Tuesday, October 31, 2017


The Woolwich Observer wrote a story on April 13, 2002. They described the PMRA of Health Canada and the work they were doing on Lindane. PMRA stands for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and they were examining Lindane and Uniroyal promised not to continue using it until the review was completed. Uniroyal had a long history of producing anti-social and later banned chemicals for profit including Parathion, Diacetyl, DDT and Agent Orange.

In the March 30, 2002 the Observer reported Wilf Ruland's review of Conestoga Rovers (CRA) "Optimization" study. Wilf advised CPAC that CRA's assumptions in their study were either wrong, peculiar or self-serving. These included their refusal to even look at greater on-site pumping in their "Optimization" study. In the June 29, 2002 Observer we are advised that the Ontario Ministry of Environment had turned down Crompton/CRA's Optimization Plan. Wilf concurred with that decision. Jeff Merriman of Crompton, as was his norm, advised that Crompton were merely trying to clean up the Elmira Aquifers as fast as possible. Odd however that they've gotten their way eventually on every decision and here we are in almost 2018 and they aren't going to make the 2028 deadline.

In June 29, 2002 Bob Burrt wrote quoting Bob Gilham of the University of Waterloo that "the regulatory environment hasn't forced cleanups in Canada in many cases and the industrial and consulting companies are more conservative here.".

Interestingly in the August 24, 2002 Woolwich Observer, Nutrite (Yara) appealed the M.O.E.'s Control Order claiming that the Ammonia in the Municipal Aquifer was coming from the former landfill. While my first guess was that Nutrite were referring to the former landfill (M2) located on Uniroyal's south-west property, it might be referring to the Bolender Landfill just north of Uniroyal. Hmm interesting!

On August 39, 2002 Julie Sawyer of the Elmira Independent wrote that the Optimization debate was postponed at CPAC (Crompton Public Advisory Committee). Apparently there was to be a private Crompton/M.O.E. meeting. Dr. Henry Regier advised (correctly) that the "MOE is stringing CPAC along.". Both Jaimie Connolly (M.O.E.) and Steve Quigley (CRA) failed to attend this pivotal CPAC meeting . Wilf Ruland was upset as was CPAC especially Ron Ormson.

On August 30, 2002 the K-W Record reported a quote made by Nutrite's lawyer, one Harry Dahme. Harry stated that "I think it's astounding that both Uniroyal (Crompton) and the Ministry knew about the problem for years and did nothing.". This problem of course was ammonia and both Uniroyal and the M.O.E. deceived the public and CPAC on that matter for years.

The Observer also reported on the CPAC meeting in which CPAC were stood up by Jaimie and Steve Q.. Henry Regier was quoted as saying "This damned meeting was scheduled months ago.". This was neither the first nor last time that it became obvious that CPAC were being used by the guilty parties as it suited their purposes, not for legitimate public consultation.

Monday, October 30, 2017


The headline above should be the headline in the Record. Instead their headline in last Friday's Waterloo region record is "City to slash price in bid to sell contaminated property". The property is the former Electrohome building at 152 Shanley St. in Kitchener. It is currently owned by a numbered Ontario company (848835) who have blatantly ignored both paying taxes on the property and cleaning up the serious contamination on the site. The contamination includes heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCS). These VOCS include trichloroethylene (TCE) which is the particularly nasty compound which adversely affected the health of many in the Bishop St. community in Cambridge as well as in Woburn, Massachusetts. The U.S. location was the one in the John Travolta movie "A Civil Action".

References by city officials to a "charette" are sort of laughable. The city are in a gross conflict of interest position. They want to start recouping taxes on the property. Hence they will likely "gild the lily" when talking to local residents. They will oversell the quality of the alleged "cleanup" in order to get neighbourhood "buy in". The reality is that even if it was redeveloped for residential use the cleanup would be suspect. If it's redeveloped for commercial or industrial use the cleanup will be even less. Substantially so. Throughout this the Ontario Ministry of Environment will do what they do best which is bullshit, bafflegab and blatantly lie to the public about how their health is of the utmost importance to the M.O.E. and city. If that was true all levels of government would have cleaned up this dangerous contaminated site a very long time ago. They have not.

Lastly let's see just how transparent the cleanup actually is. Will there be Workplans ahead of time along with an independent peer review of them? Don't hold your breathe. This is all about money folks; money that none of the neighbourhood will ever see for their exposure to this eyesore and health hazard for decades.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


This week's Woolwich Observer carried an opinion piece by Steve Kannon titled "Inaction on climate change likely to cost us much more down the road". In it Steve advises us of the pay now or pay much more later aspect of this problem. Unfortunately Steve pretty clearly sees politicians world wide as believing that climate change is both somebody else's problem to solve and that tomorrow not today is the time to do it.

Steve mentions in some detail the books of local writer and environmentalist Michael Purves-Smith. Michael wrote a series as in Opus 1, 2 etc. of "Rocky Mountain Locust". I read them and found them both educational and an enjoyable, interesting read. If another Opus comes out I'll be buying a copy of it as well. Climate change is real and besides the acknowledgement of a litany of scientists world wide; no greater proof can there be than Donald Trump and a few recalcitrant, die-hard Republicans reject the concept. Good enough for me right there.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Well back in the 1970s, 1980s or early 90s this wouldn't even have been news. I've long thought that development for the new residential subdivisions in Breslau didn't get started until well after Breslube/safety-Kleen had stopped fumigating the entire town with their acrid, petroleum odours. I have enquired on a couple of occasions as to how the smell is in recent years. About four or five years back a colleague suggested that sporadically there were still some odours leaving the property. That plus occasional trips I've taken to the Waterloo Regional Airport have been O.K. with only noticeable odours very close to Safety-Kleen on a couple of occasions.

Yesterday's article therefore in the Woolwich Observer titled "Escaped gas during maintenance at Safety-Kleen plant prompts multiple odour complaints in Breslau", was only slightly a surprise. The description of the odours was both petroleum odours and a "very strong odour of natural gas or sulphur". Interestingly just like the history of odours here in Elmira, the company responsible were not initially helpful in accepting responsibility for the stink. Advising the fire department that they were shut down for maintenance, true or otherwise, is essentially the same as saying "It's not us, look elsewhere", which is what the fire department had to do.

The Ontario Ministry of Environment investigated and as usual are full of reassurances to all residents affected. These reassurances include Safety-Kleen being required to report in advance to various authorities when they are planning on doing future maintenance activities. Also preventative measures will be put in place to avoid future odours during these activities.

For the record odours absolutely equal exposure to toxic contaminants. Odours are not simply a nuisance. They are also a health issue and a quality of life issue. We've been through all the heavy duty bull.... here in Elmira with Uniroyal (now Lanxess) telling residents that the odours are harmless when they are not. They disguise their lies with crap about points of impingement and the one specific identifiable smell being below the concentration criteria over a ten minute or thirty minute or even one hour time frame. It's all verbal diarrhea mixed in with psuedo scientific mumbo jumbo. If you can smell it (and even if you can't sometimes) you are being exposed and there is nothing at Safety-Kleen that is good for your health.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Pollution kills nine million a year, study says". The study was done by lead author and epidemiologist, Philip Landrigan of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. It was released last Thursday in Lancet (Britain) medical journal. One out of six premature deaths in the world in 2015 were caused by diseases from toxic exposure. Experts consider the nine million figure to be very conservative and only a partial estimate of a likely higher number. While considerable work has been done in North America and Europe, Asia and Africa are the regions putting most people at risk with China and India leading the carnage. That said poorer communities both eastern and western are more likely to face toxic exposures.

Air pollution is the most obvious direct cause with contaminated water also high on the list. The nine million figure is 1 1/2 times greater than those killed by smoking, three times the number killed by AIDS, six times the number killed in traffic accidents and fifteen times the number killed in war or other violence.

This is beyond tragic. Perhaps referring to major polluters as murderers is not inaccurate. I have long wondered how many of our local citizens in Elmira and Woolwich (thinking of Breslau) have suffered and died due to the air and water pollution from Uniroyal/Lanxess and Breslube/Safety-Kleen. Here in Elmira a health study should have been done twenty-five years ago but never was. Thank you to all our municipal, regional and provincial politicians who had a hand in that coverup.

Is it possible that their is some countervailing force that is pushing back against individuals self-serving actions at the expense of mankind overall? Are premature deaths in the millions and shortening of life spans a very sad attempt to mitigate the effects of the plague of humanity on the earth? Will these premature deaths only increase until humanity are facing extinction from their own negative impact on the earth?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Assertive action needed to protect our water". The author is Mike Nagy, Chair of the Wellington Water Watchers over in Guelph. Mr. Nagy believes that the two year moratorium on new groundwater removal permits will not be adequate in the long run. He is suggesting that Premier Kathleen Wynne should say no to existing applications to take additional water in Wellington County as well as commit tom phasing out water bottling permits within ten years.

Mr. Nagy also points out that water unlike say the sun for solar energy or geothermal energy in the ground is not a renewable resource. There is a finite amount which can be converted back and forth from moisture in the air (clouds etc.) to surface and groundwater but it can not be increased. With populations constantly rising and water needed for life we will approach the point not just in some areas of the world but throughout, where there simply isn't enough water to sustain all life on the planet. Therefore wasteful practices such as water bottling need to be ended.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries an article written by Mark Winfield. The title is "Poised to repeat Walkerton-style mistakes". Mr. Winfield is a professor of environmental studies at York University. In this article he is commenting upon new legislation currently before the legislative Assembly of Ontario . Bill 154 is called the Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Reduction Act. It's very title is a clarion call to businesses and corporations and is promising them reduced costs and hassles, oddly enough just before a provincial election. I mean think about it. The governing Liberals are promising our financially strapped working class a significantly large boost in the minimum wage which will likely reverberate throughout the job market hence some serious goodies are needed to entice business back into the Liberal fold.

Mr. Winfield has long been involved in environmental issues outside his day job at York University. His analysis particularly of the "one for one" rule as well as the Section 8 of Schedule 4 of the Bill are frightening. Clearly these will both weaken government's ability to amend or increase environmental protection in the future even if it is clear that it is needed. Mr. Winfield's comparison to the Walkerton disaster here in Ontario is relevant. Red tape reduction for water treatment operators was implicated in that human disaster. Other environmental disasters here in Ontario have occurred such as Elmira, Sarnia/Corruna, Cambridge (Northstar Aerospace) and Grassy Narrows with very little obviously having been learned to avoid the next one.

This Bill 154 sounds like huge trouble. It can be readily fixed as Mr. Winfield suggests how. Shame on our Liberal government desperately trying to avoid their well earned death throes.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Sorry about the suspense. Last Friday I posted here in the Advocate with the title "Chemtura, M.O.E. & CRA Have Long Known THAT 2028 Cleanup Wasn't Going To Happen". That posting brought us right up to the edge of the title without clarifying it. Well here it is.

I knew that I had long publicly stated that "The Cleanup is a Sham". I had long stated that the on-site hydraulic containment of the Uniroyal site was a failure. Then at last in May 2012 the new CPAC put forth a Resolution which was endorsed unanimously by Woolwich Council stating that the 2028 cleanup absolutely could not happen with Chemtura/CRA's current reliance on outdated, inadequate and minimal off-site pump and treat technology. David Marks, hydrogeologist with Burnside & Assoc.and a CPAC member, in conjunction with Dr. Gail Krantzberg of McMaster University advised both that hydraulic containment and or pump and treat was inadequate on its' own and discredited south of the border and that contaminant source removal or destruction was necessary to achieve drinking water criteria by 2028. The three partners in pollution all howled in protest. Then six months later in November 2012 they rolled over and brought out their new plan which still relied upon hydraulic containment/pump & treat but with a twist. They were going to TRIPLE the volume of off-site pumping and treating. Of course they had not thought it through as tripling the volume of off-site pumping and discharging into the Canagagigue Creek had ramifications and consequences. These included dewatering the Municipal Aquifers. This could result in land subsidence in Elmira. Also there were issues with a new Certificate of Approval which would have to be much more strenuous based upon a tripling of the quantity of treated water being discharged into the creek. Hence this face saving attempt, pretending to be initiated all on their own irrespective of CPAC and Woolwich Township's Resolution was a non-starter from the get go. The proof is in the pudding.

Fast forward five years. Late October 2017 and the "NEW" off-site pump & treat system is in operation. These new wells to date include W9 and W6A/B. That's it so far. The new wells started in June of this year with W6A/B first then followed by W9 in July. The pumping rates for the W6A/B wells have been a miniscule .4 litres per second up to a Niagara Falls (Not!) 1.0 litres per second. W9 has pumped at a more respectable 10 to 11 litres per second for July and August and then down to 2 litres per second in September. Shocker they're having problems with their upgraded treatment system. Shocker! (again not really). Hence the groundwater pumping rates have increased from approximately 60 litres per second to a whopping 72 litres per second, total off-site pumping in all off-site wells. By my math that's not triple or double or even close. We do await however more wells coming on-line unless of course they've unilaterally decided to let those slide. Hard to say with the current pretend "public consultation" whereby the best informed, most honest citizens are refused the right to even ask the credentialed professionals questions at public meetings. It's never been a better time to be a credentialed professional though. Apparently weaker minds on Woolwich Council are more impressed with credentials than they are with strict adherence to old fashioned principles such as honesty. Ahh but then they are politicians afterall. Keep in mind TAG has some excellent individuals as members such as Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach whose soil and groundwater knowledge has soared over the last seven years.

I have recently reviewed old newspaper clippings around December 2001 and early 2002. Specifically there is a write up in the Elmira Independent on March 28, 2002. The writeup quotes Wilf Ruland extensively and it also has an Editorial by the Editor, Gail Martin. This is an example of why I tolerated Wilf for as long as I did. He actually speaks out strongly and honestly in regards to Conestoga Rovers "Optimization" Plan. He is highly critical of it including suggesting that the goal is the Optimization of money spent by Chemtura, plain and simple. He also states that on-site containment at Uniroyal/Chemtura has been poor for a long time and that the on-site Chemtura property will not be free of contamination within the next seven generations. Yes that's generations not years. Finally Wilf advised that the quantity of contamination on the Uniroyal site has long been seriously underestimated. Similarly the off-site extent of contamination has also been underestimated by Conestoga Rovers.

Gail Martin in her March 28, 2002 Editorial mentions these facts as well as the huge consequence of all these underestimations and other errors some of which have only come to light even more recently courtesy of Dr. Richard Jackson. Both Wilf and Gail spell out the consequences. The Elmira Aquifers will not be remediated to drinking water standards by 2028. While CPAC were the first environmental body to state this publicly in 2012; in fact Wilf and Gail Martin did the same in early 2002. Now of course the partners in pollution (Uni/M.O.E./CRA) all denied it vociferously then as they later did in 2012. It's only over the last couple of years that the M.O.E and Chemtura/Lanxess are finally willing to tell the truth and admit that the 2028 cleanup isn't going to happen. That makes them proven truth challenged and parentally challenged bodies in my opinion. As I've long said!

Saturday, October 21, 2017


The following letter/e-mail was sent earlier this morning to all six Woolwich Council members and cc'd to three local media outlets.

Woolwich Council: History is a bitch. Yes it is often written by the "winners' although not always. This past Wednesday morning I sent on to half of you an "aide memoire" written on November 19, 2007 by Dr. Henry Regier. Many other words and statements exist from Henry and other honest, informed local citizens via newspaper stories over the last thirty years. These include the K-W Record, Elmira Independent and the Woolwich Observer. "National" newspapers, magazines and videos are also part of the history. None are perfect and without error anymore than the best intentioned human beings are perfect and without error. That said the true history is documented and on record. It does not solely exist in the reports and words of consultants, government agencies or municipal, regional, provincial or federal governments. Some of the documented words of citizens both honest and less so include those of Bob Verdun, Ron Ormson, Gerry Heidubuurt, Fred Hager, Susan Bryant, Pat Mclean, Wilf Ruland, Sylvia Berg, Esther Thur, John Lojek, Susan Rupert (Gow), Richard Clausi, Ken Driedger, Shannon Purves-Smith, Art Fletcher, the current nine CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members, Dr. Gail Krantzberg, David Marks, Peter Gray, Gail Martin, Steve Kannon, Jeff Outhit, Paige Desmond, John Roe, Ken Reger, Ken Bradley, Dave Belanger, Jaimie Connolly, Steve Martindale and so many more. I actually have a list of well over 85 involved individuals including Uniroyal, CRA, M&B, and M.O.E.. personnel .

Just over three years ago a book was published concerning the Elmira Water Crisis. I characterize the book as a five minute wonder on a strict time deadline. The deadline was to get it published prior to the October 2014 municipal election and that goal was achieved. The rushed extent of the book was obvious to those in the know. The title of the book could well have been "Ode to Susan" as Mr. Burtt's infatuation with her has been obvious, literally for decades. While it lacks objectivity it does rise above personal animosity and bias and several chapters are actually a worthwhile read. The timing of course was unfortunate in hindsight with the reliance on personal attacks by both Ministry of Environment personnel and most sadly by the soon to be former mayor, Todd Cowan. That I am criticized by M.O.E. personnel is a badge of honour. Those complimented by them are usually people of low morals, ethics or intellect or in the converse corporate people of very high power, authority and financial means. Todd's criticism of me is hilarious as first of all he is a pathological liar, hence reliance on his testimony is an indication of extraordinarily weak or lazy journalism. Secondly immediately after the publication of Bob's book, Todd publicly imploded partly due to his stupidity and partly due to his penchant for lying about almost everything.

My book is a very long ways off. That said I have been researching and documenting over the last six months. The data is being compiled regularly and sent off to trusted individuals, just in case. I do have professional literary help and am in no hurry or rush whatsoever. I want a book that will withstand much more than five minutes serious scrutiny. While after only three days I don't expect comments, questions or apologies regarding Dr. Regier's "aide memoire", I do think that you need to be cognizant of history. Bluntly put there are very few Woolwich Council members past or present who have much to be proud of, except those perhaps who have perversely supported and protected the biggest Woolwich polluters over the decades. Right now there are factors at play that could push both the Ministry of Environment and Lanxess into more significant cleanups including DNAPLS on and off site, east side (Stroh & Martin) property and lastly the downstream Canagagigue Creek. Woolwich history would indicate that the guiltiest of parties, with support from their friends, will as always find a way to avoid spending many millions of dollars remediating their past disgraces. This Council can be part of their avoidance or you can be part of their much greater cleanup. You will be judged. Little different when you're on the receiving end of judgement isn't it? Be on the right side of history.

Sincerely Alan Marshall

Friday, October 20, 2017


Wilf Ruland has recently taken an appropriate shellacking here for his behaviour in 2007 and early 2008. At the same time I felt that his overall input prior to those dates was definitely both positive and primarily in the public interest. If not I would have spoken out much sooner. Some of it undoubtedly was not knowing of his private relationship with Council, Pat and Susan and the rest was watching his comments and statements at public CPAC meetings. We'll get back to this shortly.

The December 1, 2001 K-W Record had a story about four Elmira (Duke St.) families suing Crompton for $7.4 million. The four families were the Machens, Posts, Posts and Fulchers. This was in relation to the previous three plus years of fumigations from the company.

The December 21, 2001 Elmira Independent also covered this story. The money was asked for as well as an injunction from the courts restraining the defendants from conducting activities which constitute a nuisance to the Plaintiffs. A total of 19 claims were put forward including that Crompton acted with "wanton disregard to the Plaintiff's rights.". Crompton's Statement of Defence specifically denied the claim of wanton disregard.

The Woolwich Observer also published this story on December 22, 2001. Crompton's defence included that they have a legal right to continue manufacturing at that location as they've been doing so since 1941. Furthermore they claimed that Terry Machen allegedly attempted to intimidate both their employees and management. Poor babies. Imagine that; they crap all over this man's rights, property, family and health and he yells harsh things at them. Finally Crompton claimed that the Plaintiffs have an abnormal sensitivity to odours which wouldn't have the same effect on an individual with normal sensitivity. Hmm and I thought that laws and regulations were to protect all citizens from infringement of their rights including the right to breathe reasonably clean air.

Again in the Decenber 21, 2001 Independent, Julie Sawyer writes that CPAC and APT were cost sharing a review of Conestoga Rover's (CRA) proposed Ammonia Treatment System. Yes that's the same Ammonia Treatment System that hadn't been built in early 2007 and which was partly the cause of the split with CPAC. Susan Bryant made the Motion, I seconded it, Art Fletcher opposed it and Fred Hager abstained. Interesting.

Both DNAPL cleanup as well as Optimization Studies were discussed at length in 2002. The Ministry of Environment were still making excuses for not moving on and accepting or rejecting Crompton's efforts to date regarding on-site Dense Non-Aqueous Phase (DNAPL) cleanup. I was quoted in the March 1, 2002 Independent as follows" Here we are nine years later and the remediation cleanup is still not done to satisfaction." "The whole point is that this has dragged on for 9 years. I'm sick of reading Control Orders that are reinterpreted years later.".

Regarding "Optimization" and other Crompton/CRA games we will go back to Wilf Ruland as stated in the first paragraph. Wilf was hired to review CRA's plans. He stood up and publicly gave CPAC his assessment of CRA's Optimization plans. He advised that at least for now CPAC should resist any plans to allow contaminated on-site groundwater to flow off-site. He stated that that was a huge shift and that serious community discussion was required before that could or should happen. Wilf advised that CRA had made many "interesting" assumptions in their study all of which could be problematic. Finally Wilf stated that the definition of CRA's Optimization "...seemed to be consistent with optimizing the amount of money spent." ie. minimizing it.

Wilf also stated that the on-site contamination at Uniroyal/Crompton was likely significantly worse than the groundwater plumes indicated. He also stated "I think the Ministry has treated this (on-site containment) as more as a goal rather than an absolute requirement.'. Wilf, Susan Bryant and myself all publicly stated at CPAC that the Crompton site was not contained in spite of the 1991 Control Order. In fact at a much later date we learned that the corrupt M.O.E. had amended that Control Order on June 21, 2000 (Kal Haniff) allowing a relaxing of the on-site containment if the Optimization plan was accepted. Talk about quietly putting the cart before the horse. All the while never correcting CPAC membvers for years on when they quoted the 1991 Control Order as requiring full on-site hydraulic containment. Bastards!

Wilf did good at this public CPAC meeting and in reviewing CRA's Optimization Plan. So how did Optimization allegedly ever get accepted? My guess is Wilf, Pat and Susan then later on went behind CPAC's back and gave their O.K.. It all had to be done quietly as I and others felt that Optimization Plan had finally had a stake driven through its' heart after the discovery of the "phantom mound by yours truly in 2004. This off-site hydraulic "mound" had been Uniroyal/Crompton's excuse for years as it appeared to be assisting in maintaining on-site containment of contaminants. It turned out to be a sham and was only quietly admitted to in a monthly Progress Report that I alone found. Susan Bryant later named it as the "phantom" mound.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Several changes have occurred over the summer in regards to the treatment of off-site groundwater. We now have two discharge points as a relatively small amount of treated water is being discharged into Shirt Factory Creek rather than only at the extreme south end of Chemtura from the west side into the Canagagigue Creek (ie. SS +890 ). Also pumping wells W6A/B and W9 have been added to the mix. W6A/B are only adding a tiny amount of pumping to the mix although W9 actually increased the total off-site pumping to just above 70 litres per second for the first time ever. Of course that lasted all of two months, namely July and August and now they are having problems with the new treatment system designed to treat this groundwater located beside the former Shirt Factory on Park St. in Elmira.

This treatment system is referred to as the "Trojan UV Treatment System". I will avoid making jokes about the public or anyone else getting scr.... by this system which has already broken down and caused exceedances in the discharge effluent to the creek of Toluene and Benzothiazole.

What has always been of interest to me is the location of both the original off-site pumping wells as well as the newer ones such as W9, W8, W7 and W6. W4 by the Elmira Water Tower on Howard Ave. has been pumping dissolved DNAPL (chlorobenzene) either from Uniroyal Chemical or from Borg Textile for a very long time. W3 south of Sanyo on Industrial Dr. was pumping contaminants either from Varnicolor's Lot 91, Borg or Sanyo also for a very long time. Wells W5A/B are located along the First St. extension across from Sulco (CCC) and beside the former First St. Landfill. They are also ideally located to intercept Ammonia from Nutrite/Yara. Of course we were not told about either that or the First St.Landfill back in 1998-99. The new well W9 may be pumping from the original Shirt factory on the site and W8 over by Nutrite/Yara just off Union St. could be pumping from that former company or even from the old Park Avenue Landfill (M1). Hard to say. Further south we have W6 along Oriole Parkway which could be intercepting contaminants either from Varnicolor's Lot 91 at the extreme east end of Oriole Parkway or again from the former Borg Textiles on Union St.. W7 is just south and west of Arthur St. or at least that's where it was intended to go. That is an interesting location.

Looking at the overall off-site pumping the good news is that this summer has seen the highest pumping ever. Shame that they didn't think about doing that twenty years ago. The bad news is that the pumping rates of 65 to 72 litres per second are only about 5-6 litres per second over what we've had from early 2015 until now. 2012, 2013 and 2014 were yet a few litres less than 2015 on average. What exactly happened to the claim/brag in November 2012 that they were going to triple the off-site pumping rates? Oh yes they downgraded that to doubling the rates. Still not there. Still not close. Come on guys if you're going to do the cheapest and slowest cleanup humanly possible at least get even that on the road. Five years since your big announcement in November 2012 and we're still waiting.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Here in Elmira we know the Sarnia/Corunna area as home to Uniroyal Chemical's toxic wastes removed from their Envirodome/Mausoleum/Toxidome back in 1999-2000. There has been a story recently published in the Toronto Star titled "Outrage, calls for health study after Chemical Valley spills". The story was researched by the Star, Global News and two journalism schools. Once again it is a reminder that despite financial hardships and corporate ownership, our newspapers' investigative reporting is not dead.

There have been ongoing fugitive air releases including serious levels of benzene, a carcinogenic compound which is a cause of leukemia or blood cancer. Environmental Commissioner Diane Saxe has stated that "The number 1 issue is large industry living in close proximity to homes. That is the result of historic zoning decisions,". "There are systemic problems with the way the government is regulating pollutants from not only this industry but from across Ontario and we will be writing about that.".

There have been decades of pleas from local residents and politicians asking for a health study of the area. They have all been ignored by all levels of government. Meanwhile all the guilty parties in the Ontario legislature are assailing the ruling Liberals for their failures both in monitoring and in denying a health study. It is an exercise in hypocrisy especially for the Progressive Conservatives who are essentially the last ones likely to do anything meaningful for the environment at the expense of large corporate interests and their lobbying for less not more environmental controls, standards and criteria.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Lobbying and arm twisting are their forte. Getting rid of informed and honest, strong personalities is their backup plan. They did it possibly with Susan Rupert and definitely with Richard Clausi, Esther Thur, Henry Regier and myself. There probably have been others that I don't know about both earlier and since.They do it through scheming and manipulating behind honest people's backs. To your face their behaviour is polite and respectful while at the same time they are working diligently behind your back to weaken your reputation and support. They are self-serving and egotistical. They look for weaker areas and attack them when you don't even know they are doing so, until it's too late. They are sneak attackers. They are sociopaths and lying cowards. Their purpose is power, control and self aggrandizement. Of course I am also speaking about leaders of political parties. They literally keep their heads down, their egos in check and wear their humility on their sleeves. Until the time is ripe. It's an immense character flaw but at least in politics the vast majority of people around you are in no moral or ethical position to criticize.

The world is full of them albeit they are a very small minority. It takes a real piece of work to be scheming against a loyal friend
and colleague who is supporting you and the cause at the same time as you are planning to harm them behind their backs. To be successful this kind of sociopath must be clever. I wonder how happy they actually end up. Does each successful sneak attack and "victory" build on their thrill or diminish it over time and further such nasty "successes"?

This has come up due to a recent history lesson from a friend and colleague. He sent a ten year old report to CPAC members plus a few others. This report was a detailed comment upon the events at CPAC a decade ago. His report is dated November 19, 2007. Independent reports like this one are one of the things that manipulators can not control. Yes the manipulators may have survived their impact a decade ago because other voting members were to busy or lazy to pay attention, but these reports have a life of their own. They can come back to haunt and bite guilty parties in the butt. I expect that this is but one that will do that. It will be included in my book about Elmira which is yet a considerable way down the road.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Public consultation has been destroyed in Elmira, Ontario and the guilty parties are all around us. Yes Mark and Sandy are front and centre but most importantly is the Ontario Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change. Next are the media and finally there are the citizens of Woolwich Township themselves. Literally for many years only one media outlet routinely covered CPAC meetings and that was the Elmira Independent. Occasionally the Waterloo Region Record would carry a story about the Aquifer cleanup progress or the lack thereof here in Elmira. Similar with CKCO-TV. The other local paper at the time absolutely ignored CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) which later morphed into the Citizens Public Advisory Committee. Regarding Woolwich citizens what was needed was greater support of the only media that routinely covered public CPAC meetings and then published the news in their paper. It didn't happen and the Elmira Independent is now history.

The MOECC mandated some form of public consultation back in 1991 in order to regain the confidence of the people of Elmira. Clearly decades of lying and puffery as to how the Elmira drinking waters were being protected by the province via the MOE was now obvious to all. Therefore UPAC (Uniroyal Public advisory Committee) was formed with assistance from Woolwich Township. The Township were careful however to keep the committee independent and at arms length. They also had little or no credibility due to their failures to push Uniroyal and the M.O.E. much harder over the previous decades. Basically any citizens or groups who had the interest and time were given a seat at the table. Nowadays the Township have usurped this citizen independence albeit they did it via Pat Mclean, the Chair of CPAC and Councillor, back in 2000. The rest of the UPAC/CPAC folks were lulled into a false sense of complacency by Pat and agreed to becoming a committee of Council. How has that worked out you idiots? The last two Councils have preemptorily trashed the old CPAC members including Pat herself in 2011. She is indeed a manipulator and always has been.

The last public meeting was held on September 7, 2017. This was a RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meeting and as usual had zero input from the public. Appointed citizens by Council to the complete exclusion of other interested and knowledgable citizens is absolutely no one's definition of public consultation. A refusal to take questions from the gallery is a mockery of public consultation. The next public meeting is a TAG (Technical Advisory Group) meeting on November 16, 2017. It will likely be more of the same with the public denied permission to speak or ask questions. News flash Council and other pompous public officials. Citizens do not require your permission to speak out about public interest matters. You have broken public consultation. Either you fix it or we will.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


DNAPLS were an ongoing topic throughout 2006 at CPAC despite Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura's reluctance to do so. The 2003 Request For Action presented by the Soil & Water Committee to CPAC, the Ministry and Crompton had put DNAPLS back on the Agenda. That being said I knew that they had to be a bit of a difficult topic for Susan Bryant based upon APT's bizarre embracing of the DNAPL status quo after the Ministry (M.O.E.) accepted Uniroyal/Conestoga Rovers' position in a December 10, 1993 letter. APT's quiet acceptance under the leadership of Sylvia Berg (Susan was in India) had initiated the split with APT of Richard Clausi, Esther Thur and myself. In fact Sylvia's DNAPL position alone would not have caused the split. It was her winner take all, hostile attitude, instantly displayed when she won the APT vote that did it for me. She felt emboldened to take punitive action against myself within APT.

So in December 2006 Susan invited me to attend a meeting along with Pat Mclean and Wilf Ruland at the University of Waterloo. Keep in mind that I was the CPAC "expert" on DNAPLS based both upon my destruction of Brian Beatty over his DNAPL misquote way back about 1992 as well as my plain hard work, research and effort. The topic was DNAPLS and we were meeting with two world renowned experts in the field namely Dr. John Cherry and Dr. Beth Parker. What a breathe of fresh air. These were two people only interested in the evidence and the facts as I was. There were no political ramifications, stroking of egos or other peripheral considerations. The facts and only the facts. Wilf Ruland had actually been taught by Dr. Cherry and considered him a bit of a mentor.

Now prior to the meeting, including the drive together to the university, I was getting an odd impression. It seemed to me that Pat, Wilf and Susan viewed this meeting possibly as a confirmation that DNAPLS were best left alone in the subsurface. Considering that Susan, Fred Hager, Henry Regier and I had all worked together on the 2003 Request For Action strongly advising source removal of free phase and possibly residual DNAPLS, this seemed odd to me. Regardless we were soon talking to the two Doctors plus they gave out a number of their various recent publications on the subject. Well...! Yes Wilf was correct in that the old understanding back when he was attending University was that sub-surface DNAPLS if disturbed might be remobilized and move further as in either vertically or laterally thus compounding the groundwater contamination problem. However both Dr. Cherry and Dr. Parker emphasized that new thinking was unanimous that DNAPLS, especially free phase, needed to be either removed physically from the subsurface where possible or somehow either physically encapsulated or chemically broken down. Otherwise their long term dissolution into the groundwater would contaminate it above drinking water standards either for decades or even centuries.

The four of us left the meeting with me I believe almost floating above the ground. I was ecstatic whereas the other three were incredibly subdued. What the hell? Their downcast attitudes I found very strange. At the meeting when the technical DNAPL publications were handed out the other three handed them all to me stating that I could read them all first. Later I tried to give them to Susan for her to read but she never wanted them. It was an eye opening, albeit too late.

All through the rest of 2007 I was asking Pat and Susan when we were going to make a presentation to CPAC about this meeting. IT NEVER HAPPENED! Wilf, Pat and Susan NEVER to my knowledge have told anyone at CPAC or the public about this meeting. It was almost as if they had made previous commitments either to Uniroyal/Chemtura or the M.O.E. that they would back off of the DNAPL file despite the 2003 CPAC Request For Action. This reminded me of Sylvia Berg asking me alone to sign APTs critique of the M.O.E. December 10, 1993 letter accepting Uniroyal's DNAPL position despite the fact that both she and Glenys McMullen were involved in that critique with me. Both scenarios were and are bizarre and have often led me to suspect the worst.

Was the Ammonia Treatment System (ATS) Certificate of Approval merely a red herring by Pat and Susan to get me off of CPAC? At the time I found their (ATS) position ridiculous especially after I had Wilf Ruland in my home and showed him my groundwater data and borehole logs indicating that CH97 was totally inappropriate to be one of the "well pairs". Wilf had absolutely no dispute with my data and its' interpretation. I could tell that he was trying not to be over enthusiastic about my discovery but I repeat he had zero objections or disagreement with the facts presented to him. Then after I filed my appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal I willingly agreed to a sitdown with Chemtura, CRA (Conestoga Rovers) and the Ontario M.O.E. to see if a meeting of the minds could occur. The meeting was a sham and absolutely not in good faith by the other three parties. Wilf presented my information regarding CH97 being an inappropriate well to use as a "well pair" because the screen of the well was drawing both Municipal Aquifer (MU) water as well as Upper Aquifer water into it. There was no aquitard between the two aquifers. This would artificially raise the groundwater level in the MU thus incorrectly "proving" that there was hydraulic containment on site because just off-site well (CH97) had a higher groundwater reading in the MU than the corresponding on site well.

Wilf tried I'll give him that. CRA simply ignored his facts. They arrogantly as always advised him and us that they were right. There wasn't even so much as a hint that Wilf's (ie. mine) points had any merit whatsoever. Wilf shut up. I did not. I bluntly as is my way when dealing with arrogant liars told them off. I advised that my appeal would be immediately reinstated the next day and that I didn't appreciate having my time wasted by parties with zero intent to either listen or respond factually to our position. Whether in agreement or disagreement they said no with absolutely zero technical reasons why they were allegedly right and we were allegedly wrong.

This is the background for Wilf's further plunging of Pat and Susan's knife into my back. Wilf then went to CPAC and advised them that he will no longer work for CPAC as long as I am a member. Wilf claimed that my "behaviour" at this meeting attended by Dr. Henry Regier, Wilf, Pat , Susan, CRA, Chemtura and the M.O.E. was objectionable. Apparently unlike Wilf I am not deferential enough when being lied to by intellectual prostitutes. Unlike Wilf I will not be treated disrespectfully and accept it just because the speaker has more credentials than I. Unlike Wilf I will not kiss the asses of powerful people hoping for future contracts from the M.O.E. and or collaborative, paid private meetings with CRA and Chemtura. Furthermore Wilf apparently viewed Pat and Susan as part of his future paid consulting. I strongly advise Wilf Ruland to stay the hell out of Elmira in the future. His behaviour is beneath contempt.

Friday, October 13, 2017


His start was auspicious here in Elmira. APT invited him to comment on groundwater issues after the Elmira Water Crisis started in November 1989. He was a self proclaimed consultant for "citizens" groups. Surprisingly to me he was paid briefly (?) by the Ontario Ministry of Environment to give a Hydrogeology 101 course to Sylvia Berg, Susan Bryant and myself.

Wilf very early on was extremely careful not to offend. He was particularly careful not to offend Uniroyal Chemical, their consultants (CRA & Morrison-Beatty) and the Ontario M.O.E.. In those days that was not easy to do because it almost seemed on a daily basis that we were discovering deceptions and lies from those three groups.

Over the years from 1990 until 2007 Wilf's role changed. Initially he was strictly about groundwater and contaminant flow. His Terms of Reference were never made clear despite Dr. Henry Regier repeatedly asking for specifics. Specifics such as how much he was paid and by whom. CPAC Chair, Pat McLean, did obtain some funding from Woolwich Council for Wilf's work in reviewing a few Crompton/Conestoga Rovers reports. I believe that early on APT paid him money for his expertise which was appropriate. What happened later on however was not appropriate as in money is the root of all evil type of inappropriate.

Wilf would be called in on occasion by either Pat or Susan. Often we wouldn't see Wilf for a period of two or three years and then he would be there giving his opinion on this or that issue, strategy or proposal by Uniroyal/Crompton. It was not inaccurate to suggest that he was parachuted in for specific issues. Time and time again I would see and hear him at a CPAC meeting politely and deferentially suggest that a Conestoga Rovers (CRA) report may have missed this point or that fact and hence their Conclusions needed an adjustment. Time and time again CRA would respond by thanking Wilf for his input but that no he was wrong, they were right and the matter was settled. Never did I see Wilf confront them. Never did I see Wilf put his foot down after a typical exhibition of CRA's arrogance. Henry and I while appreciating Wilf's technical expertise were often disappointed with his lack of firmness and resolve in the face of Uniroyal/Crompton and CRA intransigence.

It became more apparent over time that Wilf was not so much representing CPAC as he was representing those that either paid him or through whom he got paid. That would be Pat and Susan. The most glaring example was in regards to DNAPLS (dense non-aqueous phase liquids). While privately he would agree that CRA had not proven their case that only residual DNAPL remained on site versus Free Phase DNAPLS; again he seemed reluctant to ever press this point at public CPAC meetings. Also Wilf became more critical of those who exhibited a style somewhat blunter and more direct than his. Wilf was a hired consultant, no more and no less. He was supposed to be representing me as a voting CPAC member not projecting his never offend/never confront style upon his clients of which ostensibly I was one.

It got much worse with Wilf as a consultant actually directly involving himself in a disagreement of members within CPAC. I have no doubt that he was invited or induced to do so by those who had brought him to the party and were paying his wages. It was a gross conflict of interest for him to attempt to influence the internal CPAC decision between Pat, Susan and myself over the Ammonia Treatment System Certificate of Approval; but he did so nevertheless to his shame. I have often wondered since with his extremely limited appearances in the last decade whether or not he finally realized how inappropriate his behaviour and input was on that matter.

There will be more specifics on this matter in tomorrow's posting.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


In the August 28, 2001 K-W Record we are advised by Bob Burtt that Uniroyal had their third spill in three weeks. Wow I'll bet they don't brag about those kinds of records they've set. A product known as Naugard 445 leaked from Buiklding # 28 on site.

On September 1, 2001 Susan Bryant wrote an excellent Guest column in the Woolwich Observer. She described a CPAC meeting held at Uniroyal/Crompton with a plant tour included. We were supposed to be seeing some of the changes made to reduce air emissions. To the shock of CPAC they saw an open concrete pit where sludge from Crompton's waste water treatment system was sitting, stewing in the sun. There was also a big open vat where the sludge was being dewatered. These were outdoor processes completely unenclosed with zero air emission controls. The stench was the same awful stench that occasionally engulfs Duke St.. Keep in mind that this was occurring three years after the initial 1998 summertime "fumigations" that had netted Uniroyal Chemical a $168,000 fine. Clearly for them merely a cost of doing business. On August 31, 2001 Julie Sawyer of the Elmira Independent reported on the same matter. The on-site water treatment is located at the southern end of the site. Shannon Purves-Smith of APT identified the stench as the smell that residents on Duke St. had long been complaining about. She described it as the smell of 100 full outhouses. "It should be enclosed, covered up." Shannon stated.

The October 27, 2001 Woolwich Observer published an article titled "Elmira fertilizer firm faces M.O.E. Control Order". Nutrite (Hydro Agri) later called Yara were ordered to clean up ammonia which they had introduced into the groundwater from their site immediately west of Uniroyal/Crompton. Bill Dunbar the manager at the time of Nutrite wasn't admitting anything.

In regards to air sampling, the Elmira Independent in October 2001 somewhat incorrectly suggested that Ron Campbell of Acute Environmental would be taking the lead on air sampling off-site. Presumably this was to lessen the load on the volunteers who had been doing it for some time. Both Uniroyal and Shannon Purves-Smith expressed their agreement with the plan. Unfortunately it fell through although no media reports followed with the reasons why. Ron years later was an excellent, environmentally experienced member of CPAC from 2010 till 2015. His technical experience and his personal integrity were and are a huge boost to CPAC then and now.

In the K-W Record Bob Burtt reported on a CPAC meeting dealing in part with Lindane, a Uniroyal pesticide. Ron Ormson of CPAC stated "Lindane is a big issue in this community and there is a lot of evidence to suggest it is very dangerous." Esther Thur of both CPAC and the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (EH-Team) had done considerable research on Lindane and was in complete agreement with Ron's position. Yours truly commented on Uniroyal/Crompton's lawsuit against the Canadian government by suggesting that in light of the government review of Lindane ending in the spring, Crompton's $100 million lawsuit was ridiculous.

As far back as December 2001 plans were underway for a new ammonia treatment system. The building costs would be assessed as 1/3 from the Province of Ontario and 2/3 from Crompton and Nutrite. Operating costs would be 50/50 between the province and the two companies. A pretty good deal for two polluters don't you think in having the taxpayers subsidize their cleanup costs yet again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


O.K. firstly I'm going to fess up. The above title is a bit of a misnomer (I hope). My experience is that people of either gender... oops I believe that's no longer politically correct...ahem people of all genders... generally react poorly on a personal basis if given any authority at all. Whether the electorate prefer their face, voice, public persona or a simple 15 second sound bite on television; being elected to office is not some kind of pronouncement from on high that you are a good candidate much less the best available. Sorry to burst a few balloons there folks. Secondly once elected or appointed to a position of authority over anyone or anything, then these people tend to appoint others beneath them on the same or similar basis. In other words rarely is the best, most intelligent, most qualified and most dedicated ever appointed to any position. Those you appoint beneath you need to know their place (below you) and always be prepared to support you on all matters that you espouse. Again sorry for bursting a few balloons there folks.

The first time I learned that Pat Mclean was a typical, unethical politician was when we were discussing privately with Susan Bryant an upcoming CPAC matter, possibly a Certificate of Approval from the M.O.E.. Up to this time I viewed the Chair of UPAC/CPAC as simply being an onerous, secretarial type position. Certainly nothing of any status and it seemed appropriate that Pat having the absolute least amount of technical or historical knowledge regarding Uniroyal Chemical should with her political experience conduct meetings and organize Agendas and followup meetings. Well! Pat felt, I learned in 2006 or early 2007, that she was in charge and in control of CPAC. Excuse me but I was there with an Independent vote on all matters as an equal member and I deferred to no one while at the same time was always very careful to never publicly undermine or speak critically of my other fellow citizen appointees to UPAC then CPAC. I later learned there was a backroom deal between Pat, Sandy and Susan. I was asked to attend a private meeting with some Woolwich Council members and David Brenneman in early 2008. This I did only to find Sandy stickhandling around my very clear and straightforward question as to whether or not she had ever seen or heard me undermine or criticize any CPAC member at the public meetings. She sat beside me as Council's CPAC representative for the previous two years yet she clearly did not want to state that fact. At that point I first began to realize that the two bitches (Pat & Susan) had set me up. Being naive politically as well as fully trusting Susan's ethics I hadn't seen it coming, making me an easy target.

I believed that Sandy was not necessarily corrupt but merely easily swayed by smooth talkers like Susan and Pat. From time to time since, seeing Sandy's asinine decisions and positions I have often felt otherwise. Perhaps knowing her own weaknesses on many matters she has sought out and accepted very poor advice. This would certainly include from the likes of Mark Bauman and David Brenneman so clearly it's not a gender thing with her. She simply is vulnerable to glib advice and counsel and there are far too many willing to fill her intellectual and knowledge shortage.

Yesterday I was advised by a CPAC member that Sandy probably is far more naive and inexperienced than she is corrupt. It's easier going along with advice from people near her than to spend the time on her own actually learning the facts. Clearly those in power above her have long felt that she has the right stuff for their purposes. In the case of the distressed school board appointing her Chair of the Board (Tustees) was a no brainer. She talked nicely and looked good and her complete lack of political skills and experience seemed an advantage. She did not disappoint. Similarly our American friend Susan has had honours bestowed upon her by grateful local authorities such as the Region of Waterloo and the GRCA. Exactly why they are grateful is a very good question. Her breakfast time coffee meetings with Ken Seiling in her home in the very early 90s may have set the stage. Were private agreements made for cooperation now for consideration later? Similarly it's obvious that Pat and Susan had a private agreement with Chemtura for lifetime access to chats regarding local environmental matters. The ACC or APT Chemtura Committee which ran from early 2011 until 2015 is a testament to that. Privately held, ongoing meetings outside the CPAC scope while Chemtura were simultaneously meeting with the Council appointed reps (CPAC) was bizarre at the least. Poor Pat and Susan were enraged when the Todd Cowan council refused to appoint them to CPAC. Poor babies. Turnaround is fair play don't you think?

So back to Sandy. She's incompetent, easily led and mostly for show. Yet... she did insist upon warning signs being put along the Canagagigue Creek advising fishermen of the dangers of eating fish they caught. She (with huge assistance) invented RAC and TAG which Councillor Merlihan appropriately called "cringeworthy" in regards to it's supposed public consultation. Clearly Chemtura and the M.O.E. got exactly what they wanted there. Can we thank Mark Bauman and David Brenneman for most of that. Yet... Neither Susan nor Pat were appointed Chair. Not by a long shot. Dr. Richard Jackson was the first and most incredible Chair. Tiffany Svensson is the second Chair. Susan and Pat were given two temporary positions on RAC for one year. Since then it's been rotated with Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach and David Hofbauer representing TAG at RAC meetings.

Sandy and Council screwed up royally with the fiasco in Breslau regarding selling part of the park to the Catholic School Board. Who was pushing Sandy's buttons on that one? A past lame duck Council screwed up by approving the Jigs Hollow gravel pit for above water table extraction. My guess is that this one will approve the below water table extraction that is currently before them. On the matter of methane gas in and around the Bolender Park landfill both staff and various Council members have lied like dogs to the public. The rest of Council are too lazy and or stupid to read the CRA reports. Shame on the pack of them. So what do you think; Is Sandy naive/stupid or is she corrupt? One definition of corrupt is "riddled with errors" so I guess she could be both simultaneously.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


First off the older I get the more corruption of public processes that I have seen. Typically it is our politicians hiding behind "process" in order to avoid accountability or being held responsible for public policy snafus. In other words the most accountable and transparent process possible on paper guarantees nothing. It is the individuals involved in the "process" whether that process be court, hearings, Inquiries, Commissions , elections, debates, public consultation etc. that determine it's honesty and outcome. In other words any manmade "process" can and has been perverted by individuals so inclined and in position to do so.

On that note why bother? Well sometimes an honest and open public process is in the interests of enough people, the media and even some in positions of authority that everyone will pay close attention. When under the public microscope, while not impossible, it is much less likely that vested interests, including guilty vested interests, will fiddle and meddle in the process in order to preserve their own interests.

Here in Elmira the obvious focus of any Inquiry or Commission should be the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. They have long been in a conflict of interest position as their private deal making with polluting industries has caused irreparable harm to the environment and to citizens' health. The failure of the Ministry of Health provincially or even regionally to conduct a serious health study in and around Elmira is to both their shame. Perhaps this actually might end up being a proxy Inquiry into political corruption at the provincial level. Why are all three major parties soft on corporate polluters while hell on wheels with little polluters? To say it is a double standard is an understatement. The more money and authority a polluter has the better, more respectfully and more gently they are treated by our M.O.E..

Political deals including sweetheart deals, free passes for past sins (indemnities), impossible standards of proof required to open investigations or remedy failings; these are all part and parcel of the corrupted political process. Whether we are discussing Varnicolor Chemical, Phillips Environmental, Uniroyal Chemical, Breslube/Safety-Kleen, ProCast Foundries, Rothsay Concentrates, Scavenger Recycling or even things like ridiculously located landfills in and around Elmira; we've got them all. Our air, our creeks and rivers and our groundwater have all been seriously impacted over the decades despite a litany of anti-pollution legislation. The common thread has been the undue influence of money and power as to who receives the full extent of enforcement of public interest pollution legislation.

Currently primarily in private, concerned Elmira citizens are receiving confirmation as to the failures of our authorities at all levels in regards to environmental protection and remediation. We are learning that the 2028 cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers is no longer unlikely it is impossible. It is not solely due to one or two minor unforseen complications but due to a litany of incompetence, overconfidence and unaccountability. It is due to the gamesmanship of our authorities removing one way or the other the best, brightest and most committed citizens from the public consultation process. It is also due to the wonderful addition of Dr. Richard Jackson back in September 2015. That he became part of the process by the pair on Council most responsible for the previously mentioned gamesmanship in removing honest and committed citizens, is beyond bizarre. Whether his early departure was also due to the same pair in addition to "public policy" failures as he put it, I do not know. Only suspect. Was their appointing of Dr. Jackson a huge mistake that truly turned the tide on Chemtura/CRA/M.O.E. bullshit and puffery; hence indicating their incompetence in supporting the partners in pollution or did they sincerely appoint Dr. Jackson truly knowing what a dedicated, powerful and sincere individual he was? If the latter then that would speak to their stupidity, naivety and incompetence in formerly supporting the three mouseketeers and their self-serving agendas.

Some form of Public Inquiry is needed. Of course those who could initiate it are as usual implicated themselves. I await the future
removal of both the Liberals and Conservatives as the governing party here in Ontario. While not quite having a monopoly on the environmental blame here, they are very close. Perhaps an NDP or NDP/Green coalition might see some political advantage in such an Inquiry. Sad but that's the most likely way it will ever happen.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Yesterday's Woolwich Observer carries an article on the two different water systems and treatment systems in Maryhill, Ontario. Both systems are extremely small (180 & 140 people) and use common, everyday treatment systems. The Observer article is very upbeat and quotes both a Woolwich staffer and a Region of Waterloo employee who both unsurprisingly are wildly optimistic about this change in one of the treatment systems to bring it in line with the other one. I have in the past posted here about the two Maryhill systems as well as most of the others in Waterloo Region. My recollection has been that in the past there were many exceedances of either chlorine or chloramine in the two systems. This can be a result of raw water heavily contaminated with bacteria (Total Coliform & or E.Coli) requiring heavy duty chlorination to kill the bacteria. It can also be due to simple operational exceedances of the quantities required to get the job done. While both exceedances are health based issues, my understanding is that chloramine is actually preferable as a residual than chlorine. Chlorine is well known and long implicated in various adverse health outcomes including cancer. If that is accurate than all this bragging is mostly hot air and puffery as they may have two systems that can now be linked but the reality is that is because one of them has been downgraded to the lesser treatment system of the two. I fail to see the "improvement" in that hence the sales job on the local residents perhaps.

I had put this posting on SAVE while I did a little digging into the Region's Annual Drinking Water Reports for Maryhill. I also doublechecked my old postings here from years ago regarding the Maryhill system. I only went back to 2012 but what I found was no raw water bacteria issues at all. What the hell? Then why be dosing the crap out of the water whether with chlorine or chloramines? I also found that the chloramine exceedances were even worse back several years than in the last couple. Odd. I also noted my discontent with the lack of THM or trihalomethane readings in these reports. Chlorine produces THMs in conjunction with organics in the raw water. Chloramines greatly reduce THM formation and are this considered superior. Therefore I again repeat my skepticism that reverting back to the older chlorine treatment for half of Maryhill is no improvement for them whatsoever. So what is really going on there?

Friday, October 6, 2017


The ten Conestoga Rovers reports on the Bolender Park Landfill are very detailed in some aspects and glaringly vague in others. We are given pretty detailed Contract Specifications required for the construction of the Active versus Passive landfill gas collection system. We are advised of the different types of gas monitoring and collection systems and their advantages and disadvantages. Right now Woolwich Council are as usual looking at the cheapest, least effective environmental controls on the landfill. They are downgrading from an Active to a Passive system (ie. no pump/blower).

We were advised early on in the reports that the owner of the system is Woolwich Township and the Engineer designated by Woolwich is Conestoga Rovers (CRA). The Engineer is involved in both "...the design and inspection of construction of the landfill gas collection system." Furthermore "The Engineer will represent the interests of the owner during construction. The Engineer has the authority to direct all work to the extent of ensuring the successful completion of the project in fulfillment of the Contract.". Boy this certainly puts CRA firmly on the hook for any deficiencies in the system. That's why I'm convinced there is something odd in the ongoing 34 year relationship between Woolwich Township and CRA.

We now have smoking gun evidence both recently and over the last three years that CRA have screwed up royally the mandated thirty year clean up of the Elmira Aquifers. Not only did they drastically underestimate the back diffusion of NDMA from aquitards (low permeability zones) back into the aquifers (high permeability zones) but they also missed a number of other sources within Elmira which have contributed to the destruction of the drinking water aquifers. These sources include Nutrite/Yara, Varnicolor Chemical and now the latest, a massive contribution of chlorobenzene from a source other than Uniroyal Chemical.

Combined with CRA's deficiencies as exposed via their client Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess we now have smoking gun evidence that they have mismanaged the Bolender Park Landfill for their client. They have miscalculated some obvious criteria in the initial building of the gas system such as the depth to groundwater, both high and low seasonally, and thus the determination as to where the perforations in the gas probe allowing gas to enter the probe should be located. Why are Woolwich Council and staff sticking with this clearly discredited, in my opinion, consulting firm?

Enter Brian Shantz, sort of. I mentioned in the first sentence that the CRA landfill reports were very detailed in some aspects and glaringly vague in others. For example we know most of the details of the construction, who the owner and Engineer are but again oddly no mention of the actual contractor who built the system. Hmm in one sense, in hindsight, I can understand that. It's even possible that there are other reports that were "cleansed" by Woolwich staff before releasing these ten CRA reports to the owners of #86 Auto Recycling. Perhaps these reports describe the bidding process and who won the competition for construction of the system. At least if there was a proper bidding process that is.

While the names of different Woolwich Staff such as Directors of Engineering are mentioned in these reports again no clear insights into who built the system. I had the impression throughout the reports that it was either CRA or Woolwich staff. After rereading the reports twice more I did notice a couple of times that Woolwich backhoes and staff were involved with putting in a ridiculously bad and non-functioning gas probe labelled GP1-95. It was abandoned almost immediately. Also Woolwich staff were involved in locating gas probes ahead of CRA staff coming in and monitoring the gas probes. It really seemed like an in-house operation.

Mr. Brian Shantz, that is the mayor's husband, is the proud owner of a CET designation courtesy of a two or three year course at Conestoga College back in the late 70s. That stands for Certified Engineering Technologist. He's definitely not an Engineer but a technologist. Does that give him, a few years out of college, the experience or training to install a brand spanking new methane gas collection system? I'm skeptical but hey this is Woolwich where it's not always what you know, it's who you know. Also CRA were the Engineer with ultimate responsibility for the system. How much experience did CRA have with methane gas collection systems? Did their on-site engineer have prior experience or was he counting on the contractor/builder?

Lastly while the name Mr. Brian Shantz is stated in the August 1994 CRA report it is mentioned but once. "Conestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA) was retained by the Township of Woolwich on June 13, 1994 to assess the Bolender Park gas control system. The assessment was conducted in accordance with CRA's letter dated November 2, 1993 to Mr. Brian Shantz.". Two issues remain. Is this name merely coincidence? It's a common Mennonite name in Woolwich Township. Secondly CRA sent a letter to Mr. Brian Shantz seven months before Woolwich Council retained them for an assessment. Wow! Did CRA, the engineer, feel the need to run things by Mr. Shantz well prior to even being retained by Council? Why? Was Mr. Shantz intimately involved with the gas control system from the beginning? Did he actually build it? I've suggested in the past that Woolwich Township have process challenges but something here just doesn't sit right. These questions need to be answered especially now that the incompetence and mismanagement surrounding methane issues in Bolender Park are being publicly scrutinized.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


I didn't think I'd live long enough to actually type those words in the title. The entitlement, holier than thou, trust us we're god-like attitudes seem to be taking a beating of late. Granted without local media coverage (ie. Woolwich Observer) there is no way for the public to read about it and that's precisely the way Chemtura/Lanxess, CRA (now GHD) like it. The M.O.E. even seem somewhat rejuvenated albeit with their sordid history it doesn't take much.

The last three years have been difficult for Chemtura (now Lanxess) and their consultants Conestoga Rovers (now GHD). This is courtesy of the CPAC that ran from 2011 until September 2015. This is despite this current Woolwich Council manufacturing a crisis in 2015 and blaming it on the previous Council`s appointees to CPAC when Chemtura and the M.O.E. heroically boycotted public CPAC meetings with the tacit approval of Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman on Council.

The new TAG had Dr. Richard Jackson as Chairman and he took no prisoners in his quest to resolve the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers in a timely fashion. He hammered Chemtura, Conestoga Rovers (CRA) and the M.O.E. equally for their failures over the previous twenty-five years. While Dr. Jackson has departed over public policy failures (ie. politics) to get the show on the road, two others have come on board namely Tiffany Svensson as TAG Chair and Dr. Neil Thompson from the University of Waterloo. Both appear to be taking a no nonsense approach as well to the long delayed cleanup of the Aquifers.

Things they are a changing. Suddenly Chemtura (Lanxess) and their consultants CRA (GHD) are on the defensive. Their pufffery and arrogance and superior attitudes no longer work. They have been proven and have admitted that they miscalculated, badly. The Elmira Aquifers won`t be cleaned up by 2028 as promised and demanded. Firstly they admitted that their will be pockets of NDMA within the Elmira Aquifers above the drinking water standards. Earlier this year they admitted that there is an excess 1300 kg. of chlorobenzene dissolved in the aquifers that they could not account for. The concern for me is that despite Chemtura and CRA`s denial of free phase DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) on the Chemtura (Lanxess) site; the fact is that the dissolved chlorobenzene from it should be hydraulically contained. However if there is another source of chlorobenzene off the Chemtura site then the free phase and residual DNAPL from it will not be contained. Hence pumping and treating the groundwater will take much longer, perhaps five or more decades depending upôn the quantity of DNAPL involved.

This has to be incredibly humbling for these arrogant and supercilious asses. Their combined puffery and bullshit carried them for decades. It also destroyed any hope of restoring Elmira`s groundwater in any kind of a reasonable time frame because of their intransigence and refusal to seriously listen to all stakeholders. They blustered, bullied and lied their way to the exact clean up that they wanted. They didn`t know what they were doing and the proof is here now. They knew as long ago as 1998 that there was off-site DNAPL whether behind (west) Varnicolor Chemical near the water tower or even beside their plant on the Nutrite (Yara) property. They knew and denied and lied for the last 28 years. The Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) was their biggest ally leaving Elmira and Woolwich residents on their own.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Last evening I had my fifth Delegation to Woolwich Council in regards to methane gas issues at the Bolender Park Landfill. Council and staff have lied to the public on the few occasions when they have spoken to them at all regarding this issue. Woolwich Township's consultants Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. (CRA),purchased by GHD, have also lied and misrepresented the facts whether in their series of ten reports or in their (GHD) September 14/17 "Review" of my August 22/17 Delegation to Council. Throughout this period the Ministry of Errors and Corporate Collusion (MOECC) have been very quiet. I did send them an e-mail early in the process to formally have something on the record indicating that they had been informed. It turns out that they have been promising some kind of a report on the Bolender Landfill for some time now. I certainly have not seen it to date.

The title of today's posting is in regards to Woolwich Council. Those half dozen asses have been confidently hiding behind both their staff and their consultants. With zero understanding of what's going on they have ignored their duties to citizens around the landfill. They have been publicly challenged by me on two occasions to indicate if any of them have read the CRA reports. Zero councillors have so indicated, not even any tentative "while I've read a couple of the Executive Summaries" type bullshit. This is a large part of the reason I've continued going back to this ineffective Council on this matter. If the worst case scenario happens again in Elmira, as it did in 1989, then I don't want any of these shits being able to hide behind anyone. If there is any single councillor behind the scenes advising for a more proactive and intelligent response from his fellow idiots then I can only say good luck. You are probably going to get tarred with the same brush if and when it hits the fan.

I have not just given Council my "opinion" on this matter. Early on a couple of them tried to suggest that. Therefore I included a listing of the scientific and technical reports I was relying on for my information. I also included pages from the ten CRA reports in my Delegations providing backup to my quotes from their own consultants in regards to their recommendations and warnings. No half or more intelligent person receiving copies of my five Delegations could possibly, honestly conclude that the methane gas issue has been even remotely, properly handled. No honest person could conclude that my Delegations and concerns were anything but legitimate. Therefore what obviously must I conclude regarding Council's honesty and integrity?

I first got involved in this matter in July. My first Delegation to Council was on August 1, 2017. More than two months later I have not received either honest or accurate responses from Council or anyone else on their payroll. I have received misrepresentations, lies and deflections. I have received junk science and most probably typical CRA psuedo science. Last evening I challenged GHD to provide scientific backup (literature) suggesting that the "drainage ditch" on the east side of the landfill protects the High St. residents because during high groundwater periods allegedly it has standing water in it. Even if it did (which I doubt), what about the 90% of the rest of the year when we have both low and normal groundwater levels? That ditch is not a drainage ditch per se. It is a depression that they have exaggerated in size and depth to excuse their reprehensible, decades old neglect of this side of the landfill and potential receptors.

Allegedly we are advised verbally by proven liars that the Ministry of Environment have accepted that this ditch somehow is a natural barrier to horizontal methane migration. Please! The Ontario M.O.E. would accept that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east if it would serve their purposes. This is Elmira folks. The environmental sins and scandals have been in our faces, taps, noses and surface water for decades. The M.O.E. have exactly as much moral authority and public confidence as they deserve, which is far less than zero.

Council you are on notice. Do your duty and due diligence or else if there are any fires, explosions or other damage to citizens on High St., George St., Charles St., Riverside Dr. or any of the nearby businesses including Walco, Elmira Pet Products or #86 Auto Recycling, you will be held publicly accountable.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I think not. All the great coverups and public misinformation are always from the same players. Whether nearly thirty years of junk science and excuses from CRA regarding the extent of Uniroyal Chemical's environmental damage or sweetheart deals and backroom deals between the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and polluting businesses in Ontario; the beat goes on. Include in these issues multiple corporations who contributed to the 1989 Elmira water crisis and were not implicated for years or decades later. This includes Nutrite/Yara, Varnicolor Chemical and now we are advised there is an additional few hundred tonnes of chlorobenzene in the Elmira Aquifers that can't be assigned to Uniroyal Chemical. Who to then? My guess is Borg Textiles but it begs the question as to how they walked away unscathed after the crisis. Perhaps shutting their doors ahead of time and getting out of town helped but even so their parent company should have been on the hook if indeed it turns out that they are the culprits.

What kind of a political system fosters this kind of corruption? That is also the common denominator. Local Councils know who locally swings a big stick and whom they need to suck up to in order to receive support for their political careers. The Province of Ontario also don't want to be seen as anti business or anti corporations in their dealing with large polluters. Hence it's all about appearances. Talk big but give everything away that big business demands. Safety-Kleen and Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess essentially get what they want when they want it. The provinces's M.O.E. as well as local Councls make sure of that. Local Councillors are also inhibited by Regional government. On one hand the Regional government likes to be seen as environmentally proactive with things like green bins, recycling and public transit (LRT) while at the same time rolling over for developers and companies wanting to move into the Region. Hence many years ago the vaunted Region of Waterloo groundwater protection policies were derailed and watered down by the pro business regional councillors. Shameful.

Other issues such as election financing scandals and landfills not being properly monitored and contained are also on the list. The playbook is always the same. Deny, deny, deny and then hide behind your bought and paid for consultants. Or better yet always make sure your cronies and fellow travellors are involved in things like MECAC (Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee). What a joke. Conflicts of interest are a huge issue but when you the Council define it as only being pecuniary Conflicts of Interest then you have essentially shrunken the problem dramatically.

It's all a game folks and those in charge make sure that they know what to say and how to act when confronted by the public. There must be a playbook somewhere for sniveling politicians although I will say at the local level there are some who are re-elected over and over again without adhering to it. If 90% play the game then these poor actors get carried along with the group's overall appearance.

Monday, October 2, 2017


This past weekend I decided to reread the ten Conestoga Rovers Reports starting in 1983 and extending through till 2016. They are painful reading due to the appearance of incompetence, mischance and poor planning/design. What seems readily apparent is the incorrect installation depth of the gas probes that were part of the 1984 gas collection system. By this I mean that the holes in the vertical probes that were intended to allow landfill gas (methane) to enter the probes both for measuring and for pumping out were installed too far below the ground surface. As a result groundwater was continually entering these probes and either blocking the flow of gas into them and or giving inaccurate pressure and concentration readings. While I can appreciate that groundwater levels rise and fall seasonally nevertheless having the holes too far down the probe has resulted in botched monitoring results from the very beginning.

Other problems abound. Allegedly probes either disappeared under surface water or were destroyed somehow by surface traffic. Many others simply could not be found. This seems bizarre to me as my understanding was that Mr. Paleshi had fully cooperated with the Township throughout the decades. While gas migrates more readily in the winter time according to CRA (2010) there has been all of two monitoring rounds in either December, January or February over the last thirty years. The impression I am left with is that 1) there are/were little or no gas probes operating past the borders of the landfill that would permit one to confirm methane migration. A couple may or may not be past the perimeter around the current #86 garage and buildings. The three that were built north past the perimeter of the landfill on the then Martin Pet Foods Plant were only monitored once in 1983 and had extremely high methane readings. After that they either disappeared, were ignored or destroyed. 2) Consultants aren't terribly keen on outdoor monitoring in cold weather. Yes snow is a factor if you haven't clearly marked your gas probe locations but really the excuses wear thin after thirty years of monitoring and constantly saying we couldn't find the flush to the surface gas probes. So the question is why are 99% of probes if not all of them still only on the landfill site itself and why has the monitoring been done both during high groundwater periods as well as during the warmer months when methane gas is more likely to discharge upwards through the surface of the landfill versus migrating laterally?

While I am very confident in my abilities to recognize junk science and heavy duty bullshit in technical reports, I am hesitant to bluntly accuse CRA/GHD of so doing intentionally. I am completely confident in believing that any impartial landfill gas expert without bias or financial incentive to fudge his results; would be as appalled by these reports as I am. The biases in regards to monitoring locations and monitoring frequency are blatant as I advised Woolwich Council in my fourth Delegation (Sept.19/17).

The ongoing failures by Woolwich Township to follow their consultants recommendations are also shocking. I have now counted an even half dozen serious recommendations that Woolwich have either totally ignored or have only reacted to literally years after the fact. Woolwich have totally compromised the integrity of these reports simply by not reacting promptly when their consultants have clearly and firmly advised them of the serious requirement to do something. This includes regular, monthly monitoring, indoor air monitoring (High St.), new gas probes promptly for the east end, increased daily hours of operation for the gas blower (pump) as well as full disclosure to both current and future owners of property in and around the west end of the landfill. These either complete failures or responses literally years or decades later are shameful and unacceptable.

Also of concern to me is what appears to be changing criteria or focus. Yes even though the west end by the earlier Paleshi's garage and wrecking yard has been their focus, something is amiss. The last couple of reports suddenly seem to be as concerned with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) as with methane. It appears to me that the Township may have instructed their consultants to build a case against the new owner of this very old wrecking yard. My understanding is that the Township did not inform him of the methane gas problems while he was considering buying this site from Paleshi's. In fact it seems quite clear from their 2015 report that they thought things were just hunky dory along the west side of the landfill. They were ready to put the whole problem to bed once and for all. Guess what? After once again sitting on their hands and doing nothing for five years (2010-2015), after huge gas readings on the east side and much lower readings on the west side (Paleshi's/#86 auto recycling) they got shocked by enormous readings yet again on the west side starting in September 2015. Oops! Back to the drawing board. Woolwich have grossly mismanaged this project from start to finish. Their current hardnose, unreasonable approach to discussions with Mr. Rattasid put all of us to shame. That they have either a hidden agenda or some other inappropriate goals seems more and more obvious.