Saturday, October 22, 2016


I've been on the lookout for PCB soil or groundwater results for the last twenty to twenty-five years on the Uniroyal/Chemtura site in Elmira, Ontario. How is it possible that only now in 2016 they have appeared? How many other times were they positively identified and the results never published in reports or those reports buried? How many times were they positively identified via lab testing and either the consultants or Uniroyal/Chemtura expunged them from reports that were then made available to the public? As far as I am concerned this is the equivalent of a convicted child molester appearing at a parole board hearing and the board members not advised that oh yes he also has a couple of convictions for murder as well.

Yesterday the public were advised via CKCO-TV Kitchener that PCBs were found on the Chemtura property eight feet below ground surface. This data came from the recent Supplementary On-Site Investigation Report (July 29/16) which reported on two test pits on the east side very close to the Stroh farm. As Dr. Dan Holt did a wonderful job in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record, so did Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach in last evening's (6 & 11:30 pm.) two televised broadcasts. As congratulations go to Paige Desmond of the Record they also go to Abigail Bimman of CKCO-TV.

PCBs potentially on the Uniroyal site first came to my attention twenty years ago when they were discovered in the Bedard and Jaagumagi (M.O.E.) 1996 study of the Canagagigue Creek. I have long wondered where else possibly they could have come from other than Uniroyal. To this time I would equate it to the discovery of NDMA in Elmira's groundwater in 1989. NDMA it turns out can be found in many different sources however the evidence all strongly pointed to Uniroyal in 1989. Hindsight being 20/20 I believe that while Uniroyal certainly led the parade with irresponsible disposal of toxins, they were far from the only contributor to the destruction of Elmira's groundwater. At this time we now have positive evidence of Chemtura's complicity with PCBs but to my knowledge no other sources have been proven.

The toxic effects of PCBs on humans, wildlife and plant life are well known and documented. Unlike DDT which affects birds and animals more than humans; PCBS like Dioxins do incredible damage to human beings. To date the M.O.E. have been down playing DDT in the creek because of its' much lower effects upon human receptors. They have also been ignoring the effects of HCB, Mercury and PCBs on both humans and other lifeforms. They have also not categorically indicated the vastly increased threat to both humans and the environment from all these persistent and toxic substances combined. Perhaps science does not have a single magic number combining all these proven, serious threats but that should not stop the Ontario Ministry of the Environment from doing their job. Order Chemtura to clean up their mess in the Canagagigue Creek from their plant downstream to the Grand River at a minimum! Polluter pays should be more than a handy slogan for politicians and the M.O.E.. It should be an enforceable law.

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