Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Following the trend of inconsistency throughout the nearly five years of Canagagigue Creek testing, we have the example of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons or PAH for short. They were sampled in July 1995 up and down the creek in the sediments only. This sediment testing took place from slightly above Uniroyal Chemical down as far as Station #23 (Jigs Hollow Rd. #46) just above the Grand River. Sixteen different PAHs were tested for and while none were found upstream of Uniroyal Chemical all but one were found downstream at various sampling locations. Yes that is fifteen out of sixteen parameters sampled for were detected. The concentrations vary from Trace amounts at 40 parts per billion (ppb) up to 7,800 ppb. for Fluoranthene. Keep in mind that the Method Detection Limit was fairly high in these 1995 samplings. In comparison the only other sampling of PAHs took place in 2015 and there were Trace amounts detected as low as 4.2 ppb.

In comparison the 2015 sampling was also in sediments only versus sediments and floodplain soils as were most of the other parameters tested in 1995-96. The failure to consistently measure all parameters in all the same locations over time is one of the huge failures in the Ministry of Environment's Canagagigue studies. While broad generalizations can be made when comparing data I believe that actual statistical conclusions are nearly impossible to make. That said the 1995 PAH sediment data did at least go as far down the creek as Station #23 very close to the Grand River. This is in contradiction to the 2015 data which only geographically covers the south end of Chemtura and then as far downstream as one of the Station #21 locations (ie. New Jerusalem Rd.).

The 2015 data indicate that all 20 parameters were detected (versus 16 parameters in 1995) albeit five were at Trace levels. As difficult as it is to compare geographically it appears as if the total concentrations of PAHs are slightly higher in 2015 than in 1995.

While I believe that statistically significant trends are almost impossible to conclude I doubt that that will stop the M.O.E. from doing exactly that. They have a new TAG (1 year +), a brand new Chair of TAG and proven, experienced, technically competent citizen stakeholders (CPAC) that have been marginalized, excluded and refused the right to ask questions and make comments during public meetings. This should be a walk in the park for the partners in pollution namely Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E.. Real public consultation it is not.

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