped up to fill this glaring hole in important, local coverage. Will we see as early as this Thursday (Dec. 3) at 4 pm. in Council Chambers how RAC will handle TAG's recommendations? Will the politicans and bureaucrats represented on RAC come to Chemtura's defence as they have in the past? Will they represent their interests rather than those of the public?

Friday, November 27, 2015


First off Woolwich Observer, have you been subverted? Where are you? Your community needs you to cover these TAG and RAC meetings especially now. You could have helped this community understand the corruption of Chemtura and the M.O.E. over the last five years even though the Elmira Independent covered all the CPAC meetings. Now you are the ONLY LOCAL newspaper in town.

Mr. Jackson led five TAG members plus four CPAC/SWAT members in the audience as well as two more through a tutorial dealing with both Off-site and on-site cleanup. One of those in the audience was Eric Hodgins, hydrogeologist for the Region of Waterloo. Dick Jackson went out of his way when describing the various and multiple technical failures over the last twenty-five years not to mention by name Conestoga Rovers now known as GHD.

Dick described in detail "asymtotic" trends whereby groundwater contaminant concentrations decrease in a linear fashion only until the lower contaminant concentrations start drawing out contaminants that have diffused into aquitards or other lower permeability zones. These diffused contaminants will then back diffuse into the groundwater thus greatly slowing the decreases due to pumping and treating. This is the huge problem facing Chemtura/M.O.E./CRA at the present.

Regarding the field testing done by CRA over a year ago for ISCO (In Situ Chemical Oxidation), Mr. Jackson suggests that the "strategy was good", but "the tactics poor". He further stated that the parties responsible both "poorly understood" and "poorly controlled" the testing held near pumping well W3. He further stated that it was "unforgiveable" that they did not seek professional help for the field test.

Mr. Jackson was particularily upset with a sentence in CRA's report to the effect that Chemtura must needs wait for new and emerging groundwater remediation technologies in order to improve their cleanup time. Dr. Jackson suggested that he would be ashamed to write something like that on a report. It simply isn't accurate.

Regarding the 2012 turnaround by Chemtura and their hired help Dr. Jackson commented on the lengthy turnaround time until now. He stated that it took "3 1/2 years to implement after the lights went on." Referencing a commonly known in the industry geological fact regarding sedimentary aquifers Dr. Jackson suggested that Chemtura's consultant has just figured this out recently.

Dr. Jackson has also clearly indicated his skepticism/concerns that the 2028 cleanup is likely to happen. He feels that Chemtura and the Ministry of the Environment "underestimated" the extent of the contamination held in the aquitards (clay & silt low permeability zones).

Getting back to a now new proposal for ISCO testing in 2016 Jackson again referred to the last field trail as "not my idea of engineering". And on it went with criticism regarding MLS or multi level sampling which apparently has been the norm in North America and Europe for many decades but not at the Chemtura site in Elmira. Yours truly provided a Delegation to the old CPAC back in 2009 or 2010 on MLS but as usual it was ignored.

One of TAG's recommendations to RAC will be that RAC advise Chemtura to "get some help". In other words outside independent experts are required for a number of technical initiatives. To date Chemtura have been relying solely on advice from one source only and it's not working.

Last night was stunning. Even the brand new TAG members understood the enormity of what Dr. Jackson was telling them. It is not business as usual if we are to restore the Elmira Aquifers, remove hot spots on site and stop sending DDT and Dioxins down the Canagagigue Creek.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


My post on Tuesday (Nov. 24) indicated that I found the numerous Scenarios for off-site pumping to be bizarre. Essentially I could not fine one Scenario that even came close to reducing the entire Elmira Aquifers to or below Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) for NDMA and Chlorobenzene. With eleven different Scenarios available for each chemical and in each of the Municipal Upper (MU) and Municipal Lower (ML) Aquifers, there certainly was significant differences in the size and location of the plumes. That said the Recommendation provided by GHD (CRA) is that pumping Scenario 11 is the one to go with.

Scenario 11 incorporates the existing off-site wells namely W4, W5A/B and E7. Well W3 has been replaced by W3R (R for replacement). It is immediately beside the old well. New off-site wells include W6A, W6B and W9A. The text on page 48 states: "Scenario 11 achieves the best overall reduction in initial mass and initial MU/ML off-site area above ODWS for NDMA and chlorobenzene.". In other words Scenario 11 removes the most contaminant mass and shrinks the area of the plume the most; and that's it folks. No more bragging about achieving drinking water standards for all contaminants in all aquifers apparently.

Also when one looks carefully at the numbers involved, something is amiss. The total off-site pumping is approximately 106 litres per second. Depending on which constantly changing numbers you use as the current pumping rates, that is a skinny doubling of the pumping rates. In fact the pumping rates for the last year have been very good, historically speaking, and have averaged around 60 l/sec. In other words this new plan isn't really even a doubling of the rate.

Then look a little more carefully. This new pumping Scenario includes Well E7 at 30.9 l/sec. We were told this past summer and fall that well E7 was going to be shut down and now here they have it back in business and pumping hard. Which is the truth? Also W3R is scheduled to pump an astounding 37.9 l/sec. I don't believe this new well has proven itself capable of those numbers as yet. Also no mention of In Situ Chemical Oxidation. This form of source removal should be used at hot spots to quickly reduce contaminant mass and make the groundwater pumping both more effective and more timely. To date we have no proof of either Chemtura's commitment to use it or that it will be effective for both NDMA and Chlorobenzene if they do decide to go with it.

Both my predictions from years ago and CPAC's since 2012 are now accepted as accurate. Even with this proposed major increase in off-site pumping rates; things are not looking good for 2028.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


O.K., O.K. so I can't resist criticizing the very first Statement titled "Disclosures of Pecuniary Interest". Firstly at least two TAG members have pecuniary interests and secondly the text after the title states: "All disclosures made by TAG members indicated that they had no pecuniary interests to declare and therefore that no conflicts of interest exist.". Really? So now pecuniary interests are the only possible conflicts of interest? Therefore why not make the direct declaration that each member does not have any conflicts of interest?

page 3-4: Dick Jackson clarified that the M.O.E. messed up in their presentation by having labelled some of their slides as floodplain samples. He has confirmed that all samples were from the sediments in the bottom of the Canagagigue Creek. He also stated that we can not assume that the contamination seen in 1995-96 is the same contamination that we are seeing now at Station 21 (New Jerusalem Rd.). This is due to the M.O.E. and Chemtura failing to measure suspended sediment hence we have no idea of the level of sediment transport. Once again the allegedly responsible parties have been measuring the wrong thing by measuring dissolved contaminants in water versus contaminants in the suspended sediments in the water.

page 4: Dr. Jackson advised that "The difference in numbers reflects the huge variability in organic matter in the sediments throughout the creek.". Dick also stated that "There are five or six samples at the location, but they were not taken on a vigorous grid pattern which is the way the protocol is written by CCME (Cnd. Council of Ministers) and other organizations.". Finally Dick states that the samples were taken from the wrong location namely on the outside bank of the creek versus the inside bank where the sediments would mostly have been deposited. WOW!

Dr. Dick Jackson on page 4 also stated as I indicated a few weeks ago that the creek should be both posted with signs and fenced off. He does not know why the M.O.E. included two other contaminated sites with allegedly higher concentrations of Dioxins. Dick stated that they are both poor comparisons when one compares the ratio of the surface area of sediment to the volume of water available in the creek. Lastly Dick noted how high the organic carbon is at 9% which he referred to as the glue that holds hydrophobic compounds such as DDT, Dioxins and Furans.

Dr. Jackson has made it very clear that despite testing being done both twenty years ago and over the last few years we do not have remotely enough data to know where we need to remediate.

page 6: Dr. Jackson has indicated that the huge variabilty in creek flow is the cause of erosion of creekbanks and sediment transport. Again in referencing a report on clams and leeches Dr. Jackson is at a loss as to why CRA has not conducted suspended sediment sampling. I am beginning to wonder if Dr. Jackson's repeated comments that he does not know why the various authorities have not done what they should have is a euphemism for something harsher.

page 7: Susan Bryant indicated that the argument with how CRA has conducted their sampling has gone on for years. She referenced their procedure of spinning the sample in order to remove suspended sediments. I also recall them referring to a "field filtering" process in order NOT to include suspended sediments in their samples. A skeptic might begin to think that Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. are a bunch of crooks and liars. Of course Dr. Jackson would never use such language no matter how accurate it was.

Overall these Minutes are of very acceptable quality. Perhaps the TAG secretary is again receiving assistance on the side to do her job as she did with the CPAC Minutes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Starting on page 18 of the Remedial Action Plan Design Review (Sept. 25/15) we learn that the contaminant plumes have stratified ie. they are not all one heterogeneous concentration of NDMA for example from the top of the Municipal Upper Aquifer down to the bottom. Using VAS (vertical aquifer sampling), CRA (GHD) have determined that there is a corelation between increasing depth and increasing contaminant concentrations in many monitoring wells.

page 20: "Both NDMA and Chlorobenzene concentrations increased with depth, and the greatest concentrations occur in the VAS collected from 29.9 m bgs (at the base of the MU). This corresponds to a coarse basal layer of gravel observed in this portion of the MU.".

page 22: "There were ten locations where NDMA was detected in more than one of the MU VAS and at eight of these locations NDMA concentrations increase with depth. Chlorobenzene was detected in the MU VAS at six locations and the chlorobenzene concentrations increase with depth at all but one location." "Therefore plume stratification appears to occur where sufficient aquifer thickness exists and when stratification occurs concentrations tend to increase with depth.".

page 23: The suggestion is made that "Together W5A, W3 and E7 contained the limits of the NDMA plume in the Bedrock, as shown on Figure 2.17.". A few years back I'd have expressed my disbelief that the Bedrock Aquifer was remotely "contained" at all. Indeed W5A pumps in the ML (municipal lower) and there is no Aquitard (lower permeability zone) between the ML and the Bedrock Aquifer. E7 has had a significant LAT (lower aquitard) between the ML and the Bedrock on CRA's subsurface cross-section maps for most of the last twenty-five years. However of late that LAT has been being interpreted as much thinner. Finally W3 still gives me huge problems. It pumps in the MU (municipal upper) and there is no ML present plus there is a huge LAT between the MU and the Bedrock Aquifer. This should isolate pumping in W3 (MU) from having an effect upon the Bedrock Aquifer.

pages 32 & 33: These pages discuss contaminant penetration into the aquitards. The depth of penetration is a function of the dissolved contaminant concentrations with lower concentrations penetrating approximately .5 metre and higher concentrations up to a metre into the Aquitard.

Page 34: In locations on the Chemtura site where the UAT (upper aquitard) is less than a metre thick essentially high concentrations of NDMA and chlorobenzene are going clear through the UAT from the UA (upper aquifer) into the MU (municipal aquifer).

page 36 : We are advised that there are eleven different pumping scenarios from the Base Case Scenario to adding one or more of the new pumping wells in sucession. These new pumping wells include W8 (Yara), W9 (west and slightly south of W8), W6 (Oriole Parkway east of Arthur St.) and W7 on Sandpiper Place.

Figures 4.1 to 4.8 I can only describe as bizarre. These are a series of the different pumping scenarios both in the MU and the ML for both NDMA and Chlorobenzene individually. For example Figure 4.1 is titled "Base Case To Scenario 7 2028 Simulated NDMA Concentrations In MU". Figure 4.2 is titled "Scenarios 8 To 11 2028 Simulated NDMA Concentrations In MU". These certainly appear to be CRA's (GHD) own computer predictions as to which of the various pumping Scenarios will achieve aquifer (MU & ML) drinking water standards by 2028 first for NDMA and then for Chlorobenzene.

This is where it gets bizarre. I downloaded all eight maps and I'm studying them. The drinking water standard for NDMA is .009 ppb and for Chlorobenzene is 80 ppb.. Now unless CRA has mislabelled these maps' contour lines or they have lost some clarity in being downloaded and printed out, then the results are pathetic. I will be going back and rereading the maps on my computer screen but what I'm reading in my downloaded maps basically states that no scenario (of 11) will reduce NDMA to .009 ppb or less for all the Elmira aquifers and Chlorobenzene appears to have possibly one or two scenarios alone in the ML which will reduce Chlorobenzene concentrations to 80 ppb. or less for the whole ML.

As I said bizarre. Further reading will continue.

Monday, November 23, 2015


It's not all bad news. Further plume delineation of the off-site northwest Municipal Upper NDMA plume indicate that it is smaller than originally thought. Monitoring well results from pages 13 & 14 show Non Detect results for NDMA at new wells located very close to OW60 the hot spot for NDMA. This well is located in the residential area just north and west from the old Shirt Factory on Park Street. Similarily the extent of the MU NDMA plumes around new pumping well W6B on Oriole Parkway and around W9, the former apple orchard on Union St. have also been reduced due to new groundwater monitoring results.

The Municpal Lower aquifer has two separate NDMA lobes. One is on the Yara (Nutrite) property on Chemtura's western border and the other is further south starting from just behind the old Varnicolor Chemical site on Union St. beteen First and Howard Ave. It then runs southwards down towards Oriole Parkway. The NDMA results on the Yara property are astonishingly high as in 300-340 parts per billion. These results are frankly horrific when the drinking water standard is .009 ppb. The NDMA results in the ML in the second plume are much lower in the 2-6 ppb. range yet still hundreds of times greater than the drinking standard. These plumes do not appear to be much different than originally determined.

page 16: Chlorobenzene in the Municipal Upper Aquifer now appears to contain more mass than originally expected based on the latest monitoring results. Again the chlorobenzene results around OW60 (north-west of Park St.) are consistent with the known low chlorobenzene results in that area. Both pumping well W3 and monitoring well CH38 on Orilo Parkway had few surprises in this latest review. Chlorobenzene concentrations are below drinking standards at CH38 and still above them at W3. New pumping well W6B located west of CH38 on Oriole Parkway also is below the drinking standard. The new well (OW 171) between W5A/B and W4 behind Varnicolor is the well whose concentrations indicate greater mass than expected.

page 17: Here we also see indications of greater chlorobenzene mass in the Municipal Lower (ML) than originally thought even as late as the 2012 report. This is not good news and further indicates the difficulty in achieving cleanup by 2028. All the other chlorobenzene results indicate very high concentrations as expected, including hundreds and thousands of parts per billion in the ML.

page 17 & 18: Chemtura and consultants are still claiming a lack of chlorobenzene in the Bedrock Aquifer. Frankly based upon the direct connections with it due to lack of competent aquitards I find that result unlikely. Whether dissolved or free phase, I expect at some point we will suddenly "discover" chlorobenzene in the Bedrock.

All in all so far in this report I am smelling lots of excuses. It makes me wonder yet again how Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. could have been so confident of success over the last fifteen years based upon allegedly incomplete hydrogeological information. The other problem of course is even after they "learn" more there is such a long turnaround time to make significant improvements in their remediation efforts. It's now over three years since they identified the need to triple the off-site pumping and do some off-site source removal via In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) and neither is up and running yet.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Par for the course. A major technical Chemtura document released by CRA (GHD) on behalf of Chemtura Canada dated September 25/15 and of course neither the most knowledgeable Woolwich citizen (moi) nor any CPAC members received a copy of it. This crap has been going on for a very long time although I do remember the M.O.E. taking a beating from a past CPAC and possibly even their chair Pat Mclean over putting Elmira items on the EBR (Environmental Registry) without verbally or in writing advising CPAC.

page 4: "NDMA and Chlorobenzene concentrations in the April 2014 groundwater samples collected from W8 were 295.5 ug/l (ppb) and 4,300 ug/l (ppb), respectively. These are the greatest concentrations of NDMA and Chlorobenzene in the off-site MA (Municipal Aquifer)." W8 is located on the Yara (Nutrite) property very close to Union St. in Elmira.

"...the full implementation of the off-site CTS pumping regieme recommended in the 2012 Model Update is not feasible. These include: Confirming the maximum pumping rate for existing extraction well W3 is 25L/s, approximately half the 51 L/s recommended in the 2012 Model Update".

page 5: "Damage revealed to extraction wells W5A and W5B required subsequent repairs that restrict their well yield to 5.0 and 6.3 L/s, respectively, which is less than the 12.6 L/s and 9.5 L/s respectively, recommended in the 2012 Model Update".

page 8: "The MAT is composed of silt till and it separates the MU and the ML into two distinct aquifers. The LGR zone is composed of fine sand. Where the LGR is present, the MU and ML combine to form a single aquifer." This is news to me as to date Chemtura/CRA have referred to the LGR (Low Gamma Resistivity zone) as a poor aquitard. Now , twenty-five years later, we are informed that it absolutely is no aquitard at all and in fact the MU (municipal upper) and ML (municipal lower) are actually one aquifer where the LGR is between them.

page 9: This also refers to "...aquifer like, or LGR like, material separating the MU from the ML.". In essence this simply advises that there are even more "windows" between the Elmira Aquifers than we previously were told and hence explains how great the early days BS we got from Uniroyal Chemical was, regarding "impermeable" clay aquitards protecting the drinking water aquifers from contamination.

page 10: "This is consistent with the MU composition observed at other locations, with a thick, silty gravel layer overlying a thin, coarse, well graded gravel layer.". I see this as possibly indicating a preferred route of groundwater flow at the bottom of the Municipal Aquifer with lesser flow through the higher elevations of the MU. Hence this could explain differences in contaminant concentrations in the same aquifer at the same or nearby locations.

page 11: "The MU is 3.9 m thick...". The 2012 Model Update predicted the MU would be approximately 6 m (metres) thick at the W6 extraction well location (Oriole Parkway)." "The MU and ML are thinner at the W6A/B location than was represented in the 2012 Model Update.". The significance of this is similar to the other pumping wells already mentioned. The proposed/predicted tripling of off-site groundwater pumping simply can not happen.

This is why Jeff Merriman of Chemtura now talks about doubling the pumping rate while at the same time referring to ceasing all pumping at E7. They've stated that ISCO (chemical oxidation) won't work on the Yara property and now we see that the increased pumping regimen is highly unlikely. Other than buying another three years of time exactly what have they accomplished? Most likely they are three years closer to closing up shop and leaving the entire mess to Canadian taxpayers. Thank You M.O.E. and many Woolwich Councils along with Regional Councils.

Friday, November 20, 2015


The off-site pumping rates are where they have been for quite a while now and where they should have been and weren't for about a decade. Above and beyond Chemtura's basic plan for off-site remediation being faulty was the fact that they simply didn't even follow their own plan for so long. The list of excuses why not is longer than my arm. Of course the alleged tripling (now doubling) of those same rates has yet to begin. Well E7 continued to pump during October but it is scheduled to shut down soon.

The influent concentration of NDMA to E7 during October was .096 parts per billion or 96 parts per trillion. While that is very low it is still approximately ten times higher than the drinking water standard of 9 ppt. (parts per trillion). I'm not so sure that shutting down this mainstay of the off-site pumping regieme is such a good idea.

We the public are still waiting for the results of the "East Side Surficial Soil and Groundwater Investigation Plan". Allegedly the results will be honest and allegedly they are coming in a final report on the investigation.

Table A.1 has some interesting results for NDMA and some non results for Toluene. NDMA is still ridiculously high at W3 and W5A, both off-sitre pumping wells. Toluene results are missing except for 200 ppb. at the Primary Influent point in the treatment system. It would be appropriate to know which wells are producing which concentrations.

Table A.3 has some bizarre numbers for Toluene. While the influent at some of the Upper Aquifer wells is around 7000-8000 ppb. it is the effluent results which are weird as they are essentially the same . That makes no sense.

Appendix B is the MISA results or Municipal Industrial Strategy for Abatement. What a joke. The longterm Trend Analysis tells the tale. Most of the chemicals in the alleged surface water being discharged into the creek through these pipes have no trend up or down. A few are decreasing and a couple are increasing. Clearly groundwater continues to infiltrate these pipes and discharges to the Canagagigue Creek.

Regarding Table C.2 a particular pthalate (BEHP) continues to enter the Chemtura property from upstream. I am unaware of any attempts by the M.O.E. to determine its' source. Toluene still has a slightly higher downstream concentration than upstream indicating leakage into the "Gig" from the Chemtura property.

Table D.1 indicates no surprise in that DNAPL chemicals are still to be found at high groundwater concentrations in Chemtura's south-west corner, exactly where they've always been. MBT, Carboxin and aniline seem to be leading the way in this Table.

Finally Table E.1 gives the monitoring results of well OW60, northwest of Chemtura. NDMA results even after longterm pumping tests are a ridiculous 20 parts per billion (ppb.) with a drinking water standard of .009 ppb.. Supposedly testing for ISCO (chemical oxidation) will begin soon. It was allegedly tested for on the Yara (Nutrite) property unsucessfully some time ago. Could NDMA be slowly dissolving from a NAPL source?

This folks is your "Progress Report" for October.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Yesterday I listed massive soil concentrations of solvents analysed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment at a site here in Elmira. That site is at the extreme eastern end of Oriole Parkway, just across Landfill Creek and then across the railroad tracks. Locally and infamously it is known as Lot 91. In my opinion the site had both free phase LNAPLS and DNAPLS; neither of which were remediated. It is also likely that that site has contributed greatly to the contamination of the municipal aquifers in Elmira. It and its' sister site up on Union St. (formerly 62 Union) were part of Varnicolor Chemical. That site also had unremediated free phase LNAPLS and DNAPLS. Conspiracy One involving the M.O.E., municipal, regional and provincial politicians.

April/May 2012 CPAC passed and Woolwich Council endorsed a Resolution declaring that the 2028 cleanup deadline of the Elmira aquifers was years behind schedule and would not happen without significant source removal of subsurface toxic wastes. On May 18, 2012 Chemtura made a presentation to Michael Harris, MPP on the matter.The last page of their written handout was their "Concluding remarks". They state: "Chemtura is on target to remediate the Elmira Municipal aquifer to meet Ontario's Drinking Water Standard by 2028. The 2028 deadline is attainable using the current pump and treat strategy."

Then in November 2012, six months later, after publicly and privately denigrating CPAC and essentially stating that CPAC didn't know what they were talking about; Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers did an about face. They bragged about unilaterally remodelling their cleanup and independently determining that lo and behold that in order to meet their 2028 deadline they would have to triple the volume of off-site pumping and treating. Furthermore they would ALSO require some source removal in off-site "hot spots" and were going to test IN Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO).

Of course our splendid, long co-opted M.O.E. got in on the action as well by doing a public, written "Review of Groundwater Flow and Transport Model Update" on June 27, 2013. This was a review of what Chemtura publicly presented to CPAC the previous November. While they were firmly in Chemtura's and CRA's camp a year earlier, after CPAC and the only honest (mostly) Township Council in a very long time had passed the very damning Resolution; lo and behold they were now also believers.

The last page of their handout was titled "Will 2028 Clean-up Deadline be met?". Their own followup answer immediately next was "Without the proposed changes: no" "With the proposed changes: still uncertain".

The partners in pollution (Chemtura/M.O.E.) had been rolling along, going through the motions of remediating the Elmira Aquifers, at minimal cost to Chemtura, knowing full well that 2028 was a pipedream. When confronted with facts and evidence by a citizens group (CPAC), appointed by the past Woolwich Council, they denied and lied. This has been the history of the Elmira cleanup since 1989. It continues today with the current Woolwich Council, spearheaded by Councillor Bauman and mayor Shantz. Stay tuned, there's lots more to come.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Recently a certain anonymous, female, pro "respectful" yet highly hypocritical Mayor publicly suggested that I was some sort of "conspiracy theorist". She compared me to author Dan Brown, whom I had to have my memory jogged to recall who he was. Apparently he writes fictional? literature dealing with the Catholic Church and various historical issues/scandals? over the centuries. Tom Hanks has starred in at least one of his movies.

While the allegation most recently was in regards to proven errors and contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act, it still remains for some body in authority (courts?) to "prove" either intent, bad faith or knowingly submitting inaccurate, sworn Statements to the Municipal Clerk, MECAC, myself and or Superior Court. News flash mayor: Just because the Clerk as an employee of Woolwich Township is willing to give you a pass doesn't make it right. Nor is your manipulation of the system in place to allow citizens to hold politicians accountable.

The inference was made clear that this "conspiracy theorist" charge includes decades of work with UPAC and CPAC trying to bring a well heeled, dishonest polluter, protected by both the province (M.O.E.) and the Township into compliance with both the law and with social norms such as clean up your own mess.

For those with even a slight knowledge of soil or groundwater contamination I wish to remind you of some soil samples taken twenty years ago here in Elmira. These following soil concentrations of solvents were not found on the Uniroyal/Chemtura site. These are M.O.E. data yet they refused to excavate the contaminated soil or do in situ cleanup of the site. Yes some shallow barrels were removed including at least one with P.C.B.s in it.

Benzene 7,220 parts per billion (ppb)

Toluene 39,560....335,000....460,000 ppb

Ethyl-benzene 98,000....131,000....176,000....280,100.....489,000 ppb

p,m xylene 104,000....178,000....537,000....697,000....1,119,000 ppb

0 xylene 137,000....258,000....380,900....522,500 ppb

These sample results are but a few of the higher ones found. There are many more disgustingly in excess of all health and safety standards. This site had a designation put on it by Woolwich Township prohibiting any kind of construction of buildings on it due to dangerous levels of methane gas. Methane (CH3) is commonly found as a breakdown product allegedly of municipal refuse but more directly from the breakdown of hydrocarbon solvents such as those listed above.

I will advise the location of this site in Elmira tomorrow as well as pointing out another example of the need for a conspiracy amongst our local and regional and provincial politicians to cover their tracks here in Elmira. Yes this one will deal with Chemtura Canada. Ask yourself how it is possible with informed citizens demanding answers and cleanup how our authorities have managed so well to avoid doing so much remediation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Thirteen months ago CPAC (now known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee) received a report from MTE Consultants Inc. which cast major doubt upon the decades long claims of Uniroyal/Chemtura, their consultants Conestoga Rovers and their partners in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (more affectionately known as the Ministry of Excuses and Corporate Collusion or MOECC).

The MTE Report examined everything from soil conditions, ground and surface water flow, surface topography, monitoring well results and finally historic records describing activities and conditions on the east side. The conclusions of the Report were that both ground and surface water have exited from the Chemtura property onto the neighbour's property (Stroh) to the east as well as to the south (Martin). We are of course referring to highly contaminated water that has flowed both naturally off-site and based upon the timing and location of the Stroh Drain, possibly intentionally. Then of course we still have the unresolved issue of a potential groundwater trench which shows up on both Google Earth and GIS Waterloo. It appears to run from Chemtura's North-East area (just downslope from IR-2 & RPE-1) southwards and eastwards crossing the east side property line between the former RPE-5 and TPE-2.

Add to these revelations my two foot by four foot map of the east side and we have the makings of a public inquiry here folks. My map is based upon a topographical map produced by Conestoga Rovers which shows the south-east corner of the site and the alleged exact locations of GP-1 & 2. It was produced like so much of their work in order to back up unlikely and illogical claims that the many thousands of gallons per day of liquid wastes overflowing and infiltrating into RPE-1 - RPE-5 were magically trapped within the confines of these two former gravel pits. Yes gravel pits I said. As if there could possibly be a worse geologic situation to trap liquids whatsoever.

A careful look at the topographical contour lines makes it clear that the majority of surface water and contaminated liquid wastes absolutely did not flow into either GP-1 or GP-2. They gravity flowed eastwards off Chemtura's property and into the Stroh Drain. From there they discharged past the Martin Pond and into the Canagagigue Creek further downstream. The Stroh Drain also would have altered the local shallow groundwater regieme and helped drain the swamps both on Chemtura's and the Stroh property.

The final touch of course throwing cold water on Chemtura's claim that everything flowed into GP-1 & 2 is that old maps from the 1980's indicate that GP-1 is no longer located where it initially was claimed to be. Then it was indeed located on the east side of the still existing ridge of high land in the south-east corner. In that location it would have intercepted much more liquids versus where Chemtura/CRA now have it located which is on the west side of the ridge.

It is a scandal which thirteen months ago was unfolding due to the persistence, knowledge and honesty of CPAC. The old Woolwich Council were supportive. The new are not. Councillor Mark Bauman, ably abetted by our new Mayor, and with the gratitude of Chemtura and the M.O.E.; attacked, disparaged and lied about CPAC. They did Chemtura's dirty work for them. Hence they have been very bad children and are unlikely to receive much more than coal from Santa this year again.

Therefore I believe that it is only fitting for Mark especially to receive a very big Christmas Bonus this year from Chemtura for services rendered. Really it's the only fair thing to do. Jeff and Dwight can you get right on that please?

Monday, November 16, 2015


I get a chuckle out of the occasional commenter on my Blog who suggests more patience regarding my approach to the remediation here in Elmira. We are six weeks away from 2016. We are already in the eighteenth year of off-site pumping that started in 1998. We have but twelve and a half years until we reach the 2028 deadline. Keep clearly in mind this is not the thirtieth year since the wells were shut down. Oh no the powers that be didn't start the clock ticking until after nine years had pased from the shutdown of the Elmira south wellfield in 1989.

This past weekend I reviewed a June 27, 2013 report by the Ministry of the Environment. It is titled "Review of Groundwater Flow and Transport Model Update". This is a review of Chemtura/CRA's response to the Resolution passed by CPAC in the spring of 2012, when CPAC with both expert internal and external advice, publicly stated and distributed their conclusion that the 2028 off-site cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers was not achievable by the current remediation plans. Chemtura and CRA produced their alleged, already in the works, similar determination six months later (November 2012). Strange but their howls of protest and denial back in April/May were suddenly forgotten.

Chemtura publicly and repeatedly stated that they would need to both TRIPLE the volume of off-site groundwater pumping and treating AS WELL AS use some form of off-site source removal such as ISCO (In Situ Chemical Oxidation) in order to meet their 2028 deadline. What a turnaround! I was the first in Elmira/Woolwich Township to publicly state "The cleanup is a sham!" a few years earlier. CPAC professionally determined the same and then and only then after much denial, Chemtura/CRA/Ontario M.O.E. followed suit. Do we see a pattern here? Citizens lead and our government follows.

It has taken three years to date to install a few wells and study and reject ISCO as being unacceptable. No alternative technology has been proposed to date. The new TAG Chairrman, Dr. Dick Jackson, has suggested in his TAG 2016 Work Plan that Chemtura/CRA did not properly study or evaluate ISCO. The new off-site pumping, now promised to only DOUBLE off-site pumping is scheduled to begin sometime in 2016. The other kicker is whether this so called DOUBLING will be of either the 2012 pumping rate or even the 2015 off-site pumping rate. Afterall we are now being advised that supposedly there no longer is a need for well E7 in Elmira's south end (beside Voisin Motors) to remain pumping. This well has been the backbone of the off-site pumping for more than eighteen years. It alone has pumped half or more of the water removed and treated from the off-site aquifers. Therefore will this new DOUBLING of the off-site pumping be a Doubling before or after the pumping is cut in half?

Worst case scenario is that Chemtura with M.O.E. assistance has once again totally scammed Elmira and Woolwich Township. Best case scenario is that they have sucessfully dragged out another 3 1/2 years of testing and studies to avoid source removal both on and off-site. Either way they have as usual been assisted by our local Woolwich Council to the detriment of public health and the environment.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


These are names to remember the next time you are facing any kind of panel, board, tribunal etc.. These are allegedly "citizens" who have a leg up in getting appointed to these quasi judicial, quasi political bodies. All of them are on the current MECAC or Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee. I have expressed my opinion here in the Advocate that they are dishonest and corrupt and in bed with local politicians. They were actually appointed via all the Municipal Clerks in the various Townships and cities of Waterloo Region. It is my belief that they appointed exactly who they felt would protect elected (especially) politicians from the accountability demanded in the Municipal Elections Act 1996.

A number of these names you should recognize such as Carl Zehr, former Mayor of Kitchener and a former Regional Councillor. Grace Sudden was a Woolwich Township Councillor years ago and then a Regional Councillor. Robert Williams is a political science prof at one of our local universities. Murray Stoddart is simply a yes man. Larry Aberle trys not to be a jerk but still goes along with the crowd. Thomas Jutzi is a lawyer who I will give credit to in that knowing he was in a conflict of interest position with mayor Shantz, begged off of the last meeting. He was however front and centre at the first hearing into her election expenses. Kevin Bambrick is the last of this pack.

Three of these members that I know of had conflicts of interest at the very least serious enough to give the appearance that they might not be unbiased. The other two are Carl Zehr and Grace Sudden, former Regional Councillors. Zehr is also on the Board of Governers of Metrolinx, a company with a multi million dollar ongoing contract with the Region of Waterloo. Oh did I mention that mayor Shantz is currently a Regional Councillor? Shamefully there were exactly zero "conflicts of pecuniary interest" declared over a total of four meetings. Is this use of the word "pecuniary" simply an out to hide bias in favour of the elected politician under scrutiny?

This pack made three asinine and contrary to both the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) and case law, decisions. Two of them were in denying a forensic/compliance audit of Mayor Shantz's four Financial Statements, multiple contraventions of the MEA (some admitted) and her constantly evolving election expenses and contributions AFTER I publicly revealed her contraventions all AFTER the March 27/15 MEA deadline. The third asinine decision involved Woolwich Councillor Scot Hahn. His ordered forensic audit was the only appropriate and correct decision MECAC made. Then inexplicably and contrary to reason, law (MEA), commonsense and case law they refused to send his case on to the courts despite strong evidence that receipts/invoices were manufactured after the fact for signs and or brochures that were never paid for or invoiced in the first place. The best line I heard was that the one invoice produced as the real thing was later referred to as a "sample" invoice. Such utter bullshit!

MECAC were in full possession of all the facts. These included case law examples and a report by the Ontario Bar Association (July 2013) clarifying the very low threshold required to order a forensic audit. Instead they relied upon biased legal advice given to them both in camera and in public by the law firm working for Woolwich Township. This law firm took their instructions from and were paid by Woolwich Council, whose bias in favour of protecting their elected councillor and mayor was evident from the beginning. Plus of course two of these Woolwich Council members (Hahn & Shantz) were voting members of Council while allegedly being scrutinized by MECAC. What a corrupt farce.

Friday, November 13, 2015


For those of us old pharts who have been involved since 1989 with the Uniroyal Chemical destruction of the environment and associated health damages of the residents, both human and wildlife, once again Dr. Henry Regier has provided clarity and insight. Last evening (read this morning) Henry provided a copy of the above named report in the title to select local environmentalists, CPAC members, one TAG member currently out of country plus one politician and one local bureaucrat. Henry has reminded us that while the 1995-96 M.O.E. report by Jaagumagi & Bedard has been recently quoted and reviewed again; in fact the first comprehensive report on the environmental damage throughout the Grand River watershed was done in 1966, nearly one half century ago. The pace of remediation has truly been glacial.

This report was published the year after the Elmira Sewage treatment Plant came on line. It was desperately needed for both human sewage as well as treatment of Uniroyal Chemical toxic wastes. Then in 1973 the Woolwich Dam was built in order to have sufficient clean water to dilute those still noxious wastes and to assist in some restoration of the creek itself. Of course after the drinking wells were shut down in November 1989 and we all learned the obvious fact that Uniroyal had destroyed the Elmira Aquifers; we also learned that NDMA was being discharged via groundwater into the Canagagigue Creek. Of course no mention was made in 1989 of the ongoing discharge of Dioxins/Furans and DDT as well. We didn't learn about those until the 1995-96 M.O.E. report.

The 1966 report does not focus solely on Uniroyal Chemical. It mentions less well known toxic polluters such as Hart Chemical, Biltmore Hats, Standard Brands, Tend-R-Flesh. Somehow it missed Breslube in Breslau and Candian General Tower in Cambridge. Regardless it spells out numerous areas that have sufferred extreme industrial and agricultural pollution. The agricultural pollution is the result of excess fertilizers finding their way into the river; promoting weed and algal growth, hence robbing the river of oxygen. It would also include the practice of grazing cattle both on river floodplains as well as having unfetterred access to the rivers.

The battle for the Grand River, Canagagigue Creek and the health of the residents will continue. I've said it before and I will repeat it again. We have the science, we have the knowledge, we know what needs to be done. What is lacking is the political will and that only occurs after major crises. Until the citizens again rise up and say enough; our politicians will continue to do the bidding of monied interests while mollifying us with cosmetic improvements only.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


One week go today at a public TAG (Technical Advisory Group) meeting in Woolwich Council Chambers, Dr. Dick Jackson's 2016 TAG Work Plan was accepted by the TAG membership. This Work Plan lists three specific areas that have not been handled properly or professionally by Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. They are the Off-Site Remediation of the Elmira Aquifers, the ON-Site Remediation of LNAPLS and DNAPLS and thirdly the ongoing discharge of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) such as Dioxins & Furans and DDT into the Canagagigue Creek at least as far downstream as the confluence with the Grand River, over a half mile south of West Montrose. These broad problem areas are the result of inadequate, unprofessional monitoring and or flawed testing and analysis of both ground and surface water samples.

Dr. Jackson's immediate action which will be presented to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) on December 3/15 in Council Chambers is reflected in the title above. This is an indication of the seriousness of the data that Mr. Jackson has seen to date. I am not yet certain that he has seen all of it which is why I sent him an e-mail last week regarding the M.O.E. report (2012 data) showing 12,000 parts per billion (ppb) of DDT in one sample spot downstream in the "Gig" (ie. Canagagigue). This combined with CPAC's 20,000 ppb. sediment sample taken this past May indicates the threat to wildlife and humans.

Dr. Jackson also pointed out a somewhat peculiar comment in the M.O.E.s most recent sampling report dated September 30, 2015. They compared the sediment concentrations in the "Gig" with a couple of other highly contaminated areas. The other two areas were Whitby Harbour/Pringle Creek and Trent(?). The problem according to Dr. Jackson is the large volume of water in those two areas compared to the very small, confined space of the Canagagigue Creek. In other words there is no getting away from sediment contamination in a small creek compared to in a much larger surface area and volume of water.

A second problem would be that the M.O.E. only gave a couple of results only, for Dioxins/Furans only. No mention of whether there is also DDT present along with the Dioxins/Furans as there is in the "Gig". Besides the unknown effects of multiple toxic componds present simultaneously, to date it appears as if the M.O.E. are more concerned with DDT as it more regularily is in high exceedance of various health standards.

Are the M.O.E. as usual setting up their excuses early? Are they going to use the mathematical joys of Risk Assessment to minimize the threat? Will they give us their version of safety when it involves other human beings and wildlife without a voice in the matter?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


A couple of weeks back I gave my version of a Delegation that was given to MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) on October 26/15 by retired EDSS school teacher and citizen Richard Clausi. In hindsight I believe that his exact words are necessary for everyone to know exactly how corrupt and perverted both the MECAC and the Superior Court process has been regarding Councillors Hahn, Bauman and mayor Shantz. As the hearing was held during working hours it necessarily and intentionally excluded most of the public. His words are as follows:

"Thank You for the opportunity to offer philosophic comment relevant to the mechanics of enforcing the Municipal Elections Act. In his most recent article, Gwyne Dyer states that the "Rule of law is a key part of fostering real democracy". This, in part, answers a question asked by one of your panel members of me- that is, why such a concern with the election financials here in Woolwich. Is it really a big deal? The answer also resonates in the results of the recent federal election-- Specifically, Citizens today expect honesty, transparency and integrity within the electoral system.

A panel member also took issue with my inclusion of the Dean Del Maestro case in my earlier comments. It is not the same, he suggested. But the fact is, you cannot be a little bit pregnant. It certainly is obvious at 9 months, but it is still a fact at 4 months pr earlier. The excesses in Guelph and the Del Maestro case are just that- excesses ; yet, they are part of a corrupted mindset that overlooks, ignores and trivializes rules that form the framework our electoral system works within.

I am sure that you would agree that trickery and sleights of hand are inappropriate within a transparent electoral system.
Yet, trickery is council instructing its lawyers to neither offer counterpoint nor argument nor even testimony from the complainant when Superior Court is considering the reinstatement of a dismissed councillor.
Trickery is ambushing a hearing with documents, minutes before it is to begin so that neither the complainant nor the chair who arrives late nor the members can examine the documents, that indeed are rife with contradictions and shortcomings.
Trickery is providing flimsy excuses for not referring a forensic audit on to a prosecutor despite admission that the original, official financial return is incorrect, that the subsequent invoices are faulty, that there have been overcontributions by companies, and that there are false invoices with false receipts for amounts that were never paid, for items that were never paid for.
Trickery is accepting and commisioning late and different election financial returns when the act does not provide for this after submission deadlines.
Trickery is prejudging what the judicial system will do, and so, just not following though.
Trickery is a councillor admitting to perjuring herself in a sworn statement to Superior Court, with no apparent consequence or concern.
I could go on.
I am uncomfortable lecturing a panel that should be defending the integrity of the electoral process with the necessity to enforce the law as written, rather than as an exercise in wishful thinking.
I will close with a few words from this week's Observer, page 7, as I quote Steve Kannon:

"Beyond the Senate and some form of proportional representation, real accountable government would involve tough rules with real penalties--firings, seizure of assets and jail time--for politicians and bureaucrats who break the public trust, from lack of transparency to the kind of outright theft and corruption we've come to see as standard operating procedure. Politicians have exempted themselves from rules that apply to others."

If you (MECAC), individually and collectively, have betrayed the trust implicit in your appointment to oversee the process, you need to resign, forthwith. It is the honourable thing to do."

These words above are Richard's Delegation to MECAC. MECAC offerred zero comment on either the Township's trickery, the mayor's trickery or their own trickery. They ignored the comments by four independent citizens only to engage in a personal attack upon myself . Any hope for them to do the honourable thing was quickly dashed. Our only remaining local newspaper chose to ignore all those citizens comments in their account. This is one reason I started this BLOG nearly six years ago ie. to make up for our local non coverage of things like CPAC, TAG & RAC meetings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Monday November 23 as well as November 25 & 26 are scheduled in Superior Court for the charges against Todd Cowan. I think those charges are breech of trust and possibly theft. The second I'm not sure of. Todd's defence to date had been remarkably similar to our current mayor's Sandy Shantz. She has claimed inadvertent errors, honest mistakes etc.. In her case it was pretty easy to sell that to a judge when evidence counter to that was not allowed last July 23/15. Same stunt as was pulled by Councillor Bauman prior to that. Interestingly the dollar amounts involved are higher with mayor Shantz than with Todd Cowan. That said no one to my knowledge has accused her of stealing money. Fibbing about the sources, the amounts spent and contributed and cheerfully filing multiple inaccurate or untrue sworn statements, absolutely.

I have had exactly zero contact with Todd Cowan for a very long time and am happy for that. I personally know that the man is a liar. He has lied about me to his former Council and to Bob Burtt in Bob's book. He is not however the only liar in that book by a long shot. All that said I am guilty of the sin of assumption. Knowing Todd gilds the lily when it so suits him; I have assumed he was lying about his double expensing being all a big mistake. Hopefully we will soon hear all the evidence.

Right from the very beginning, despite my skepticism regarding Todd's excuses, it was pretty clear to me that certain parties at Woolwich Township had a huge vested interest to get rid of Todd and secondly were involved in so doing. The timing of his "exposure" was just too excrutiatingly bad for him. The stated facts regarding an anonymous "citizen" obtaining expense information from both Woolwich Township and the Region of Waterloo, either voluntarily or via FOI (Freedom of Information Act) seemed unlikely and remote. FOI for those of us who have gone that route, takes forever and rarely nets you everything you've asked for.

Are the accounting methods at both the Region and the Township really that bad that it took a third party citizen on a fishing expedition to flush out "incriminating" evidence? Or was it a Township Councillor or a senior Township Staff person on the lookout for dirt on the mayor, with much greater access to the expense records, who made the discovery of double expensing? Was a staffer at the Region helping look for issues?

The old saw is to follow the money. Sometimes there are additional motives. Is it remotely possible that some interesting political revelations may be forthcoming at Todd's trial? Is there a local industry who literally had hundreds of millions of dollars at risk with a mayor and Council who were much more environmentally aware and active than all the former Councils? Who has most benefited from Todd's downfall? Or is it as straightforward as most suggest? Stay tuned as hopefully we will all soon find out.

Monday, November 9, 2015

TAG WORK PLAN 2016 (October 22, 2015)

I am going to quote the last three (of four) objectives of the TAG Work Plan as listed on page 1 of Dr. Richard (Dick) Jackson's above titled report. They are to identify as follows:

2. "the problems with the monitoring and contamination of Canagagigue Creek in order to make recommendations to RAC"

3. "the problems associated with the monitoring and remediation of the Off-Site Municipal Aquifer in order to make recommendations to RAC"

4. "the problems associated with the monitoring and remediation of the On-Site Contamination at Chemtura in order to make recommendations to RAC"

Dr. Jackson has certainly identified these three major and possibly overwhelming problems in spades. These problems have been in existence since the very beginning. Some of them had been clearly identified both by the most recent CPAC as well as by past CPACs. All past comments, criticisms and concerns have been dismissed by Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. as being irrelevant, uninformed or overstated. This has included provided technical literature, quotes and references from respected professionals in the field. All to no avail.

Dr. Jackson in a very short period of time has not only identified technical issues regarding huge problems with the partners in pollution monitoring methods and omissions but has clearly explained the rationale behind those technical issues. To this day the three partners in pollution (ie. PIPs) do not wish to acknowledge the following fact on page 4 stated by Dr. Jackson and many other experts: "...strongly hydrophobic chemicals- chlorinated dioxins and furans and DDT and its degradation products (DDD and DDE) - are most readily transported in surface water when sorbed to organic particles or in the subsurface when dissolved within an organic solvent, ie. a non-aqueous phas liquid or NAPL, perhaps composed of chlorobenzene or toluene or both".

Their most consistent denial is of course with the second part of Dr. Jackson's quote regarding the movement of Dioxins and DDT in groundwater. They flat out deny groundwater transport of these compounds by any means. Dr. Jackson has also stated that while the faster flowing DNAPLS have already been transported; the slower, thicker ones such as tars etc.may well be still slowly advancing on site.

Hence as these compounds are still moving both in surface and ground water and further contaminating both the Elmira aquifers as well as downstream creek sediments and floodplains, they must be removed at source. Whether that source is on-site near the former operating ponds, retention pits, creekbanks or even off-site on Chemtura's neighbour's properties; they must be either removed or destroyed in place.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


As previously mentioned the intentional and malicious destruction of CPAC by Councillor Mark Bauman and mayor Sandy Shantz was not completely sucessful. CPAC lives despite that pair's perverted behaviour.

This morning Dr. Dan Holt and I will be engaging twenty enrichment kids in an exercise to broaden their horizons. Normally environmental education might encompass air pollution, ozone layers, carbon footprints, global warming etc.. This morning we will be teaching about aquifers, how they work and how they become contaminated. Of course with the example of horrendous ground and surface water contamination provided by Uniroyal Chemical/Chemtura Canada being so close to home; they are the obvious example.

Dr. Dan and I have discussed sticking to the provable technical facts (tons of them) and going easy on the politics involved. When these kids are older they are going to want to know why and how our local politicians were able to ignore the obvious for so very long. I don't think Sandy and Mark that the next generation are going to accept your excuses that you were just following orders. Whether Regional orders or Provincial orders via the Ministry of Environment or even directly from the Premier's office; none of it will wash. We here in Woolwich Township live and die here. We have a duty to those downstream residents as well as to our own children and grandchildren.

When my time comes I will die happy knowing I tried my hardest to improve our environment.

Friday, November 6, 2015


I could call it a one man show. I could gush over Dick Jackson's, of Geofirma Ltd., knowledge and experience. His insights and explanations are excellent for those of us with even a modicum of environmental background. I have already learned much more about stream mechanics (erosion & deposition) as well as how and why dioxins, DDT and other hydrophobic toxins adhere to soil particles. Dick's quote was that TOC (total organic carbon) in a soil sample is the glue that binds the toxins to the soil. Hence the greater the TOC the greater affinity Dioxins, Furans and DDT have to adhere to it.

Mr. Jackson does not remotely come off as either wanting or intending to be a one man show. He simply outclasses, technically, everyone else present by such a huge margin. He goes out of his way to reference assistance and input from other TAG members. This includes Bill Barr, Susan and Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach. He gladly answers questions from TAG members (David Hofbauer) and even clarified "heterogeneity" from mayor Shantz who is not a TAG member.

Dick Jackson is blunt and factual while not being intentionally inflammatory. He flatly stated that on a couple of technical matters he is getting his own opinion from outside experts rather than relying on the M.O.E.'s input. As he stated one should not rely solely on the regulatory authority but should check and confirm with academics on the matter.

Mr. Jackson expressed his surprise and shock regarding the failure to monitor suspended sediment in either surface water or even groundwater. Susan attempted to describe Conestoga Rover's habit of filtering out the suspended sediments prior to analysing the water for contaminants. The term CRA used was field filtering many years ago. Regarding testing of the floodplain of the creek all the way down to the Grand River, Dick stated that a grid pattern is necessary to properly test the floodplain and not to miss hot spots. Of course none of this has been done despite a minimum twenty years of knowledge of the contamination.

Regarding the multiple references by Saloni Clerk of the M.O.E. about floodplain samples, at her presentation to RAC last September 30th; in fact no such samples were taken. Mr. Jackson appeared at a loss to explain how or why the Ministry of the Environment, both verbally and in writing could have made such a gross error (my words). One other gross error has to be mentioned by myself. The next paragraph needs to be transmitted to the public, loud and clear. Unfortunately absolutely zero media were present. Elmira and Woolwich have had the Elmira Independent covering UPAC and CPAC meetings for decades. The Woolwich Observer, only somewhat justifiably, have indicated their refusal to attend because they have correctly understood that CPAC (other than 2010-2015) was all for show. CPAC were intended by both the M.O.E. and sucessive Woolwich Councils to simply give the appearance of public consultation.

Here is the news that needs to be distributed widely. Dick Jackson is no alarmist. Nevertheless he stated that TAG must recommend to RAC (politicians & bureaucrats) that the length of the Canagagigue from Chemtura to the Grand River needs to be fenced off and warning signage installed. No grazing, no fishing and no walking.

I will be advising Mr. Jackson by e-mail this morning that he probably has been misinformed regarding the M.O.E.'s recent creek studies. Saloni Clerk's flawed presentation as well as data that Mr. Jackson has advised TAG about, all omits the Ministry's most damaging data. That came from their 2012 first study of DDT and Dioxins in the creek after the groundbreaking 1995-1996 Jaagumagi & Bedard study.

It can not be overstated how many times Mr. Jackson bluntly made it clear that the analysis of creek water dissolved contaminants versus both the quantity of suspended sediments present plus their toxic loading is 100% wrong, improper and deceptive. He stated that better the M.O.E. and CRA had thrown out the water and kept the sediments rather than the other way around. He also took umbrage with CRA's language and comments in their 2014 Annual Monitoring Report dealing with "no groundwater impact of toxins to the Canagagigue Creek". Finally timing is crucial as most of the mobilization of sediments and hence both erosion and deposition occur during and shortly after the spring floods ie. "freshet".

I repeat what I said here earlier this week. Dick Jackson is the real deal but I believe he is a "dead man walking". He certainly is not naive as I was twenty-five years ago but he can have no idea of the viciousness and nastiness of Woolwich politics. That combined with the vested interests on TAG, the M.O.E., Regional politicians, G.R.C.A. and Chemtura Canada leaves him very vulnerable. He will be dropped like a hot potatoe. The only question is when and how.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


The on-line version of Paige Desmond's article on Monday titled "Chemtura boosts water cleanup" has a new title at least since Tuesday. The new title is "Chemtura water cleanup behind schedule". Doesn't that headline put things in a totally different perspective? A Current CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) member has suggested that the headline could also have been "CPAC vindicated, Chemtura cleanup fifty years behind schedule". As I was just reading yesterday our authorities had full knowledge at least as early as 1969 that the Uniroyal west side ponds were leaking like a sieve into the natural environment. Inexpensive stopgaps were their solution.

I was kicked off of CPAC back in the spring of 2008 by Woolwich Council after Pat and Susan led the charge the previous fall. Pat and Susan falsely claimed it had to do with the ongoing Ammonia Treatment System upgrades because I was appealing parts of the plan. The ATS was simply a red herring . Their real concern was my ongoing and overwhelming knowledge of the DNAPL coverup underway by Chemtura, CRA and the M.O.E.. Pat and Susan went along with that years long coverup and received satisfactory (to them) consideration for so doing. Woolwich Council in 2008, like today, were firmly in bed with Chemtura and the M.O.E..

Now this evening we will have a little peek into how the matter has been sucessfully buried and covered up for so many years. That coverup includes Pat and Susan refusing to read published reports given to us by Drs. Cherry and Parker in January 2007. It also includes their refusing to raise at CPAC the Parker and Cherry interview four of us had with them early in January 2007. The information we were given by two of the preeminent experts in the field of DNAPLS was totally at odds with the horse shit peddled at CPAC by Chemtura and their consultants Conestoga Rovers.

Dr. Dick Jackson simply by reading the 2014 Annual Monitoring Report has found evidence of the presence of both LNAPLS and DNAPLS. Whether residual or free phase DNAPL, as much as possible needs to be removed from the Chemtura site. This is as much the elephant in the room as is the ongoing discharge of Dioxins and DDT into the Canagagigue Creek.

CPAC will be vindicated. I will be vindicated. Woolwich Council members, Pat & Susan and the M.O.E. will all eventually be properly condemned for their dishonest support of doing as little as possible to restore the health of the environment and all its' inhabitants.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Let's see now. Both appear older, bearded, educated, informed and have a way with words. Henry has long impressed me with his ability to chastise wrongdoers, politicians and fellow travellers of same. I have seen Henry appropriately and factually criticize folks in authority but his choice of words and his willingness to understand and accept them back into the fold, before the end of his writing, is incrediblely inspiring. Dr. Jackson is a hydrogeologist and Dr. Regier a biologist. Very different fields yet certainly with overlap when discussing Chemtura contaminants in the Canagagigue Creek and their effects on both wildlife and humans.

Dick Jackson has written the "Draft Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Work Plan 2016" dated October 22, 2015. It will be discussed tomorrow evening at the public TAG meeting at 6:30 pm. in Council Chambers. I have read it carefully and can find no reasonable grounds for criticism. In fact I am a little astounded at how fast Mr. Jackson has gotten up to speed. Mind you I have often thought that if only Elmira citizens could afford to hire world class professionals to examine the Uniroyal/Chemtura situation; those professionals would be stunned by what has passed here for "cleanup".

While I can not speak on behalf of CPAC I can advise that the new Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) are aware of these developments and are paying close attention. In fact one of their members on a only slightly different note suggested that the title of Monday's K-W Record article could well have been "CPAC Vindicated - Chemtura Cleanup Fifty Years Behind Schedule". The saying is that the proof is in the pudding. Mr. Jackson is on the right track and as long as he is politically able, I can see him doing the job he was paid (modestly) to do. Whether he is able to get to even first base with the politicians and bureaucrats on RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) is another matter. Vested interests, conflicts of interest and technical incompetence of the majority combined with political self interest are powerful factors to overcome.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


A pleothera of riches yesterday! Paige Desmond of the K-W Record wrote two very good stories about Chemtura and MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) while TAG's (Technical Advisory Group) 2016 Work Plan, written by Chair Dick Jackson was released. Paiges' stories were titled "Chemtura boosts water cleanup" and "Complaints kept local elections compliance committee occupied". Most interestingly the new on-line headline for the first story is now "Chemtura water cleanup behind schedule.".

Once again Jeff Merriman is bragging about drinking water that only an idiot would drink. The last time was his claim that he would drink water straight from the Canagagigue Creek. This time it's water from the Elmira aquifers after it's allegedly clean. Funny enough but Councillor Mark Bauman without stating CPAC by name has given them credit for first raising "...the issue of Chemtura not meeting its target." Yes CPAC are the ones who produced such a report that went to both Woolwich Council and the M.O.E. in early 2012. That said yours truly had been publicly stating the "cleanup is a sham" and would not succeed for the previous several years.

CPAC were also indirectly given the appropriate credit for raising the alarm regarding off-site flow of contaminants east and south of the Chemtura site. This included CPAC's report last summer (July) regarding higher yet levels of DDT in the Canagagigue Creek just downstream of Chemtura. Graham Chevreau, Ron Campbell and CPAC took the initiative via the MTE Report in October 2014 first and then via their sediment testing funded by the Region of Waterloo. Once again yours truly worked with CPAC members as well as Peter Gray of MTE by providing much of the historical reports to them as well as accompanying, as a guide only, the two professionals from MBN plus Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach on their sampling mission on the Martin property and in the creek.

There is some historical revisionism at work and Chemtura and their partners in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, would love to take credit for determining on their own that their off-site pump and treat technology required upgrading. Not only isn't it so but Chemtura actually denied and argued CPAC's position for months before suddenly producing (via CRA) their updated plan. At that time they bragged about tripling their off-site pumping rates. Now they are claiming they will double them. After their recently planned shut down of their biggest pumping well at the south end of town (E7), let's see if they actually do double their off-site pumping. Colour me skeptical as their history has always been one of more talk, less action.

Paige Desmond's article about MECAC was fairly nuetral although Carl Zehr and fellow biased political appointees were blaming both forms and the legislation for a lack of clarity. The funniest part of the article occurred when Carl boy stated "But you have to remember that most candidates do not have an accounting background.". Hoo boy that is true but in this case "candidate" mayor Shantz bragged about her 31 years of bookeeping experience during her election campaign. Close enough yet she claims inadvertent errors, good faith and honest mistakes.

The piece de resistance I will leave for tomorrow. TAG Chair Dick Jackson has written TAG's Work Plan for 2016. It will be presented this Thursday in Council Chambers at 6:30 pm.. It covers the off-site cleanup, remediation of Canagagigue Creek sediments and floodplain and finally on-site source removal of LNAPLS and DNAPLS. Just watch the historical revisionism now from Susan Bryant, Pat McLean and their buddies Dwight and Jeff from Chemtura. I led the fight for not just removal of LNAPLS and DNAPLS when I was on CPAC with those pack of obstructionists but also afterwards with the last CPAC (2010-2015). The last CPAC had an open mind and listened unlike prior corrupted and co-opted versions; two of whose members mayor Shantz has appointed to TAG.

Monday, November 2, 2015


From the local level to the national, professional liars aka politicians control the message. It does get nasty at election time as we recently saw our federal politicians turning on each other. The rest of the time it is primarily propaganda and obfuscations trying to push people in the direction the government of the day wants. Make no mistake, if that direction is good for the majority versus the minority, it is unusual. Governments essentially exist for the very few days every decade when a real crisis does require some central control and authority. The rest of the time they exist to maintain the status quo. That status quo rewards those friendly to the government of the day. It rewards those who have donated to the party. It rewards those who have expressed their support of the government. It rewards those who already have status, power and money. So it has always been and always will be.

A week ago today MECAC reversed the onus on themselves to answer criticism regarding their failure to order a Compliance Audit (forensic audit) of mayor Shantz's election expenses. They kept asking me questions as to what new problems or evidence of non compliance with the Elections Act I had. Specifically they wanted to know how mayor Shantz's last two Financial Statements dated August 6/15 were erroneous. They not only did not want to discuss all the errors and contraventions in her first two Financial Statements; they in conjunction with Woolwich Township had the township's lawyer, under instructions from mayor Shantz and her Council, pretended that legally they weren't allowed to. Such utter rubbish.

I repeatedly stated that all my concerns and criticisms were clearly spelled out in my September 15/15 Application for A Compliance Audit, that had been submitted to them. They kept trying to get me to state that only those items that I could list from memory included everything. They did not.

From memory I mentioned the inadequate Invoice from Councillor Larry Shantz regarding mayor Shantz's campaign website which verbally he stated included her twelve You Tube videos. I also mentioned her constatntly rising Contributions and Expenses throughout her February 2/15, July 23 & June 16/15 Statements and finally her last two August 6/15 Statements. What I did not recall from memory was concerns regarding Fundraising expenses. Again the evidence that mayor Shantz had fund raising expenses was clearly spelled out in my six page submission to MECAC as well as in the copies the media received. Of course MECAC and the mayor both avoided that issue by not raising it. Of course they did not raise the March 23/15 date on her second Financial Statement. Neither of us raised the possibility that a forensic audit of her election expenses might raise some questions regarding her anonymous donations of over $1,700. These allegedly are all $100 donations or less thus allowing them to be anonymous. It would certainly be possible to slide a couple of larger donations into this group that either the mayor or the donors preferred to keep quiet. That is a major problem with these Financial Statements. Without a Compliance Audit as is required after contraventions have been identified by a citizen, there is way too much room to hide and fudge both Expenses and Contributions.

For the second time MECAC improperly used the excuse that a Compliance Audit wasn't necessary because she had provided additional information and explanations of concerns raised. Those are not the criteria determining whether or not a Compliance Audit should be ordered. MECAC know this full well but obviously along with the mayor do not want a professional, serious, thorough and unbiased examination of her four Financial Statements. As I said in my Delegation last Monday to MECAC, a Compliance Audit is not punitive. It is investigative and is necessary.