Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Firstly as I'm more used to the brickbats versus kudos, here goes. Todays Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "
Hespeler residents voice concerns about air quality". It seems that city officials have taken it upon themselves to advise the public that air quality is not a hazard. Really? And which city officials exactly have any training or expertise in air quality matters? More importantly did they take the air samples themselves and or have they read the results and have the knowledge to interpret them? Obviously not. So please shut up and stop being cheerleaders.

The Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) also say that "Air test results showed no excessive contaminants that are usually associated with industrial fires". What exactly does that mean? Does "no excessive contaminants" mean that air concentrations are below criteria for toxic compounds such as benzene, toluene, TCA, TCE etc. or does it mean that the levels, regardless of health criteria, were just par for the course of what is emitted from industrial fires? That statement is as clear as mud and typical gobbledygook from government officials more intent on reassuring the public than on being honest.

There is another concern. Having dealt with the Ontario M.O.E. literally for decades I wonder how it is that allegedly they already have their test results back. Whether air, water or soil, up here in Elmira, we routinely wait for months if not years to get test results back. Are whatever results they allegedly have formally completed test results or are they preliminary at best?

Now the kudos to the City of Cambridge. Believe me this hurts because over the years they have not impressed very many as being the sharpest tools in the drawer. Well according to both today's Record article as well as one in the Record on July 6, 2013 it seems as if they behaved proactively and removed numerous 45 gallons of drums of flammable and toxic liquids from this property back in 2013. That is to their credit and as Monday's fire indicates was a very good decision and money well spent. Kudos to all those involved at the City of Cambridge for so doing.


  1. Test results are prioritized and an industrial fire is a priority in my opinion.

  2. Likely you are correct in that an industrial fire involving stored plastics is a prioroty. Nevertheless having received a phone call from a professional in the field since I have been advised that at best any results they have to date would be from a hand held PID (photo ionization detector) likely held either UPWIND or very far downwind away from the highest concentrations. These results would be tentative at best and not protective of human health.

  3. Then to me Alan he is not a Professional in my opinion. I would be shocked if anyone would attempt to soften the data and certainly that person doesn't belong in that public position of trust. He also lacks integrity as well.