Thursday, November 2, 2017


There was an interesting article in the Waterloo Region Record a week ago Tuesday titled "Fungus could help clean up oilsands tailings". Whether or not this relatively new remediation has great potential I do not know. Also whether or not it has potential at the Uniroyal/Lanxess site I do not know, however based upon their history and their consultant's history I do know that suggesting it to them almost guarantees an instinctive negative reaction from them. So far after only the brief period that Lanxess has owned the company and the also brief time frame in which GHD are the new owners of Conestoga Rovers; I have not developed any confidence in them. This is despite some suggestion that both parties are an improvement. Time and actions will tell.

The fungus involved has a symbiotic relationship with dandelions and it turns out when it is introduced as a seed treatment to various plants they have a much greater likelihood of germinating. In fact the fungus actually eats petrochemicals in the soil and converts them into carbon dioxide and water. The first problem at Uniroyal/Lanxess is whether they're even ready to admit that petroleum hydrocarbons are a problem on their site,. In the past Jeff Merriman has strongly advised that they don't have them in the soil or groundwater. Unbelievable as they do indeed have Benzene and Toluene plumes, both of which are petroleum hydrocarbons.

Some bacteria have long been known to break down petroleum hydrocarbons however they do not penetrate well into contaminated soils. These fungi discovered by a University of Saskatchewan biologist however actually "...will follow the oil.". Field tests will soon be done on an old diesel spill site in Banff National Park to see how well the fungi can clean it up.

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