Friday, March 31, 2017


Well of course there is. It's even possible if not likely that most of our local Woolwich Councillors would be shocked by some form of blatant display of corruption. I'm thinking of the brown paper bag filled with cash, style of corruption. Funny how people can be a little bit corrupted by politics and power but still be outraged when accused of being "corrupt". I've said it before that corruption above and beyond the obvious and blatant is also defined as "riddled with errors". For example a professional report can be corrupt simply because it is blatantly bad, incompetent or inaccurate. The author does not need to have had his palm greased directly from say a local polluter for his work to be corrupt.

Back in November 2012 CPAC and SWAT members were shocked by an exchange that took place between Conestoga Rovers (Steve Quigley) and Susan Bryant at a Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) meeting. It seems that local environmental activist Susan Bryant of APTE had been collaborating with CRA (Conestoga Rovers) on a project referred to as E:Dat or electronic data access tool. The timing while not exact appeared to have occurred while Susan was a voting CPAC member. From late 2010 to late 2015 she was not.

Some CPAC and SWAT members heard this directly the first time (Nov. 29/12) it was said and others believe they heard it at the followup Tutorial put on by CRA at their Waterloo offices. CPAC members and other members of the public were invited. I attended both meetings. There were a number of different CRA employees present at the Tutorial in Waterloo than at the public CPAC meeting. Regardless the almost bragging by Susan as to her close involvement with CRA on this project made absolutely no sense if Susan at the time was a voting CPAC member whose interests were entirely those of Woolwich citizens.

Similarly Pat Mclean's longtime membership on the National Advisory Panel of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) was totally inappropriate while she was the Chair of CPAC and allegedly solely representing the publics' interests as Chair. She had no business accepting travel, meal and accomodation expenses from the Chemical Industry (CIAC) of which Chemtura was a member while she was on CPAC, much less Chair.

Woolwich Township were advised of all this two years ago. They covered it up. Now recently Woolwich Council have received a Staff Report advising them of new Ontario legislation (Bill 68) dealing with municipal procedures, codes of conduct, conflicts of interest and an Integrity Commissioner. I again went back to them just over three weeks ago advising that new stringent conflicts of interest rules absolutely disqualified Pat and Susan from being on the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which is supposed to represent the interests of Woolwich citizens, not the interests of the chemical industry, Chemtura or their consultants.

To date Woolwich have not given me any reason to expect an honest and appropriate response from them. In over two years they have not interviewed the CPAC and SWAT members who were present at those two meetings. They also have not availed themselves of the written statements that are available from them. It's as if their best hope is plausible deniability. Here's a radical thought Woolwich Council. How about doing the right thing? Gently and respectfully remove that pair from TAG as I suggested over three weeks ago. You don't have to vilify or condemn them. You do however have to show more respect to the Woolwich public by having citizens without chemical industry ties or behind the scenes relationships with Chemtura's allies, representing them on this committee of Council.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


There are two separate water supply systems in Maryhill. The one consists of two wells MH1 & MH2 and is called the Maryhill Water Supply System. The other consists of wells MH3 & MH4A. It is called the Maryhill Village Heights Water Supply System. Interestingly their water treatment systems are different.

The older system namely the Maryhill Water Supply System has the raw water chlorinated in order to kill bacteria such as E.Coli and Total Coliforms. That said their raw water for 2016 was clear of both. Then the water is injected with ammonium sulphate which produces a more stable disinfectant throughout the distribution system. This nowadays is the norm and it also reduces the production of Trihalomethanes (THMs) from the interaction of the chlorine in the water with any organics. THMs are a health issue and unfortunately although there is a line in the Annual Report indicating that the annual average is to be shown, it is not. So far I have not been able to find where the Region might be hiding this number.

Of greater concern may be the lack of THM reporting in the Village Heights Water System. This is because ammonium sulphate is not used and hence there is a greater propensity for the formation of THMs.

The Maryhill System while likely fine THM-wise does however suffer from a symptom of ammonium sulpahte useage. That is the formation of chloramines which are the more stable disinfectant previously mentioned. Chloramines are also a health issue and the guideline states that 3.0 mg/l (ppm.) should be the maximum. The Maryhill System had half a dozen readings that exceeded half the standard but the other concern is the two that exceeded the 3.0 mg/l standard. The Region have conveniently not given a clear indication as to exactly how much the standard was exceeded by. They have simply recorded > 3.0 mg/l ie. greater than 3.0mg/l which is not acceptable or very informative.

Similar to the other 2016 Annual Reports the Region of Waterloo have dropped two or three pesticides from their reporting (& sampling?) with no explanation given. They have added one namely MCPA. Especially as these are rural systems I think a rationale should be given on these reports for additions or subtractions of parameters used.

Glyphosate (Roundup) similar to all the other reports is also listed as <25 ug/l or less than 25 parts per billion (ppb.). This Method detection Limit is outrageously high.

Both water systems have low Turbidity and non-existent bacteria detections for 2016. That is good news. Nevertheless these Reports are unclear regarding health issues surrounding by-products of disinfection and in regards to certain organic pesticides that may or may not be present. That lack of clarity is not acceptable.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Good news and bad news here. Some of the bad news is common with most other Region of Waterloo jurisdictions and municipalities. This includes Glyphosate at a Method Detection Limit (MDL) of 25 parts per billion (ppb.). That is outrageous and most likely an attempt to hide significant detections of Glyphosate in some locales by increasing the MDL until Glyphosate registers as non-detect. Then either in expectation that because it has become ubiquitous in our groundwater it will rise in most of the other groundwater wells or in order to hide which citizens are already blessed with this herbicide (Roundup) in their drinking water, all the MDLs throughout the region are elevated.

There are another eight chemicals some solvents, some pesticides at MDLs at 1 ppb. or higher. That also is unacceptable. Sometimes it isn't the high reading of one toxic chemical but multiple low readings that can do damage to human beings.

The really obvious problem with West Montrose water is and has been forever the bacteria in the raw water. 2016 isn't too bad in comparison to other years although I would describe the raw water as still totally unacceptable. The Region appears to agree as they have a brand new water supply coming in scheduled for the end of 2018. Whether they will luck out and there will be no major breakdown in the on-site treatment causing major illness or worse is anybody's guess. E.Coli and Total Coliforms are still present in the raw water and that is hardly surprising considering the river wells draw water from both the unprotected Grand River as well as the groundwater impacted by the septic systems in the village.

2016 saw only one Adverse Result although that was a loss of Combined Chlorine in the system. The treated water was resampled, disinfection was restored and watermains were flushed. This is the problem when you have an already known problem source. Each and every breakdown could have terrible consequences. The prior two years were pretty good in regards to Adverse Results although as recently as 2013 they had an even dozen Adverse Results during the year. These included excessive Chloramine, a health issue, as well as deficient Contact Time (CT) between the raw water and the disinfecting (bacteria killing) chlorine. Overall the West Montrose water treatment system has been plagued with Adverse Results for many years often requiring disinfection to be restored and watermains flushed. This bodes poorly.

Bizzarely the Turbidity in the West Montrose water system has been on the rise over the last several years. From 2012 at 4.98 NTU until last year (2016) it was at 12.2 NTU or Nephlemetric Turbidity Units. Generally raw water should be at 1 NTU or lower in order for disinfection to be totally effective. Bacteria can "hide" from chlorine compounds if there is sediment or particulates in the raw water. There are filters in the system to reduce raw water Turbidity and as long as human error, proper maintenance and equipment failures are slim to nil, disaster can be avoided. A lot of ifs here.

West Montroses water has been shameful for decades. If young children, seniors or people with comprimised immune systems are exposed to E.Coli in particular, then another Walkerton is in the works. To date I think that the Region have been playing Russian Roulette with this water system. Guess what happens if you play Russian Roulette long enough?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


So why alienate Woolwich Council? Well firstly speaking truth to authority, whether serious authority or simply piss ant authority, will not alienate you from any honest authority. If on the other hand you speak truth to a group of individuals who are either biased or have reason to feel threatened by those speaking the truth, then indeed you will alienate them.

Over two years ago I spoke truth to Woolwich Council regarding conflicts of interest on a committee of council. I was ignored by most Council members and threatened by our mayor. Very sad but there it is. Back on March 7, 2017 Council were presented with a Staff Report dealing with Bill 68. Bill 68 is in the works with the province of Ontario and deals with municipal procedures, codes of conduct and conflicts of interest. I view it as a desperate voter pleasing attempt by our current embattled Liberal government. That said it already appears to have prompted Councillor Mark Bauman to come clean with a conflict of interest he has with Ray Kuntz who's involved with the Jigs Hollow Gravel Pit.

Hence again I have raised the issue of conflicts of interest of two committee of Council members. Once again our Council appear to be delaying and avoiding the issue. I therefore have decided to expand my complaints regarding this matter with other authorities. This is unfortunate and would not have been necessary if Council had fulfilled their duties and mandates. They have not. I am hopeful that these other authorities will shortly communicate with Woolwich Township and ask them what their problem is in understanding such a straightforward and blatant case. To date Council haven't even contacted myself or several other witnesses for even preliminary discussions. There is also other evidence available which has been made available to them. With the one committee member we haven't even received so much as an initial response, explanation or excuses since the beginning in mid March 2015. Yes that is correct - mid March 2015.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated solvent. It has been in the subsurface relatively near the Willian St. Wellfield in Waterloo probably for 70 years or so. This is one of the properties of Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLS) in that they very slowly dissolve into groundwater over a period of decades or even centuries depending on the volume of this free phase liquid in the subsurface. Sunar, Canbar and possibly even the old Seagram's Distillery would have used TCE as a metal degreaser back in the day. Too late we learned that once released into the subsurface it was going to end up dissolved in nearby groundwater wells and continue to be
detected for many decades.

The William St. Wellfield still has other problems with its' water and they have shown up in the latest 2016 Annual (drinking water) Report. The raw water has low detections of Total Coliform and the water is very turbid (murky with suspended particles etc.). Sodium levels are off the charts compared to most other wells in Waterloo region. At 223 mg/l this water is not good for those with heart problems. Levels above 20 mg/l are reported to both the Health Department and the Ministry of Environment every five years.

Glyphosate similar to other wells in Waterloo Region is listed as <25 parts per billion (ppb.). Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. Less than 25 ppb. (<25 ug/l) is a ridiculously high Method detection Limit for any manmade chemical and despite the current very high Ontario Drinking Water Standard it should not be in our drinking water at anywhere near that concentration.

TCE concentrations are below the current Ontario Drinking Water Standard of 5 ppb.. Nevertheless they are constantly present in the drinking water between 1.3 and 1.6 ppb.. They have been constantly present for decades and have done most citizens we are told no harm. When the drinking water standard for TCE was much higher 25 years ago I wonder if the concentrations allowed in the water were also much higher. One of the inexpensive methods of reducing TCE concentrations is through simple dilution. In other words combine more contaminated wells with others less contaminated into a reservoir and then measure the TCE levels.

Cambridge installed a multi million dollar Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) in 2013 to further reduce their TCE concentrations in the Middleton Wellfield. Middleton historically had higher concentrations of TCE than what the William St. wells have been at. I assume that for a similar expenditure TCE levels could be lowered in the William St. Wellfield.

Lastly the William St. Wellfield has high levels of Chloramines. Chloramines are produced as a by-product of the disinfection process (ie. bacteria removal). Anything above 3 mg/l is unacceptable and this wellfield has chloramine results as high as 2.48 mg/l. Again while not good in its' own right it is also the possible synergistic effects with TCE, Glyphosate, Sodium and potentially other very low level solvents below the detection limit although still present in the water.

This drinking water may be legal but it is not acceptable to informed consumers. The reality is that we today are paying for the sins of the industrial barons who made themselves rich while dumping their waste products into our common earth, air and groundwater. We are paying both with our wallets and with our health.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Cambridge drinking wells continue to drop at an alarming pace. After looking through the 2016 Annual (drinking water) Reports it appears as if a few more are either fully or partly down for the count. This includes P6 which has been down since 2011 as well as the Hespeler wells. H3 was shut down for all of last year, and H4 was also down for all of last year. That said H4 has been supposedly sharing duties with the addition in recent years of well H4A. I would expect that H4 is contaminated and H4A has a liner through the contaminated depths and picks up its groundwater from a cleaner depth. Well H5 was shut down for 14 weeks last year without reason given similar to the other wells. Also its' organic parameter testing has not been updated since 2014. This may be legal but it's not right.

Well G9 has had long term low level Trichloroethylene (TCE) in it from probably two nearby industrial sources. The TCE is at 2 ppb. which is similar to the criteria for the Minnesota Department of Health. Oh wait a minute. That's the concentration of TCE from the last time it was tested in 2014. How neat is that that a well which routinely detects toxic TCE in it is not tested even on an annual basis? At least P6 was being tested for TCE several times a year before they shut it down in 2011 allegedly without finding any TCE. Well G9 was offline for eleven weeks last year. Once again no explanation is given. Such a confidence builder that is Region of Waterloo.

Preston well P15 was offline for 23 weeks last year. I guess Cambridge just has so much excess water available they can afford to shut multiple wells and pumps down for long periods of time. Again no explanation given. Preston well P9 had a very unusual event occur and it rated an Adverse Incident Report. Apparently Total Coliforms had 1 detection in the treated water. This is unusual in that while Total Coliforms are not unusual in raw water, to find even a detection of 1 in treated water is. The Corrective Action consisted of resampling the treated water and presumably the sample came up at zero.

Then we have Glyphosate tested at a Method Detection Limit (MDL) of 25 parts per billion (ppb.). This is a totally bizarre MDL. Most of the other organic parameters are tested between .1 and .5 ppb. with a couple around 1 and 1.3 ppb. and one at 1.5 ppb.. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. A number of sources have been sounding the alarm for this herbicide over the last several years. Allegations include that it can be toxic to aquatic organisms and that it may be a trigger for autism in humans. It is also used in GMO foods as well as has become ubiquitous on farms, residential lawns and in our drinking water.

This 25 ppb. MDL is throughout Cambridge's drinking wells and most likely all of Waterloo Region. To date I have not checked every single Annual Report for 2016. What I can tell you is this. Ten years ago plus the MDL for Glyphosate in Waterloo Region wells was in the 2 parts per billion (ppb) ie. <2 ug/l range. Then it rose to <10 ppb. or <10 ug/l. Approximately in 2009 the Region of Waterloo raised the Method detection Limit to <25 ug/l or less than 25 parts per billion (ppb.). This < symbol stands for "less than" and basically means that the Region can claim that Glyphosate is non-detect albeit at a MDL of <25 ppb..

So Glyphosate is non-detect at a MDL of <25 ppb. What reasonable explanation for constantly raising the Method Detection Limit over time is there but that the concentrations of Glyphosate keep rising in our groundwater? While the Ontario Drinking Water Standard (ODWS) for Glyphosate currently is at an extremely high 280 ppb. I expect that the science will catch up with it. If the health concerns both for wildlife and humans are even half correct than just like TCE you will eventually see this Ontario Drinking Water Standard drop dramatically. Of course our governments believe that toxic exposure doesn't really count as long as it's below the ODWS. Furthermore and even more remarkably while they have absolutely no idea what TCE and Glyphosate together in drinking water can do to humans, rest assured no regional bureaucrats or politicians will be held liable for damages to your health.

Friday, March 24, 2017


On the face of it that doesn't have to be a problem or issue. If you are a recent grad say of a hydrogeology course and you want to get some experience with hydroG reports and with a local groundwater issue then by all means volunteer your time to a past CPAC or TAG. That is a win-win. You get to add volunteer experience to your resume that is relevant to your hoped for upcoming field of work. The environmental committee dealing with groundwater issues gets the benefit of your training and insights into groundwater issues and problems.

Lets say however that you are working with a public advisory committee dealing with local soil, ground and surface water contamination courtesy of a very recalcitrant polluter. A polluter with immense power and money and a bad attitude into the bargain. This attitude may be all about playing the game. Spend big bucks on consultants and lawyers and even on public relations firms. This firm as part of their PR program will join their industry association and even go through the process of receiving certification as a *Responsible Care company.

The chemical industry as a whole have been responsible for a number of horrible explosions, fires, chemical disasters and human suffering worldwide. To a certain extent it is the nature of the business. To a certain extent it's not. They have certainly learned how to market and package their attempts to appear to be good corporate citizens and indeed some of their members probably are. But not all. In an industry of this size and power "captured" regulators are a fact of life. Certainly the Ontario Ministry of Environment give every indication of having been "captured" by large corporate polluters in this province. The M.O.E. would far rather negotiate and cut deals than end up in court fighting adversaries with much greater legal budgets than they have. Little guys no problem.

Is working directly or indirectly for the M.O.E. an indication that a person is corrupt? Depends on what you are doing. If you are working at arms length inspecting shallow wells getting paid by an intermediary body such as the Region of Waterloo perhaps not. If on the other hand you were doing your professional work such as editing reports for the polluter's client driven consultants then yes. If you were sitting on an Advisory Panel for the Canadian chemical industry of which the local polluter is a member and you are receiving personal benefits from this work then yes it is wrong. If you are totally and completely unqualified to advise the chemical industry on anything but you were recommended to this Advisory Panel by your local polluter then yes it is wrong.

If both of you were offered all expense paid plane travel to another country to unnecessarily show you a landfill then it is most likely nothing more than a bribe. If you are receiving any kind of benefit whatsoever from a "captured" regulator such as the M.O.E, or from the polluter or his consultants then something is very wrong. By accepting any of these perks you have put yourself in a conflict of interest position. When you sit on a CPAC or TAG whose interests are you really looking out for? Are you prepared to jeopardize both present and future benefits by either speaking or acting in a manner contrary to those who have been giving you either employment, free travel, prestige, access and status and any other perks directly or indirectly? That is why it is called a conflict of interest and it is rife here in Woolwich Township.

Access is part of the local bribe. Do us this solid on this issue and we will offer you lifetime access to us. We will sit down forever more with you and acknowledge your right to talk to and discuss your environmental concerns with us. This access has been denied to CPAC precisely because we would not go along with the polluter and his captured regulator's agenda. The ACC or APTE-Chemtura Committee was the promised land access for a couple of citizens who under the new Woolwich Council lost their CPAC seats after the 2010 municipal election.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


We all know lifetime smokers who have lived to 75 years of age. Ditto with people who are very overweight and or never exercised a day in their lives. Bad diets and fast food put some people in their graves by the time they are 50. The same diet in a different person and they just seem to keep on going. Toxic work exposures kill people in their 40s and 50s yet the person working beside them survives for another 25 years. Human beings are different plus they are more vulnerable at different stages of their lives.

Trichloroethylene is recognized as an extremely toxic solvent. At one time it was also a very commonly used solvent in industry. It was used as a degreaser. I used it I believe only once when I worked at Varnicolor Chemical in the late 1980s. I was outside wearing an ill fitting respirator spraying it into drums with grease in them. That night when I drove home I had a headache and thought my car's exhaust must be leaking. It wasn't. It was a Trichloroethylene (TCE) headache. I've only had a TCE headache one other time in my life and I didn't recognize it for what it was until much later. I had been in a home in the Bishop St. community in Cambridge. Similar to tobacco you can build up a tolerance to the symptoms of TCE. Thus while the headaches or rashes may go away you are still being harmed.

The current health criteria for TCE in Canada is 5 parts per billion (ppb). Some U.S. jurisdictions have criteria of 3 ppb. I have a vague memory of TCE being at 5 ppb. in Ontario, moving up to 50 ppb in the 90s and then going back down to 5 again. While I'm positive that it used to be at 50 ppb. here I'd really like some confirmation that it had been bumped up to that from 5 before being reduced back to 5 ppb.

I just saved this post (work in progress) and did a five minute Google search to confirm U.S. drinking water criteria for TCE. I knew that some states have lower standards than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and I was expecting around 3 ppb.. I'm in shock! The Minnesota Department of Health states that 2 ppb. TCE in drinking water is safe for most people over a lifetime but they recommend no higher than .4 ppb. in order to protect all consumers. The reduced concentration is to protect pregnant women, fetuses, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. That 2 ppb. seems to match the high levels found in the Middleton drinking water in recent years. Again I have to ask the question as to whether the Region of Waterloo are managing their multimillion dollar enhanced treatment (AOP) to keep just below 2 ppb. TCE rather than to reduce it even further?

Those numbers in the previous paragraph tell me why we currently have an epidemic in cancer rates in Ontario and Canada. Keep in mind drinking water is not remotely the only route of exposure for human beings. The food we eat, the air we breathe, exposure to sun and other skin exposures are all part of the picture.

In the early 1990s the three Middleton St. wells (G1,G2,G3) had Trichloroethylene (TCE), Trichloroethane (TCA), Tetrachloroethane (also known as Perc), and Dichloroethylene (DCE) in them. They had TCE, TCA, Perc and Chloroform in them as well in the 1980s. The probability is that additional toxic chemicals in their own right would only be more hazardous in combination. That said all Ontario (& likely other jurisdictions) base individual criteria on the unlikely assumption that that chemical alone is in the water.

TCE was found in the early 90s at concentrations between 5 and 6 ppb. in well G1. Well G2 was between 7 and 10 ppb. Well G3 was between 7 and 9 ppb..

In the late 1980s well G1 had TCE at 6.4 ppb, well G2 had 13.7 ppb. and well G3 had 14.5 ppb..

TCA was found in the early 90s in well G1 at concentrations between 2 and 5 ppb.. Well G2 had TCA at concentrations between 4 and 11 ppb.. Well G3 was between 5 and 8 ppb..

TCA was found in the late 80s in well G1 at 3.7 ppb.. Well G2 was at 9.3 ppb. and well G3 was at 10.2 ppb..

Perc was found in well G3 in the early 90s between 1 and 2 ppb.. and in slightly lower concentrations in well G2.

Perc was also found in well G2 at 2.2 ppb. and well G3 at 2.5 ppb. in the late 80s.

DCE was also found in well G3 in the early 90s between .4 and .6 ppb..

My interpretation is that the Region of Waterloo have been trying to stay either ahead of or at least within the drinking water standards of the time. I also believe that they have accomplished this through management actions including dilution with other less contaminated wells. They now have a state of the art system at the Middleton wells but appear to be satisfied with keeping TCE present albeit below 2 ppb.. My assumption is that they are saving money on treatment by so doing. That is a management decision and it is wrong. Cambridge residents have a long exposure time (decades) to multiple toxic chemicals in their water and instead of the Region of Waterloo spending money on legacy projects for their politicians (ION) they need to be reducing TCE even further in Cambridge's drinking water.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Just tell us the truth. Stop sugar coating the extensive and pervasive results of industrialization and its' disgusting toxic waste disposal between the late 1800s and 1980. This waste disposal was to simply send solvents, pesticides and toxic waste water into the nearest ditch, canal, creek or waterway. More "enlightened" companies farther away from the Grand River and its' tributaries used waste lagoons, pits and ponds out behind their properties, presumably somewhat out of site. To this day Cambridge's (& Kitchener-Waterloo) groundwater is still contaminated with these carcinogenic compounds.

The Region of Waterloo's Annual (Drinking Water) Reports are out. They are on the Region's website under the headings of Environment, Water, Quality & Treatment. Up until this year you could access reports going back a decade or so. Those are now gone. I accept some blame for this. I have been posting here each year for the last several years my take on these reports. I also accept some credit for a new page at the start of these reports. It is a list of definitions of some of their shortforms and acronyms. Three years ago I and Woolwich Township went after the Region big time in regards to the disgrace of third world water supply in West Montrose. This included requesting that the Region clarify all their stupid acronyms on their Annual (drinking water) Reports.

A year or so ago I gave my opinion that the Middleton St. Wellfield was the most expensive water in the Region. This was based upon the amount of treatment necessary as well as the recent upgrades in 2013. An Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) was added to the treatment currently available. This is not to detract from the extensive treatment costs for Grand River water taken from the Hidden valley area and piped over to Mannheim for extensive treatment.

The Middleton Wellfield has always been problematic. It's right beside the Grand River and besides other nearby industries is blessed with Canadian General Tower (CGT) across the street. Among many other things CGT was credited with adding phalates to the sediments in the Grand River beside their plant. Since the addition of AOP in 2013 I've been watching Trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations carefully in their Annual Report for this wellfield. Back in 2009 TCE was found at concentrations ranging from 2.3 to 4.4 parts per billion (ppb) with most results in the 3.4 Area. By 2011 they ranged from 1.8 to 2.9 ppb. with most results in the 2.6 Area. 2013 had TCE ranges of .7 to 3 ppb. with most results in the 1.4 Area. Three wells have historically been the source of TCE (& more) into the Middleton Well System. Based upon six different wells now being part of this system I had believed that a significant amount of dilution and mixing of well water was going on. I refer to this as managing pollution not fixing it.

Now here's where it gets a little weird for me. They've got a new multimillion dollar system. A little fine tuning and operator experience usually can maximize the potential of a new water treatment system. By 2014 TCE ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 ppb. in the Middleton Wellfield results. Most results were in the 1.6 ppb. area. Hmm, this is higher than the previous year.

2009 - 3.4 *********************************************************************************************************************
2011 - 2.6 *********************************************************************************************************************
2013 - 1.4 *********************************************************************************************************************

2014 - 1.6 *********************************************************************************************************************

In 2015 the TCE results were between 1.1 and 1.9 ppb. with the most results in the 1.4 ppb. Area.

Now the most recent data ie. for 2016. We have results between 1.13 and 1.6 ppb. with most results in the 1.3 to 1.4 area. After three plus years of running this system have they hit diminishing returns of TCE removal from Cambridge's drinking water? Or in the alternative are they using this system to manage contamination rather than to eliminate it? Is the cost ever increasing to reduce TCE concentrations closer to zero and they've made a management decision to accept greater health care costs down the road for the alleged one or two in a million increased cancers? With over 40% of our population now able to EXPECT cancer at least once in their lifetimes the so called risk assessment numbers have never impressed me.

Tomorrow I'm going to post in regards to the concentrations of TCE in the Middleton St. wellfield in the 1980s and 1990s. It is not good. I will also add a few concentrations of other toxic solvents to let you know what you've already been exposed to. Cancer sometimes takes decades to develop. Past toxic exposures do not "toughen" you up. They make you more likely to succumb to current even lower exposures of these toxic substances.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Forrest Gump`s mother sure had it right. Really what could be more stupid than literally covering up a Dioxin, DDT sink with twenty-five feet of gravel and then paving it. That is the new plan for the contaminated farm on the east side of Chemtura. A much larger, more intrusive bridge across the Canagagigue Creek would also be required. What do you think the chances are of dredging the creek bed to remove Dioxins and DDT after a new bridge is installed.

Yes Elmira needs a by-pass and perhaps we also need more employment lands as stated. This however has an awful stench of corruption to it. Is it coincidence that this is coming to the front burner shortly after CPAC and MTE Consulting discovered the longtime flow of Chemtura`s liquid contamination onto the Stroh farm? Is it coincidence that when CPAC had Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E. on the ropes over east side contamination in 2014 that Woolwich Council dissolved their own Council appointed CPAC?

There will be a statutory public meeting in June. This linking of good ideas with bad is a normal and usual political ploy. It is used to sell a really awful idea that will however benefit some at the expense of others. Once again there will be winners and losers. The winners will be developers and those with power, influence and money. Rest assured no Council members will be hurt by this development. The losers as always will be the environment, the health of citizens, wildlife and local residents downstream.

Mark and Sandy both Chair RAC. RAC should be the group leading the charge against this. Similarily with Mark and Sandy on RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) Woolwich staff should have been advised of these issues. Guess what. Not a mention in the listing of issues in Report E21-2017 prepared by Engineering & Planning Services, being presented this evening in Council Chambers regarding the Elmira-St. Jacobs Boundary Rationalization. Sandy scoffs at corruption in local politics. Not surprising to me.

Monday, March 20, 2017


This item came up at Woolwich Council back on March 7/17 in Report C04-2017. It refers to a Code of Conduct for municipal councillors as well as boards and committees of Council. It also will be making changes to Conflict of Interest matters as well as adding an Integrity Commissioner to the municipal scene. This of course is occurring shortly after Woolwich and other Region of Waterloo communities added the services of a formal, professional Complaints organization to their programs. That organization is known as Agree Inc. This new one dealing with Integrity issues is known as ADR Inc. out of Toronto. Yes to me I certainly see some duplication of services. A skeptic might even have thought that the initial initiative by Region of Waterloo communities was simply to head off this in the pipe legislative imposition. Boy if only our regional and municipal governments could spend half as much time fighting Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment as they do trying to maintain and expand their local control.

The Conflict of Interest changes have already borne fruit. Councillor Mark Bauman decided to get out ahead of this by publicly declaring a Conflict of Interest at the March 7/17 Council meeting. After years (decades?) of listening to and voting (twice?) in favour of the Jigs Hollow gravel Pit we learn that Councillor Bauman has been friend and neighbour of Ray Kuntz of Kuntz Topsoil, Sand & Gravel for a very long time. This includes Mr. Kuntz coaching Mark's son in minor hockey. There are other Woolwich Councillors who are well acquainted with Mr. Kuntz as well. All this said it is to Mr. Kuntz's credit that he gives back to the community (via coaching). The problem arises of course when these same Councillors are voting on approving a hotly disputed gravel pit owned by mr. Kuntz just outside of Winterbourne. My understanding is that while Preston Sand & Gravel have the aggregate license for the Jigs Hollow Pit, Mr. Kuntz still owns it.

Other embarassing issues are arising out of this new legislation. Isn't it interesting that as a government (provincial) is plunging in the polls and terrified of the next election; they decide to pass progressive legislation increasing transparency and accountability for citizens dealing with their most local, in your face government, namely at the municipal level. I hate to be a skeptic but do I really believe that the provincial Liberals are doing this because it's the right and long overdue thing to do? Hardly.

Woolwich are being reminded of a ridiculous and blatant problem they have regarding Conflicts of Interest on one of their committees of Council. All these reforms are aimed at municipal councils, their boards and committees of council. The public have a right to know who are representing their interests and they have a right to know that these Council appointed citizens are free of outside influences, conflicts of interest and are not benefiting personally from their so called volunteer work on behalf of the public.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


The Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "State offers prize to defeat carp " on March 6/17. Michigan have a huge interest in tourism and Asian carp will both harm native sport fish as well as recreational boating. In the U.S. boating becomes dangerous as these large fish tend to leap out of the water en masse from the sound of outboard motors, creating a dangerous situation for boaters. The prize is for finding a way to keep them out of Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes however they have already in very small numbers made their presence known even in Lake Erie. Presumably now it's a matter of trying to avoid them taking over as they have in the Mississippi and other U.S. rivers.

There is a crucial lock and dam near Chicago that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been developing a plan to strengthen defences for in order to keep the carp out of Lake Michigan. Unfortunately President Trump and his administration have put that on hold. We await Asian carp's next move.

Friday, March 17, 2017


The Waterloo Region Record carried an excellent story titled "Mercury still leaking near Grassy Narrows" on March 1/17. In going on-line in order to provide a link to it I found numerous stories on Grassy Narrows just not this specific one.

There is both evidence of new mercury still leaking into the river as well as old mercury still held in the river sediments and being bio-accumulated in the fish which the community live on. It makes you wonder how likely the Ontario M.O.E. are to clean up our Canagagigue Creek in Elmira which has contaminated carp, suckers, shiners, chub and minnows if they won't clean up a river system which has contaminated walleye and other sport fish being eaten by both natives and tourists.

Another article published in the Record last July 4/16 was titled "Province ignored minister's 1984 recommendation to clean up mercury in river near Grassy Narrows". This article indicates that mercury has spread at least 100 kilometres downstream in the English-Wabigoon river system. This lets us know that indeed Dioxins/Furans, DDT, PCBs and mercury in Lake Erie are coming from Chemtura Canada in Elmira as well as possibly other closer sources. A couple of remediation methods other than the obvious dredging options are also indicated in this article.

Back to the first article mentioned above there are many things to be learned relevant to Elmira and Chemtura. Firstly the sediment levels still being so high after decades of alleged non-dumping, non-leaking is unlikely. Secondly mercury can travel via groundwater. Interesting as Chemtura have long wrongly refused to admit that possibility for Dioxins and DDT, under any circumstances. Thirdly plain, ordinary removal or dredging is a real option for remediation.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Lou Almeida (GHD Consultants) on behalf of Chemtura Canada updated RAC on a couple of ongoing issues. The first was the East Side Work Plan. This is in regards to soil and groundwater testing of the Stroh farm. The testing done last year and in 2015 on Chemtura's property line clearly indicated that Chemtura contaminants have spread eastwards onto the Stroh farm. Ramin Ansari, Chemtura's hydrogeologist, is coming up from the U.S. next week and hoping to meet with Mr. Stroh in order to work out an access agreement. The Ontario M.O.E. we were told are considering forcing things along if they don't proceed expeditiously. From Mr. Stroh's viewpoint you can hardly blame him for wanting to protect his interests in this matter. Any chances of him selling his property (other than to Chemtura) have just hit zero. Unless of course he can sell it for the proposed Elmira by-pass and bury everybody's problems under twenty-five feet of gravel covered with asphalt.

The off-site Remedial Plan Expansion continues at its' snail's pace. All the additional wells are installed, the expanded on-site treatment system is nearly completed and the new date for start up is now April. Some of the four new wells (W6, W7, W8 & W9) will start pumping contaminated Elmira groundwater in April and the others will be phased in over the next little while. The current W3R will increase pumping dramatically and the new W9 is to pump around 250 gallons per minute while W8 will only pump a couple of gallons a minute. W6A/B are to pump about 100 gallons per minute. Overall our current rate of 55-60 litres per second is supposed to double. Based upon Chemtura's past promises I'm not holding my breathe.

Dr. Neil Thompson of the University of Waterloo has been working with Chemtura to produce an accurate and updated Conceptual Site Model (CSM). This is needed for use in computer modelling and to assist in understanding groundwater and contaminant flow including into and out of aquitards or low permeability zones. There will be a meeting next month in which technical experts will be invited and honest Woolwich citizens specifically excluded to discuss this matter further.

Chemtura and GHD want site specific standards set for the Canagagigue Creek. This is utter corporate and government horse manure yet again. We saw how this game was played back in 2002. A Risk Assessment was done for the Chemtura site; both a Human Health Risk Assessment and an Ecological Risk Assessment. Both were long winded, mathematical, philosophical exercises in manipulation, assumptions, extrapolations, interpolations and wishful thinking. We have just completed a Biological Assessment which shows exceedances in each and every criteria down the length of the creek. Sediments, Benthic biota (midges, chironomids etc.) and fish are all in exceedance of sediment criteria and Tissue Residue Guidleines. The benthic community are uptaking Persistent Organic Pollutants from the sediments and suffering adverse effects. Since when is the environment the sole purview of human beings? Wildlife are suffering and that is fact. Human beings do not live in the creek or spend as much time beside it as wildlife. This Human Health Risk Assessment is worse than bogus. It is elitism, credentialism and corporatism run amok. An honest broker, which the Ontario Ministry of Environment are not, would stop this cold, now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Last evening the quarterly Remediation Advisory Committee was held in Woolwich Council Chambers. After extensive training Mark & Sandy have finally learned how to treat Delegations they don't care for with respect. I was even able to cajole Lisa S. into smiling in exasperation a couple of times prior to the start of the meeting.

Overall I am finding that RAC are both trying and doing a better job than I expected. Eric Hodgins of the Region of Waterloo is attending and contributing. He advised Lou Almeida of GHD on maintenance issues with Chemtura's newest pumping wells coming on line months if not years late this April. Tiffany Svensson the new TAG Chair discussed TAG's dashboard and her hopes that it will both focus discussions as well as give members lots of time in advance to prepare better for meetings. Sebastian in his calm manner quietly advised all and sundry that the question as to the M.O.E.'s criteria for having achieved Elmira Aquifer cleanup was first asked in 2012 by the last CPAC. Credit to Sandy she pointed out that Jason Rice's answer of March 2018 meant that it had taken the M.O.E. six years to answer the question. Nancy Davy of the GRCA discussed a fluvial geomorphology study of the Canagagigue Creek. Mark Bauman suggested the cleanup of the creek was like a soccer game either without rules or without goalposts. Basically Chemtura will set proposed criteria and the M.O.E. will comment on Chemtura's efforts. Then it will go back and forth forever. Sebastian also was not pleased with the lack of progress in getting Mr. Stroh to agree to allowing soil and water testing on his property by Chemtura. That is still not settled.

The real stinker was Lou Almeida (GHD) advising RAC that Chemtura will do a Human Health Risk Assessment. Probably toxicologist Ron Brecher for a pretty price will determine that gosh/golly there is no human exposure thus there is no human risk. He might if we're lucky wave his pony tail and say "See I'm a real radical, I haven't sold out to the man!".

The M.O.E. will follow up with solemn promises to do more study and investigation over the next five years to determine if mink, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, hawks or ospreys are suffering adverse effects by predating on fish, clams, crayfish, frogs etc. living in or near the Canagagigue Creek.

It's all a sham folks and always has been. Chemtura (Uniroyal) have an Indemnity and all the rest is public relations aided and abetted by our own corrupt governments; municipal, provincial and federal.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


No shame should be the motto of the Ontario Ministry of Environment. They have outdone themselves and dare I say it, even outdone Chemtura Canada's former consultants. That is no mean feat. The biases built into their fish testing in the Canagagigue Creek are blatant and ridiculous. The report that has just been released despite the testing all being completed in 2014 and 2015 is the Biological Assessment of Canagagigue Creek in Elmira, Ontario dated February 2017. Oddly the Ont. M.O.E. seem to want it both ways. The sub-title of their report references sediments, toxicity and fish tested in 2014-2015. Despite that their report does reference testing done in 2012 and 2013 which is appropriate. Afterall this whole program was initiated after the 2012 testing showed outrageously high DDT concentratons in sediments in the creek.

Carp and Suckers have their tissues tested for toxic contaminants in two locations namely Upstream and downstream, sort of. A check in the text is required to determine that Upstream means between Reid Woods Dr. and the Woolwich Dam. Downstream does not mean all the way downstream to the Grand River. It means downstream of Chemtura Canada only as far as the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge. That's it. No attempt to see if either Carp or Suckers are grossly contaminated with Dioxins/Furans, DDT, PCBs and Mercury all the way to the Grand River and into it.

Common Shiners are the one fish species out of five tested that have honest test locations at multiple sites both up and downstream in the Canagagigue. The results are stunning. We are advised in the text that forage fish such as Shiners travel less than Carp and Suckers. Hence their tissues more accurately reveal the contaminants in the vicinity in which they are found and caught. While as expected the New Jerusalem Rd. site has high concentrations of the four contaminants tested so do the other two downstream sites at Northfield Dr. and Jigs Hollow Rd., many miles further downstream.

The other two forage fish tested as mentioned here yesterday are a sham. Exactly zero downstream sites were tested. Each fish was caught at all of one upstream site and tested. The results were very low although Dioxin and PCB TEQs were elevated in Bluntnose Minnows above the Woolwich Dam.

I have seen and understood the M.O.E.'s game plan for some time now. I publicly criticized their biased sediment site testing years ago. This is more of the same. It is damage control on behalf of the polluter. Turns out that the Indemnity against known contamination on Uniroyal Chemical's site extends even miles downstream in the creek. They don't want to admit it but why else lie to and deceive the public by pretending that the creek is only contaminated in a couple of upstream hotspots?

Monday, March 13, 2017


It's all about being in control of the process. It's all about never breaking your cover. The Ontario M.O.E. are formally appointed to the senior positions by the government of Ontario. No matter what they must never admit to dereliction of duty much less even to being constrained by a lack of resources or by corporate power.

The facts as well as the failures are plain to see for those both honest enough and intellectually willing to look. The Ministry admit in the text of their Biological Assessment that while all fish move to a certain extent that forage fish (shiners, chub, minnows) tend to have a much smaller range than the bigger fish such as carp and suckers. Hence when we examine the six locations up and down the Canagagigue Creek for shiners we can see the pattern clearly. The very lowest concentrations for all four contaminants tested for all five of the six locations tested is the one downstream of the Woolwich Dam. Upstream of the Woolwich Dam was not tested. Concentrations for DDT are highest at the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge albeit not much higher than the concentrations found at the Northfield Dr. bridge further downstream. Concentrations of Dioxins are third highest at the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge. This is the location that the M.O.E. have been trying to sell from the start as the "hot spot" to the exclusion of everything else downstream. The location with the second highest TEQ (Toxic Equivalency Quotient) of Dioxins is downstream of the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). Finally the location with the very highest Dioxin TEQ is the last bridge over the Canagagigue, nearest to the Grand River, namely the Jigs Hollow Rd. bridge.

Total PCBs peak at the new Jerusalem Rd. bridge again barely. They are at 110, 98 and 96 parts per billion. The very furthest downstream location tested at the Jigs Hollow Rd. bridge has Total PCBs at 93, 95 and 71 parts per billion. Mercury is very low in shiners with the highest concentrations (.03 ppm) shared at the downstream STP, the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge and the Northfield Dr. bridge .

Finally we look at Chub and bluntnose minnows. What a disgrace this testing for two out of three of the forage fish is. Dioxin TEQs were not determined for the Chub. Furthermore all of one location out of six was tested namely downstream of the Woolwich Dam which is well upstream in the contaminated creek below Chemtura Canada. Basically this testing was nonsensical and ridiculous . While Bluntnose Minnows were tested for all four contaminants they too were only tested in one upstream location. The most upstream location that is namely above the Woolwich Dam. Of course these concentrations of all contaminants were low. Hence the M.O.E. were going through the motions in their testing of forage fish. In fact I even wonder if perhaps they did test them downstream and simply refused to share their data with us. How are we to know otherwise? Their word!!!! Ha! For all we know the concentrations of contaminants in Bluntnose Minnows and Chub downstream of Chemtura were all highest at either Northfield Dr. or Jigs Hollow Rd.. This so called Biological Assessment (fish testing) is a farce and always was meant to be exactly that. It is junk science and the only thing worse than it is the text and ridiculous assumptions and conclusions bearing little relationship to the data that is presented.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


My view over time has been transformed into believing that the Ontario Ministry of Environment are a taxpayer funded consulting and public relations firm working on behalf of private interests. In other words their clients are polluters. At least the larger and more powerful polluters they treat as clients whereas any relatively little guy like Varnicolor Chemical who won't play ball they will eventually hammer. Decades later I will admit that Severin Argenton was right. After his environmental convictions he advised the media that Marshall (moi) made the M.O.E. look like monkeys so they came after him (Argenton) with a vengeance. They had to or else I'd have been proven right.

Five years the M.O.E. have been working on this long con. George Karlos was the one who started the ball rolling. He did it he said so as to reassure Woolwich residents that the creek was healing and improving. Oh boy was that an optimistic (naive?) outlook. In my understanding and opinion the facts are awful regarding all aspects tested so far in the creek. It's now all about the spin that the M.O.E. can put on those facts. They are assisted of course due to the psuedo scientific versus scientific methodology they've used. An awful lot of the testing appears to have been done in order to intentionally make legitimate comparisons over time impossible. It has been done to prevent comparisons over time with individual chemicals, locations, fish, benthic communities etc.. Even the highest concentrations of contaminants in sediments, fish and biota have been studiously avoided with the choices made during these studies.

The M.O.E. have suggested that DDT and Dioxon/Furan concentrations are much lower now than they were in 1995 on Chemtura's property. Agreed. Hence it makes sense to do more removal of contamination further down the creek but not just at one or two locations. These sediments have been transported the length of the Canagagigue Creek for many decades. The M.O.E.'s biased sampling would have us believe that there are only a couple of hot spots over the six mile plus length of the creek. Utter rubbish.

The M.O.E. have cherry picked their sampling locations based upon where sediments are least likely to be deposited. Even then they have not tested many sites over the last five years to see patterns and probabilities in sediment and related contaminant deposition. In 2015 they suddenly tested sediments at FP-4,5,6,7,8 & 9. This was the first and only time they tested these areas for sediments. Previously (95-96) they had sampled these areas of the floodplain for soils testing not sediments.

The M.O.E. are ignoring all the exceedances of the criteria in multiple locations for sediments and fish tissues. They are ignoring the proven uptake and bioaccumulation of DDT, Dioxins/Furans, Mercury and PCBs in Cangagigue Creek with their cherry picking of sampling sites and their irrelevant comparisons. They are ignoring the law and they are ignoring proven adverse effects on wildlife and human beings. They, on behalf of Chemtura Canada, are trying to talk both of them out of their duty and responsibility. If you the M.O.E. have given Chemtura Canada even more Indemnities than we already know about; then you the M.O.E. do the cleanup of the creek!

Friday, March 10, 2017


Right about now Woolwich Township deserve credit for having posted fish warning signs last year along the Canagagigue Creek. Ontario Ministry of Environment officials, on the other hand, in my opinion, deserve an all expenses free accomodation visit to Toronto's Don Jail. The results are extremely bad for the natural environment, for fish and for consumers of fish whether wildlife or humans.

Appendix 1 of the Ministries just released Biological Assessment for the Canagagigue Creek has the consumption advisories based upon how many meals per month one can allegedly eat without adverse effects at various toxin concentrations. Personally knowingly eating any amount of food contaminated with Dioxins, PCBs, Mercury and DDT seems bizarre to me. Equally bizarre is the different concentrations of toxins permitted for two different populations of human beings. They are a General Population and a Sensitive Population set of concentrations for each contaminant. Obviously the concentrations are much lower for the Sensitive Population. That said to date I haven't found their definitions of same although they should be fairly straightforward. Normally sensitive populations consist of children, women of child bearing age, persons with comprimised immune systems or other serious health issues. So for females let's suggest they are a sensitive population from age 0-11 and 14-45 approximately and older of course (60+) depending upon their health. Males are a sensitive population from 0-11 and if they are lucky only 60 and older. Well to me that encompasses one very large proportion of the human population. Therefore why even have the so called higher concentrations for the "General Population"?

For the Sensitive Population exactly how close are the fish concentrations to the 0 meals/month or the Do Not Eat (Ever)! category? Zero meals per month due to Mercury has a concentration of .5 parts per million (ppm). We have concentrations of Mercury in three Carp tested at .41, .43 and .46 ppm.. Zero meals per month due to total PCBs has a concentration of 211 parts per billion (ppb). Three Carp are at 120, 160 and 210 ppb.. Total TEQ (Dioxins/Furans & PCBs) have a zero meals per month concentration of 5.4 parts per trillion (ppt). Carp have concentrations of 3.28, 3.75, and 4.58 ppt.. Shiners are at 3.26 and 3.45 ppt..

Finally I need to point out a major boo boo by the Ont. M.O.E. Last year (May 12/16) they distributed to TAG and the public a report titled "Eating Fish from Canagagigue Creek". Overall I found it very bad for many reasons but the most blatant was it's claim that the Total DDT zero meals per month number was an astounding and frankly ridiculous 93,858 parts per billion (ppb). Well it certainly was that although I'm still not much impressed with their new number in this just released report. It states that zero meals per month number is now 5,000 ppb. Perhaps we should wait another year and get a better number yet.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Isn't that quite a term: Fluvial Geomorphology? Geomorphology is the study and understanding of how geologic (natural) forces as well as manmade forces affect the surface of the earth. In other words the landscape or the topography of the ground surface. Fluvial Geomorphology on the other hand is the study of river beds and channels and again how both natural and manmade actions affect them.

Living in Elmira and dealing with Chemtura, Varnicolor, contaminated sites and the Ontario Ministry of Environment has gotten me used to dealing with Big Lies. Pretend DNAPL investigations including inaccurate 10% solubility rules, effective solubilities versus lab solubilities, aquitard diffusion issues, topographical misrepresentations, hiding of contaminant pathways on the east side and so much more has certainly reduced the shock value of finding we've been deceived again.

While back in 1995-96 there was a plethora of Floodplain Soil testing sites there was a dearth of creek sediment sites. Six miles of creek and once past Uniroyal Chemical's property there was all of three sites tested for sediments namely Station # 21, 22, 23. These three were at New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr., and Jigs Hollow Rd.. immediately above the mouth of Canagagigue Creek at the Grand River.

I have been advised that any second year university geography course will teach students that meanders and curves in rivers and creeks are caused and or exacerbated by water flow carrying sediments. Sediments will be either deposited or eroded on these curves with deposition occurring on the inside of the loop and erosion on the outside. This is of course a simplification as there are other factors involved including volume of water, its`velocity, depth and the type of soils comprising the banks of the waterway.

Sediment transport is a huge issue and nowhere more so than here in Elmira. Dr. Richard Jackson pushed hard for the Ontario Ministry of Environment to conduct a sediment transport study in the Canagagigue Creek. To date the M.O.E. have said no. These sediments are the pathway for hydrophobic Persistent Organic Pollutants to move down the creek. Some are deposited along the way in the creek banks, floodplain soils and the bottom of the creek. They can and usually are remobilized over time during high flow events. The straighter and faster the waterflow the less deposition occurs. The greater the hoops and loops in the creek the greater the deposition especially in slower waterflow areas.

Hence the Big Lie. The Ont. M.O.E. have made no attempt to inform the public of any of these facts. Indeed they have used the public`s lack of knowledge against them by making self-serving inaccurate inferences regarding the test results from the creek sediment sites. Or perhaps rather than totally self-serving they have been Chemtura-serving inferences. The last two sediment sites are on straight areas of the creek with likely little sediment deposition over time. Station 21 initially was on the east side (downriver) of the New Jerusalem Rd. in a striaght stretch of river. I wondered why the M.O.E. moved that site upriver (west side) of the New Jerusalem Rd.. The reason seems likely now that it was to locate the testing area in a curve of the creek and a high zone of contaminated sediment deposition. Indeed the results are much higher since 2012 than they were in 1995-96. If the Ministry had explained the rationale for this switch I would be less suspicious. They did not. Now they are claiming that there is only ``localized`` high contamination upriver near the Chemtura site versus all the way down the creek.

Misinformation and or omission of information strikes again. Funny in hindsight how every one of these `mistakes`seems to favour the polluter and their interests.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017



This is the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's best weapon. Truth and straightforwardness are their enemy. Lies, deceptions, weasel wording, manipulation are their best friends. Why most people walk away from confrontations with them eventually is due to self-preservation. Disgust and contempt are difficult to live with and can hurt you more than those deserving of your disgust and contempt. Dr. Jackson has walked away. He blamed "public policy" not technical issues as the enemy. I interpret "public policy" as politics. He understood that the Ontario M.O.E. had no interest in doing the right thing in Elmira. I do not blame him for walking away. I do however encourage him to rest and recharge and then, if and when he's ready, to rejoin the fray. His expertise and blunt honesty are needed.

I have publicly called the Ontario Ministry of the Environment liars. I have called them corrupt. Both are truthful and accurate assessments. Their Executive Summary of their "Biomonitoring Assessment of Canagagigue Creek in Elmira, Ontario: Sediment, fish, and toxicity and bioaccumulation results from 2014-2015" is worthy of our disgust. Similarily their covering letter of March 3, 2017 addressed to "Her Worship Mayor Sandy Shantz" is of equal honesty and value. It has a number of deceptive and misleading statements in it.

This entire process starting in 2012 has been one large scam. Everything possible has been done to make it next to impossible for ordinary citizens to keep up with the process. Report after report spread over five years requires almost regular rereading and restudy in order to keep up with the latest misdirection and deceptive words and text in the Ministry's next report. They build their case upon falsehoods in their reports from five years ago.

This has been much easier over the last two and a half years due to either the stupidity or corruption of Sandy and Mark. It could be one or both, I've given up trying to figure it out. CPAC members including myself have been BANNED from asking questions or even making comments during public meetings regarding Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment. FOUR TIMES PER YEAR we are allowed to present a ten minute Delegation to RAC. That's it. We can not ask questions at all nor can we make comments during the rest of the meeting. The most knowledgable and honest citizens have been intentionally excluded from the process by the actions and behaviours of politicians essentially working on behalf of the polluter and his corrupt regulator.

The timing is exquisite. Now is the time for Chemtura and the M.O.E. to strike. Despite all the evidence clearly indicating adverse effects in the natural environment due to both past and ongoing discharges of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) into the Canagagigue Creek; they are going to get away without cleanup. More monitoring, more investigation and more assessment. Meanwhile the sediments are well above criteria up and down the creek as are the concentrations of POPs in benthic organisms as well as fish tissues. Shameful and disgusting. Once again thank you Mark and Sandy. Chemtura thanks you and so does the Ministry of Environment.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


The Ontario Ministry of Liars and Deceivers aka the Ministry of Errors and Excuses (MOEE) aka (also known as) the Ministry of Errors and Corporate Collusion (MOECC) released their Ecological (Risk) Assessment on Canagagigue Creek yesterday. I saw the two hundred pages on my e-mail this morning. They have finally publicly admitted that there are sediment quality Guidelines which had been denied by Jason Rice of the MOECC last fall. Shameless and unbelievable in their behaviour. This I believe is the primary reason Dr. Jackson resigned as TAG Chair although I suspect he was encouraged behind the scenes by Sandy and Mark. I repeat that, to date, is only a suspicion.

I have read the entire raw data which was only released to me a little over a month ago although the Township received it late last year. I have also read the Executive Summary and the Covering letter. The Ministry of Environment are admitting that there are many exceedances of guidelines and criteria for multiple contaminants both in the sediments and in the fish in the Canagagigue Creek. These contaminants in exceedance are Dioxins/Furans, PCBs, DDT & metabolites and Mercury. There are other low level contaminants (pesticides) indicated although I do not recall recent testing for Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). These were an issue twenty years ago and probably still are.

All the data are in place for the MOECC to order Chemtura Canada to clean up of the creek. The M.O.E. have spent the last five years testing sediments, floodplain soils (barely), fish tissues and benthic organisms. The guidelines and criteria are based upon the most up to date science which indicates the concentrations which cause adverse effects to the environment and wildlife living in and around the creek. Despite this the corrupt Ontario Ministry of the Environment still refuse to do so.

Theirs is not a do nothing report, quite. They are recommending more monitoring, more investigation and more assessment. Of course ordering Chemtura Canada to actually excavate, dredge or otherwise remediate the creek from their site downstream to the mouth of the Canagagigue at the Grand River is much too appropriate and hence radical for them. Afterall Chemtura might object to any such order. Corrupt governments rule environmental non-cleanups in this province. Just ask the folks in Grassy Narrows.

Monday, March 6, 2017


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Great lakes mayors sound alarm". A group known as The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative represents mayors from more than 125 U.S. and Canadian cities in the Great Lakes basin. They are sounding the alarm in regards to proposed drastic U.S. cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the Great Lakes. This ongoing initiative "...combats invasive species, curbs nutrient-fueled algae blooms, cleans up toxic messes and restores sensitive fish and wildlife habitat.".

Both the public in general as well as bipartisan political support for protecting the Great Lakes has been consistently shown for decades. President's Trump's announcement last week to drastically reduce financial support for both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as other federally funded protection and restoration projects affecting the shared Great Lakes could be the death blow. It has taken decades to transform talk into action and many Areas of Concern on both the Canadian and U.S. side of the Lakes have been successes although much more is still needed.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


The Woolwich Observer published the following story this week titled "New line will stabilize regional water services in West Montrose". That title is horse manure as is a good chunk of the story. What is particularily offensive is that the Observer have published more accurate stories in the past regarding the West Montrose system and as well they have attended Woolwich Council meetings two and three years ago in which I presented data and reports indicating raw water quality problems from the four river wells in West Montrose. Furthermore there was even a certain level of support from Woolwich Council two years ago including letters from the Woolwich Engineering Dep't requesting clarification from the Region regarding West Montrose wells as well as requests from the Township for the Region to include more chemical parameters in their water testing such as NDMA, toluene etc..

All that said it was not the specific reporter who wrote this current story who was involved two and three years ago. Nevertheless is their no institutional memory at the Observer? Their part owner Pat Merlihan was two years ago and is a Woolwich Councillor. I would characterize him as being involved and helpful on this matter two years ago.

I personally do not believe for a second that the quantity of water is the problem with the four, shallow West Montrose wells. They are installed in the flood plain of the Grand River possibly fourty or fifty metres from the river itself. I lived for a decade beside the river in West Montrose and it never even came close to running dry. With the Shand Dam (Belwood Lake) upstream at Fergus how could it?
These wells were installed by the developer exactly where they are in order to ensure a reliable supply of water. They are hydraulically connected to the river which is both their strength and weakness. The strength is supply and the weakness is quality. River water inherently has much more bacteria and viruses available to it than groundwater.

Above and beyond that is the unpleasant and distasteful fact that these wells are built downgradient of all the septic systems in West Montrose. Shallow septic systems all flowing via shallow groundwater into the shallow wells along the river. Add to this is the possibility, note I say possibility only, of leaks or discharges from the just upriver trailer camp. There is no municipal septic service, sanitary sewers etc. in West Montrose. It's all private septic systems and or possibly a few holding tanks.

Ontario over the last fifteen to twenty years have become more stringent about installing septic systems anywhere near surface water bodies for very good reason. Grandfathering of older systems is however the norm. The West Montrose raw water supply has been contaminated with bacteria, both Total Coliforms and E.Coli for a very long time. Yes recent upgrades of their treatment system as well as trucked in water have been helpful. The Region of Waterloo took over this system a long time ago and bandaid solutions may or may not have saved lives and health but what has been needed for a very long time is a new source of drinking water that isn't downgradient or cross-gradient from bacteria (viruses?) contaminated sources. Telling West Montrose residents to hold on for another two years of construction isn't good enough. In my opinion it's been a miracle that we haven't had an outbreak of E.Coli or related illness over the years. There have been boil water advisories in the past and on-site (Tallwood Dr.) water treatment issues still occasionally arise. This is not supposed to be a third world country and I truly do not understand the Region's management of the West Montrose water supply.

Friday, March 3, 2017


Of course don`t hold your breath on that one because it would take a whole pack of honest politicians to ever do that. Or as the comedian once said getting a large group of honest politicians together is as difficult as forming a vegan sub-committee of carnivores. Steve Kannon`s article in yesterday`s Observer as well as Anam Latiff`s article in yesterday`s Record both have links to them on my Advocate posting yesterday titled ``Overwhelming & Appropriate Disgust To Jigs Hollow Pit Proposals``.

If on a balance of probabilities it could be determined in a court of law that the proposed gravel extraction was into the deep overburden aquifer versus the shallow overburden aquifer as the proponents and their consultant state; then in my opinion a criminal conviction should ensue. This is because the deception (if proven) would be for a self-serving purpose namely to make more money for the corporation by minimizing and downgrading dissent and opposition through the method of lying to the public. If the gravel pit is indeed in the deep overburden aquifer then the threat to nearby private wells in Winterbourne and public wells (C05, C06) in Conestogo is much greater than stated.

The same thing should ensue for Noise, Viewscapes, habitat issues, dust, truck traffic etc.. In other words intentional deception and lying need to be criminal offenses. The game today allows developers, promoters, consultants and yes politicians to lie their heads off without any consequences. This in a nutshell is a win-win for professional liars and a lose-lose for the public. This is why we have degraded environments, air, water, land and an epidemic of cancers.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Both the Waterloo Region Record and the Woolwich Observer covered the meeting in Woolwich Council Chambers this past Tuesday evening (along with CKCO-TV Kitchener). The Observer's story in today's paper is titled "Residents come out swinging against latest gravel pit plan for Jigs Hollow". The Record's story yesterday was titled "Residents oppose request to change rules for gravel pit". While both stories are very good nevertheless I am going to primarily be using my notes for today's posting.

Jan Huisson from Conestogo is one of the members of Friends of the Winterbourne Valley. He spoke Tuesday evening mentioning that the OMB in their Hunder Pit Decision made a pretty big deal about noise in a previous very quiet location could rise very easily to being an adverse effect. The Ministry of Environment criteria is 45 decibels. Jan stated that Back-Up beepers on construction equipment alone can be at 115 decibells and can be heard up to two kilometres away. This could go on from 7 am. to 7 pm. for the next fifteen to twenty years. He also mentioned that both the Region of Waterloo and the Grand River Conservation Authority are in favour of Woolwich Township deferring the decision regarding lifting the Holding Provision on the site.

Karen Bleckholt of Winterbourne spoke very bluntly. Big business were attempting to bully a small community and she didn't appreciate it. She essentially, politely told them to bugger off. I quite enjoyed her comments.

Graham Stickler is a hydrologist from Winterbourne. He clarified as to how models need to be validated and verified. This refers to noise models and that they had not been properly verified. There is a theatre effect with the valley and the river and noise is amplified. He believes that the noise model presented by the proponents was not verified particularily in the residential areas of Winterbourne.

Sonya Somerville spoke to issues concerning Class 1 Farmland and food production in southern Ontario. Initially the pit was going to be at least rehabilitated to Class 2 soils but now it will be nothing more than a manmade lake. This is not rehabilitation.

Laurie Breed and Jan Huisson spoke to Cultural Heritage issues and how they would be degraded by this proposed gravel pit. There would also be a loss of tourism dollars in the area courtesy of this pit.

Della Strooboscher of Conestoga spoke to the bad faith displayed by Preston Sand & Gravel. In September 2013 they ignored the operational plan by starting work early. On Saturday April 26/14 they were improperly working on the site also in contravention of their agreement. She mentioned that there is an Old Order Mennonite School on the truck Haul Route from the pit. The trucks in fact would be travelling within 200 metres of the school.She advised that the provincial agency dealing with real estate assessment had directly due to the gravel pit, lowered the house financial evaluation at 230 Golf Course Rd.. She listed all the adverse effects including noise, visual, traffic, loss of prime farmland and drinking water threats.

Tony Dowling of West Montrose spoke. He is a member of Gravel Watch (ontario). He stated that councils should give greater credence to citizens' information reports than to the consultants of the Applicant. He reiterated the pattern of non-compliance by Preston S & G. This included starting before 7 am. and going below 1.5 metres from the water table, contrary to their binding agreement. He showed how they (PSG) had fiddled their 2014, 2015 and 2016 Compliance assessment reports. In all three they had stated that they were in compliance with all sections when in fact they were not. Tony repeatedly used their own phrase that "mistakes happen" against PSG. Finally he advised that the Ministry of Natural resources and Forestry most likely will not stop PSG's newest plans but that the Township were in a position to do so.

John Milloy of Conestogo mentioned that when he bought his home he understood that a small pit would run there for six to seven years. These newest plans have shocked him. He also spoke to several cool water fish species that would be at risk as well as the vulnerability of groundwater.

Willem Horst de Ville lives on Peel St. right across from the pit. He spoke to the massive changes in the plans for the pit over the last several years. He had also been advised of drastic reductions in house values do to proximity to gravel pits. Under 1/2 km away house values can drop 25% and even a full kilometre away they can drop by 15%.

Dan Kennally of the Woolwich Planning & Engineering Dep't spoke last. He reiterated that the Township are looking for two more peer reviews of the Proponent/Applicant's studies and that there will be ample notice given to the public before this application proceeds further.

Of interest and concern to me was Woolwich Council's muteness throughout. While they asked a couple of questions of the Proponent David Sisco at the start; they virtually didn't make a comment or ask a single question of all the citizens speaking on Tuesday night. Why not? It sure as hell isn't that they know all the answers. That was made obvious by the calibre of the couple of questions they did ask early on. I smell a rat but that's because of Council's history on this pit plus other environmental issues.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


For a citizen activist, last evening was heaven on earth. Woolwich Council Chambers were not just full, they were full and overflowing. Latecomers were lined up outside the two rooms listening from the hallway. There were no shackles, whips or branding irons present. What was present was citizen after citizen calmly, quietly and accurately making a mockery of the rehabilitation plans, the consultants' reports and the misinformation presented by David Sisco (planner-IBI Group) on behalf of Shawn Blackwell of Preston Sand & Gravel. The proponents, similar to most well heeled proponents of environmentally unsound projects, are the ones who usually make a mockery of the process. They simply attempt to outspend and out qualify with bought and paid for "expert" opinion. Data is cherry picked to support their positions and overall bludgeon their way to getting their way. Often their consultants' reports are pure puffery and wishful thinking. They are the "opinions" of credentialed individuals willing to sell their minds; intellectual prostitutes if you will.

Today I will only be able to cover half of last night's meeting. I expect to cover the other half tomorrow. Only the Applicant/Proponent can appeal (to the OMB) a decision of Woolwich Council not to lift their Holding Provision prohibiting below the groundwater gravel extraction. In other words if Woolwich Council are hell bent on political suicide/environmental & human adverse impacts and agree to lift their Holding provision affected citizens can not appeal to the OMB. Currently Woolwich Township are getting peer reviews of the Proponents's noise and hydrogeological studies. These are a must as it appears that both of them are self-serving and full of holes. The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the Region of Waterloo have both raised concerns with the Preston Sand & Gravel Application and are currently asking Woolwich Council for a deferral in order to allow the Proponent/Applicants time to respond to their concerns. The Region wants Preston S & G to add identification of drinking wells within 1000 metres (1 km) of the pit. This would appropriately include all the Winterbourne private wells. Preston S & G are claiming that there is a shallow aquifer groundwater divide caused by the Grand River which prevents any impact upon Winterbourne wells. Nice try there Preston S & G. While your basic statement (groundwater divide) may be true it is misleading and deceptive as that very deep pit (proposed lake) certainly can have impacts on Winterbourne private wells.

Councillor Mark Bauman (Mr. Flip Flop) did it again. He bailed out of the controversy by declaring a conflict of interest. Shades of mayor Doug Craig and I believe Chair Ken Seiling bailing out of the LRT voting a few years back. They used their children's ownership of properties near the proposed LRT routes as an excuse to avoid politically dangerous votes. In Mark's case he claimed to have a relationship with one of the Proponent/Applicants. I'm pretty certain he wasn't suggesting an inappropriate male/female relationship but it still begs the obvious question. If he's got a relationship now with one of the proponents did he have this "relationship" in the past? If so why didn't he declare his conflict of interest then? There have been some pro gravel pit votes by him over the years. Or in the contrary is his "relationship" simply an out so he doesn't have to vote against a local, well known and influential business party? Voting in favour of this gravel pit now is political suicide. Even Woolwich Council I hope aren't that stupid.

Anton Huber(?) of Winterbourne spoke to a book and a couple of experts' studies of floodplains and the gravel within them and how they affect renewal of aquatic ecosystems. A functioning floodplain improves water quality and the overall ecosystems nearby. Removal of gravel from floodplains is extremely harmful and the cumulative negative effects of numerous gravel pits along rivers are well known.

Gord Haywood of Conestogo was one of a number of devastating speakers last night. He mentioned a number of credibility issues regarding the Applicants of this below water table gravel pit. Some of these included Viewscapes and Noise Studies and the flaws in them. For example inaccurate identification of the houses has occurred with 1127 and 1129 Jigs Hollow Rd. homes. Also stockpiles of gravel identified in one report as 8 metres high end up in another report stated as 20 metres high. Some of the Viewscapes are very wrong that were produced for 230 and 260 Golf Course Rd..

Gordon also indicated that water elevations are different between presented studies. Both 1041 Crooks Tract and 1129 Jigs Hollow Rd. have groundwater elevations several metres different. This also speaks to the 30 year average rainfall in the area compared to the rainfall in the 2010-2015 period. The last five years has seen just barely half of the normal rainfall yet the groundwater levels have risen a couple of metres or so. Clearly something was amiss with the readings back in 2010. Gordon also indicated the elevations of wells on Peel St., Jigs Hollow Rd. and the two drinking wells (C05, C06) supplying the Golf Course Rd. subdivision in Conestogo and just a few hundred metres away from this gravel pit. All of them are around 300 metres above sea level which also corresponds to the elevation near the bottom of the deep lake proposed for the gravel pit. Mr. Haywood then asked the question as to whether or not Preston Sand & Gravel, contrary to their claims, were actually going to be extracting sand and gravel from the deep overburden aquifer which supplies nearby drinking wells. His second last comment was in regards to the Dahm Gravel Pit berm failure in 2013 and the resulting massive fish kill. His final comment was that the Hunder Pit decision outside Conestogo denied a gravel pit license due to the proponent's plan to replace Class 1 soils with a lower designation of soil quality. In the Jigs Hollow case the proponent wants to replace the highest agricultural soils classification with a water filled hole in the ground and call it a lake. This is unacceptable for many reasons and the soils degradation is but one.

Further comments from this meeting last night will come tomorrow.

P.S. "Rain" in the title is not misspelled (ie. reign). It refers to the facts and truth being rained down upon the proponents.