Friday, June 30, 2017


Well of course nothing in life is free. You pay one way or the other. Prior to the early 1960s Elmira had enjoyed the south-west corner of the current Chemtura/Lanxess site as the town dump. Currently this would be called the M2 area. Unsurprisingly both Chemtura and the Ont. M.O.E. have done their best to pretend that it doesn't exist. Garbage and refuse from residences, stores, shops and industries were deposited , burned and left in place. Eventually the odours were too much for local residents and the practice was stopped.

Keeping in mind that several Elmira Town Councilors over the years were also Uniroyal Chemical employees at the time and one begins to understand the tolerant attitude towards this polluting chemical industry. This could also be seen back around 2000 as the Chamber of Commerce and their Chair (a town councillor) decided to resign from the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC) apparently according to them because UPAC without Uniroyal attending just weren't doing the job. Funny how our current council did something similar over two years ago when Chemtura and the M.O.E. pulled up stakes and left CPAC in a huff. I will give a small amount of credit to David Ash of Uniroyal. He at least had the balls to publicly come right out and state what he was doing. Chemtura and the M.O.E. did not. They simply quit attending while saying nothing. They saved all their lying for private meetings with Council and others.

Amazing how the Town Council plus industry all viewed the Canagagigue Creek as nothing more than a sewer. Is it any wonder that Uniroyal felt for decades that they had a license to dispose of their toxic liquid wastes in the same fashion? Same thing occurred with human sewage in Elmira. A big tank along the creek for solids to settle and everything else ran into the creek. Classy.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


On August 18, 1998 Dr. Henry Regier, at a public UPAC meeting, was quoted by the K-W Record. Henry stated that the entire Canagagigue watershed needs to be cleaned up. Furthermore he stated that the company and the community have a moral and ethical responsibility to clean up DDT and Dioxins in the creek. Ten days earlier Uniroyal had placed an Ad in the Woolwich Observer in which they stated "In the 1980s we stopped using ponds to store wastewater because chemical contaminants from these ponds had been getting into the groundwater below our site.'. This was in reference to their west side ponds RPW5-8. In 1991 consulting company CH2MHILL, whose client was the Region of Waterloo, estimated that 3,400 litres of wastewater per day were going into the shallow aquifer beneath these ponds. This figure was AFTER they had been clay lined in 1970. Before that it was considerably more.

On August 31, 1998 Gail Gardiner in an Editor's column wrote "It's not hard to imagine UPAC meeting 40 years from now debating how best to decontaminate this site.". Well UPAC changed to CPAC, was disbanded in a disgusting fashion by our current Council, and then was replaced by TAG and RAC. So we are nearly half way towards Gail's 40 year prediction. I believe her basic point was that UPAC and the public were being taken for a ride courtesy of both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Uniroyal Chemical.

By August 28/98 the Woolwich Observer published an article titled "Residents raise stink about Uniroyal". Further they wrote that residents were complaining about sore throats, constricted breathing, burning eyes and headaches. Susan Bryant stated "They (Uniroyal) try to make out like it's some great mystery. Of course they know what they're producing, they know what they're using."

The Elmira Independent on August 31/98 quoted Councillor Bram Hollman who stated "It's not just an odour. It's an irritant to people's noses, throat and eyes.".

In the September 5/98 Observer I was quoted as telling residents at a public meeting the following: "Folks the bottom line is you are being poisoned. Don't look to Uniroyal, the M.O.E., CRA or the Township. If you want something done, you have to do it yourselves.".

Esther Thur of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team stated at a UPAC meeting "Lindane is far more dangerous than DDT. It is one of the most dangerous chemicals in the world.". Esther had suffered from cancer which she felt was directly related to decades of Uniroyal air and water pollution. In the September 14/98 Editor's Column of the Elmira Independent, Gail Gardiner (Martin) stated that regarding the Duke St. citiens group RAM that considering what they were suffering "Niceness is highly overated.".

This was another blast from the past. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The only thing strange about that headline is who said the words "gross neglect" . His actual words were "I have never seen such a case of gross neglect.". The speaker is Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray and he is referring to the Ontario government's refusal for fifty years to clean up Grassy Narrows. He also suggested that it was about systemic racism and the colonialism of our society. He then followed that up by saying such dumping would never have been permitted in Toronto.

He's probably right that it wouldn't be tolerated in Toronto. But guess what. It has been tolerated here in Elmira. The difference here is that we've added DDT, PCBs, and Dioxin (Agent Orange) to our fish in the Canagagigue Creek. Our systemic racism is in regards to our downstream Old Order Mennonite community. Why in the first place do you think that Uniroyal Chemical located here? Partly it was due to the free toxic waste disposal provided by the soon to be open sewer running through their property. Secondly it was the local politics and power structure. They were confident that our local Old Order Mennonites were not worldly or aggressive activists. Lastly they certainly would not be seeking out media attention for their complaints.

$85 million has been set aside to clean up the English-Wabigoon river system including the sources of suspected still leaking mercury into the river. $85 million really isn't that much money for what is needed. Do we really believe it's going to happen before election day or is this yet one more last ditch PR move by the Wynne Liberals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at next year's provincial election? Today's article in the Record is titled "Ontario commits $85 million to clean up "gross neglect" at Grassy Narrows.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Vapour Intrusion is a well recognized phenomenon both south of the border as well as here. Preston (ie. Cambridge) Ontario had and still have issues and human suffering directly related to vapours from contaminated groundwater entering their basements. The compounds involved are toxic including Tricloroethylene (TCE), Trichloroethane (TCA) and Chromium VI. Overall the Ontario Ministry of Environment exceeded the low standard of grotesquely pathetic and incompetent. The Region of Waterloo's Health Department were better albeit modestly. The City of Cambridge on occasion have exemplified the highest standards of lip service to the disaster.

Here in Elmira, Ontario, research over the decades seems to clearly indicate that our authorities while diligently studying and monitoring groundwater contamination were much slower in actually aggressively taking action. The first groundwater monitoring wells were installed in 1969 twenty years prior to the "discovery" of NDMA in the south wellfield in 1989. Dimethlamine, the precurser to N-Nitroso Dimethylamine (NDMA) was used at Uniroyal Chemical since the 1940s. It was discovered in both air monitoring as well as wastewater sampling in the 1970s all at excessive concentrations. The Ministry of Environment laid a Control Order for cleanup on Uniroyal in 1984. For the rest of the 80s Uniroyal were emptying wastewater pits, ponds and lagoons desperately trying to avoid what everybody (politicians, M.O.E., consultants, Region ) knew was inevitable. Many tonnes of wastes were either shipped off site or reburied in plastic lined pits on the east side (RPE 4 & 5).

So on the basis of our authorities prior knowledge of the groundwater contamination and eventual drinking water contamination; lets look at vapour intrusion. Last Friday I posted here about Waterloo North Hydro being advised by myself that they needed to do their due diligence in regards to a nearby landfill. They stated that they would. Well in my opinion they did not. By yesterday afternoon two men were excavating a small trench on High St. (Charles St.?) and they advised me that they had received zero communications from Waterloo North Hydro regarding any issues whatsoever of a health & safety nature. I again got on the phone and was advised that the lady in charge (engineering) at Waterloo North Hydro would call me back. This she did and stated that yes they were digging however they had gas monitors and were carefully checking their subsurface excavations for oxygen and methane. While that's all well and good I did ask when that started to which I received no response. Hmm.

I would like to think that this bizarre communications was not related to the fact that Sandy Shantz is a member of the Board of Waterloo North Hydro.

So based upon thirty years of technical reports I have to assume that once again our authorities are in full possession of the facts but once again similar to our drinking water crisis they are waiting for a disaster/crisis before they seriously take the necessary actions to ensure the safety of Elmira residents and workers. I would best describe this behaviour as problem avoidance behaviour combined with severe head in sand syndrome, common to politicians worldwide.

Monday, June 26, 2017


The EWWG (Excavated Wastes Working Group) after multiple trips around the continent both to Canadian and American sites failed to come up with a formal Recommendation to Uniroyal regarding disposal of the contents of the Envirodome/Toxidome/Mausoleum. This was hardly surprising considering the makeup of the handpicked by Uniroyal committee. The recently expanded Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee were in favour of some form of incineration albeit not unanimously. This would include the option of Thermal desorption. Dr. Henry Regier authored CPAC's Motion for the vote on the matter. Fred Hager, Ron Ormson and Councillor Ruby Weber favoured trucking Uniroyal's wastes to a secure landfill. Henry felt that a problem created locally should be dealt with locally not passed off to another community.

Susan Bryant commented in both the June 30, 1998 K-W Record and the July 8, 1998 Elmira Independent that now UPAC could get back to the more important business of dealing with all the rest of the toxic wastes still on site. She also commented that the process of secret, private meetings was unnecessary when she stated "There is no reason that it had to be in private. There were no negotiations". Those were interesting and honest observations. It's unfortunate that years down the road Susan and her friends continued to ignore her own advice and observations.

While the EWWG refused to make a Recommendation to Uniroyal they did after the fact support Uniroyal's choice of landfilling. Bizarre. Again the problem was at least partly the extremely limited choices they were given in the first place.

My comments at the time were that "Landfilling is not the worst possible solution for the waste, it is also not the best.". In theory at least there was 40 metres of clay allegedly beneath the wastes at Corunna, near Sarnia. Of course it was rather embarrassing a few short months after the Envirodome contents were completely transferred there that water and methane began to bubble up through the bottom of one of the disposal cells at the Corunna, Laidlaw facility. The public's fears were put to rest however as both the Ontario M.O.E. and Laidlaw's consultants assured us that it was merely a minor problem of little significance and the addition of three more feet of clay solved the problem.

Meanwhile the Envirodome/Toxidome/Mausoleum is still on site and is still empty. All attempts in the last seventeen years to fill it with DNAPLS and or other still buried wastes on site have been rebuffed. That said there has been some on-site remediation including creekbank clean up, RPE-3 excavation and GP1 partial removal. Those contaminated soils and wastes were also trucked off-site albeit without the same fanfare.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Uniroyal Chemical knew that the very cheap permanent entombment option for the contents of the Envirodome would never fly. Hence after a 1,000 name Petition was initiated by Jan Ebert and Barb Zupko, they decided to get a "concensus". They formed by invitation only the Excavated Wastes Working Group (EWWG) and presented them with only three mediocre options to choose from. 1) Do nothing - ie. permanent entombment 2) landfill the contents of the Envirodome 3) Thermal Desorption which is a sort of incineration. In April 1998 I'm quoted in the Elmira Independent as stating that Uniroyal simply want to be able to share the blame for the final decision with the folks on the committee. I also predicted (correctly) that the final decision for Uniroyal's Chemical wastes would be in a secure landfill.

Ecologic Inc. were never given a proper chance right from the beginning but then in the middle of the EWWG's deliberations something strange happened. Ecologic who had been pushing to be considered, suddenly backed off. They claimed a change in management and stated that they couldn't deal with Uniroyal's wastes at this time. It was bizarre. Was the fix in somehow? Were backroom promises made? We'll probably never know.

On June 7, 1998 the K-W Record wrote an Editorial titled "Don't Wait: Defuse Toxic Time Bomb". They advised on-site Thermal Desorption
because they didn't want to wait longer for Ecologic nor did they want to bury the stuff in someone else's backyard ie. Sarnia/Corunna

On June 17, 1998 there was an Open House in Elmira displaying the various choices , pros and cons. Bob Burtt of the Record wrote up the article and quoted Dr. Henry Regier and Susan Bryant and also had a photo of Glenys McMullen at the Open House.

In the June 15, 1998 Elmira Independent I wrote a Letter To The Editor with the title "Nothing Short Of A Miracle". It was a tongue in cheek article pointing out how according to Uniroyal Chemical the contents of the Envirodome had over time become less toxic waste and more ordinary soil. Uniroyal quoted some ridiculous figure of 95% or so of the contents now being simply soil. I pointed out the past much lower estimates of soil content and suggested that let's leave everything where it is as it is magically decomposing to natural soil right before our eyes.

All in all it was a public relations coup for Uniroyal with only a modest improvement for our local environment. It did nothing good of course for the environment in the Sarnia/Corunna area and will likely have to be dealt with by future generations. They won't thank us for that.

Friday, June 23, 2017


A phone call was made this morning (before 9 am.) by yours truly to Waterloo North Hydro regarding underground horizontal drilling they are doing on High St. in Elmira. This form of trenching for utilities is becoming more common as it is less disruptive and generally safer as there aren't open trenches involved. As I have recently received a notice myself that Waterloo North Hydro will be doing underground drilling on my street, I had a contact name and phone number available in order to ask questions. The questions I asked were whether they were aware of a closed landfill in the near area and or whether they knew that there was and is a longstanding methane problem . They did not. I have been promised a phone call back before the end of the day.

Having done considerable on-line research regarding landfills and methane production and migration, it is obvious that Woolwich Township have been keeping their cards very close to their vests for decades in regards to the Bolender Landfill located on the north side of the current Bolender Park. The town of Elmira contracted with Mr. Bolender way back in 1962 and leased his low lying property for use as a municipal landfill. Unfortunately they also agreed to accept local industrial wastes under certain conditions. Yes this included Uniroyal Chemical and I'd be very surprised if it didn't also include Varnicolor Chemical.

Among a huge litany of potential problems is the fact that methane can and will migrate off-site by following underground utility corridors. Thus my concern with underground drilling in the area. One can also question additions to homes in the area that might include basement excavations. Or one can even wonder about recent excavations in Bolender Park for the children's splashpad. In the U.S. there have been horrific incidents involving former landfills turned into recreation areas, soccer fields, playgrounds etc.. I have good reason to question the competence and or diligence of Woolwich Councils, past and present, in keeping themselves informed as to the potential problems to property owners, citizens and children surrounding the Bolender Landfill. Hence if they are ill informed it's even less likely that they will be taking appropriate action to mitigate these risks.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Ahh the inevitability of it all. A really bad idea needs some push behind it. I wonder who the big player in all this is? Not. How many Woolwich citizens still believe that Council meetings are not simply orchestrated spectacles for the masses? How many understand that the real work namely lobbying, threats if necessary, bribes and quid pro quos go on ahead of time, behind the scenes? Who checks up on Councillors private (& illegal) meetings outside of Council Chambers? All it takes is a quorum of Council to technically have a "meeting". Who exactly do you think polices this? You're right, absolutely nobody. Then of course there are telephones including conference calls, e-mails, faxes, texting etc. all outside the purview of formal Council meetings.

In my opinion all of this was on display Tuesday evening in Council Chambers. The really bad idea is in regards to either the Elmira By-Pass or industrial "Employment" lands being situated on the east side of Elmira through prime, contaminated agricultural lands. Ask yourselves who the really big winners are if development takes place on the east side farms? How about the polluting corporation and their lap dog regulator, the Ontario Ministry of Environment? We've already seen how much the M.O.E. are willing to sell the farm here in Woolwich in order to cover up their gross negligence regarding multiple destroyers of Elmira's drinking water aquifers. How far will they go in order to cover up their willful blindness to the contamination of neighbouring farms (2) as well as further degradation of the downstream Canagagigue Creek?

Then we have the corporation itself. Uniroyal Chemical, Crompton & Knowles, Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess. For nearly thirty years they have played the game in order to constantly minimize their cleanup of their toxic industrial wastes. The Canagagigue was treated worse than a sewer. The groundwater was contaminated with multiple, carcingenic compounds throughout the length of Elmira. The air was poisonous to plant, animal and human life for decades. How many Elmira citizens have been fumigated over the decades bringing on cancers and other diseases? Through all this Uniroyal/Chemtura, aided and abetted by both the provincial government as well as most of our Woolwich Councils, have lied, deceived, misrepresented, minimized and used their muscle to avoid their legal and moral responsibilities. As soon as the going gets tough with Township Council appointed citizen committees (UPAC & CPAC) the company has cut and run. They did this back in 1999 over air issues and they did it again in late 2014 in regards to the east side contamination of the Stroh farm.

Peculiar in hindsight isn't it that the east side boundary changes were just barely getting going in 2014. Could it also be that the new Council ( with old members-Shantz, Martin & Bowman) realized that along with the screams of misery from Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E., that the current Township appointed CPAC were a serious threat to plans to bury these contaminated soils beneath the proposed Elmira By-Pass?

Lastly we have the only remaining Woolwich newspaper. The Woolwich Observer attended Tuesday evening's Council meeting and Public meeting combined. They heard one Delegation in favour of the east side lands route. This was Stantec Consulting on behalf of Mr. Stroh. Another property owner at the south end of Elmira is unhappy with his lands on both sides of the highway not being included in the expansion boundaries, whether there is west or east side development. Both of these Delegations were noted and written up in today's Woolwich Observer.

There were however two other serious and significant Delegations against east side expansion and development. How odd that neither one of those was even mentioned in today's front page article titled "Development potential the top priority in remapping Woolwich communities". Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach is both a TAG member as well as Vice-Chair of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). He warned about the loss of prime agricultural land as well as about the costs of disposal of highly contaminated land on the east side of Elmira, whether from the Stroh or Martin properties again courtesy of Uniroyal Chemical.

Yours truly also spoke Tuesday evening. I gave written copies of both my text as well as a map of the Uniroyal pits and lagoons on Uniroyal's eastern property line to Councillors and to Steve Kannon of the Observer. I described the chemicals discovered to date in the soils as well as five years plus of Ontario M.O.E. studies indicating the contamination of the Canagagigue Creek sediments, creekbanks and floodplain soils. All of this was conveniently ignored by our sole local newspaper. Does half the ownership of the Woolwich Observer being on Woolwich Council enter into this? Or as I've asked the question before, is there some other reason that the Woolwich Observer appear to have a kid glove policy towards Chemtura Canada that we don't know about? It is all very strange and not in the public interest.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


The picture at the bottom of today's posting was actually posted yesterday afternoon. It is however relevant to today's posting and in fact was up on the overhead screen in Council Chambers last evening while I was giving my Delegation. There were several Delegations regarding the St. Jacobs Boundary Rationalization and four for the Elmira Boundary Rationalization. By the way that phrase Boundary Rationalization is a total croc. It is nothing more than a propaganda phrase as far as I am concerned. To date there has been nothing rational whatsoever about Council's plans to run either a highway or industrial/employment lands up the east side of Chemtura.

One of the owner's of the affected east side lands was represented last evening by a spokesperson from Stantec Consulting. This lady essentially assured Council of her client's willingness and cooperation to assist as well as to the availability of his lands for either employment and or the proposed Elmira by-pass road.

A representative also spoke on behalf of Delmar Martin who owns lands at the south end of Elmira on both sides of the highway. His property certainly appears ideally suited for either a by-pass up the east or the west side of Elmira.

Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach spoke regarding the issues on the east side of Elmira in regards to contaminated lands and the potentially prohibitive costs involved to excavate and dispose of contaminated soils.

During my Delegation I went into a bit of detail as to the exact locations of the former toxic waste pits and their proximity to the farm next door (Stroh). Hence the reason for the below situated map of Chemtura's east side property line with the Stroh farm. This original map which I produced three years ago is approximately 2 feet wide by 3 1/2 feet tall. If there is ever a public inquiry into the corrupt behaviour of the Ontario Ministry of Environment here in Elmira, this map will be a part of it. This map indicates how east side contaminated surface and groundwaters were diverted over onto the neighbour's property and then discharged further downstream into the Canagagigue Creek. In not a perfect world but merely a just world, heads would roll over the facts and information encompassed in this map. It is an indictment of both Uniroyal Chemical and the Ontario M.O.E..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


For decades I've been listening and reading the bullshit peddled to citizens by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, risk assessment experts and other assorted shills for polluting industries. They talk about increased risks of 1 in 100,000 or even 1 in 1,000,000 being perfectly acceptable risks. Bullshit. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries this article titled " 1 in 2 Canadians will get cancer, 1 in 4 will die, report predicts". Doing the math that means that 1 in 8 Canadians cause of death will not be normal age related giving up the ghost; it will be because of cancer.

Cancer is essentially the bodies reaction to inflammation or an irritation whether internal or external. Yes this irritation can be from the sun and it can be from a virus. It can also be from smoking or inhaling a myriad of irritating substances from particulate matter including smog or from chemicals such as Trichloroethylene or Benzene. One in eight of us will die because of it and one in two of us will have at least one bout of cancer in our lifetimes.

This disease in all its' nasty forms is way past being an epidemic. Healthier, younger people due to stronger immune systems can generally keep this disease at bay. The older we get the more likely our immune systems will be weakened both by age and by simply being exposed to so many carcinogenic substances over a period of decades. It is a battle no one wins in that sense. If you live long enough your system and organs wind down and are less capable of responding to stresses.

These stresses are from as earlier stated viruses, sunlight and other relatively "normal" causes. Less normal causes affect the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. Air, food and water routinely and ubiquitously are contaminated with industrial pollutants. They can and do include Dioxins, PCBs, DDT, other pesticides and a whole litany of industrial wastes that are and have been discharged into our soils, waterways and air. Our governments in concert with major corporations and their money and influence have developed a system to defend and legalize pollution allegedly up to certain discharge levels. When companies exceed those criteria then they and their regulators play the site specific risk assessment game whereby the criteria are increased due to allegedly lower exposure and hence risks by human receptors. It's all a sham and a con game. 1 in 100,000 increased cancers my ass. 1 in a million increased cancers by a particular toxic discharge, my ass. It's an epidemic and more and we've brought it upon ourselves by deferring to the professional liars running interference for the professional industrial thieves.

Monday, June 19, 2017



I'm the first to admit that sometimes appearances can be deceiving. In that case however it is incumbent upon the party involved to clearly explain, clarify and enlighten those of us who follow the maxim "If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck.". In the specific case involved it very much looks like corruption and both smells and sounds like corruption. Are our elected municipal representatives so far gone that they believe that they can convince the majority of Woolwich citizens that a horribly bad idea really has merit?

So in the ever ongoing challenge to decipher behaviour of politicians we ask the age old question "Is it gross stupidity and incompetence or are they getting paid off and by whom? In one sense we can at least admire the brass and chutzpah involved if politicians are a hundred miles on the wrong side of an issue in order to personally benefit from it. That at least makes sense to us versus them being a hundred miles on the wrong side of an issue because they've been lobbied into it and they've bought into the really stupid rationale for so doing.

To date the argument in favour of both putting the long proposed Elmira by-pass on the east side of Elmira along with adding so called "employment" lands to Elmira's boundaries is well beyond weak. It is essentially to date a case of trust us we know what we are doing whether or not we've explained why the east side is better than the west side. Woolwich's (Council or Staff) argument in this matter is just about as intelligent and persuasive as was their argument to confiscate part of the community's park in Breslau and sell it to the Catholic School Board.

Costs to build a highway will be higher on the east side due to low lying floodplain and wetlands along the Canagagigue Creek. Costs will be higher due to having to build a major bridge across the same Canagagigue Creek. Finally the kicker is the contaminated Stroh (highly probable) lands and the creek throughout its' length. The contaminated creek sediments, creekbanks and floodplain soils are proven. The Stroh lands contamination are within a whisker of being proven. Soil and groundwater tests have been conducted within a foot or two of their property and the results for various Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess toxic compounds are well in exceedance of applicable criteria.

The appearance is that once more Woolwich Council are the white (black) knights swooping in to save Chemtura (Lanxess) from paying the high price for their environmental degradation of our air, soil and water. The onus is on Council to give an honest, clear, concise explanation for what the hell they are trying to do. So far they aren't even close.

Friday, June 16, 2017


This map is the one I promised yesterday morning. Therefore the text from Thursday June 15/17 is relevant to it.


The smile be happy folks were out and about at yesterday's Remediation Advisory Committee. We the public were repeatedly told that the Conceptual Site Model being produced by Dr. Neil Thomson will be an agreed upon set of facts describing the geology and hydrogeology of both the Chemtura (Lanxess) site and the Elmira aquifers. Ramin Ansari for Chemtura U.S. stated that the comments received from the Region, the M.O.E.C.C. and from TAG were not challenging for him and Chemtura at all. He claimed that there were no disagreements. News flash everybody. Chemtura and their consultants will only agree to "facts" that help them. In other words "facts" that reduce their environmental liabilities and expenses.

It was nice to see the partners in pollution, the M.O.E. and Chemtura snapping at each other yesterday. Perhaps a lovers quarrel? Each blamed the other for slow responses and last minute delivery of memos and reports. Mark Bauman in his inimitable way presented a Canada Day challenge to Chemtura and the M.O.E.. He would like them both to get back to TAG by Canada Day (ie. end of June) with a finalized Work Plan for the creek as well as having received access to the Stroh property. Dream on folks.

The M.O.E. are unhappy with Chemtura/GHD's plans to do only surficial soil sampling in and along the creek. This includes near the new Jerusalem Rd. and as well the three cattle crossing areas in the creek. This first part of their comments they would like a response from Chemtura within two weeks. Ramin essentially said that if that's it for part one then he could absolutely respond within two weeks.

Part two of the M.O.E.'s comments had to do with sampling methodologies as well as the number of Contaminants of Concern (C of C). To date it is only Dioxins/Furans and DDT. The M.O.E. would like to see this list expanded. TAG Chair Tiffany Svensson summarized and said that it looks like there is no hindrance to part one and that sampling in the Canagagigue Creek will be completed this summer afterall. Let's see if it really happens.

Jason Rice of the M.O.E. responded to a question as to why Bluntnose Minnows and Creek Chubb were not sampled downstream in the creek. His response was not questioned but it should have been. He incredibly stated that the field technicians were unable to find any of these minnows or chubb downstream. This is either a bald faced lie and the Ministry didn't want to publicly release really high toxin concentrations in these fish or in the alternative they simply can't survive in the contaminated creek below the Chemtura site. Either scenario is bad news for the creek.

Terri Buhlman continued her past assaults on reason and common sense with claims that the Ministry can't decide on criteria for the sucessful remediation of the Elmira aquifers until they've talked further with Chemtura about it. She did however indicate that after 2028 it would take them at least five years of monitoring to be certain that the criteria had been met. Interestingly this is the first time we've seen Terri B. since she and Dr. Richard Jackson got into it big time last year at a couple of TAG meetings. I wonder if she advised Sandy (alleged mayor) that she wouldn't return if he was still present. This is exactly how the M.O.E.C.C. and Chemtura play the "public consultation" game.

Sebastian questioned Ramin about the expanded off-site pump and treat system which as of now we still have no confirmation that it has even been started. It is long overdue even Chemtura's belated time projections. Ramin did admit that even with the enhanced system they (Chemtura/Lanxess) can not possibly achieve drinking water standards for NDMA by 2028. There will be locations in the Elmira aquifers where NDMA concentrations will remain orders of magnitude above the Ontario Drinking Water Standards. Oh what a non surprise. Thank you CPAC for having gone public with that fact five years ago despite the loud screams to the contrary by Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment.

The M.O.E. have started the process to lay a Director's Order upon Mr. Ron Stroh in order to gain access to his property. The posting will be on the Environmental Registry for 45 days and will give parties the opportunity to appeal it. Ramin stated that Chemtura have hit the wall with Mr. Stroh and that he simply doesn't want Chemtura on his property doing any sampling.

The hypocrisy of Sandy and Mark Bauman was on full display at the end of the meeting when Susan Bryant in the gallery had her hand in the air. Mark as co-chair recognized his friend and allowed her to lob a softball question to Ramin. After the response Mark then asked if the rest of the public (ie. CPAC members) had any questions because this was an open and public forum . I bluntly responded out loud "Since when?".

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Friend and environmental colleague Dr. Henry Regier recently asked me for information on a map that he had showing "hotspots" along the length of the Grand River from Dundalk in the north to Dunnville at the mouth of the Grand River where it empties into Lake Erie.

Henry further indicated to me that he was impressed with the work of the volunteers involved as well as their ethical commitment to obtaining relevant facts upon which we based our activism. He referred to this as "evidence-based activism".

Henry also suggested that I include the map here on the Advocate along with my account of how and by whom it was created. Well I and the wife spent twenty minutes this morning playing with the computer and and came up with the conclusion that despite my having the map on my computer via e-mail Attachment; it wouldn't transfer directly here. Our conclusion was that we had to literally take a picture of the map and put it in my file that way and then Blogspot could post it here. Sooooo maybe I'll do that on the weekend.

The map showing environmental "hotspots" includes Uniroyal Chemical (Elmira), Eastview Landfill (Guelph), Sunar & Ralgreen Cres. (Waterloo), Safety-Kleen (Breslau), Ciba-Geigy & Canadian General Tower (Cambridge), Brantford , Oshweken, Cayuga and International Mineral & Chemicals (Dunnville).

The map was created around 1994 and in the interim certainly more "hotspots" have become apparent including many other landfills, Varnicolor Chemical (1990), GSW (Fergus), Northstar Aerospace & G.E. (Cambridge), textile factories and other industry in Cambridge, and Brantford not to mention coal tar discoveries in Kitchener and Waterloo and again probably in Cambridge, Guelph and Brantford. At the moment a factory in Guelph with a history of contamination is also escaping my memory.

The main authors of the map were Brenda Thompson and Bonnie Walters from Cambridge with assistance from myself and Pat Potter of Dunnville. The Grand River BioRegion Association (GRBA) used this map in their various activities. The GRBA consisted of about ten environmental groups up and down the Grand River including Groundwater Alert, Pesticide Action Group, Eh-Team, Riverwatch and briefly APT etc..

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


The special UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting of February 23, 1998 was to discuss and debate the Draft Certificate of Approval dealing with the Off-Site pumping, treating and discharge of groundwater into the Canagagigue Creek. As indicated very recently here several groups were unhappy with the 12 month rolling average for NDMA concentrations that the Ontario Ministry of Environment put into their C. of A.. Uniroyal of course loved it and in fact threatened to take the M.O.E. to court if they removed or changed it. Apparently Susan Bryant and others walked out of the meeting in disgust when UPAC voted in favour of the plan (ie. C. of A.). With a majority of willfully uninformed Uniroyal supporters on the committee, who generally did not read the reports carefully if at all, this wasn't a big surprise. Afterall this is precisely why neither APT nor the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team were members of UPAC. More than likely I walked out of the meeting with Susan on this issue.

Relative to this vote by UPAC Ken Seiling and the Region of Waterloo warned UPAC that if they continue to ignore regional input and comments that they would withdraw from UPAC. This statement was published in the March 13, 1998 K-W Record by Bob Burtt.

In the March 9, 1998 Elmira Independent, reporter Gail Gardiner in referring to another annual report stated that "The report was presented in a later portion of the meeting and was after local environmentalists, who normally ask the majority of the questions, had left.".

In this same edition of the Independent Gail Gardiner (now Martin) wrote "...only local environmentalists such as Alan Marshall, Susan Bryant or Esther Thur made any comment on the reports or question Uniroyal Chemical on an issue.". While this is an accurate comment by Gail Gardiner I would add two other names namely Sylvia Berg and Dr. Henry Regier as attending, participating and occasionally questioning.

The recently arrived on the scene Woolwich Observer was attending and writing about UPAC in the late 90s. On Saturday April 25, 1998 Patrick Moore of the Observer indicated that UPAC had added five new members namely Henry Regier, Fred Hager, Jerry Heidbuurt, Ron Ormson and Marianne Miller. The last name I had never heard of then or since. Don't know what happened to her. This was to signal a sea change in the direction of UPAC as the old guard of Uniroyal supporters were now in the minority. Just as in 2014 Uniroyal (Chemtura) showed their true colours by abandoning public consultation when they were no longer in charge of the process, the Agenda or the membership. That story is upcoming.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Peace, harmony and the status quo have been restored with Woolwich Township's "cringeworthy" invention of RAC and TAG. Councillor Merlihan may not like my quoting him repeatedly about his description of those two august bodies but that's too bad. Pat spoke from the heart and he spoke honestly and accurately. Their format and process are actually way beyond even cringeworthy. The shame however goes primarily to Sandy and Mark with the rest of Council following along like sheep. Chemtura thanks you from the bottom of their (stone) hearts for saving them from the righteous indignation and anger of informed citizens.

First off RAC, TAG and all the rest of us were told that the expanded off-site pumping would start up in April. That's only four and half years after Chemtura and CRA announced that they had unilaterally determined the need for both TRIPLING of the off-site pumping plus the use of In Situ Chemical Oxidation. As of the end of April they had achieved neither. The May Progress Report should be out shortly and we can see if they've managed to start up any of their four new proposed pumping wells.

As previously mentioned our idiot politicians and assorted corporate hangers on in authority, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that the polluter (Chemtura/Lanxess) should determine cleanup criteria for the creek. This is a risk based, bullshit process that rewards chutzpah, brass, money and well paid credentialed experts who solemnly on behalf of the polluter will advise the rest of us as to why the least amount of time and money spent by Chemtura will be best for the creek, wildlife and human beings. If you have a nagging feeling that something rotten and perverse has captured the process; I would suggest that that nagging feeling is called common sense.

As was intended by Sandy and assorted other fools/fellow travellors, access to documents and relevant reports and data is being choked, delayed and made difficult to obtain by honest, involved citizens. Again Chemtura and the MOE sincerely thank you Woolwich Township (Council). See you all Thursday afternoon because despite the pathetic and insincere sham of public consultation, little gems of information do still leak out. None of this negates or criticizes those few participants attending who are working not for their own aggrandizement but instead for the public interest.

Monday, June 12, 2017


The Remediation Advisory Committee meets this Thursday at 4 pm. in Council Chambers. All the guilty parties responsible for the destruction of human health and the environment here in Elmira will be present along with many well meaning individuals. The power and authority will of course rest solely in the hands of the prior group.

There will be a discussion and update of the Conceptual Site Model produced by Dr. Neil Thomson. Dr. Thomson has suggested that all parties need to be on board in regards to the hydrogeological facts both on and off the Chemtura (Lanxess) site in order for any meaningful discussion and understanding of cleanup solutions.

There will also be discussions regarding Flood-plain Management items that are part of the TAG (Technical Advisory Group) Dashboard. This "Dashboard" is a document suggested and at least partially produced by the TAG Chair, Tiffany Svensson. It helps organize and keep issues and various technical matters clear and avoid them getting lost in the shuffle.

RAC meets but four times a year which certainly assists both the Ministry of Environment and Chemtura to avoid being on the receiving end of citizens heat. It also greatly assists in their main game plan which has always been delay, delay, delay.

While this RAC meeting is not remotely close to any kind of real public consultation; it does however occasionally provide new information and under Dr. Richard Jackson's Chairmanship of TAG there certainly were explosive moments.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Back in the early 2000s Uniroyal/Crompton brought "Optimization" to CPAC. Optimization was a poorly defined, extremely vague concept. It seemed to be some hypothetical pumping regieme to allow Uniroyal a less expensive method to meet their Control Order obligations regarding full on-site hydraulic containment. In hindsight it was simply more private, backroom negotiations and deal making between Uniroyal and the Ministry of the Environment that was a fait accompli but required some kind of token approval from UPAC. Therefore we at UPAC discussed and debated this vague proposal for a few years not knowing that the professional liars involved had already made the deal. Those professional liars included Uniroyal and the M.O.E. as well it appears a couple of citizens masquerading as representing the public interest. Even if the public interest as expressed via UPAC had ended up in the same place; in fact the inherent subterfuge and manipulation brings the entire handling of the matter into disrepute.

As was usual UPAC were given the mushroom treatment ie. kept in the dark, covered in s... and basically misinformed. Significant knowledge, including the after the fact attempt to justify the already completed June 21, 2000 Amending Order, was kept from UPAC. In its essence on-site containment of the Municipal Upper Aquifer was being undermined by the far greater off-site pumping regieme which started in 1998. Therefore rather than spend more money and pump and treat more groundwater on-site CRA got the bright idea of letting containment on-site slip and this groundwater could then be picked up by other pumping wells off-site such as W5A and W5B. Of course the rotten parties as usual weren't prepared to clearly explain what they were really after and when the matter dropped most of us at CPAC thought O.K. they've backed off on this peculiar, poorly explained plan. Not at all in fact. They just concluded it privately while pretending they had CPAC's O.K.

The next bizarre plan coming forward appears to be the Town of Elmira adding either Settlement or Countryside lands from along Elmira's east side. This of course is likely contaminated land along the western side of the Stroh property and definitely along the Canagagigue Creek itself. A brief response I've recently received from the Township's planning department is clear as mud. "At that future time when the lands are developed, they would be subject to the standards at that time.". I presume this is in answer to my question as to whether the annexing these lands would result in less stringent cleanup criteria than they currently have. If that statement from the planning department is in response to my stated question then I believe the simple answer is yes. Oh and the name of this exercise is "Rationalization".

So is this simply more of the same bureaucratic, manipulative bullshit I've grown to love here in Woolwich? Or on the contrary do the powers to be actually have an intelligent reason for what they are doing that they'd rather not share with the unwashed masses? Amazing how inherently dull people with the benefit of money, power and private information are so routinely able to get their way, whether in the public interest or not. This folks is the fine, disgusting art of politics.

Friday, June 9, 2017


To date I have posted twice here on the Advocate in regards to our Woolwich Council patronizing Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess's client driven consultants. I do not view the term "client driven" as being necessarily damning, immoral or even particularily critical. It simply best describes the relationship between a consulting firm and their clients. Afterall ask Donald Trump if he demands loyalty from his subordinates. Whether employees or businesses both individuals and businesses expect that when they pay money to an individual or a firm that they are owed loyalty and fealty.

Here on April 7 and May 17, 2017 I have described two instances of which I am aware that Woolwich Township are financially involved with CRA (Conestoga Rovers now GHD). They are in regards to eSolutions and the Township's website as well as engineering services for the Barnswallow Road reconstruction. As a local citizen who has been appointed and served for ten years on a committee of Woolwich Council (UPAC & CPAC) as well as a citizen volunteer attending and participating in CPAC, RAC and TAG for another fifteen years I can categorically state that CRA's contribution to the Elmira water crisis and cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers, soil and the Canagagigue Creek have saved Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess millions of dollars and continues to do so. I expect that CRA would proudly trumpet this to Uniroyal/Lanxess, perhaps a little less proudly to the general public.

It was up to Woolwich Township to have paid attention to citizens complaints regarding CRA. Yes some members of UPAC and CPAC, including council members and former Uniroyal employees, long supported Uniroyal and their consultants, almost no matter what. On a few occasions even Uniroyal loyalists squirmed in embarrassment during particularly egregious claims and decisions by the polluting company. The truly unbiased citizens who freely spent their time reading reports and attending meetings made it very clear to Council and Woolwich citizens that CRA were not assisting the public, only Uniroyal.

Basically as I've long suspected Woolwich Township through Council have a thirty-five year ongoing professional relationship with CRA now GHD. The number of contracts for engineering and consulting services is staggering. CRA have been representing the interests since the late 1980s of the corporation who used our creek, our air and our groundwater and soil as an open sewer essentially in my opinion and others against the interests of Woolwich citizens and the environment. At the very same time and longer CRA have been representing Township's (Council) interests regarding other local environmental issues. I am not prepared at the moment to suggest that Council's and their consultants have been acting against the public interest regarding these other environmental matters. Further study and research are required.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it." This quote is simply to remind those self satisfied folks who have had their way in abusing both the environment and local citizens that their words and actions have been recorded and will be held against them.

A public meeting was held on February 23, 1998 in the Elmira Community Centre to discuss the upcoming Draft Certificate of Approval (C. of A.) in regards to the off-site pumping and treating of the Elmira Aquifers. Initially I suggested that the overall concentration reduction of NDMA going into the creek was the right direction to be going. David Ash of Uniroyal had suggested that it would be difficult for the manufacturer of the remediation equipment to guarantee a higher treatment level without adding more capacity to the system. My public response to David was "If all you have to do is add treatment capacity I'm all for it. Go ahead and add treatment capacity."

Both the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the Region of Waterloo expressed concerns with the discharge criteria to the creek and publicly expressed them. Despite this UPAC voted in favour of the Draft C. Of A. as it was without any improvements. Susan Bryant, myself and others walked out of the meeting in disgust. Susan stated "I don't know who is waiving what but they (M.O.E.) run in terror from the company. It is appalling.".

Susan was also quoted in the Observer as saying "You've given us a lower number with one hand and then taken it away with the monitoring on the other.". Sylvia Berg (APT) in a Letter To The Editor stated "Uniroyal has won yet again and the community has lost.". Further she indicated "The C. of A. issued by the MOE this week allows Uniroyal to average it's discharge to the creek over 12 months. It's a license to pollute for the next 30 years.".

According to Sylvia a now retired M.O.E. officer had advised APT that Uniroyal threatened to appeal the C. of A. hence the Ministry of Environment caved in to their demands.

This has been the standard operating procedure of the Elmira cleanup since the beginning. The citizens push for a better cleanup, Uniroyal publicly talks about it and then privately threatens the Ontario M.O.E. with more court action. The M.O.E. then fold like the paper tigers they are.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Flashback to 1998. Uniroyal got slapped with a 1,000 plus name Petition decrying their suggested permanent Entombment of their toxic wastes in the Envirodome/Toxidome/Mausoleum. Uniroyal's response was to form by invitation only the Excavated Wastes Working Group (EWWG). Uniroyal of course advised them that there were only three options to choose from namely 1) do nothing ie. Entombment 2) on-site destruction 3) landfill it off-site. UPAC members did what they did best at that time which was to simply go along with Uniroyal's claims including saying nothing regarding the membership of the EWWG.

Richard Clausi of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (EH-Team) stated in the February 2, 1998 Elmira Independent regarding this process that "It's a secret meeting on their property." "If the discussions are going to be held, they should be held in public. We do not believe in this kind of secret negotiations."

Very shortly afterwards Uniroyal had a change of heart and invited the EH-team to the party (secret talks). Our response was that since both the public and the media were excluded then we (EH) must exclude ourselves as well. All other parties invited, including APT, attended. It's difficult to say no when the captain of the football team asks you to dance.

Regarding Woolwich Township throughout the 90s let me merely quote Lois Gibbs of Love Canal fame. She stated that politicians had to be forced to "do the right thing and the "right" needs to be defined by the community, not the company.". There were a couple of exceptions on those Councils such as Bram Hollman and Deanna Zenger. Overall it was not good and both councillors and the province (M.O.E.), over and over again let the self-serving polluter and his client driven consultants shape the choices and make all the decisions. Unsurprisingly very little favoured the community's interests.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


I'm sure that the MOECC could only improve if their budget was doubled tomorrow. They could hire the best environmental lawyers and go after the big boys with a vengeance. They could afford to prosecute and then go through the appeal system as required. The problem is at the top. Ministers and Deputy Ministers exist to do the bidding of their political masters. Historically we have seen here in Ontario, and likely in most other jurisdictions as well, a strong pro business, pro corporation, pro status quo bias that powerful corporations need to be kept on side. Whether political donations or simply the overall clout of the unholy dollar or for whatever other reasons our governments do not lightly alienate big corporations by demanding that they follow the laws of the land, even environmental laws.

The MOECC have utterly and completely failed citizens in Elmira, Kitchener, Breslau and Cambridge not to mention the Grassy Narrows area. While Ciba-Geigy (Novartis) and Canadian General Tower were bad with drinking water wells affected; the Northstar and GE (Rozell) groundwater and vapour intrusion issues are the worst. To this day homes and health are still affected and apparently "only" eleven homes have indoor air levels at 5 ppm.. That is eleven too many and the statement in the Record that getting TCE fumes down to .5 ppm. is somehow perfect or acceptable is ridiculous. The normal level of TCE that anyone is breathing should be zero. TCE is not like fluoride whereby allegedly a tiny amount is helpful (teeth). TCE is toxic and even tiny amounts over a long time can cause disease.

The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) should have prevented and or stopped the decades long discharge of 1,1,1, Trichloroethane, Chromium and Trichloroethylene (TCE). "Discovering" it long after the fact is not satisfactory. People had been sick and dying for a very long time and employees and even nearby businesses and homes had to see and smell something going on. The volumes of chemical waste discharge could not be dismissed as trivial. The M.O.E.C.C. are supposed to have a manifest system telling them how much chemicals come in and then where they are disposed of. Wilful blindness occurred in Elmira at multiple businesses by M.O.E. personnel over decades. It's hard not to believe that the very same wilful blindness occurred in Cambridge.

Only transparency and public accountabilty will ever change the MOECC. If it requires a class action suit so be it. A class action suit with the proviso that the public must see and learn what our governments' blind eye environmental policies have resulted in; namely death and disease of citizens.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Well done Anam Latiff and the Waterloo Region Record. Today's story on the front page of the Local Section is titled "Ministry looks at new options for Northstar site". The description of the planned new remediation methods is clear and straightforward and educational for the public. The focus on the health issues caused by vapour intrusion from Trichloroethylene (TCE) in the groundwater is excellent as this is the primary exposure route causing major health damage and eventual death in some residents of the area.

A couple of additional points need to be made including that Northstar filed for bankruptcy hence I don't believe that any money ended up going to the residents of the Bishop St. community whether for pain and suffering or for their direct health costs. Secondly the neighbouring company also responsible for groundwater pollution was at one point General Electric but it was also known as Borg-Warner and perhaps initially as Rozell.

This second location put both TCE and TCA (1,1,1 Trichloroethane) into the groundwater. My notes from several years back indicate that Northstar was responsible for 3/4 of the TCE in the groundwater whereas Rozell/GE was responsible for all of the TCA.

Another significant point is that both TCE and TCA are DNAPL chemicals. This means that they can gravity flow away from the initial discharge to the ground and slowly sink through the earth until they come to a lower permeabilty zone. Here they can sit literally for decades and longer, very slowly dissolving into the groundwater as it flows by.

The concentrations eight years ago certainly indicated the presence of DNAPL TCA and TCE around the Rozell/GE site. In that case I have to ask exactly where the proposed two new remediation methods are going to take place. If done immediately downgradient of the Northstar site it will reduce but never eliminate the overall TCE plumes and it won't do anything for the TCA plume from Rozell unless it is downgradient of that site. Maps of these proposed strategies, if they haven't already been made availble to the nearby residents, need to be released immediately for their study. Similar to Elmira we have two (or more) sources very close together. It is far too easy to blame one and underestimate the effects of the other(s).

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following article from Thomas Walkom titled "Lake Huron still preferred nuclear waste site for OPG". Mr. Walkom raises a couple of very interesting points. Firstly indeed what about the (remote?) possibility of an earthquake? While Ontario is not a hotspot of seismic activity neither is it totally unknown. If we had even a minor earthquake could a fault or opening in the bedrock allow radioactivity to escape? I don't know the answer to that but has the possibility, no matter how remote, been researched and discussed?

Secondly Mr. Walkom advises us of the process and procedures involved to date. He refers to them as being "a rather clever move" by Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Personally I would use a much stronger and less flattering description . It seems that OPG in mid stream appears to have upped the ante from low level radioactive waste to intermediate radioactive waste that includes dismantled reactor parts which would remain radioactive for 10,000 years. Again not impressed OPG.

Allegedly the highly radioactive fuel rods would not be stored in this proposed subsurface vault beside Lake Huron. Again allegedly a separate federal agency is looking for somewhere to bury these items. Wouldn't it just be dandy five or six years after this proposed low and intermediate crypt/vault is commissioned if this federal agency decided that golly gosh here we already have a secure geologic location, proven secure for the last whole five years, so why not "optimize" taxpayers expenditures and include the fuel rods.

This folks is precisely how unaccountable and non-transparent government ministries and bureaucracies work. Our so called "democracy" works during election campaigns and for about five minutes after the winners are declared. Then the party with a majority do exactly what they feel like and promises and commitments are nothing but wind to them.

Friday, June 2, 2017


O.K. I've read this story on-line in the Waterloo Region Record first thing this morning. Then my paper is delivered to my door and I go looking for the Northstar Aerospace story which I had previously read on-line. No sign of it. What the bloody hell. I go back on-line and there it is. Upon closer examination I see that the story was written by Ray Martin of the Cambridge Times . Presumably as this story is in the Record on-line either the Times are a subsidiary of the Record or more likely both are owned by one of the big media conglomerates. This all begs the question: A public meeting regarding one of the biggest Trichloroethylene (TCE) sites in Ontario and certainly the biggest TCE site in Waterloo Region with the greatest number of illnesses and fatalities as a result and the Record don't publish this story in the morning edition of their paper delivered in Elmira. Did they include it in the morning edition delivered to Kitchener and Waterloo? As it is in their on-line edition albeit under the Cambridge Times banner does this indicate it is in the Record editions delivered to Cambridge? Or not?

Does the Waterloo Region Record feel that we in Elmira have suffered enough environmentally and either have no need or interest in our neighbours problems south of us? I think not. Or is this a serious attempt at further political damage control by the media? Have they been asked by certain self-inflated egos at the Regional level to back off widely distributing news about cleanups and contaminated sites in Waterloo Region? Has the cone of silence been put over their and our heads by Ken and the old boys and girls club that runs the Region of Waterloo? Would they prefer our media to report on all the good things about LRT for instance and avoid distribution of nasty or disturbing items that could indicate exactly how far out of control we are environmentally?

The Cambridge Times article explains two new cleanup methods being considered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Without saying so it appears that ISCO (In Situ Chemical Oxidation) hasn't been as successful as was hoped when it was used many years ago. The M.O.E. are also looking at removing the backyard sheds and equipment and replacing them with a Sub-Slab Depressurization system (SSD). This would be installed presumably below the basement floors of 84 homes individually instead of currently 19 lucky homeowners hosting Soil Vapour Extraction (SVE) systems in their backyards removing TCE vapours from the basements of the 84 homes.

Folks without wanting to minimize the horrible working environment that women have apparently suffered and are thus currently suing the Waterloo Regional Police for damages; I have to ask whether you have given serious thought to a class action suit against both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and possibly against the Region or City (Cambridge). The injuries caused by our police service are less than those suffered by multiple generations of citizens in the Bishop St. community and are a direct result of government inaction and negligence. My only hope is that if you do this you avoid any confidential settlements that would muzzle you. That is exactly how Regional Police and governments avoid public accountability for their inaction and misbehaviour. You have a possible opportunity to receive compensation for your pain and suffering and financial losses on your homes although no compensation will ever make up for the loss of loved ones or damages to your health. You can also help your fellow citizens by making the Ministry of Emvironment publicly accountable for both their past and current failures.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


What could possibly go wrong with a scenario in which tonnes of nuclear waste will be buried in the ground 1.2 kilometres from Lake Huron? Do we as Ontarians and Canadians not have confidence in our politicians and in our environmental authorities? Well lets see that would be Katherine Wynne and the Liberal Party to start. Hmm no, zero confidence. Well how about our provincial Ministry of Environment? Confidence? That's just too funny. I'm from Elmira afterall. Our politicians and authorities routinely lie to us just about everything.

According to a report from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) "Ideal geology exists for safely isolating nuclear waste 680 metres below ground in stable, dry rock". This stable, dry rock is of course just over a kilometre from Lake Huron. That distance is not nearly far enough away from the lake. Here in Elmira, granted with different geology; plumes of toxic contaminants travelled two kilometres from Uniroyal Chemical to shut down our south wellfield in 1989. Oh and lest I forget, our authorities were reassuring us up to the day they shut down the wells that it absolutely couldn't happen. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this article titled "Lake Huron bunker is best: OPG".

So let me suggest the following. Somewhat like our equally beleaguered and discredited judicial system; justice must both be done and be seen to be done. That hasn't happened thus they are losing credibility in spades. Well to sell your nuclear waste disposal option it must both be technically sound AND BE SEEN TO BE TECHNICALLY SOUND. Even if your telling us the truth this time you must pick a location that inherently and intrinsically we can believe in. Beside lake Huron just doesn't cut it.