Monday, July 31, 2017


Anybody see the parallel here? In 1999 Councillor and later wanna be mayor Pat Mclean was adamant that it was up to UPAC to change in order to bring Uniroyal Chemical back to the table. The poor babies at Uniroyal were offended when the air sub-committee of UPAC accused them of not doing their best on behalf of the long suffering Duke St. residents. Then in 2015 it was Sandy Shantz's turn. She and fellow brain truster Mark Bauman decided to partake in a manufactured crisis occasioned by the absence again of Uniroyal/Chemtura from the public consultation table. CPAC were scapegoated for the decades long failures of both Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment.

In the September 24, 1999 Elmira Independent David Ash of Uniroyal said that they would not return to UPAC. Pat McLean stated that the onus was on UPAC to change in order to entice Uniroyal back to the table.

Other issues continued including a Director's Order from the M.O.E. formalizing abatement work on air issues to be done by Uniroyal Chemical.

In the December 24. 1999 issue of the Independent, Esther Thur spoke to UPAC about Lindane and it's harmful effects. David Ash responded in the media that Uniroyal would continue using a reduced amount of Lindane as a seed protectant.

In the December 31, 1999 issue of the Independent both Esther Thur and myself are quoted as being against making UPAC a committee of Council. Sylvia Berg was in favour of it. Esther stated "previous councils involvement did not help.".

The Woolwich Observer quoted myself on the matter as follows: "Council's history regarding Uniroyal does not inspire confidence." Further most prophetically "The chances of previous councils even allowing me to be a member of UPAC are somewhere between zero and nil." Finally "I am not interested in being a part of any group that requires Woolwich Council's approval." That speaks volumes today.

In the same issue Esther Thur stated "They (Council) have passed the buck to the M.O.E..". She further added "Back in the 1940s & 50s Uniroyal had three people on Council and the pollution was the worst it ever was.'. Henry regier added in behalf of UPAC's staying independent of Council that all the sub-committee meetings were also open to the public just like the monthly UPAC meeting.

The January 29, 2000 Woolwich Observer advised that negotiations were underway between Uniroyal and the M.O.E. to avoid a Stay hearing on the upcoming Director's Order. The Observer also mentioned in the previous week that APT had returned to UPAC after a 5 1/2 year boycott.

The January 15, 2000 Woolwich Observer made in my opinion a telling statement namely "The stay and appeal hearings give Woolwich Township Council an opportunity to reverse its' dismal track record when it comes to Uniroyal. Council has been decidely ineffective when dealing with the company.". It does make one wonder why Pat, albeit a Council member, wanted UPAC to be a committee of Council. Had she received some private assurances or other consideration for her support of the idea? If so from whom? Her buddy Mayor Strauss perhaps? Uniroyal? In my opinion it was the biggest sellout of citizens by any Council member up until Sandy and Mark's efforts in 2015. Funny how chummy Pat, Sandy, Susan and Mark still are.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


O.K. both good and possibly problematic issues are in the Township's letter. The biggest good thing is that Woolwich Township are offering to do methane monitoring in homes on High St. and George St.. They refer to it as "indoor air monitoring" but they are referring to monitoring for methane. While I would characterize that as doing their due diligence and abiding by the Precautionary Principal, I would also advise that methane monitoring is very much hit and miss. For example many gas probes around the Landfill have high levels of methane on one round of monitoring and the next time can show zero methane. Similarly indoor monitoring of your homes may get a hit today and a zero the following week. Hence "hit and miss".

I would also suggest that the Township's offer should extend to Charles St. as well as High and George St.. This is even more important as Waterloo North Hydro have just this spring and summer done extensive subsurface trenching up and down High St. and Charles St.. As soon as I found out about the long term methane issues I contacted Waterloo North Hydro essentially to no avail. These subsurface trenches and pipes may very well provide a preferential and relatively easy pathway for methane to travel further from the Landfill. Or they may not. At this point in time we do not know for certain.

There are seasonal patterns and variability regarding methane migration. The last sentence of the first page of the Township's letter suggests that the gas (methane) probes "...need to be ideally measured when the groundwater is at its lowest elevation and methane emissions/pressure are more likely to show up during monitoring.". O.K. based upon the history of gas probes constantly being flooded by groundwater ( occasionally by surface water) I can understand the logic in this sentence. Clearly the gas probes around the north, west and east side of the Bolender Landfill have been susceptible to high groundwater levels blocking the inlet holes designed to draw in landfill gas. That said there is however another issue. Conestoga Rovers claim in one of their many reports that methane gas is more likely to migrate in the winter months! Holy crap that is not good news. It's not good news because the way the system is built and designed "Probes Not Found" and "Probe Not Measured (Flooded)" occurs most often between December and April exactly when the methane gas is at its' most active. Therefore measurements taken in the dead of the summer (July & August) when probes can be found, groundwater is lower and it's easier conditions for staff, might actually be the time of year when methane levels are lowest.

The other both good and problematic issue in the Township's letter is the admission that there are "elevated methane levels in proximity to his building ..." on Arthur St.. O.K. if there are elevated methane levels on the west side of the Landfill today then why don't you think there are elevated levels on the east side? Methane generally travels outwards from a landfill and there is no solid or overpowering evidence to suggest that it has suddenly stopped travelling eastwards (or northwards or southwards).

Much more and much better needs to be done. The township's letter is but the first step.

Friday, July 28, 2017


So for thirty-four years Woolwich Township has felt that they did not have an obligation to advise neighbours that a) they were living beside a landfill site and b) there was methane gas being generated by the landfill at explosive levels and c) the methane collection system quit working after fourteen years and still hasn't been replaced.

Last Monday morning I distributed a Notice to High St,. Charles St. and George St. residents advising them that I would be speaking this Tuesday as a Delegate to Woolwich Council regarding methane gas issues at the Bolender Park Landfill. Lo and behold two days later, on Wednesday July 26, Woolwich Staff then distributed their own Letter advising residents of the problem or at least part of the problem. Credit goes to the Township for at last, belatedly, telling residents that there are "elevated methane levels" at the west end of the Landfill near Arthur St..

The problem with methane is that it dos not flow underground in an easily predictable direction, unlike groundwater for example. The other obvious problem is that unlike groundwater, methane is explosive. Homes were abandoned around the Ottawa St. Landfill in Kitchener back in the 1970s just after the Bolender Landfill was closed.

One item to point out is that the Letter from Woolwich Staff incorrectly suggested that Mr. Frank Rattasid may have been in touch with your households regarding methane problems in the Landfill. In fact my reference in my Notice last Monday to a "colleague" in the neighbourhood possibly attending Council with me; was referring to Dr. Dan Holt not to Mr. Rattasid.

While there may be some other small problems in the Township's Letter nevertheless overall I welcome the Township stepping up and giving residents some insight into potential problems requiring due diligence on both the Township's part as well as the resident's part.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


I'm of two minds as I post this article. I lived for nearly a decade in West Montrose and the Grand River was rarely far from my mind. The people interviewed in the Waterloo Region Record's article were my neighbours and they are good people. The title of the Record article was "GRCA to update warning maps in wake of June flooding".

The GRCA (Dwight Boyd) is quoted as saying "We are at the mercy of the weather". Clare Gingrich of West Montrose stated "If the dam level is high, you really can't help us much". Tony Dowling who has done so much for the West Montrose community and further afield with his involvement in Gravel Watch Ontario stated "Unexpected weather events does not vindicate the GRCA". I would suggest that both Clare Gingrich and Dwight Boyd are 100% accurate in their comments. Sorry Tony but I hope you can handle only a 95% score on your quote. If Tony had added one word to his statement namely "absolutely" as in "unexpected weather events does not (absolutely) vindicate the GRCA" then a 100% score would be appropriate.

I'm not trying to nitpick here. Yes there were some communication problems. It appears as if that is being acknowledged by both Woolwich Township folks as well as by the GRCA. Hence while an unexpected weather event does not absolutely vindicate the GRCA I would suggest that it also does not absolutely condemn them. Expecting dams to be capable of both providing low flow augmentation along with recreational activities to sailing clubs on both Belwood and Conestoga Lake while simultaneously providing flood protection by having reservoir capacity available at ALL times seems highly improbable. The GRCA are at the mercy of both weather and timing. There is a period of time when they probably need every ounce of water they can hold back in order to lengthen the boating season for their leased cottage holders, sailing clubs and swimmers. It's a pretty difficult balancing act. They get it right 99% of the time but boy that 1% that recently occurred can be horrific for downstream home owners. Hence communications do need to be 100% spot on.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


The June 2017 Chemtura/Lanxess Progress Report came out a few days back. I've been waiting expectantly for many months to see the long anticipated and long overdue off-site groundwater expansion project come on-line. Well it finally has sort-of. Four wells namely W6, 7, 8, & 9 initially were supposed to triple the off-site extraction of contaminated groundwater. That was the plan back in November 2012. This plan by Chemtura/CRA came six months after CPAC and then Woolwich Council formally announced their lack of confidence in the current plan and pumping rates.

Essentially Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment then denied and decried CPAC and the Township's media releases and position that the 2028 off-site "cleanup" wasn't going to happen. They did this almost up until they turned around in November 2012 and announced that independently Chemtura and their consultants had determined that more had to be done to achieve the 2028 cleanup. That "more" was to TRIPLE the rates of off-site groundwater pumping and treating.

Such hypocrites and liars! They think that nobody is going to remember down the road their misstatements and bullshit. Well I remember and I am recording. As far as the TRIPLING of pumping, well that has long ago slid into a DOUBLING of the pumping rates. Of course no explanation and no rationale for the change. Afterall they are professionals and qualified experts and all the rest of the corporate horseshit that polluters and their corrupt regulators hide behind.

Of the four wells previously mentioned, one has started pumping namely W6. That would be one well albeit in two aquifers namely W6A and W6B. Hold your breathe and wait for it. More than four and a half years later this well pumped during June at a rate of 1.4 litres per second. This is in comparison to 64.3 litres per second for all the other off-site wells. Doesn't quite seem yet to have doubled much less tripled the pumping rates.

Is it possible now that both Chemtura/Lanxess and the M.O.E. have publicly admitted that they can't achieve the promised 2028 cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers, that they are going to coast? They've thrown in the towel? The whole thing has been a sham from the start? It wouldn't surprise me in the least. The Ontario M.O.E. will of course do whatever it takes to save face for themselves.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


The period from spring 1998 until summer 2001 was brutal for residents living near the Uniroyal Chemical plant in Elmira, Ontario. The air emissions were beyond obnoxious odours and were better described as toxic chemical fumigations which left some residents nauseous and gasping for air. In the July 9, 1999 Elmira Independent, Tim Boose of Uniroyal described the new $300,000 thermal oxidation unit as a "flameless incinerator". This was to deal with air emissions from one of the production processes. In the August 20/99 Independent, the Ministry of Environment indicated that they were laying a Field Order upon Uniroyal to increase abatement measures required on the waste water treatment system. Terry Machen of RAM (Duke St. residents) stated that it is Uniroyal's production processes not their waste water treatment system causing the odours.

Other fronts were also being argued/discussed at UPAC including the lack of hydraulic containment in the Upper Aquifers on the Uniroyal site. The M.O.E. and Uniroyal blatantly violated the November 1991 Control Order which ordered full hydraulic containment in all aquifers. Also discussed were Lindane and DDT still on site. Fred Hager of UPAC brought a 1946 article in Canadian Fisherman to UPAC which extolled the wonders of both DDT and Lindane.

Both Woolwich Council as well as UPAC were still attempting to bring Uniroyal back to UPAC. My attitude was to let the buggers stew in their own juices. When present they lied and deceived so why should we be in any hurry to let them come back much less implore them to do so? In early fall of 1999 Susan Bryant had an excellent Second Opinion article in the K-W Record about Terry Machen and his family and their tribulations over the past two summers.

The September 1999 UPAC meeting was covered in the media on September 24/99. Both Henry Regier and Ron Ormson were asking good questions regarding air emissions. At this point in time it seemed as if folks were believing that production processes such as PAO and Diacetyl were the odour culprits. Terry Machen stated that "The Ministry doesn't have any backbone". My common comment was that they were a toothless tiger. In the October 15, 1999 Elmira Independent Tim Boose advised UPAC that all 125 odour control measures were now completed including replacing a wet scrubber system with a dry one.

Hopes were high that this signaled the end of Uniroyal's ongoing fumigations of Elmira. It did not.

Monday, July 24, 2017


On July 15/17 the Waterloo Region Record published a story titled "Era of "biological annihilation" underway, scientists warn". "...the "normal" extinction rate over the last two million years has been that two species go extinct every 100 years because of evolutionary and other factors.". Currently we are losing two species every year. Habitat loss, climate change, deforestation for agriculture and pollution are the main causes. All of this we are advised in a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences authored by three professors at Stanford University.

One of the authors, Paul Erlich (the Population Bomb) states that "We are toxifying the entire planet.". The bottom line is that "There is only one overall solution, and that is to reduce the scale of the human enterprise". "Population growth and increasing consumption among the rich is driving it.".

These scientists have put nicely what I and others have stated a little more bluntly. Human beings are a plague upon the planet. When our species goes extinct, my only hope is that we don't destroy all other life here on earth as well.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I posted here yesterday about the absence of Chemtura/Lanxess as well as the Ontario M.O.E.C.C. from most Tag (Technical Advisory Group) public meetings. In one further sense the construction of TAG is but yet another act of blatant hypocrisy. It is a case of our local politicians telling us to do as they say not as they do. For years citizens on UPAC and CPAC were told that Uniroyal/Chemtura needed to sit down with technical experts. Sometimes they used the words "qualified professionals". The message was clear. Ordinary, intelligent and informed citizens just couldn't keep up with the technical stuff and would waste the experts' time. I always objected and made it clear that citizens could both keep up and were more than capable of understanding the so called technical issues. Keep in mind as I've often said "Hydrogeology is not rocket science." It is water (contaminated or otherwise) moving through the ground.

So Sandy and Mark literally go to multiple good citizens with however little technical experience and or even less historical knowledge of Uniroyal/Chemtura and appoint them to the TECHNICAL Advisory Group. Really? TAG's purpose is to make no decisions and to make no recommendations directly to either the Ministry of Environment or Chemtura/Lanxess. TAG's purpose as indicated in their name is to make Technical recommendations to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee). RAC of course includes all the political bodies such as the Region, the Township, the Province (via M.O.E.), the Grand River Conservation Authority and finally Chemtura/Lanxess along with TAG representation. Dr. Jackson was an outstanding choice as Chair and his experience and knowledge far overshadowed all others.

RAC have several political appointees also with little historical or technical knowledge dealing with Uniroyal Chemical. The Region usually are well represented technically. The GRCA's rep is technically sound although more in hydrology (surface water) than in hydrogeology (groundwater). The Two Township reps are a joke. TAG reps are pretty good. Chemtura and the M.O.E. will continue to do exactly as they please in their private deals and negotiations with each other unless and until RAC get hardnosed and publicly make a stink. Dr. Jackson tried to get support from TAG to become more aggressive in their media strategy and he got nowhere.

Individual good voices won't cut it on either TAG or RAC. The last CPAC worked together as a group and were making serious inroads on M.O.E./Chemtura credibility and lack of honesty. That is why they were disbanded by Mark and Sandy. From the beginning both the Ministry of Environment and the Township merely wanted public consultation (UPAC) as window dressing. It was never intended to actually influence Uniroyal decisions more towards the public interest. It was and is all for show.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Last evening the Technical Advisory Group met in Woolwich Council Chambers. Most members and Chair present did a good job with what they had to work with. Joe Kelly was particularly impressive as he went through GHD's (formerly Conestoga Rovers) Revised Creek Sediment& Soil Investigation Work Plan. Susan Bryant, Linda Dickson, Bill Barr and Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach all contributed with questions and comments.

It's the folks who weren't present who turn my stomach with the noticeable exception of David Hofbauer. Mr. Hofbauer realizing he couldn't attend read the two reports under discussion (Revised Creek S & S Investig. and the Conceptual Site Model (CSM)) and then sent in his comments to Chair Tiffany Svensson. She introduced them to the TAG members during the discussion.

Absent yet again was Pat Mclean. She lobbied and brown nosed her way with Sandy Shantz into being appointed to TAG and then she apparently can't be bothered to attend the meetings regularly. Between that and her conflict of interest position with the chemical industry perks she receives, she should have been bounced more than a year ago.

Further absent and thus making the relevance of TAG somewhat suspect was both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Chemtura/Lanxess. TAG members and Chair are trying. They also apparently through the Chair are sending their comments and recommendations along to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) via e-mails. Of course the public do not see the e-mails or what response if any the TAG Chair receives. Also the public can neither ask questions of TAG nor advise or inform them based upon our generally much greater experience in these matters. Of greater concern yet is that neither TAG nor the public can communicate directly with Chemtura/Lanxess or the M.O.E. in a public forum.

This is the extreme stupidity and or hypocrisy of them as well as of Mark Bauman and Sandy Shantz on Woolwich Council. They all conspired privately to disparage the last CPAC in order to replace them with overall good people with little prior knowledge of the situation. They blamed CPAC for the M.O.E. and Chemtura suddenly, after the last municipal election, deciding to not attend public CPAC meetings. Chemtura (Uniroyal) alone pulled the same stunt back in the spring of 1999 when they were being publicly criticized for their inadequate efforts at curtailing their production air emissions.

Allegedly CPAC's aggressive stance put off the polluter (and their corrupt regulator) with their ongoing misrepresentations and attempts to constantly minimize and or hide environmental problems. The off-site east side revelations by CPAC of contamination both unintended and likely intended to divert liquid wastes eastwards and into the Stroh Drain were too much raw exposure for both those parties. They conspired with Mark and Sandy to take the public pressure off. The new Woolwich Council acquiesced. Now despite past dictums from the Canadian Chemical Producers Association, demanding Uniroyal/Chemtura have monthly meetings with the public, Chemtura/Lanxess are only required to attend four meetings a year with RAC. Nice job Sandy and Mark. I hope you get a payoff after you get booted off Council.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Appropriately on April 1, 1999 the Elmira Independent wrote a story about Diacetyl odours coming from the Uniroyal plant. Tim Boose, Uniroyal spokesperson, suggested that Diacetyl was not dangerous. Turns out he was wrong as "popcorn lung" has since been identified as a health hazard. It seems that sticking one's nose in a bag of popcorn with artificial butter flavouring (Diacetyl) damages one's lungs. Certainly the residents of Elmira who used to smile and not be concerned about butter flavouring odours from Uniroyal have reason to be concerned now.

On April 20, 1999 in the K-W Record Bob Trotter wrote that there has been fourty years of Uniroyal polluting Elmira as of that date. He stated "What is needed are government officials and governments with enough guts to enforce the law. The people of this lovely little town have suffered enough.". Mr. Trotter was a well known local writer and reporter for a very long time. Jeff Merriman of Uniroyal also had an opinion piece in the same edition. I would characterize Mr. Merriman's comments as very well done bullshit.

In the May 21, 1999 Elmira Independent Murray Haight (M.O.E.) advised UPAC that until a few weeks ago Uniroyal were still leaving doors and windows open in Building # 19, the source of Diacetyl odours. Henry Regier responded that "This is ridiculous. Therefore the vacuum system's effectiveness is reduced.". The purpose of the vacuum system was to funnel odours and air emissions to a scrubber system prior to their discharge to the air.

In the May 22, 1999 Woolwich Observer was a story suggesting that after five years APT Environment were thinking of rejoining UPAC. David Ash of Uniroyal made it clear that he and the company still had no interest whatsoever in rejoining after their walkout earlier that year.

On May 22, 1999 we were advised that the Envirodome/Toxidome/Mausoleum would likely have all its' contents removed and trucked to Corunna, Ontario by July of that year. Both Susan Bryant and myself suggested leaving the building in place for future storage of hazardous waste. As of the present Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess have not indicated that they have used the building for that purpose.

The Elmira Independent of June 25, 1999 advised that Murray Haight will stay with the M.O.E. until the end of the year. There was also a picture with the story of my parked car with a banner on the roof which stated "Uniroyal Having A Bad (H)Air Day". Uniroyal were less amused than the rest of the CPAC members. Henry Regier and Pat McLean both agreed that the Envirodome (Bldg. # 60) should remain after being emptied, on site.

In the good old days we had many different voices hammering Uniroyal to improve and become more responsible.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


All paperwork has been received including the Revised Creek Sediment & Soil Investigation Work Plan that I posted about last week. That is very nice getting things ahead of time in order to be up on the latest info prior to the Technical Advisory Group meeting. Thank You Lisa.

The Updated Conceptual Site Model has also been received and read ahead of time. While there are a couple of spots in it that I'm finding odd, overall it is a very comprehensive piece of work. Congrats to Dr. Neil Thomson.

Part of the new business to be discussed tomorrow evening is Agenda Item 3.2 . That is a discussion of the flooding event in June of this year. The relevance of this to Chemtura/Lanxess relates to erosion of contaminated soils and creekbanks carrying DDT and Dioxins (and more) downstream.

What I do find bizarre and possibly bureaucracy run amok is Agenda Item 4.1 namely Accessibility Training Follow-Up. Undoubtedly Woolwich paid Staff and other municipal employees, by law, need to understand their responsibilities in dealing with citizens with various handicaps; but how TAG volunteers are impacted by this I really don't know.

The meeting is in Woolwich Council Chambers at 6:30 pm.. There usually is some good information to be gleaned from these meetings albeit there often is also bad news regarding delays and other gamesmanship from Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Sandy loves to throw around the term conspiracy theories. Sandy isn't very bright but even she knows the truth on this matter. MECAC (Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee) are but one perfect example. Were their members truly independent citizens without preconceived bias one way or the other regarding investigating sitting municipal and regional politicians for filing either inaccurate or dishonest election financing reports? Not even close. Multiple former politicians both municipal and regional combined with other appointees by the very same institutions and people they were investigating. Beyond ridiculous and their results and decisions bare that out.

Then we have the educational system as well as the police. How is it that Sandy Shantz has ties with all of these groups? Oh yes it's because a majority of Woolwich voters including me who should have known better, sooner, thought that she was the real deal. We thought that she wanted to serve the public interest first and foremost. We were wrong and now as always will suffer for our ignorance. Sandy actually was elevated to Chair of the Waterloo Regional District School Board. They put her there because she looks good and speaks reasonably well. Oh and she won't ever rock the boat or the status quo. This WRDSB is the same one who for years has underachieved in their core goals of educating children. They also grossly underachieved in matters of integrity and morals in regards to the Ron Archer child abuse affair. Terms like "passing the trash" have been buttressed by decisions of the WRDSB.

Currently as Mayor of Woolwich Township Sandy is also a Regional Councillor. Her colleague on Regional Council Tom Galloway is Chair of the Police Services Board. News flash right now the Regional Police appropriately appear to be besmirching the reputations (tattered or otherwise) of their political masters namely Waterloo Regional Council.

Our beloved Waterloo Regional Police. Chiefs like Larry Gravill and Brian Larkin. Is "pretty boys" too blunt and rude? If so then let's at least also apply the term "pretty girls" to Sandy. How about Justin Trudeau? Liz Witmer in her younger days? Anybody see a pattern here? The biggest qualifications for leadership appear to be a pretty face combined with being a true believer. Oh and the ability to speak nicely on most occasions. Yes sometimes political parties and quasi government agencies do pick very smart individuals to be their leaders but it sure helps if they are also telegenic. It helps a lot. Most of us want to believe that our leaders are basically honest. News flash, very few are.

Kelly Donovan has gone public with a 93 page scathing report dealing with both the Waterloo Regional Police and other Ontario police forces. Today's Waterloo Region Record on the front page of the Local Section has an article titled "Ex-Officer criticizes police for "bullying"". It is so much more than that. It includes abuse of authority and depending upon one's definition, corruption. She was also interviewed by 570 radio yesterday as well as other media. The Cambridge Advocate whose link is to the right of this posting are carrying a link to her 93 page report issued to 45 different media outlets yesterday.

This Blog is primarily about environmental issues. However as I have learned the hard way, the environment isn't even second fiddle to politics. Politics and incompetent, ignorant and biased politicians make the decisions affecting environmental matters. Politicians are the reason this planet is going to hell in a handbasket. They are more concerned with short term gain and that includes support by the private sector who are making short term gains at the expense of the planet and most of the rest of us.

The left hand washes the right. The judicial system are more concerned about their own credibility and reputations than they are about truth and integrity. Just look at the never ending cases of wrongful conviction and imprisonment. The educational system spend more time and effort appearing wise than in actually being so and educating as well as protecting our children in their care. Our police forces according to the recent class action lawsuit filed in June against the Waterloo Regional Police Service as well as by Kelly Donovan are more about status, power, authority and maintaining internal discipline than they are about protecting our citizens. Wasting resources and money persecuting dissent within their organization weakens their efforts to protect us.

All these groups are ultimately accountable to our political leaders whether municipal, regional or provincial. All these groups tend to back each other up and generally are reluctant, albeit with some exceptions, to criticize or point fingers at each other. Our political leaders are inherently corrupt and self-serving. The old adage that it's not fair that 95% of politicians give all the rest a bad name is applicable here. How possibly can corruption, whatever it's type or definition at the top, not affect the integrity of organizations below? Afterall it's our political leaders who often appoint, reward and promote their favourite and loyal sons and daughters to positions of higher authority. We the citizens are supposed to blindly drink the Kool Aid and follow all their dictums no matter how prejudiced and unfair. Fortunately every now and again truth and light shine through at least for a little while.

Monday, July 17, 2017


March 1999 was a difficult time for Uniroyal and appropriately so. Both Gail Gardiner in the Elmira Independent and Bob Burtt in the K-W Record were quoting citizens including myself and Richard Clausi advising citizens that neither municipal, regional nor provincial authorities were ever going to shut Uniroyal down for their plethora of ongoing misdeeds towards Elmira citizens. Ongoing fumigations were continuing even in the winter months harming local residents health and peace of mind.

On March 19, 1999 Ken Reger wrote a Letter To The Editor (Elmira Independent) in which he stated "Uniroyal would do nothing if not forced to do it through sheer pressure from interested parties.". Furthermore he said "If I was charged with drunk driving, my license would be pulled immediately. When Uniroyal pollutes they keep on getting away with it instead of being shut down immediately.".

On March 26, 1999 in the Independent Dr. Henry Regier was quoted at a UPAC meeting asking Dr. Hanif kassan (Regional Health Dep't.) "Do you really think you have to prove adverse effects?". Further comments in the Independent regarding the special UPAC meeting of March 22/99 included " UPAC member Henry Regier asked if anyone knows why Uniroyal did not undertake any of these odour abatement measures earlier. "It's a good question" said Ed Gill (M.O.E.). "Ask the company added Murray Haight (M.O.E.)".

On April 1/99 in the K-W Record Susan Bryant was quoted as saying "Mr. Stirling's (Minster of Environment) response confirms that our attempts to get this government and the Environment Ministry to address the environmental problems in Elmira are best described as an exercise in walking around in circles.".

Finally on April 9, 1999 in the Elmira Independent we had comments from David Chadder of Rowan, Williams, Davies and Irwin out of Guelph. He had finally received the updated computer air model and had run the numbers through it. Surprise, surprise it turned out that the old model used by Conestoga Rovers & Associates on behalf of Uniroyal produced much lower estimates of contaminant concentrations off-site than the newer computer model. I'm sure that this was merely one more unfortunate and unintentional case of CRA making their client, Uniroyal, look less irresponsible than they were.

Then we get into Diacetyl odours and irresponsibility at Uniroyal in April 1999. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Conestoga Rovers & Associates (CRA), decades long consultants to Uniroyal/Chemtura, have been doing methane monitoring at the Bolender Park Landfill in Elmira, off and on since 1983. Their most recent report was last year. To date there have been approximately ten of their reports delivered to their clients, Woolwich Township, with Recommendations included. Some of those have been acted upon by the Township, others not.

In my opinion there have been shortcomings in this monitoring and reporting. For example there was a time gap of twenty-two years between monitoring rounds of methane levels at the extreme eastern end of the landfill next to High St. in Elmira. In other words there was no monitoring by CRA from December 1986 until April 2008.

Similarly the gas probes with very high readings that were installed nearest the Elmira Pet Food Products plant have not been retested by the consultants since 1983.

In 2009 CRA recommended that Woolwich Township install a methane warning device in the basement of a home on High St. nearest the Landfill. I am extremely doubtful that that has occurred.

To date two media in Kitchener-Waterloo have been advised of these issues. Our most local media have been approached and not returned my phonecall or e-mail. I will probably give them one more chance before totally and completely giving up on them.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Five years of Ministry of Environment investigating and studying of the Canagagigue Creek sediments and floodplain and now we allegedly need even more "investigation", this time by Chemtura/GHD. For the love of God Chemtura/Lanxess stop screwing around and start removing Dioxins, DDT, PCBs, Mercury and BNA extractables. Sediments move both by suspended sediment transport as well as by erosional and depositional forces. Is this your and the M.O.E.'s game? Study for six or seven years and then due to seasonal flows and heavy storms start the whole process over again because of changes in the contaminant's location?

The Ministry made their biases very clear with their oversampling of the New Jerusalem Rd. area and under sampling of further downstream sites. Chemtura's latest sampling locations appear to be covering some of those downstream sites. That said they keep repeating that samples will be preferentially collected from depositional areas. All these decades and to date they haven't figured out exactly where those depositional areas are? Really?

Another issue is their homogenizing of sediment or soil samples. It was David Hofbauer at the last TAG meeting who suggested that this is a good way to "average away" issues. If you have a couple of preferential flowpaths for example of dioxins and DDT but you sample a large enough area around them you can reduce the concentrations found by the number of zeros for other areas that you include in your calculations. Gamesmanship is alive and well in environmental "investigating".

Access agreements have not yet been acquired for some of the downstream floodplain sampling. Likely this will also provide Lanxess/GHD with further delays and time extensions.

Nearly thirty years of "investigations", monitoring and sampling with always minimizing through various means; and I have zero confidence in their credibility, ethics and honesty. Games and delays is what the story has always been. It's 2017 and the authorities and guilty parties have known since the 80s and 90s as to what the problems were in the creek and where they are located. Get at it!

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Dr. Neil Thomson's CSM (Conceptual Site Model) prepared for Chemtura/Lanxess has been completed. My first concern is that it's under the banner of that idjit Alan Deal formerly CRA and now GHD. While Dr. Thomson has credibility both at the University level as well as here in Elmira, Mr. Deal does not. That is truly unfortunate and immediately makes the final product suspect. Unfortunate and avoidable.

On page 3 we are advised that the level of Upper Aquifer (UA) wells was monitored while pumping took place in the Municipal Aquifer. Allegedly as there was no response in the UA we are told that there is no direct connection between the aquifers. Which wells in each aquifer and what time of year did this take place? Stating that there is no direct connection throughout Elmira seems to me to be a huge generalization from pumping at maybe three Municipal Aquifer wells.

Page 7 advises us that east side well OW43-11 has had very high Chlorobenzene concentrations for decades. Indeed as suggested this probably indicates a nearby source of Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLS) in the Municipal Aquifer.

Similaly well OW88-19 in the south-west part of Chemtura also has had extraordinarily high levels of dissolved chlorobenzene for decades. This also indicates the nearby presence of DNAPL, most likely free phase. Again this well is screened nearly 20 metres below surface and in the Municipal Aquifer.

Free phase DNAPL was found in the past at TPW-2 (Tar Pit 2) also on the west side. Found and left I might add. I did not see it mentioned in this CSM which is disappointing.

I have long had a problem with the alleged lack of chlorobenzene in the Bedrock Aquifer. Page 10 gives a fairly convincing explanation as to why it's not there. I'm not yet 100% convinced byt credit needs to be given for this explanation and rationale regardless.

Page 14 is a repeat of a stunning revelation given to us by Dr. Thomson regarding the overall mass of chlorobenzene in the Elmira Aquifers. At a RAC meeting Dr. Thomson advised us that approximately an additional 2000 kilograms of chlorobenzene is in the ground from an unaccounted for source. This is no surprise to me. The two most likely sources are Borg Textiles formerly across Howard Ave. from Varnicolor Chemical. Varnicolor itself is suspect although for that to be true then there had to be a major fraud/coverup in regards to shallow aquifer groundwater readings of zero for chlorobenzene. All very suspicious.

Overall this CSM is helpful. One other anomaly is the title of the document namely "Municipal Aquifer Conceptual Site Model". Come on guys it's far more than the Municipal Aquifer as it includes the bedrock aquifer as well as two different shallow aquifers and more. Not sure why they titled it as such.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Dioxins and DDT in the sediments of Canagagigue Creek exceed all criteria and guidelines. The same compounds in the floodplain soils exceed all relevant criteria. The same compounds plus mercury and PCBs exceed most criteria in fish in the Canagagigue Creek particularly downstream from Chemtura. This is a no brainer unless of course you are the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. They want to do both a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and a Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA).

The criteria are set using science. Risk Assessment's values and figures are set using mathematics, philosophy, some logic, assumptions, "experience' and biases. Essentially the promoters of the Risk Assessment will use the adage "Bullshit Baffles Brains". Yes they will hire and pay very well credentialed experts with degrees in toxicology, mathematics, sciences and statistics and they will "prove" that their particular site specific conditions somehow undermine the generic criteria set by science for particular chemicals in particular environments such as waterways, agricultural soils etc.. They will produce their "site specific" values for which allegedly no harm will come to various receptors whether human beings or wildlife. Of course they will then "to be on the conservative side" even decrease their mathematically calculated values by a factor of ten to once again "prove" how honest and forthcoming they are. It's all a sham folks.

They won't even consider synergistic effects of multiple chemicals because science to date just doesn't know and or can't prove them. That won't hold these statistical heroes back for even a second. They will make assumptions (conservative ones of course) to further protect the receptors whatever or whoever they are. Their raw data will be what is required but not necessarily all that is relevant. They don't know what they don't know. How do Uniroyal and Chemtura's hundreds of other chemicals released into the natural environment affect life forms? How do a plethora of compounds deposited from the air in and around the creek affect life forms already under chemical stress?

All of this is a violent contradiction of the Precautionary Principle. Risk Assessments are an inherently dishonest attempt to justify less cleanup of our natural environment by industry. They are sanctioned by their bought and paid for buddies in government at all levels. Industry, particularly polluting industries, love them. In a nutshell polluters are allowed, for a price, to buy their way out of complete and proper cleanups of the environmental and human damage they have done. Scientifically determined criteria in the first place allow pollution up to a certain level. Even those levels whatever they are, are a compromise. But that just isn't good enough for them. They want to do even less. Shame on all of those involved.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Thursday July 20 at 6:30 pm. is the next Technical Advisory Group meeting. I desperately miss Dr. Richard Jackson who was such a breath of fresh air as Chair of TAG. He called a spade a spade and bullshit artists out for their crap. That would be the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Chemtura Canada. Tiffany Svensson is O.K. so far but neither she nor anybody else for that matter can hold a candle to "Dick".

TAG were supposed to have received a copy of the completed Canagagigue Creek Workplan by July 1, Canada Day. I'm skeptical but hopeful simultaneously. Now it would be nice if Woolwich Township or the TAG Chair would send these out to all stakeholders not just Sandy's friends on TAG. Again I'm skeptical but hopeful simultaneously.

The Remediation Advisory Committee Minutes are out and on the Township's website. Unsurprisingly my comment from the gallery was not included. My comment at the very end of the meeting came immediately after Mr. Flip Flop (Mark Bauman) flashed his world class hypocrisy when he had played favourites allowing Susan Bryant from the gallery to ask a question of Chemtura/Lanxess. Mark after then breaking his and Sandy's own rules ostentaciously suggested that he would take questions from the gallery as this was an open and transparent public process. Hence my out loud question "Since when?" No answer was provided once again indicating Mark and Sandy's hypocrisy.

Jason Rice of the M.O.E. stated that Bluntnose Minnows and Creek chub were not tested downstream because researchers could not find any. That is a bizarre answer and requires clarification. We are also advised that contrary to what we were told at the RAC meeting that a Director's Order to Mr. Stroh does not require posting on the Environmental Registry nor does it require a 45 day review period. What isn't clear is what appeal mechanisms if any are available to Mr. Stroh.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Esther Thur said it well and said it clearly decades ago. "APT did not form to talk to Uniroyal. They did not form to be nice. They formed to fight Uniroyal". APT also did not form in order to sit in private meetings or negotiations with either Uniroyal Chemical or the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Susan Rupert one of the three original founders (+ Sandra Bray & Esther) warned against APT getting too close to the very parties they were opposing. Those warnings fell upon deaf ears and as a result two or three ambitious people have upended APT's direction. Susan Rupert was all about concensus within the group. She was not about titles such as President or Vice-President. Those titles came after her departure. The rest of APT have forgotten. They care but they do not want to see what has happened. They want the best of APT to live on in memory. That is understandable.

There have been many tactical and strategic mistakes by APT members and citizens overall. The local political powers in support of Uniroyal have fortunately made their share as well. Their ability to dissemble and lie and manipulate has been Machievellian. One of the biggest mistakes by both APT members and UPAC was allowing Councillor (at the time) Pat Mclean to drag UPAC into being a committee of Woolwich Council. Esther and I both spoke against that move. Esther made it very clear that ever since the 1940s Elmira Town Councils as well as Woolwich Councils stood with Uniroyal, never with the long suffering citizens. APT members needed to step up and tell their reps not to support Pat's initiative. Instead Susan Bryant and Sylvia Berg were all in favour. The timing was very strange what with Uniroyal Chemical having already stormed out of UPAC. Pat Mclean kept incorrectly stating that UPAC had to change in order to bring Uniroyal back to the table and I responded that UPAC had already changed for the better and that's why Uniroyal left in the first place. Pat actually was quoted at one point in the local papers as acknowledging that it was UPAC's more aggressive stance pushing Uniroyal versus constantly supporting them that led to their departure.

Certainly the irony was not lost on me after the October 2010 municipal election. The new Council did exactly what I had warned UPAC about ten years earlier. They decided quietly to give CPAC the heave ho. Todd Cowan had talked to outside experts (and me) and understood that the Chemtura/CRA way of doing things wasn't working to clean up by 2028. Pat, Susan and the gang were gone. Sure they did their thing and pretended to withdraw their Applications over disagreement with new Terms of Reference but it was all for show. They already knew that none of them were coming back. I actually had asked Todd to retain two or three of them but he chose not to. At least from this point forward, especially with the public way the 2014 new Council got rid of Todd's CPAC; it is now undeniable that Councils will exercise their power and throw out previously Council appointed volunteer citizen committees that they do not like. What a way to run a railroad folks. It's not the best candidates, it's the candidates who are friends and buddies with the Councillors (and even possibly with Chemtura) who get appointed.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


Current ongoing scams, deflections, manipulations and delays include the alleged east side soil and groundwater investigation of the Stroh farm nearest to the Chemtura property line. Secondly is the ongoing saga of the contaminated Canagagigue Creek. The water is certainly clean enough for life to have returned even in places downstream, in abundance. It is a poisoned life however and the Dioxins, DDT, PCBs and Mercury are harming all life forms including human beings. Money however almost by definition is the corporate lifeblood and their priority.

Flash back to 1999 here in Elmira. Terry Machen one of the Duke St. residents was threatened with a Harassment charge if he phoned David Ash in the middle of the night again. Apparently David felt that a corporate noxious fumigation wake up of terry was O.K. but a personal phone call to David in the night time was not.

By mid February 1999 Uniroyal had agreed to start paying for hotel or motel accomodation for residents ousted in the middle of the night because of Uniroyal odours. Thatw as at least a minor improvement.

On February 18/99 in the K-W Record Davis Ash is quoted in a Bob Burtt article regarding CPAC that "It isn't as if we walked away from the best thing since sliced bread. We left something that didn't work." The Canadian Chemical Producers Assocn. (CCPA) got into the fray by adding "I question whose interest CPAC is serving." Classy isn't it when corporate polluters and corporate apologists ( CCPA) start lying and criticizing citizen volunteers.

Letters To The Editor were flying such as Ed and Esther Thur's letter in the K-W Record on February 8, 1999. They basically challenged Uniroyal's senior executives to live where they work. In other words live in Elmira where you are stinking the place out. Don't run and hide in Waterloo away from your own stink.

On February 20/99 Frank Etherington of the Record (later a Kitchener Councillor) wrote an article titled "Political stink in Uniroyal's ongoing saga". Shannon Purves-Smith wrote an excellent Letter To The Editor in the Woolwich Observer in regards to David Chadder of Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (Guelph), air emissions and also David Ash's and Uniroyal's departure from UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee).

On UPAC Gerry Heideburrt and Ron Ormson publicly supported UPAC as of course did their Chair, Pat Mclean. She stated that "We (UPAC) are not their PR firm. If Ash thinks that, we have a basic misunderstanding.". She then added "I think UPAC is starting to work as it should, and that's what he (Ash) doesn't like.".

Jon Sykes of the University of Waterloo was quoted in a K-W Record article by Bob Burtt suggesting that political will to clean up was the key. Mr. Sykes referenced problems in Woburn, Massachusetts and Toms River, New Jersey as examples of governmental ineffectiveness. Sylvia Berg and Henry Regier both made comments in the Elmira Independent (Feb. 26/99) advising Dalton McGuinty to do something to allow the Ministry of Environment to do the job they are supposed to be doing.

I wrote a Letter To The Editor for the March 5, 1999 Elmira Independent. One quote is as follows "Uniroyal and david Ash have lost their long time tame committee, and have thus picked up their marbles and left in search of a different game.". Mike Hicknell also sent in a Letter To The Editor to the Independent in which he hammered some local Woolwich Councillors and their myopic pro-business at all costs attitude.

The Uniroyal Wars raged on for many more years and decades.

Friday, July 7, 2017


The February 2, 1999 K-W Record carried a story regarding the ongoing fumigations of Elmira from Uniroyal Chemical. The toxic fumes even in the dead of winter were still driving Terry Machen from his home in the middle of the night. In desperation Terry phoned Uniroyal General Manager David Ash at 2 am. one morning telling him that if he Terry couldn't sleep then neither should David be able to. In this article both Terry Machen and Woolwich councillor Bram Hollman blasted Uniroyal and David Ash for their attitudes and behaviour. Far too few Woolwich Councillors over the decades have been prepared to call out Uniroyal Chemical publicly when they needed to be.

Three other politicians also stand out in this article. Liz Witmer was Health Minister and she was as useless as t... on a bull. Norm Sterling was Environment Minister and he was even more useless than t... on a bull. Mike Harris was Premier and the kindest thing I can say about him is that he should have had Liz & Norm as his cell mates.

In the February 1, 1999 K-W Record, Rose Simone pointed out that since 1995 the Mike Harris government had cut Ministry of the Environment staff by 1/3 and their budget by 1/2.

By February 5, 1999 Uniroyal's Envirodome (Mausoleum) was 60% emptied and transferred to Corunna, Ontario courtesy of both Safety-Kleen and Acute Environmental. Conestoga Rovers (CRA), Uniroyal's consultants, later on demonstrated their acute pettiness in their attitudes and behaviour towards Acute Environmental. Shame on CRA .

On February 15, 1999 Uniroyal walked out of UPAC in the middle of a meeting, vowing never to come back. They were gone for over a year and not missed by me for one second of that time. The irony is that I missed that meeting and Uniroyal were angered by Ron Ormson, Gerry Heideburrt and Pat Mclean who had given them a very critical report suggesting that they were not handling the fugitive emissions from their plant responsibly. Susan Bryant referred to Uniroyal as "corporate bullies" and Gail Martin after the walkout in the Elmira Independent stated that David Ash's problem was that "UPAC is being mean and Uniroyal don't want to play anymore.".

Uniroyal and David Ash appropriately looked stupid both in the media and in reality. They had been fumigating and poisoning Elmira residents for decades but the previous nine months had been just horrible, particularly for the nearby Duke St. residents. In hindsight my only question is why when Uniroyal pulled the same stunt fifteen years later (2014), they were not similarly castigated. The unfortunate answer is that Elmira and Waterloo Region residents weren't paying attention to history. They had forgotten that boycotting effective public consultation is how Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura deal with public criticism of their corporate pollution behaviour.

Also interesting is Susan Bryant's take on the M.O.E. in 1999. In the February 5, 1999 Elmira Independent she said "They (M.O.E.) are under-funded, under resourced. What they do is sometimes pitiful, even to them.". Odd how Susan, behind the scenes, framed Chemtura's and the M.O.E.'s boycott of 2014. She then quietly (publicly at least) supported Chemtura and the M.O.E.'s refusing to attend CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) public meetings and in fact participated and encouraged lies and backstabbing of Woolwich volunteers in order to get herself and Pat Mclean reappointed to CPAC by the new Woolwich Council. This she did in an April 15, 2015 private meeting held in the Township building. The Minutes of that meeting were a disgusting pack of lies.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


The rubber meets the road with $$$$$$$$. I believe that $50 million is the figure for the long overdue cleanup in Grassy Narrows that Premier Wynne and the Liberals have promised. The people living there have suffered through no fault of their own and deserve every penny and more to restore their environment and stop further damage to their health.

Cambridge are being offered between $3 million and $8.6 million Net Present Value over 35 years for In Situ Reductive Dechlorination (ISRD) and another $4 to $6 million for a Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB). PRB is actually ranked # 1 by Dillon Consulting (on behalf of the M.O.E.) with ISRD ranked # 2. There is a realistic potential for both of these technologies to be used together although that certainly is not guaranteed in these reports.

I believe after reading these three 2017 Reports that the two technologies combined will make a significant improvement both in the natural environment and in the health of affected residents. Unfortunately technologies that require 35 years to accomplish their goals require a huge level of trust in all the authorities involved. I personally lack this trust based upon my experience with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and local municipal politicians here in Elmira (Woolwich). The Region of Waterloo for me are a mixed bag. They have some good hydrogeologists yes but I neither trust their Health Department nor especially their regional councillors.

The goals of these two top ranked choices are long term (35 years) mitigation and reduction of ongoing groundwater concentrations of TCE and TCA. While not guaranteeing actual remediation even after 35 years, apparently under certain protocols and conditions ISRD may possibly remediate TCE and TCA. That is not certain.

Two other choices have much higher rankings in regards to Effectiveness and Remediation Timeframe. They are Thermally Enhanced Extraction and Excavation and Disposal. Excavation and Disposal was removed from the running after the February Report because while the most effective, permanent and relatively fast (1-2 years); costs were "excessive". No mention or consideration of health costs was discussed. Coincidentally I'm sure, Thermally Enhanced Extraction was ranked # 4 out of 4 in the April Report primarily due to costs. This technology is constantly referred to as the "most aggressive" and for good reason. It works and it works quickly (6-18 months) and it is extremely effective in removing all phases of contaminant impact. In fact Costs are weighted with a factor of 20 versus factors of 5 and 10 for all the other criteria in this third Report (April 2017). To me this is an extraordinary bias in favour of the cheapest and unfortunately less effective technologies.

I believe these reports are obviously client driven in several respects. Firstly while constantly hinting at the presence of residual DNAPL they are referring to it as "pore-locked" DNAPL. They also don't seem to ever want to use the well known and established term of "free phase" DNAPL. Free phase DNAPL is present in both the Shallow Overburden Aquifer as well as the Bedrock Aquifer. It's removal should have been a priority ten years ago and it should be a priority now especially as they know where it is namely below Bishop St. and in the so called "silt channel" running vertically north to south from Northstar to the back of the buildings at 652 and 664 Bishop St. N..

These Reports absolutely do not mention the Borg-Warner/Rozell/G.E property at 610 Bishop St.. This is odd although it does appear as if any DNAPL from that property also flowed into the "silt channel" running under and between 652 and 664 Bishop St..

These Reports and I believe all the rest also have conveniently and in a self-serving manner utterly failed to mention the double whammy of indoor air pollution combined with likely water contamination. Yes nearby drinking Well P6 has now been shut down for several years allegedly due to a cracked liner. Cracked liners are a simple fix. Ongoing longterm TCE in the wells is not. As free phase DNAPL is in both the Shallow Overburden Aquifer and the drinking water Bedrock Aquifer it is obvious that that well has through decades of pumping drawn dissolved contaminants to it. At what concentrations and how many contaminants I do not know.

The proposed improvements to reduce and contain the industrial contaminants should work if that is all the residents want and if they are confident that the authorities will continue spending the promised money over the next 35 years. It is my opinion however that the entire Bishop St. community deserves a better, faster and more permanent cleanup.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I renewed acquaintance with Tracy Hipel two days ago. Tracy has been an outspoken advocate, along with Debbie Vitez and others, in regards to the health and safety of the Bishop St. community residents. They have been victimized initially by Northstar and G.E.-Rozell via vapour intrusion into their homes that resulted from negligent handling and or disposal of Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Trichloroethane (TCA) as well as Chromium VI. In my opinion they have been further victimized at every opportunity by self-serving politicians and governments from the municipal, regional and provincial levels. Tracy dropped by and left me with three recent reports dated February, March and April 2017, written by Dillon Consulting on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

To date I've read the first one titled "Remedial Options Screening". It is excellent in that it lists fairly clearly and concisely seven inherently different remedial possibilities namely 1) continued Groundwater Extraction 2) In Situ Chemical Oxidation 3) Thermally Enhanced Extraction 4) Permeable Reactive Barriers 5) In Situ Reductive Dechlorination 6) Containment by Solidification, Encapsulation and 7) Excavation (and Disposal or Ex Situ Treatment).

All of these technologies are proven however depending upon the geological and geophysical conditions present at a contaminated site, some are better suited than others. The other major difference is of course whether the remedial option is designed for mitigation of the adverse health effects/containment of contamination preventing it from spreading or whether it's actually designed for remediation ie. physical removal and or destruction on site of the toxic compounds.

Of the seven options there are four which potentially can be construed as either physically or chemically removing or destroying the toxic compounds mentioned in the first paragraph. Unfortunately (albeit honestly) Dillon have advised us that In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) and In Situ Reductive Declorination (ISRD), under the Bishop St. conditions and circumstances are unlikely to succeed in destroying the sources of contamination. Yes they will greatly assist in breaking down dissolved TCE and TCA in the groundwater but the likelihood of free phase DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquid) present in both the Shallow Aquifer as well as the Bedrock Aquifer means that after ISCO or ISRD are used these undissolved TCE and TCA "blobs" for a better word will continue to slowly dissolve into the groundwater over decades if not centuries, hence recontaminating the groundwater all over again.

The other two true remedial technologies are Thermal Enhanced Recovery and the old, expensive but tried and true Excavation and Disposal. This is where the gamesmanship begins in regards to "ranking" of the options. There is an old saying that it's O.K. to stay within the lines as long as you are the one who has drawn the lines. Well it is not the local residents who have "drawn the lines". It is Dillon, possibly/probably in conjunction with their client, the Ontario M.O.E. who have set the criteria and rationale for ranking. They have severely under ranked the Remediation/Mitigation criteria as well as the Applicability criteria in favour of two of the six Criteria given. The two overrated criteria both relate to costs namely "Relative Capitol Cost" and "Operations and Maintenance Costs". Fully 1/3 of the criteria are about money when the biggest criteria should be about both long and short term health.

Until I've read all three reports I will withhold further comments and detailed specifics. Suffice to say to date I am not impressed with Dillon's ranking of options via their (& the M.O.E.'s) self-serving weighting and ranking of the options.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


The January 23, 1999 Woolwich Observer published an article by Patrick Moore regarding Uniroyal's Odour Report. This document was shared with the Ontario M.O.E. but not UPAC or the public initially. It turned out that Conestoga Rovers had been using a 26 year out of date computer model. RWDI of Guelph advised Uniroyal of this and suggested using AERMOD instead. Hence Uniroyal will be rerunning their M.O.E. ordered Odour Report using the more up to date computer model.

The January 22, 1999 Elmira Independent carried an article about the most recent UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting. Murray Haight was still working for the M.O.E. keeping an eye on Uniroyal's behaviour. Both Ron Ormson and Gerry Heidbuurt advised that there was "a flood of calls" regarding odour complaints.

In the January 20, 1999 K-W Record we were advised that the Odour Report with the new modelling would be presented to UPAC and the public by March of 1999. Councillor Bram Hollman stated that "The odours are still there. They haven't gone away.".

Finally the January 22, 1999 Independent also contained a Letter To The Editor from myself. I discussed Uniroyal's recent history including chlorine spills, ammonia discharges and fires involving Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI). In reference to Uniroyal I further stated that "when it comes to honesty, integrity and intelligence, you, like Bill Clinton will always be willing to discuss the issue.". Turns out I was partially wrong on that matter. Turns out Uniroyal (Chemtura/Lanxess) no longer are always willing to discuss anything with either Council appointed reps (CPAC) or with the public. RAC and TAG have some good people but the public are not allowed to participate freely even via going through the Chair person. This Woolwich Council will wear the shame of that for a very long time.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Lest we forget. For two years Uniroyal stepped out of the nuisance role as far as air emissions went and leaped into the role of liars, bullies, health destroyers and corporate filth. They always said the right things (generally); they simply did not do the right things. It took them two years of fixing their processes and bringing them into the 2oth and 21st century with Control Orders and M.O.E. charges and citizens publicly condemning them to stop the fumigations in Elmira. 1998 till 2000 was hell in Elmira for a group of citizens mostly on Duke St.. The rest of town occasionally got stunk out but that area near the plant was the worst. The fact that the stench was mostly in the middle of the night only made it worse. A skeptic might even think that Uniroyal knew all along which processes were the stinky ones and they saved them for the shift when most Elmira folks would be asleep.

Residents lobbied town council to lay charges against Uniroyal Chemical. It never happened however the M.O.E. after a lengthy investigation did so. Council did however hire Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (RWDI) out of Guelph who were air experts. An overall odour assessment was required by an M.O.E. field order. Jeff Merriman of Uniroyal claimed that their waste water treatment system was causing most of the complaints.

The "Duke St. rowdies", so nicknamed because of their lack of deference and respect for the guilty parties who were failing their families, formed a group called RAM which stood for Residents Are Mad. Their children and themselves were being grossly fumigated by Uniroyal Chemical. At one point these victims of corporate misbehaviour were the subject of an Editorial by Gail Martin of the Independent. Considering how they had been so provoked Gail wrote that "Niceness is over rated" in regards to their responses to David Ash and Uniroyal.

Claims that the odours were "safe" were essentially Ministry and corporate bullshit. Difficulties in proving health effects from a cloud of multiple toxic compounds, whether at so called "low" concentrations was part of the problem. At one point David Ireland of the M.O.E. did concede that synergistic effects of multiple compounds can create an odour more potent than any individual compounds. The battle continued for two years.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


This is a difficult post. The risks while real are at this point in time unable to be accurately calculated. There have been incidents of explosions, chemical burns and fumes affecting people at former landfills that were turned into parks and playgrounds. That said literally thousands of former landfills across the continent have been turned into soccer fields, parks and playgrounds without major incidents. Think of Mclennan Park (Ottawa St. landfill) in Kitchener. Think of Bolender Park here in Elmira.

Mclennan Park has had issues with subsidence as the garbage below rots and compacts resulting in buildings including washrooms being damaged. Recently there was an issue with water drainage pipes near the surface being found with high levels of methane in them. Do not forget that way back in the late 70s homes around the edge of the Landfill had to be abandoned due to methane infiltration into their basements at or near explosive levels.

The Bolender Landfill has had decades of monitoring via gas probes. The results are up and down like a toilet seat. Some monitoring events have astonishingly high methane concentrations and then the next ones zero, all at the same location. There have however been huge issues with the reliability of these gas probes. Ditto with the reliability of the Methane Gas Collection System which operated from 1984 till maybe 1998 (sort of). Conestoga Rovers literally were advising Woolwich Township to abandon their Collection System over a period of years because it wasn't working. Bizarrely when this was done a new one was not built to replace it. The issue wasn't a lack of methane gas available to be vented into the atmosphere; it was that probes and piping were blocked either with debris or high groundwater levels.

It is my opinion that Woolwich Councils past and present have cherry picked the good results while turning a blind eye to the bad results. This has been assisted by certain Woolwich Staff who may have spoon fed them pablum in regards to these problems. Credit also should go to the reports submitted by Conestoga Rovers and Associates (CRA) to the Township. Their recommendations and concerns from year to year were also up and down like a toilet seat. Also their choice of locations as well as the monitoring frequency of the gas probes leaves an awful lot to be desired.

Since 1983 the emphasis and focus of these reports has been on but one of four possible receptors. Initially they looked at three of four possible receptors namely to the north and west of the landfill as well as residential homes to the east. Since then the location of gas probes as well as the frequency of monitoring have focused on but one location. What has NEVER been examined is gas migration southwards. In fact CRA even suggested that southward migration was impossible due to the presence of Canagagigue Creek. Well simply look at a map or attend Bolender Park and tell me whether or not the creek cuts off the Park from the former Landfill directly north of it.

Speaking of the location of the Landfill there may be yet another problem. All the maps provided by CRA show the Landfill as north of the Park and west of High St.. Yesterday I had the privilege of talking to two longtime residents of the area. No they were not 21 years old, they were substantially more mature and knowledgeable of local history. They advised me that garbage was buried underneath the Park itself. That is quite a revelation. At this point in time I have two conflicting pieces of evidence regarding the Landfill's location. Perhaps more citizens with direct knowledge and memory will come forward. If accurate those recollections may redefine the whole feeble effort to date to "manage" the methane problems in the former Bolender landfill.