Thursday, August 31, 2017


The Woolwich Observer (page 16) published a detailed article titled "Effort to reduce pollution will take years to bear fruit", written by Faisal Ali. Agriculture has long been the elephant in the room when we look at both our local and national sources of ground and surface water pollution. Whether directly from farm runoff of manure or indirectly from herbicides and pesticides used in agriculture, the results are highly damaging. Atrazine and Glyphosate are two well known agricultural herbicides and they are now ubiquitous in our groundwater.

A recent University of Waterloo study indicates a lag time of 30 to 40 years for reductions in agricultural inputs to show up in downstream waterways in the Grand River. Likely improvements in Lake Erie with its algal blooms would take at least as long as well. The algal blooms both in our local reservoirs such as the Woolwich Dam, Conestoga Lake and the Shand Dam (Belwood lake) are primarily from nitrogen and phosphorous enrichment combined with warmer and drier summers overall. These enrichments are also exacerbated by our many local sewage treatment plants, euphemistically called water treatment plants.

"As recently as 2017, the International Joint Commission, a Canadian-U.S. organization that works to protect the shared waterways of both countries, said "The water quality of western and central Lake Erie is unsatisfactory and unacceptable. New mandatory protections should supplement voluntary initiatives to reduce phosphorous loadings.""

Hence both more work, time and money are required to reverse the failings of our authorities (politicians) over the long term.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


In the October 6, 2000 Elmira Independent Helen and Brian Post had their Letter To The Editor published. There had been yet another Saturday night fumigation courtesy of Uniroyal Chemical. This fumigation took place on September 30, 2000 their son's wedding day. The Posts stated in their Letter that Uniroyal owed Elmira residents an apology. They further stated that they were subjected to embarassment and horror that such an awful fumigation could happen on their son's big day. Apparently they had 25 of the wedding guests who stayed overnite and further experienced the full disgusting effects of Uniroyal's air discharges.

In the October 13,2000 Independent Gail Martin wrote about Ken Chalmers giving Woolwich Councillors hell for not charging Uniroyal under municipal odour by-laws. Gail also wrote about Shannon Purves-Smith describing headaches, nausea and sore eyes from Diacetyl discharges from Uniroyal's Building #19. Shannon stated in the article that Diacetyl was a big problem. Keep in mind this was before we knew that it, on its own, was also a major health problem. It took lawsuits in the U.S. over "popcorn lung" before we knew here that fumes from Diacetyl (artificial butter flavour) damaged lungs.

The October 27, 2000 Independent covered a UPAC meeting. Reporter Julie Sawyer covered David Chadder of RWDI (Guelph) in his comments to UPAC. Mr. Chadder advised that doors and windows of Building #19 were still being left open thus sharing the odours (and health problems) with Elmira residents. Hence the buildings vacuum system to collect fumes could not work properly. David chadder also described a huge release of Toluene into the air . The concentration was 151,427 micrograms (ug) per cubic meter (m3) of air whereas the odour threshold is only 6,210 ug/m3. At the meeting I asked Mr. Chadder if he had perhaps captured a spill and his answer was "possibly".

In the Woolwich Observer on October 28, 2000 Richard Vivian wrote that Mr. Chadder of Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin had stated that Uniroyal needed to pick up the pace. He felt that a thermal oxidizer was needed in Building #19 in order to treat the fumes from Diacetyl. Quoting Mr. Chadder "In my opinion they are taking a much slowwer route than is necessary.". "What they need are new control measures to contain the diacetyl and destroy it.".

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


It was actually a very nice e-mail received yesterday from Sandy Shantz. Polite, courteous and respectful. It was appreciated. It was short enough that I will include it here in its' entirety.

"Thanks for your email and your offer Alan.

Staff in consultation with our consultants GHD, are completing an internal review of your presentation to Council this past Tuesday. The review is targeted to be completed by Friday.

We don't require your assistance at this time, but we will certainly share the results of the review with you.


Yesterday's e-mail included the one I had sent Staffer Dan Kennally and all six Woolwich Councillors back on August 2. That's right it appears as if Sandy is responding to my offer to sit down with Staff regarding methane problems in the Bolender Park landfill, 26 days later. I had also repeated my offer just last Friday (Aug. 25) to sit down with Staff to clear up their misunderstandings around 20% LEL (lower explosive limit) not being the same as 20% methane by volume in air. I admit that my second e-mail was a bit more brusqe than my first one that had received no reply as of last Friday. It is also possible that including my first e-mail of August 2 was simply for reference and in fact she was primarily responding, as stated in her e-mail, to my latest Delegation to Council (last Tuesday).

Regardless what am I to make of her communication to me? At face value it is clearly good news in that she is acknowledging the seriousness of my concerns regarding the Bolender Landfill. She is also acknowledging that the contents of my Delegation require serious, professional attention hence Staff and GHD (formerly Conestoga Rovers) review of it.

The problem however is this. One it doesn't sound like Council are sitting in on this "internal review". Secondly in my first Delegation to Council I advised that a peer review of CRA (GHD) was needed. That's code for CRA's reports are of unacceptable quality. Thirdly I have essentially thirty years experience reading and dealing with CRA's client driven reports on behalf of Uniroyal Chemical, Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess. Regarding Uniroyal Chemical's litany of name changes, a turd by any other name smells just as bad.

Yes it's true that I'm guilty after nearly thirty years of both private and public abuse by Uniroyal and their supporters of not having
any tolerance left for them. That doesn't change the facts however. I have no friends at and no input into this "internal review". Woolwich are masters of the "internal review" often while masquerading it as an external review. The Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC) is an excellent example of that.

While it is not out of the realm of possibility that this "internal review" will admit to shortcomings and problems around both the Reports done by CRA (GHD) and by Woolwich Staff's interpretation of them and actions taken; I'm not going to bet the farm on it. It's always more enjoyable being pleasantly surprised than disappointed by unlikely expectations.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Bob Burtt's September 12, 2000 article in the K-W Record once again focused on the "pink spill" of toluene that flooded the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant the previous February. Dr. Henry Regier was all over it. He stated at UPAC "I saw different agencies who looked like they were scurrying for cover and controlling information.". "I'd like to know what happened, when, what the response was and if we can confidently say there was no impact on health or environment.".

In the September 15, 2000 Elmira Independent article by Julie Sawyer we were told that both the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario M.O.E. were still chasing Uniroyal for compensation. The Region felt that their costs were $90,000 in regards to work needed at the Elmira STP. At UPAC I had asked the M.O.E. if anyone other than Uniroyal were being investigated in regards to the incident. David Ireland of the M.O.E. confirmed that only Uniroyal were being investigated.

In the October 6, 2000 Elmira Independent there was discussion around Uniroyal's "Worst Case Scenario". Uniroyal (David Ash) advised that "A few years ago ammonia would not have been on the of the list.". "Chemicals we used to use but no longer do would have had a much worse impact.". Again at this UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting I asked what about chlorine useage. David Ash responded "There is no chlorine on the site anymore. It would have been the worst case if it were still in use.".

This was not reassuring after the chlorine release into Elmira's air that had already occurred on March 12, 1994.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Woolwich Council & Staff are stonewalling. They to date have given exactly zero explanation or clarification as to why they ignored their consultant's recommendation regarding installing air monitoring equipment in the home nearest the east side of the Bolender Landfill. They have given exactly zero explanation or clarification as to why they have not insisted upon methane gas probes around the entire perimeter of the landfill rather than so focused on the west side. They have not explained why they have stood by and allowed literally decades to pass between methane testing on both the north and east sides of the landfill. The most recent information is also suggesting that their "approximate" location of this landfill is unreliable and likely greatly understated.

So why aren't they at the minimum agreeing to install methane warning devices in the homes along George St., High St. and Charles St. nearest the landfill? The cost is absolutely minimal whereas the savings in lives and property damage could be astronomical. What is the matter with Woolwich Township?

So what would taking the gloves off consist of? As always look for the money. Who really would be out of pocket if a house or business had an explosion or fire? Secondly who is actually responsible for fire prevention? Perhaps next steps would entail passing along the technical reports produced by Conestoga Rovers to the Township's insurance company. If they are the ones having to pay the bills if this goes sideways then they might appreciate a heads up that an emergency or crisis could easily be avoided if action is taken.

Regarding the fire angle I suppose the Woolwich volunteer Fire Department should be interested. Of course they are under the control and supervision of Council. This Council have certainly shown a willingness if not eagerness in the past to dismiss volunteers working on behalf of the public interest. Might be best to avoid any housecleaning if the local Fire Department started butting heads with Council by bypassing them altogether. That would probably leave the Ontario Fire Marshall.

It is truly unfortunate to even have to consider these options but our Council for some strange, likely political reason, are ignoring their duty.

Friday, August 25, 2017


Ahh Woodward & Bernstein. The epitome of investigative journalism. The Pentagon Papers, Wikileaks, Snowden and U.S. spying on civilians, Manning and more. Unfortunately the reality is that what we used to come to expect from our newspapers is no more. They are dying of financial malnutrition. Now they can not afford to alienate government, big business, unions or anyone with power and money. They also are suffering from libel chill. Most newspaper stories nowadays are "balanced". Give each side of the story and then move on. Don't spend time or effort digging for the truth. Heaven forbid if you find that one side of the story have been out and out lying to you and that the newspaper should loudly out the untruthful party unless of course they are not influential nor powerful.

Exceptions still occur. Do you recall that recent huge local story involving Kelly Donovan (Fit4Duty) and the Waterloo Regional Police? Or how about that class action suit by female police officers against our very own Waterloo Regional Police? How much followup on those two huge stories have you seen? These are two stories challenging the honesty, decency, credibility and ethics of our local police administration right here in Waterloo Region. They are also challenging the old boys network around our civilian Police Board and appointments by our Regional politicians to it. And what are we getting for clarification or updates? Bupkus!

Over 23 hours ago I left two telephone messages to the Woolwich Observer here in Elmira, Ontario. One to Editor Steve Kannon whom I admire tremendously and one to Joe Merlihan whom I used to admire tremendously. I advised them that I had just found out that they had not received a copy of ten Conestoga Rovers Reports on the Bolender Landfill methane problems that I thought they had received. Therefore I offered them the opportunity to borrow my reports (briefly & with me present) in order for them to make their own copies on their photocopier. All I needed was a phone call advising me when to bring the reports in.

To date still nothing. The real concern is that I am not surprised by that. I should be appalled and shocked but am not (shocked that is). I do know that the Observer have been chewed out by a Woolwich business person over their inaccurate coverage of the Bolender Park Landfill matters back on August 3/17. The Observer swallowed and published Woolwich's inaccurate comment that elevated methane levels do not extend to nearby residents. The Observer have not issued any corrections or followup story including yesterday's Observer's non coverage of my Delegation to Woolwich Council three days ago.

In regards to the Township's apparently ridiculous position regarding methane problems around the perimeter of the Landfill let me add this. If they either publicly or privately (to me) explained their position or provided facts to back up their position I would be able to judge whether they had any basis whatsoever for their bald faced denials. They have not and have refused to do so despite my asking for a meeting with them.

Getting back to our only, truly local coverage I feel sorry for whatever the Observer's predicament is. I feel sorrier however for Woolwich residents' loss of accurate newspaper coverage.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


So we appear to have a conspriracy of silence going on in regards to the methane problems at the Bolender Park Landfill. Normally one would expect and hope that the local media would step up and publish the facts of the matter. To date that has happened only partially. The Woolwich Observer published a fairly long article on August 3rd after I appeared as a Delegate at Woolwich Council. They did have numerous inaccuracies in their article some of which I pointed out in my on-line Comments on their Website. To the Observer's credit they kept those Comments up on their website for at least a couple of weeks.

CKCO-TV (Kitchener) also put on the news late Tuesday and Wednesday at noon the bare bones of the methane issue here in Elmira. They also quoted the Township's blatantly dishonest and inaccurate comment that methane migration reaching homes and businesses wasn't a concern. Wow! I followed up with an e-mail to the Waterloo Region Record, CKCO-TV and the Woolwich Observer pointing out the former methane collection system that ran for about fourteen years and the fact that currently the Township are trying to get a new methane collection system built and installed on the #86 Auto Recycling property (formerly Paleshi's). If there was no concerns then why have they been spending taxpayers' money for the last thirty years on Conestoga Rovers/GHD, gas probe monitoring and now a new methane collection system?

Clearly Woolwich Township are so full of shit, their eyes are brown.

This morning in two separate phone messages to Steve Kannon, Editor of the Observer and to Joe Merlihan, Publisher I have advised that if they don't already have a copy of the Conestoga Rovers/GHD Reports on the Bolender Park Landfill methane issues, that I will bring mine over for them to copy. I await their call back to me. My phone messages were an hour ago.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


If it is self-interest then the interests of Council are not the same as the interests of citizens. If it is self-interest then is it automatically corruption? What exactly are Council afraid of? Clearly the risk that they are exposing nearby businesses and residents to is not a concern to them. Last evening on the CTV Kitchener News, Woolwich were quoted as saying exactly that. " Methane migration reaching businesses and homes is not a concern.". Oh my God but that is way beyond stupidity or carelessness. That is negligence plain and simple.

The methane gas has already reached at least one business and Council and Staff know it. It has already reached the property of the High St. home nearest the east end of the Landfill. They are currently negotiating with the business located at the western end of the Bolender Landfill to try and get access in order to reinstall the former methane collection system on that property. Three weeks ago in Council when staff denied any problem I was willing to chalk it up to ignorance and incompetence. Last night's comments by Woolwich seems to remove that option entirely. They are playing with people's lives here. Are they psychopaths?

The arrogance is breathtaking. They know that I and one other have the copies of Conestoga Rovers' ten reports dated from 1983 up till last year. Hell they gave the copies to the business at the west end of the Landfill. Have they also given a copy to the one on the north side namely Elmira Pet Products? What is their game? Are they expecting a breakthrough in their private negotiations? Do they really think they can keep this quiet?

I offered in writing three weeks ago to sit down with Woolwich staff and show them the specifics in Conestoga Rovers' reports that they appeared to have missed. I sent the e-mail to Dan Kennally and to all six Councillors. Am I therefore to assume that all six are in on this? To date Woolwich have not even offered any rationale or reasons whatsoever for their pig headedness. If they have information or data contrary to their own consultant's reports they have to date refused to share it with me.

Are Council concerned with their longterm liability for their four in-town landfills? The one is on the Chemtura/Lanxess site and has been a bone of contention in the past. David Ash of Uniroyal Chemical claimed that they were not liable for environmental issues emanating from the M2 Landfill located on their south-west corner because it was a former municipal dump. The other two are the Park/Union St. dump known as M1 as well as the First St. Landfill located in the floodplain of Canagagigue Creek. In fact it is located where the creek actually flowed at one time until it was diverted.

Is this as usual backroom dealings best kept hidden from Woolwich residents and taxpayers? Have deals, illegal or otherwise been done between the Township, the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario Ministry of Environment? Is Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess involved? Clearly the stakes are high when Council are willing to play with lives and property damage. Honest answers are required but not yet forthcoming.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Also kudos to the Woolwich Observer. Back on June 24, 2000 they ran an Opinion piece ("Our View") stating that the only reason Uniroyal Chemical returned to the UPAC table was because the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA) advised them that if they didn't attend and participate in the community's public advisory committee then they would never receive *Responsible care verification. WOW!

Odour complaints were still an issue as the August 5, 2000 Woolwich Observer quoted Terry Machen as saying "The odours started on Thursday (and) by Saturday night I couldn't take anymore; I couldn't breathe.".

Sylvia Berg in the August 12, 2000 K-W Record, Bob Burtt's article, stated in regards to Uniroyal's rejoining UPAC "If it is going to be the same high-handed approach that we saw before, I think the committee will have to assess the situation and see if it is appropriate to have them there or not.". In the same article Bob Burtt wrote "While David Ash said he is enthusiastic about the return, Berg said the company agreed to return only after it had its' knuckles rapped by the CCPA.".

Finally in a Letter To The editor Sylvia continued her attack on Ash and Uniroyal's credibility with "If you were more concerned about the aggravation you are causing your neighbours then you might stand a chance of being verified by the Responsible Care program of the CCPA instead of being rejected, yet again.". Go Sylvia! These kinds of honest but scathing comments from Sylvia Berg were exactly what were needed both then and now.

In the August 12, 2000 Woolwich Observer I am quoted as crapping all over private meetings between UPAC and Uniroyal. There was a suggestion that three representatives from UPAC sit down with Uniroyal ahead of time. Both Henry Regier and myself felt that that was unnecessary and indeed foolish. I spoke about long term ongoing gamesmanship between Uniroyal, the Ministry of Environment and Woolwich Township. To this day that is still a constant. The one major exception was the 2010-2014 Woolwich Council. While they had their own issues undoubtedly they were however honest brokers environmentally and specifically in regards to Uniroyal/Chemtura. the one exception unsurprisingly was the sole holdover from the previous Council, one Mark Bauman.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Back on August 10, 2017 the Waterloo Region Record published the following story titled ""Very nasty" giant hogweed plant spreading in Ontario". At its' worst it can cause third degree burns as well as blindness. It can be found in gardens, along roadsides and on the shores of rivers and streams. It's actual method of harm is somewhat bizarre as it requires the sap to touch your skin and then is only activated by sunlight later on, as in a day or many later. The article even suggests that it takes repeated exposure to the sun to activate the sap.

As close by as Guelph has giant hogweed and while it has been contained to two locations eradicating it has proven very difficult. The plant is also very aggressive and combined with its' size of up to three metres tall, can crowd out native species. When growing along waterways its' seeds can be carried downriver and hence spread quickly.

Local authorities are attempting to educate people to be very careful around the plant and to report its' presence to local parks officials when it is spotted.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Way back in November 2012 Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers & Associates made the startling announcement that they had determined that the off-site pump and treat system as currently operating would not completely clean up the Elmira Aquifers by 2028 as mandated and promised. This announcement was only startling because six months earlier CPAC (then Chemtura Public Advisory Committee), followed by Woolwich Council had publicly announced that there was virtually no way that Chemtura would have the Aquifers cleaned up in time. It gets worse however as both the Ministry of Environment and Chemtura/CRA then spent six months denying and arguing that CPAC didn't know what they were talking about. Right up until the hypocrites in chief (Chemtura/CRA) announced otherwise. Unbelievable chutzpah, gall and brass.

The hypocrites in chief stated that in order to achieve cleanup of the Aquifers they would have to both TRIPLE the volume of groundwater pumping and they would also have to do some off-site source removal via ISCO (IN-Situ Chemical Oxidation). Well guess what? Going on five years later and we have none of it. Absolutely none. From November 2012 until August 2017 here is where they are at. ISCO was sloppily attempted according to Dr. Jackson and hence failed miserably. The publicly stated aim of TRIPLING the off-site pumping has been reduced to an attempt to DOUBLE it. In actuality they have increased the off-site pumping from roughly 55 litres/second to approximately 70 litres per second. These numbers are based upon all the off-site wells namely W5A, W5B, W3, W4, E7 and the recent additions of W6A, W6B and last month's addition of W9. Wow 70 litres per second. In fact if the dumb buggers had been pumping at that rate since the start of off-site pumping in August 1998 they would be a whole lot further along than they are. In fact if the dumb buggers had even managed to maintain their rates of 53.1 litres per second for the entire last nineteen years they'd be way farther ahead than they are now.

Talk is very cheap Chemtura/Lanxess. "Supervision" by the Ontario Ministry of Environment has been even cheaper. The only thing that has gotten the lead out of your asses has been citizen pressure over the past thirty years and that has never been enough. By this I mean there have never been enough loud and informed voices at each and every public meeting, CPAC, RAC or TAG meetings . Those of us who faithfully attend despite the harassment and ignorance of our elected Council and M.O.E., continue to exert pressure. One thing is certain and that is history will know that the following names: Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura and now most likely Lanxess are synonomous with corporate greed, deceit and environmental degradation.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Currently as in last month the Supreme Court of Canada were sitting on a Decision in a case filed by the Chippewas of the Thames. It relates to the National Energy Board's decision to approve Enbridge's request to reverse the flow in their Line 9 pipeline between Sarnia and Montreal. This reversed flow would bring thicker flow from the Alberta Tarsands east to Montreal.

Many groups opposed this plan due to their concerns that many older sections of the pipeline would be at greater risks of leaks due to the more caustic (acidic?) nature of the tarsands oil as well as due to increased pressure required to move the thicker oil. Keep in mind it was Enbridge who were responsible for a massive oil pipeline leak a few years back in Michigan's Kalamazoo River.

The Chippewas legal challenge is based upon their constitutional right to be consulted on any government decisions which could affect their native hunting and fishing rights. They say that this Canadian Constitutional right under Section 35 was ignored by the government.

Other recent court challenges and victories by Canada's First Nations includes the Truth and Reconcilaition Commission. That was part of a Settlement with the government in a class action lawsuit filed by survivors of Canada's residential schools.

The title of the July 10, 2017 article in the Waterloo Region Record is "Top court keeps Chippewas guessing".

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Good riddance to bad rubbish then and good riddance to bad rubbish now. Uniroyal (Lanxess) and their partners in pollution, the Ministry of Errors and Excuses, took off in November 2014 and didn't reshow until September 2015. Boy did they sucker Sandy and Mark. Sandy & Mark were all aghast that the two guilty parties were no longer attending monthly public CPAC meetings so they set up a manufactured crisis in order to allow them to only have to attend four meetings a year. That's it folks. That's our public consulation in Elmira namely September, December, March and June.

Stacey Ash in the K-W record in June 2000 advised that it was announced at a CPAC meeting that Uniroyal/Crompton were coming back. Henry Regier suggested that "Uniroyal's return should be treated no differently than the return of the two environmental groups to the committee.". Pat Mclean however stated that "...returning to the type of meetings that used to be held with Uniroyal at the table is not an option.". If that 's true then we can thank Pat and Woolwich Council for that. CPAC was now a committee of Council and hindsight being 20/20 that meant Uniroyal would be treated with kid gloves from now on. In the Elmira Independent I was quoted as saying "I don't want to have a large meeting and find out that 3 members have somewhat committed us to a set of conditions.". Turns out that is exactly what happened.

In the June 24, 2000 Woolwich Observer we learned that Uniroyal/Crompton were being forced to return to CPAC by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association allegedly. They apparently advised Uniroyal that if they did not return than there would never be a *Responsible Care verification. Whether partly, fully or not at all it is apparent that Uniroyal only were ever attending CPAC as a public relations gesture. Same thing with the Ontario M.O.E.. Neither party then or now have ever been serious about doing the right thing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Last Friday I took an old friend on an environmental tour of Elmira. Strictly Elmira, not of Woolwich Township. To my surprise after writing out a list I had over twenty locations of either contaminated sites or of sites which had spilled liquids or released fumes into the air contrary to the Environmental Protection Act. Many of these locations have either been sold or relocated or actually cleaned up to a certain extent.

The obvious ones are Uniroyal (Lanxess), Varnicolor Chemical (including Lot 91) and Nutrite (Hydro-Agri). Less obvious ones include the Strauss/Esso fuel depot on the north side of the current Woolwich Observer location and the four former municipal/industrial landfills located here within Elmira (Park St./M1/M2/Bolender). Also less known would be a cleanup done in front of the former Martin's Pet Food on Arthur St..

At least three gas stations have or had contaminated soil and groundwater namely Gord's at Snyder & Church, Voisin's where Shopper's Drug Mart is now located and the old Becker's on the corner of Arthur & Wyatt St.. beside the former Steddick Hotel.

Even less well known would be a spill from the former Flametech/Sunfire location on Bonnie Crescent that went into Landfill Creek. The foundry beside them also used to send out black clouds of smoke in late evening or early morning while visibility was poor. Borg Textiles was also conveniently overlooked along with many other polluters in the early 90s. They had a record of discharges to the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant that damaged the biological/bacterial abilities of the plant. They were also conveniently located next to the Howard St. storm drains in the early 1980s when chlorobenzene was being discharged into them. Varnicolor took most of the heat for that although their groundwater tests came up negative for chlorobenzene.

Then there are a number of industries which totally escaped environmental scrutiny even to this day. Hard to believe for example that a dairy (Silverwoods) located right on the Canagagigue Creek at the north end of town never utilized it for disposal. There is another large factory just south of there again right beside the creek that has been around for a very long time. It has been bought and sold over the decades. Also in the area is a non-manufacturing site which grossly polluted the soil and most likely the groundwater. They were remediated a long time ago although it never became public. Also Elmira had a number of other textile factories including the Elmira Shirt & Overall Co. located on Park St. near Uniroyal. Aptly named Shirt Factory Creek runs behind their building. Air polluters would include the former Scavenger Recycling and Rothsay Concentrates.

This list doesn't cover everybody but you get the picture. Is it any wonder that Uniroyal in 1989 had so much support from the Chamber of Commerce, BIA and other industry and business leaders in town? Is it any wonder that our municipal councillors over the years generally knew where their bread was buttered with a few notable exceptions? Do not worry folks, Elmira is not the exception. An environmental history of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge is even worse.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


This posting is in response to the recent Waterloo Region Record article titled "Tap water gains converts but we still fuss with it". Essentially even tap water advocates admit that the taste of chlorine in the water puts people off. Thank goodness for that. Chlorine is not good for you. That said without chlorine we might have third world conditions requiring boiling of all drinking water in order to kill harmful bacteria and even viruses and protozoa. E.Coli, Coliforms, Cryptosporidium and Giardia ("Beaver Fever") all come to mind. But and it's a big butt; most of these nasty items are found in surface waters such as the Grand River, reservoirs, creeks and lakes. Groundwater, especially from deep wells, is basically protected by fifty to a hundred feet of sand, gravel and clay which filters out and prevents the intrusion of these unhealthy lifeforms. Also these lifeforms require oxygen which is much less available the deeper in the ground you go.

Chlorine health issues are well known. Chlorine is the carcinogenic compound in many industrial solvents such as Trichloroethylene (TCE), TCA, Chloroform, Dichloroethylene (DCE) and Vinyl Chloride a breakdown chemical of TCE. Chlorine use in tap water requires extensive testing for both chlorine residuals as well as for toxic and carcinogenic breakdown products of chlorine known as Trihalomethanes (THM). These THM chemicals include chloroform, bromodichloromethane and many others. There is even a group of chemicals known as Haloacetic Acids (HAA) which are also toxic by-products of the use of chlorine in water. NDMA which helped shut down the wells in Elmira has been formed in the past both within Sewage Treatment Plants as well as in Drinking Water Plants under certain conditions.

Overall I believe that the Region of Waterloo are on top of the latest technology involved in water treatment. That however still leaves a lot of problems not least of which is the lack of scientific knowledge regarding multiple low level toxins in drinking water. Having three or four toxic substances each just below the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) is perfectly legal but that doesn't mean it is perfectly healthy. Atrazine, Glyphosate and other herbicides in my opinion have far too high a drinking water standard yet they are ubiquitous in our groundwater supplies. Many common toxics such as NDMA and Toluene are not reported in the Region's Annual Drinking water reports.

Deep groundwater while generally safe from bacteria, viruses and protozoa is not immune from industrial solvents. Yes our shallow groundwater is more heavily contaminated with them but gasoline and oil compounds as well as the heavier chlorinated solvents have all reached deeper aquifers throughout Waterloo Region. Many companies both large and small are responsible including Uniroyal (Lanxess), Varnicolor Chemical, Breslube (Safety-Kleen), CGT, Ciba-Geigy (Novartis), Northstar Aerospace, Canbar, Sunar and a host of other service stations, former coal gas installations and the list goes on and on. The treatment for these groundwater contaminants include activated carbon and more.

Bottled water which is sourced well away from industrial enterprises and taken from deep aquifers and is properly and carefully tested is your best health bet. Usually however it is not tested as carefully as tap water for a reason as I've explained all the problems with tap water which is either sourced from the Grand River and or from industrially contaminated aquifers in our towns and cities especially including Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

There are particular rural water supplies that scare the ever living bejesus out of me. Even though under the supervision and responsibility of Waterloo Region, the West Montrose water supply is a disaster waiting to happen. The Region have belatedly recognized that and are finally in the process of replacing it after years of supplementing/diluting? it with tanker trucks of imported water. Other problems exist and chlorine while indeed if used properly and carefully does kill bacteria and more, it is still a double edged sword. E.Coli as in Walkerton seventeen years ago killed seven and injured thousands very quickly. Proper chlorine use will eliminate that but long term is not good for you.

Myself, family and even past pets have all drunk filtered tap water. I believe that the activated carbon filter removes both chlorine and heavy metals leached overnight into the standing water from soldered plumbing connections. Running your tap for a minute first thing in the morning probably helps with both those problems. The odd morning the smell of chlorine coming from our tap is strong and unpleasant. It is also unhealthy.

Monday, August 14, 2017


A week from tomorrow (August 22/17) I will be back to Woolwich Council with a Delegation titled "A History Of the Bolender Park Landfill". I attended Council as a Delegate nearly two weeks ago regarding details of the ten Conestoga Rovers reports detailing methane monitoring that's being going on and off over the last thirty-four years. I presented to Council my Recommendations which emphasized due diligence and the precautionary principle.

Next Tuesday's Delegation will focus on the history of waste disposal in Elmira and how there have been four consecutive in town landfills. Each successive landfill as it reached its'capacity led to the hunt for the next one hence the history of the Bolender landfill. Also each landfill while serving the same purposes nevertheless had differences in their operation, duration and final uses. The fifth landfill was the Woolwich Landfill a few miles north of Elmira on Seiling Drive. After it was closed in 1988 all local waste was sent to the Erb St. Landfill in Waterloo, under the supervision of the Region of Waterloo. The date of its' closing is another one of those strange coincidences that occurred just prior to the closing of the municipal wellfields here in town.

There probably never has and never will be such a thing as a "perfect" landfill. Yes engineering has greatly improved them with bottom liners, leachate collection systems and methane collection systems. Historically none of these enhancements were known or available in the very early days. Nowadays they are standard operating procedure on modern landfills. That said recycling and composting have greatly reduced the volume required as well as the number of new landfills.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) have produced an eleven page report on the June 23, 2017 Flood Event. I assume that it is on their website although I received it from another source. I would describe the report as quite comprehensive, well written and pretty easy to understand. It includes Figures and Tables which truly give one the big picture and context in regards to how much rain descended, in how short a time and over how large a geographical area, all within the Grand River watershed. The numbers really are staggering.

That all said it has been a learning experience. Yes more can and needs to be done. Of that the West Montrose and other flooded citizens can be thanked for yelling loudly and clearly. No it's not likely nor even beneficial to magically lessen rainfall nor is it likely that "reservoir operations" during the downpour can ever actually prevent flooding. What can be done though seems to be twofold namely better weather forecasting and then quicker more accurate downstream communications.

The first aspect of weather forecasting is not directly part of the GRCA's mandate. This is up to Environment Canada and the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). At this time it is unknown as to why those two bodies did not have any idea of the upcoming severity of the storm and quantities of rainfall. Perhaps the science of weather forecasting, like medicine, knows a lot but doesn't yet know what it doesn't know. Continued and ongoing research are required.

Downstream communications is crucial but this report also identifies communications upstream or more precisely upgradient. Most of our weather comes from the west. Communications between the GRCA and other Conservation Authorities to the west of us could give significant additional advance warnings of severe storms and rain. Hence warnings could actually go out before the rain has already started flooding rivers and low lying areas in our watershed. This seems like a really good idea.

While this is an excellent report there are a few items of which I am skeptical. These include estimates of the percentage of flow reduction that occurred courtesy of the various dams on the Grand, Conestogo and Canagagigue. Allegedly the flows through West Montrose were reduced by 32% thanks to the Shand Dam. The GRCA also appear to be taking credit for the fact that the Covered Bridge wasn't washed away or badly damaged. Again I'm skeptical. Perhaps the original builders of the Covered Bridge in West Montrose deserve credit for having built the Bridge so far above the normal elevation of the Grand River at that point.

Other than a little bureaucratic back patting it does appear that the GRCA are taking this very seriously and have come up with some communications improvements.

Friday, August 11, 2017


At a CPAC meeting in late March 2000 Crompton's recent spill of Toluene (Pink Spill) was under discussion. Pat Mclean, David Ireland (M.O.E.), Henry Regier (then of APT) and myself, Al Marshall were discussing who was responsible for the damage to the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant and the creek. I asked Dave Ireland "Is there any other possible candidate in Elmira that has those volumes of toluene (other than Uniroyal)" David's response was "I'm not aware of any other company.". Keep in mind this was months if not years prior to Uniroyal finally admitting that they did it.

The year 2000 was particularily bad for Uniroyal as I'm about to clarify. It was hardly surprising that even the Canadian Chemical Producers Asscociation weren't able to hold their noses (literally?) and give Uniroyal verification under the *Responsible Care program. On March 22/2000 Bob Burtt of the K-W Record wrote a story outlining Uniroyal's current tribulations. These included facing 20 odour related charges for their fumigations of Duke St. and Elmira, Ontario. Secondly they were facing an Environmental Appeal Board Hearing regarding the M.O.E. Control Order which they appealed. The Control Order mandated public meetings on air emissions as well as greater work on-site to reduce those air emissions. Thirdly the ongoing uproar both by local authorities (Region of Waterloo & M.O.E.) as well as by CPAC and the public over Uniroyal's "pink spill" and their failure to admit to the damage they were responsible for.

The March 24, 2000 Elmira Independent had an article by Julie Sawyer regarding the "pink spill". Kieran Kelly, the Woolwich Fire Chief, suggested that approximately 800 gallons had been released. Tim Boose of Uniroyal advised that he had phoned the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant at about 9:30 am. to advise them of a possible problem. They already were facing it. Ron Ormson of CPAC suggested that Fishing Act charges were possibly due because of the toluene in the creek.

In the April 18, 2000 K-W Record Henry Regier suggested that Uniroyal's proposed Open House on the matter was inadequate. Sylvia berg was also quoted on the matter. I stated "An open house will be a dog and pony show.".

Two days later in the Elmira Independent I was quoted by Julie Sawyer as saying "I'm not going tom sit through another CPAC dog and pony show. I will come out for a public meeting.". Clearly Uniroyal preferred a much more controllable format such that they would not be confronted by hard questioning from the public.

On April 27, 2000 in the K-W Record, it was announced that one of Uniroyal's allies on CPAC namely the Chamber of Commerce, had resigned from CPAC. Sylvia Berg responded in the Record and quite frankly, in my opinion, made asses out of the Chamber and their decision to support Uniroyal in this fashion.

Finally we had the Open House and as described in the April 28, 2000 K-W Record; David Ash and Uniroyal were confronted by the "Lawn Chair Brigade". This was the first time in fourteen months that David Ash faced UPAC. Quoting Bob Burtt "He made it clear Thursday he still regards the advisory committee as a waste of time for the company.". David Ash stated "They (UPAC) aren't regarded well in the community.". present at this meeting were UPAC members as well as Shannon Purvis Smith and Barb Zupko.

On May 27, 2000 the Woolwich Observer published an Editorial in which they crapped all over Uniroyal's citizen "survey", Uniroyal's behaviour, their verbal diarrhea, and finally their taking credit for work ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

All in all tough times for Uniroyal and their supporters in Elmira. Sorry but their return to UPAC/CPAC is upcoming.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


The Waterloo Region Record carried the following article on August 2, 2017 titled "Low levels of toxins found in blue-green algae at Conestogo Lake". This algae has slowly become ubiquitous over the last several years at dams and water impoundments throughout Waterloo Region. In past years I've seen it bad enough at the Woolwich reservoir north of Elmira that I would keep my dog out of the water. As she was a black lab you can understand how much she enjoyed going for a swim.

"Current weather conditions are ideal for the formation of blue-green algae and the conservation authority (GRCA) warns that blooms can appear at any time.". In the past I felt that warm weather, low rainfall and nutrients in the water such as nitrogen or phosphorous were the cause. Since then I know my friend and colleague Dr. Henry Regier has explained it in more detail to me but at the moment I'm drawing a blank.

Two phone numbers were provided in the Record article; one for reporting sightings of the algae to the Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 and the other if you have experienced a health concern such as a skin rash after exposure. That number to the Wellinngton-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is 1-800-265-7239 ext. 4753.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Let's not forget of course the damage to local groundwater. Down gradient wells have been impacted and certainly it's hard to believe that the Regional wells near St. Agatha haven't been impacted as well. There has been a Liaison Committee for about twenty-five years and I attended a few of the early meetings. To my disappointment the focus was on blowing garbage and of course smells. Groundwater didn't seem to be on the radar despite the sometimes presence of hydrogeologist Wilf Ruland.

The August 2, 2017 Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "When the landfill smells, it may be the weather". Well generally speaking "weather" on its' own doesn't smell. However very still days may result in the inherent landfill odours not being diluted or blown away. Then the stink can definitely sit and hang around the local area.

Other more likely culprits are the plain volume of garbage going into the landfill each day. While it is covered with soil each evening obviously it is open and exposed to the air during the day. Hope was expressed that as garbage volumes lower through recycling and composting that odours will also lessen.

The other cause of odours is landfill gas which includes methane. We are advised in this article that "Odours are mainly controlled through a gas collection system that converts the gas to electricity.". Clearly there will be electricity ( & methane) produced by the Erb St. Landfill for decades after the Landfill is eventually closed.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


The January 23, 2000 Elmira Independent reported that Woolwich Council voted 5-2 in favour of Pat Mclean's Motion to make CPAC a committee of Council. This was Councillor and CPAC Chair Pat Mclean's finest hour in undermining true public consultation and bringing Uniroyal/Crompton back to public CPAC meetings. This in hindsight was most likely Uniroyal's demand and as usual Woolwich Council folded. Uniroyal got away with it in 2000 and so they pulled a similar stunt in 2014-2015. Again Woolwich Council folded like a cheap suitcase this time with Mark and Sandy leading the charade. Uniroyal/Chemtura's credibility was getting publicly eviscerated and they once again folded their chairs and ran for cover waiting for Woolwich Council to rescue them from the mean citizens who would no longer swallow their lies and bullshit.

The K-W Record on January 27, 2000 also reported on the penultimate Woolwich Council meeting as follows "...following a heated debate Tuesday night, Woolwich councillors voted 5-2 to make the UPAC committee a committee of Council.". Pat stated in Council that "maintaining the committee in its' current form is not an option". The truth was that Uniroyal had fled UPAC/CPAC and as usual were doing their dirty work behind the scenes with Pat and some Councillors. I fully expect that this was a Bill Strauss and his buddy at that time Pat Mclean initiative in order to ingratiate themselves and Council with Uniroyal/Crompton.

On February 19, 2000 Uniroyal/Crompton had a major spill which they did not immediately share with the authorities including Woolwich, the Region of Waterloo or the Ontario Ministry of Environment. What Woolwich authorities have never understood is that Uniroyal are takers. They only respect strength, force and determination. Concessions to them are to be gobbled up simply as their due. The "pink spill" proved that. This was a discharge of thousands of gallons of toluene which flooded the next door Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant killing off the bacteria and releasing thousands of gallons of partially treated sewage and toluene into the Cangagigue Creek. Uniroyal did not notify the STP nor anyone else that they had had a major spill of toluene on their site resulting in damage to the Elmira STP as well as the Mannheim water Treatment centre in Kitchener being shut down for at least two weeks. Also nearby homes in Elmira had their basements flooded courtesy of Uniroyal's mess.

Odours were still an ongoing concern in Elmira as reported in the February 16, 2000 Kitchener-Waterloo Record. By February 25, 2000 the Elmira Independent (Julie Sawyer) reported that CPAC were pushing hard for answers regarding the "pink spill". Ron Ormson of CPAC wanted more charges laid against Uniroyal/Crompton because of the pink spill. Henry Regier was quoted as saying "This is a crisis." "...due diligence went right down the drain on this one.". Esther Thur stated "It's our health. What about our drinking water?".

In the K-W Record of March 17, 2000 Susan Bryant commented on a Brochure Uniroyal had distributed to the public by saying "It (the brochure) is a propaganda piece. Strictly defined, propaganda is half truths and facts out of context and that's what we've been treated to.".

Interestingly a month and a half after CPAC became a committee of Council David Ash of Uniroyal/Crompton publicly stated in the Woolwich Observer that "the company has no intention of ever attending another meeting of the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee.". Funny thing how that attitude suddenly miraculously changed not much later.

Later that month Katie Marshall, my daughter, was appointed to CPAC as a new non-voting member representing EDSS (Elmira District Secondary School). She is now Dr. Katie Marshall and is making a name for herself in research and academia on both sides of the border. My son Daniel is a recent Masters of Biology recipient and is working in that field here in Ontario.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


To see which map I'm referring to above in the title simply go to yesterday's post and click on the first link. Yes that's the map I'm referring to. The one with the long narrow red rectangle, the funny blue curved line and then the "approximate" black line showing the location and size of the Bolender Park landfill. What a joke!

Two of those lines namely the red and blue ones are the recent creation of Woolwich Township. The black one is most likely the old creation of Conestoga Rovers (scratch my back & I'll scratch yours) & Associates. While the Township are alluding to a 1962 letter written by the Sanitation Committee, that committee did not include any such diagram with their letter. If they did then Woolwich failed to pass it along with the rest of the file. Maybe Woolwich would like to put their recent map creation into the original file. Heck they could even staple it onto the 1962 Sanitation Committee letter. Add a little authenticity so to speak.

The 1962 Sanitation Committee letter referred to an area 200 feet by 1200 feet. They were vague however as to exactly where that started and stopped. The Township's map has the 1200 feet (red line) ending just past the house that was built in 1919 and is still there. That seems a little unlikely that the Sanitation Committee planned to lift the house up and put garbage underneath it. However what is less ridiculous is that the Bolender Landfill did run into the area where a few houses were built in the 70s or 80s on High St.. That is not good news.

The blue line is totally fictitious and frankly illogical just like the others. The Sanitation Committee referred to an approximate 400 foot distance to the nearest house. Again they provided no map. It would also help if the Township's map included a Legend with a Scale ie. 1" = 100' sort of thing. It does not, hence it's hard to check their accuracy for their fictitious lines. Regardless why would the Sanitation Committee, headed by a Uniroyal manager, call for a 1200 foot long dump and then allegedly cut it nearly in half? Nonsense!

Even the black line is highly speculative. All the land now part of the park to the south was available and empty back in 1962. That combined with two longtime local residents telling me that there is indeed garbage beneath the park behind their George St. homes makes the "approximate" size and shape of the landfill unlikely. These three highly speculative and imaginative lines also contradict each other. Look carefully again at that map. Which line, the red, blue or black is the accurate one? I suggest the answer is none of them.

Friday, August 4, 2017


Thank you Woolwich Observer for bringing this public interest story to your readers' attention. Both on the front page titled "Elevated methane levels at former Elmira landfill don't extend to nearby residents" and in your Editorial titled "History of the area puts microscope on methane issue" you have done both your civic duty as well as your journalistic duty. Despite my kudos you know I do however have to correct a few errors (serious) in your story and Editorial.

First the good news. The public and nearby residents now know that there are "Elevated levels of methane at the former municipal landfill site...". This of course refers to the Bolender Park Landfill located approximately north of the current park & playground and west of High St. and George St.. Residents also know that the methane concerns are serious enough that remediation is being planned to dissipate the methane at the west end of the landfill near 86 Auto recycling and the Township are offering to do indoor air monitoring for homes on High St. and George St.. This is all a major heads up to the wise in the neighbourhood. Those folks will go out and purchase their own methane warning alarms for their basements. I've been advised that they are available at Home Depot in K-W and also at various Canadian Tire stores.

Now the bad news. Contrary to Woolwich's claims and the Observer's story and headline; in fact elevated methane levels do and have extended to at a minimum the property line between the Landfill and nearby homes. Of course zero testing to date has been done either in the basements of the homes or on their property and if Woolwich Township have their way this will never happen until or unless there is a bang in the night. Then exactly like 1989, Woolwich, the Region, the Ministry of Environment and every other "authority" will all wring their hands and say "Oh my God we had no idea!". It was bullshit then and it will be bullshit now.

Secondly contrary to the Observer's Editorial the problem is not largely contained to the west side of the landfill near 86 Auto Recycling. The problem is not contained whatsoever in any part of the Landfill. Finally near the end of their Editorial the Observer states "The Township's position, backed by studies, is that the methane poses no threat to residents, most of it contained to the wrecking yard.". I've read those studies. The Observer have not. Those ten studies indicate horrific levels of methane gas, above the criteria of 20% LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) on the west, north and east side of the Landfill at various times and seasons. 2008 and 2010 (twice each) had these high levels nearest High St. which is exactly why the consultants, Conestoga Rovers, recommended that the Township do indoor monitoring at the nearest High St. home in 2009. The Township appear to have done nothing over the next five years until new monitors gave them zero readings in 2015 and 2016. Zero readings today can and have been both preceded and followed by explosive levels tomorrow.

Woolwich the cat is out of the bag. Is it incompetence, is it face saving or is it corruption? I don't know yet why you are again covering up the truth but it will come out.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


"There are no official records of the type of waste received at the site.". Well that's just dandy! Or maybe it is actually just dandy for Woolwich township officials attempting to avoid liability. The quote comes from an August 1983 Report done on behalf of Woolwich Township by Conestoga Rovers in regards to the Bolender Park Landfill. The Report goes on to say that two people verbally have stated that only municipal (ie. household) wastes went into the Landfill. The one is a former Town Councillor who is most unlikely to have stood and watched day after day as trucks dumped at this Landfill. The other problem is which Councillor? Could it have been Art Gorman P.Eng., also of Uniroyal Chemical employ?

Then there is the small matter of the April 16, 1962 Sanitation Committee Report to Elmira Council. It was authored by the Chair of the Sanitation Committee. You guessed it, one Art Gorman. "The acceptance of industrial wastes in the Sanitary Landfill area will be subject to approval of the Sanitation Committee". Isn't that cute. Almost gives a patina of legitimacy to the plan.

We must also not forget that Elmira owed Uniroyal Chemical bigtime for decades of past waste disposal at the south-west corner of the Uniroyal site. That area is now called M2 and it contained everything from household ashes and food wastes to Dioxins, DDT and DNAPLS such as chlorobenzene wastes courtesy of course of Uniroyal. Also included according to the 1991 CH2MHILL Report were foundry wastes as well as tars from Uniroyal Chemical. This was between 1936 and 1962 when this landfill was closed by order of the Waterloo County Officer of Health.

The Bolender Park Landfill was designed to replace the closing of M2 and it was needed urgently. Lets see if foundry wastes, presumably Linkbelt (Procast), and Uniroyal's wastes were going into this municipal landfill (M2) then why wouldn't Borg Textiles, Great West Felt Co. plus other textile and manufacturing companies including Read Bros. (Nutrite) as well? Also let us not forget the emergence in 1962 of Varnicolor Chemical. The owner Mr. Argenton had a penchant for toxic waste disposal whether legal or illegal. It's very hard to believe that he did not avail himself as well of the Bolender Landfill as long as he could.

Then there are old reports and records such as the 1985 "History of Uniroyal Wastes", the 1991 Environmental Audit written by Conestoga Rovers as well as again the CH2MHILL 1991 report identifying Uniroyal as having deposited industrial wastes in the Bolender landfill. It seems very odd to me that in their 1983 Report to Woolwich Township that Conestoga Rovers would suggest that industrial wastes had not gone into the Bolender Landfill. Granted at the time they weren't Uniroyal Chemical's primary consultants but obviously Uniroyal saw the right stuff in CRA and took them on shortly afterwards.

The Bolender Park Landfill was also identified in the February 1991 CH2MHILL report as follows: "The Bolander Park Landfill is also a prime candidate for the generation of NDMA.". Kind of gives you a warm glow knowing how here in Woolwich, one hands washes the other. The town took care of Uniroyal and Uniroyal took care of the town.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


There are times when individual members of Woolwich Council have lied to the public. There are times when Staff have done the same. I was advised by an outgoing councillor after the last election that they had never been lied to as much as the four years they were on Woolwich Council. The implication was that it was staff doing the lying. Which staff was not stated.

Last evening at Council the word "corrupt" was used by Dan Kennally. I did not hear it from anyone else. Mr. Kennally basically was upset that a later citizen Delegate had used the word to describe a Woolwich staffer, allegedly in a correspondence. While I do not know the truth or otherwise of the allegation I do know that the Delegate after me was upset that he could not rebut or speak to Mr. Kennally's comment about him.

Mr. Sigurdson sent a letter to residents living on High St. and George St. in Elmira last Wednesday. He misrepresented the facts in his letter. Or he gilded the lily. Or he lied possibly. Or maybe he didn't read the reports carefully. Take your pick. Mr. Kennally repeated the gist of Mr. Sigurdson's inaccurate comments last evening in Council Chambers. Misstatements, errors and inaccuracies by public officials Mr. Kennally is exactly why citizens believe the word corruption is accurate. Keep in mind that corruption can mean both taking bribes or payoffs or it can be much less harsh as in "riddled with errors".

Mr. Kennally last evening in Council Chambers stated that the latest test results showed zero methane at the gas probes nearest High St.. That is correct. The one monitoring event in 2015 and the one event in 2016 came up with zeros. Unfortunately however the 20% LEL (lower explosive limit) was exceeded twice in 2008 and twice in 2010. In fact in 2009 it showed almost zero. Both 2010 tests were more than four times greater than the LEL. This is precisely why CRA recommended indoor monitoring in 2009 at the High St. home nearest the Landfill. The Township did not do so. Nor did they or CRA apparently do anything for the next five years. Thank you very much Woolwich Township for exposing the High St. residents to the risk of an explosion and fire and the Township to a huge lawsuit for negligence.

Methane readings go up and down like a toilet seat. Having zero readings either before or after huge methane readings is normal. What is not normal is ignoring or pretending that there isn't a problem. Mr. Kennally's statement last evening to Council that Warning alarms for residents are not consistent with current results is a deceptive statement. Councillors need to step up and do their duty. Warning devices are inexpensive. Lives and lawsuits are not.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Reserve has waited 8 years for air quality review". A First Nations community near Sarnia is taking the Ontario government to court to demand it complete an air quality review of their neighbourhood which was promised back in 2009. Ada Lockridge secured a promise from the Ontario M.O.E. that they would review how air pollution is regulated where there are multiple chemicals and multiple different sources of the chemicals. This of course describes the area around Sarnia as it is well known as "chemical valley" due to the nearby petrochemical industry.

The Environmental Bill of Rights sets out a legal duty for the M.O.E. to complete such reviews in a reasonable time frame. Members of the local community have long suffered with headaches, asthma, learning disabilities in children and miscarriages. Going from memory I also believe there have been concerns with gender imbalances of newborns with the suggestion that airborne chemicals may be the cause of fewer male children being born in the community.

Clearly the issue of multiple chemicals concurrently in the air, whether from one facility or many has long been ignored or overlooked. Essentially the M.O.E. have legitimized harmful air pollution through their individual Certificates of Approval per process and per company. The Ministry's conflict of interest is also apparent as the Ontario government do not want to alienate either corporate donors or powerful and wealthy interests in the province which the petrochemical industry certainly are.