Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Pages 17 and 18 have text which describes the results of Tables 6.1 and 6.2. Unfortunately there are typos which make following the text and matching it up with the Tables awkward. In my experience this is not unusual for Conestoga Rovers reports. I had kind of hoped that the new owners GHD would pick up their socks and eliminate errors such as these. Apparently not. Basically they have substituted DDT for DDD in at least a couple of places in the text.

Looking through the Figures I had seen an astounding result for DDT in soil namely 399.3 parts per million. This is the same as 399,300 parts per billion (ppb). Considering the criteria for DDT in soil is .078 parts per million you can see how astronomical this number is. Based upon Conestoga Rover's affinity for errors I had wondered if this number was for real. Well it's repeated in the text on page 18 so I expect it is.

I had felt that the followup Human health Risk Assessment would be the biggest scam in this whole process. In other words according to the M.O.E., in their infinite wisdom, it's perfectly O.K. to have a grossly contaminated natural environment as long as there are no human receptors nearby. This of course is nuts as southern Ontario isn't exactly Antarctica. Secondly even without human receptors there are ecological receptors which granted may have both different routes of exposure as well as susceptibilities. Regardless somewhat to my surprise we do have a number of examples of human presence in and around the creek. It isn't just farmers with nearby fields or houses several hundred metres away. There are maple sugar operations along and across the creek (pipelines), recreational areas with picnic tables beside the creek and even God help us childrens' inflatable toys along the creek indicating they are swimming in it. Fishing we knew about but the rest of the human exposures are downright frightening. Supposedly these farmers and families have been told about the ongoing dangers in the creek. Or was that just more lies told to us?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


First off let's be clear. I didn't think terribly highly of George Karlos, Ministry of the Environment employee, and the feelings were mutual. That said George whether intentionally or not has done two things very well. He has assisted the environment by his plan to "reassure" Elmira and Woolwich residents by doing further testing in the Canagagigue Creek starting in 2012 and finishing off (God only knows) in 2017. Secondly I believe that singlehandedly, almost, he has exposed the Ontario M.O.E.'s negligence and gross incompetence. He actually thought that the results for testing for only two chemicals, DDT and Dioxins, would be reassuring to us. What an idjit.

Regardless the results have been very bad over the last five years with consistent exceedances of both chemicals in the sediments of the creek, pretty much wherever they looked. That of course is part of the problem and part of the scam in the first place. George knew he was in trouble right from the very first results coming back. To put it mildly he opened up a real can of worms. Whether or not he was a long term mole secretly plotting to expose M.O.E. corrupt practices; they sure got rid of him in a hurry when things went south. Where he is now no one knows but it sure as hell isn't anywhere near Elmira, Ontario.

George didn't like me because I did the reading, the research and put in the effort necessary to understand both the big picture as well as the details. Secondly I then reported here as accurately and honestly as possible which of course often made his employer look awful. Sigh.... I didn't care much for George primarily after the fact. Yes he rubbed me the wrong way albeit only mildly in his position as Acting/Assistant ? Director. After the fact, finding out about his attempts to remove the best informed and most senior activist associated with CPAC and SWAT, hardly endeared me to him.

The 2017 Canagagigue Creek Sediment and Floodplain Soil Investigation is very bad news. The percentages of both soil and sediment samples tested for Dioxins and DDT that are above criteria whether ecological or human health are ridiculous. Pages 16 and 17 of the report have Tables 6.1 and 6.2 and respectively are "Summary of Soil Sample Results" and "Summary of Sediment Sample Results". These Tables show the total number of samples in each area tested and then the number of those samples which were above DDD, DDE, DDT and finally Dioxin Total TEQ which stands for Toxic Equivalency. DDD and DDE are of course breakdown products of DDT the famous/infamous insecticide. The Dioxins are an unwanted contaminant found in trichlorophenols which were a raw material used in the herbicide 2,4,5-T which was mixed with 2,4-D to produce Agent Orange, the also infamous defoliant used in Vietnam and elsewhere including Ontario and nearby here.

I will be studying this report in much more detail over the next little while before reporting back in greater detail.

Monday, March 26, 2018


The provincial government, in our case, Ontario has all the authority over municipalities throughout Ontario. Municipal governments have the authority to levy taxes and are responsible for a number of duties such as providing local infrastructure namely power, water, sewage, garbage pickup etc.. That said the provincial government has the overall total authority even to the point of stepping in if deemed necessary to take over or substitute for a municipal government deemed incompetent or negligent. That said I expect it would require some incredibly ridiculous and egregious behaviour, caught redhanded, for the province ever to do that. Afterall there have been just such behaviours of municipalities in the past that have not occasioned such a stepping in. Think Walkerton and Elmira in 2000 and 1989 respectively.

Also keep in mind that it is upper tier governments such as provincial and federal who have the big bucks necessary for major infrastructure grants to local governments. Think the K-W Expressway, the still ongoing LRT development, the highway widening of #7 to Guelph (some day), Toronto subway system etc.. Therefore if municipalities were to get just a little to "proactive" for their citizens or a little too critical of a provincial ministry doing a terrible job locally (think Ontario Ministry of Environment), many of those expected, long awaited for grants could disappear until the municipality has an attitude adjustment or in the alternative a different council elected.

This is precisely why municipal governments are not keen to confront provincial ministries operating badly in the municipalities backyards. This is why Woolwich Councils historically would rather kiss the M.O.E.'s butt then confront the province over the M.O.E.'s ongoing failures regarding the likes of Varnicolor Chemical and Uniroyal (lanxess).

One blatant example and indeed admission of provincial meddling occurred on October 30, 2014. A provincial M.O.E. officer while under the influence of pain killers publicly admitted that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment were in the process of disciplining a volunteer citizens' committee appointed by the municipality ie. Woolwich Council. The citizens' committee, CPAC, were being disciplined by senior M.O.E. staff for refusing to obey the dictums of one George Karlos (among others?) of the M.O.E.. It seems that George didn't like one Alan Marshall (moi) and his Blog the Elmira Advocate which you are currently reading.

The specifics of this "discipline" were not given but in hindsight it's perfectly clear. The M.O.E. and the province of Ontario advised the new, incoming Council to get rid of me and CPAC. No ifs, ands or buts. Just do it or else. Well the incoming spineless mayor did just that. Of course it was necessary for her to manufacture a crisis, lie like a dog, manipulate the facts and collude with both the M.O.E. and Chemtura Canada but isn't that exactly what politicians are supposed to do for their powerful community stakeholders?

This was neither the first nor last meddling in local environmental affairs that the Ontario M.O.E. or likely other provincial ministries have done in order to exert and consolidate their power and influence. For further details on this particular event please feel free to go into my Archives here and read the posting of Friday, October 31, 2014.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


A hard copy of this report was delivered to my home by Fedex the other day. That is appreciated but it is also necessary. Otherwise along with the personal cost of printing off one's own copies is the fact that the maps are all reduced in size to one page versus the fold out maps (2 pages) in the original report. Also many of us do not have colour printers only black and white. Therefore many of these Figures (maps) have colour coded lines and parameters etc. that you can't see on black and white copies. All in all if either government agencies or proponents and polluters want to suggest that they are involved in public consultation then hard copies of technical reports to the public are necessary.

First impressions only at this point in time. Afterall I haven't yet read the report in its' entirety. The Canagagigue Creek is highly and disgustingly polluted. George Karlos of the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) advised CPAC back in 2012 that they the M.O.E. were going to do a study of the creek to "reassure" the public. God did I laugh about that then and since.

The creek is highly polluted with Dioxins and DDT. Plus a ton of other manmade chemicals and pollutants. Those others of course I haven't found as yet in this report, only Dioxins and DDT. The others include PCBs, mercury, PAHs (Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and oh so much more. None of this stuff is good for either human beings, life in the creek or wildlife in and around the creek. Why has it taken six years of studies, now twenty-nine years after Elmira's drinking wells were shut down, just to get to the point of thinking about a Work Plan to actually clean up the creek not to just study it some more?

There are different criteria for dioxins in soil versus in the creek sediments. There are different criteria for soil within 30 metres of a waterway than further away. DDT criteria for both soil and sediments are measured in either parts per billion or even parts per million. They are routinely exceeded throughout the study areas in this report. Dioxin criteria are measured in parts per trillion which are between a thousand and a million times smaller than the DDT criteria. DDT is nasty especially for wildlife but Dioxins are in a whole class of nasty all by themselves for all lifeforms. How stupid are we as humans to have spread them and other toxins throughout our world?

There has been a lot of sampling in this study. Undoubtedly it was expensive. That said I am concerned at first glance in regards to spatial extents. I have criticized the past multiple studies for their blatant sampling biases. While all the studies have referenced 7.5 km (5 miles) of creek downstream of Uniroyal/Lanxess to the Grand River; they have all assiduously avoided actually sampling the entire length, somewhat unlike the 1995-96 Jaagumagi and Bedard study (M.O.E.) which did sample and analyse areas further downstream.

Up until this study the focus (and bias) was the New Jerusalem Road area and upriver. Now they seem to have added one more area around Northfield Drive. While that addition is good I as yet still don't remotely see the entire creek being carefully sampled and analysed. This I can tell you. Wherever they have sampled they seem to have found major contamination. Afterall while the creek may not be a pipe per se, in a sense it is. All the contamination originating from the Uniroyal site, after it has directly or indirectly (Stroh & Martin properties) found its' way into the creek, ends up going the full length and eventually into the Grand River, our Heritage River. Yes these contaminants get hung up both in creekbank soils and floodplain soils. Yes they get entrapped in the bottom of the creek in sediments both shallow and deep. Year in and year out floods of various strengths scour the Canagagigue Creek. The force of the water is incredible as it carries these contaminants further downstream. Yet surprisingly we still have Dioxins and DDT both beside the Lanxess property as well as in the upper reaches as well as the lower ones. It is still coming from the site as well as from neighbours' sites contaminated by Uniroyal Chemical. Containment is only a word not a reality in regards to pollution from the Uniroyal/Lanxess site.

Friday, March 23, 2018


Well I'm beginning to realize how frail human institutions are. The best institutions can fail if the people in place are corrupt and the poorest, "cringeworthy" committee or body set up to fail can be helpful if they have some very good people on it. TAG (Technical Advisory Group) even without Dr. Richard Jackson are beginning to bring me around. They have a number of very good people on it and despite both RAC and TAG being set up as rubberstamps for Chemtura/Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.), they are making some inroads.

I presented my Delegation early in the meeting yesterday afternoon. I had softened it somewhat by removing a couple of extraneous and unnecessary, albeit honest criticisms of a couple of persons. I did leave in however a serious shot at what is no more than token public consultation here in Elmira. I also indicated that there are two issues that TAG likely as yet are not aware of. That would be the sham of a cleanup allegedly at GP-1 on Chemtura's south-east corner in 2013-14 and the other the possibility of a groundwater Interceptor Trench that intentionally drained contaminated groundwater from the Uniroyal site onto the neighbouring Stroh farm. This possibly may have been a private deal cooked up with the previous generation of Stroh's on the farm, or not.

RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) themselves in my opinion are a lesser bunch than TAG in terms of sincerity and honesty. Almost by definition that is so as Chemtura/Lanxess and the Ontario M.O.E. are members (non-voting?). They have the technical knowledge but without the former mentioned attributes their expertise is of limited use and benefit to the public. RAC consists of Lanxess, M.O.E., Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township and the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) plus the TAG Chair and two members. Sandy Shantz called them "stakeholders" three years ago. What a joke. The Region didn't show yesterday and the GRCA, pardon the pun, are out of their depth in regards to contaminant hydrology. Yes as we are soon to be discussing remediation in the Canagagigue Creek I guess their presence is required. Not a single question came my way from a single RAC member after my Delegation. Similarly not a single question to Ramin Ansari of Lanxess after his presentation on the East Side (Stroh farm) Off-Site Investigation.

The good news is that TAG continue to exert pressure regarding the last two unsuccessful creek Bio-Monitoring events namely in 2015 and 2017. The M.O.E. however are backing Lanxess in not having to do the next event this year by stating that the regularly scheduled 2019 is O.K.. Major weather events had destroyed cages and data during the last two events.

David Hofbauer raised my issue that I had sent to TAG in regards to the Table 8 criteria of 7 parts per trillion (ppt) being appropriate for sample site SS21 as it was within 30 metres of a waterway rather than the Table 2, 13 ppt. criteria. It did not seem to faze Lanxess.

While I had raised the issue of unreliable composite soil samples as well as extremely shallow samples and suggested that both CPAC and TAG were opposed, I do not recall David or Tiffany speaking to those issues.

Mark Bauman was the shocker. He spoke strongly about the need by Lanxess to test sediments in the bottom of the Stroh Drain. He also suggested that Peter Gray of MTE consulting had advised this in his October 2014 report to CPAC. Mark made it clear that in order to stifle criticism after the fact that Lanxess and GHD consultants needed to do more testing in and around the Stroh Drain in order to eliminate it as a contaminant source to the creek. Hmm! Then to add further confusion to Mark's intentions he made the suggestion that Peter Gray should be approached on his own for discussions with Lanxess and GHD.

This smells just like the whole 30 year cleanup smells. Many consultants including Wilf Ruland and others are terrified of Conestoga Rovers and the M.O.E. because those two are capable of if not blacklisting, of at least stifling environmental careers of small companies. Hence the deference exhibited in public to both those unworthy bodies is sickening to honest citizen activists. Mark I know that I'm still human despite thirty years of coverups and lying by our authorities when I can even for a minute question my knowledge and understanding of your flip flops and actually think you are trying to do the right thing. This occurred briefly yesterday until you kept talking and Ramin jumped on only testing the Stroh Drain from upstream of the gravel road and steel conduit under it. I interjected and advised that there were further areas downstream on the Martin property where there were other natural blockages and slowdowns where contaminated sediments could settle.

The guilty parties continue to diligently search for the cheap way out. They continue with Woolwich Council help (Sandy & Mark) to exclude the citizens who initiated this whole investigation of the east side onto the Stroh and Martin farms. The last thing any of them want is honest, open communications with informed CPAC members, all ten of us. This whole exercise is back room, back door, under the umbrella of an incompetent and unworthy Woolwich Council.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


They try not to lie outright. That said they never miss an opportunity to buttress their client's interests. They never miss an opportunity to gild the lily - in their clients favour. The term that we've long used for Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and now so sadly Lanxess is "client driven". Today's Woolwich Observer tells it like it is on their Editorial page. The title of their Editorial is "Woolwich needs to look closer to home for solutions". The key sentence relevant to my posting today is "Realistically, consultants typically lead things in the direction favoured by those who hire them.". Truer words were never spoken.

All of this is a very sad and discouraging comment upon the human condition. Basically the biggest liars among us can afford to hire consultants to do our lying for us. Perhaps the self-serving, sensitivity aware among us would prefer terms such as preferential facts or even factual fictions rather than blunt words like liars. Tough. Especially tough when it's tax payers' dollars being used to lie to those very same taxpayers. At least in the context of our local world class polluter here in Elmira, they have been spending their own dollars on consultants in order to save them millions of dollars in cleanup costs. Do you really think they would pay millions of dollars to Conestoga Rovers and or GHD if they felt that they weren't saving money in the long run?

Recently we've received two reports, sort of. The first was a 208 page on-line report which I've grudgingly and unhappily printed out. I will be reporting on it this afternoon in Woolwich Council Chambers as a Delegation to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee). The second was also an on-line report of over 2,500 pages. I have not downloaded that remotely in its' entirety especially as I've been promised a hard copy this week. I'm still waiting although I have downloaded a few of the Figures showing sediment and soil results for three areas along the Canagagigue Creek. Although I am not impressed with what I've seen to date, it would be premature to comment in detail until I've read the report fully. As it won't be discussed at TAG (Technical Advisory Group) and RAC until April 19 and 26 respectively, I should have enough time to look it over carefully.

A key aspect of any and all these consultants' reports is the scope of the "investigation". In other words if you can self define the problem from the start you can tilt the investigation in the most favourable direction to your interests. This is also more subtle than honestly reporting all the data and then cherry picking those facts which best support your client's position. Similarly, honestly reporting the data and then coming up with outrageous but self-serving conclusions from it only carries you so far. This is the art of writing consultants' reports. The tricks of the trade if you will. This is how consultants get rehired by their clients.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


The above title is a quote from an e-mail I received last evening from an environmental colleague and friend. The full sentence was "Sad days in Elmira with the long term perpetual coverup versus cleanup.". Who exactly do you think you are fooling Sandy and Mark? The same thing became apparent when we cleaned our political house back in October 2010. With that housecleaning of Bill Strauss, Pat Mclean, Murray Martin and more (Sandy didn't run) we also cleaned house of Pat and Susan on CPAC. It turns out that the environmental community outside of Elmira had long known that our cleanup was doomed with CRA and Chemtura in charge of the cleanup and Pat and Susan in charge of CPAC. This was why Todd Cowan never had any intention of reappointing the old CPAC although there were a couple of names (not Pat & Susan) on CPAC that I did recommend. To this day while Pat and Susan are on TAG they no longer are remotely in charge. Hallelujah! When not in charge Susan can focus less on politics, manipulation and backstabbing and more on getting a cleanup of the creek.

By the way - a little clarification. Late yesterday I received an e-mail. This was long after I posted my comments and criticisms about public consultation here in Elmira. I included in that demise of public consultation the ridiculousness of sending out 2,500 page e-mails. Maybe complaining helps. Regardless, the e-mail was to inform me that sometime this week, I and others would be receiving hard copies of the "2017 Canagagigue Creek Sediment and Floodplain Soil Investigation". If and when that happens I'll mention it here. Public consultation is still "extinct just like the dinosaurs" here in Elmira albeit maybe not quite buried yet. Watch out Sandy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Back on Saturday March 10/18 I posted an article here titled " Contemptible Abuse Of Public Consultation". I indicated that Woolwich Township had sat for three weeks on a 218 page report prior to sending it out a mere six days before last week's TAG meeting. They also sent it out via e-mail rather than hard copies which especially with Figures and Tables is much easier to follow if you can keep the maps and drawings in front of you while you are reading the text.

Well yesterday they sent out the hot off the press, dated March 19, 2018 "2017 Canagagigue Creek Sediment and Floodplain Soil Investigation". Now that is more like it timing wise. This report is to be discussed both at the April 19/18 TAG (Technical Advisory Group) meeting as well as the April 26/18 RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meeting. It is especially appreciated having a reasonable amount of time to read this report as it is over 2,500 pages long. Seriously!

And that is the problem once again. They sent it by some special e-mail file. Holy crap I want a hard copy but printing this off is ridiculous. Technology is not always beneficial to the public. In this case it is pure laziness and cheapness in having it on-line rather than hard copies available to those with a proven decades long track record of reading reports cover to cover. By doing this and discouraging private downloading at personal cost they are also increasing the likelihood of fewer people reading it at all and of each person's reading it on-line superficially, only once, with very little back and forth from text to Figures to Tables etc. I call this a win-win. The polluter wins and so does his alleged regulator as once again they discourage public involvement and consultation.

Monday, March 19, 2018


RAC will meet this Thursday at 4 pm. for the first time in six months. That is disgraceful yet you won't hear Chemtura/Lanxess or the Ontario Ministry of Environment complaining about it. Media coverage is nil and the public turnout only a little bit better than that. Chemtura and the M.O.E. went crying to the new mayor and one councillor after the last election. They stepped in and gave those two everything they wanted. In order to do so Sandy and Mark sold the farm and the public interest along with it.

I will be a Delegation this Thursday. There have been issues with Lanxess's work plans from the beginning. They have either ignored or brushed aside suggestions and criticisms. The Investigation Report written by GHD avoids major areas of likely contamination. It is typical of their predecessors Conestoga Rovers in that you will never find that which you astutely avoid looking for.

Lanxess will present their Investigation Report after I give my Delegation. They will gild the lily as well as make inaccurate and deceptive statements knowing that with this format, manufactured by Woolwich Township, there will be no rebuttal by informed and honest citizens other than those appointed by Council. It is both a sweetheart deal and a dream come true for world class polluters everywhere.

TAG or the Technical Advisory Group will present their Recommendations in regards to this East Side Investigation Report, the Clams and Leeches Bio-Monitoring report and lastly the monthly Progress Report. I am confident that TAG will advise as to a number of problems and weaknesses in these reports. They could use the assistance however of other Woolwich residents with decades of first hand experience regarding Elmira's pollution problems.

This is a public meeting in Woolwich Council Chambers. The irregularity of these Chemtura/Lanxess meetings combined with the office hours timing of RAC (4 pm.) does not encourage public turnout. That is not by accident. The former Chair prior to Dr. Dan Holt and her sidekick preferred 9 am. meetings for UPAC and the then CPAC. This too eliminated most of the public as well as even interested APTE and EH-Team members. Also not by accident. At least in those days however we had the Elmira Independent newspaper faithfully attending and reporting at each and every meeting.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Firstly a little reminder. This was only the second TAG meeting in the last eight months. Since the July 2017 meeting TAG has only met in December 2017 and then March 15th of this week. RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) hasn't met since last September. Therefore next week's meeting (Thursday March 22 4 pm.) is the first one in six months. Both are highly unacceptable. News flash geniuses. The off-site pumping rates suck. The 30 year cleanup mandated for 2018 is in the toilet. The East Side Investigation ignored many of both TAG and CPAC's (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) recommendations and finally the Canagagigue Creek further sediment and soil monitoring data is about to be presented with public discussions in April. This lack of public meetings has only made it easier for GHD and Lanxess to either "forget" or ignore the public's input. Nice job, once again Sandy.

Pat Mclean appropriately pointed out that we "are three years in" in regards to how long it's taken GHD/Lanxess to finally determine that yes there is significant contamination on the Stroh property from Uniroyal Chemical. This is indeed a victory for both professional and non-professional citizen activists on CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) who without any support from either Conestoga Rovers (CRA), Chemtura or the MOECC (Ministry of Errors and Corporate Collusion) researched and determined that contamination had flowed east onto the Stroh farm in complete contradiction to CRA/Chemtura's self-serving junk science.

Both Pat and Susan seem to want a timely removal of the contaminated shallow soil along Lanxess's eastern border. I would agree if we knew positively that the contamination only went six inches deep. What evidence there is from other soil samples on the Chemtura/Lanxess site says that that is typical CRA psuedo science. DDT, Dioxins and PCBs have been found between 1 and 2 metres deep in other test pits and excavations. Therefore Pat and Susan's wishes may be due to ignorance, indifference or even wishing to assist the new owners of the site and the MOECC get an inexpensive "fix". Oh hell maybe they've had a 100% change in direction and suddenly want to admit that myself and CPAC have been on the right track all along. This would indeed be a turnaround from their lying at the April 9, 2015, private yet documented, "stakeholders" meeting. That said it will be a hollow victory if the Stroh and Martin properties/farms continue discharging these toxic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) into the Canagagigue Creek for another fifty years or more.

TAG stuck to their guns in regards to their criticisms of the last two Clam and Leech Bio-Monitoring Reports by Aqua Tox. Both in 2015 and 2017 there were multiple cages of these lifeforms washed away during high water flows. TAG wish to both make positive recommendations as well as to clearly disagree with the refusal of Lanxess to do these studies and reports over despite their limited use due to minimal surviving sample results. TAG also made clear that they want to see sampling done further downstream of the Chemtura/Lanxess site to see exactly what is going on in the creek.

TAG also discussed multiple monthly Lanxess Progress Reports due to the multiple months between their meeting times. The ongoing problems with the W9 treatment system were discussed as well as other temporary shutdowns of various pumping wells. TAG appropriately made it clear that there are ongoing problems with the off-site pumping wells and rates.

Friday, March 16, 2018


Well I guess it was inevitable. The still relatively new TAG members are trying hard and they mean well. The most sincere who also has five years prior experience on CPAC, Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, stepped up and spoke the truth. The other TAG members including the Chair, a certified hydrogeologist, just didn't get it. As a result they passed a terrible Motion endorsing the recommendation to proceed with removal of contaminated soil on the Stroh property to a depth of six inches. That's right six inches. Oh and about a total of ten feet wide and a length of a few hundred metres. This is at best a token cleanup. Par for the course.

A comment on yesterday's post here suggested that I would set TAG straight last evening if they missed something major. Well normally over the last twenty-seven years I would have done exactly that. However when our idiot mayor totally bans the public from speaking at PUBLIC TAG meetings, that is difficult. As a direct result I sat there last night in disbelief as TAG totally missed the point of the 2014 MTE Consulting Report written by Peter Gray on behalf of CPAC. His report by the way was accepted by the then current Woolwich Council and passed along to the Ontario Ministry of Environment for action.

First off Peter Gray advised that Uniroyal contaminants likely had flowed both eastwards onto the Stroh property as well as southwards onto the Martin property. This whole exercise both in 2015 and 2017 has focused on eastwards only. Yes there were three composite, extremely shallow soil samples taken solely on the Chemtura site along their southern border. Unfortunately this location is at the edge of former gravel pit GP2 and was capped with clean fill in 2013. Nice testing you dishonest jerks.

Secondly as Sebastian pointed out last evening there has been zero testing on the Stroh property anywhere near the Stroh Drain. Peter Gray of MTE at his CPAC presentation made it clear that not only the sediments in the bottom of the Drain should be tested but also the water flowing in it and the soils around it. None of this has occurred. And the "public consultation" allowing myself or other CPAC members who initiated this entire investigation is somewhat stilted Sandy when we are prohibited from speaking at these meetings. Sebastian also pointed out that the two, three year belated surficial soil samples (SS20 & SS21) done on the Chemtura property should not rule out soil testing both surficial and deeper further east on the Stroh property.

David Hofbauer answered a very good question from Susan Bryant. She pointed out that while the surficial soil samples on the Stroh property just east of Chemtura were above the provincial criteria they were nowhere nearly as high as the results just a few metres away on the Chemtura property. David suggested that there were several reasons including south-east flow of either surface water or ground water versus due east onto the Stroh property. He also suggested that Mr. Stroh who plants corn and soybeans right there is therefore tilling his land once or twice a year. This would reduce concentrations and speed up breakdown of contaminants likely by much greater exposure to sun, wind and rain. I would think that wind alone would move regularly tilled soil further away from the Chemtura property line. David also suggested that the composite sampling was also the culprit in reducing contaminant concentrations. I would suggest there is yet another reason and that is contaminant uptake by Mr. Stroh's crops. Literally decades of corn and soybeans whose roots are in this soil would likely uptake a significant quantity of the contaminants in the soil. Afterall phytoremediation is the study of plants and trees actually being used for that purpose.

Yesterday morning I sent three maps to three different TAG members via e-mail. Joe Kelly was away much of the day and didn't see his prior to the meeting. The other two clearly did not put two and two together and understand that the high concentrations of DDT and Dioxins found at depth (1-2 metres) in the 2013 GP1 excavation was a damning condemnation of CRA/GHD's claims that these two chemicals would only be found in the top six inches (15 cm.) of the soil.

Both Sebastian and Joe Kelly also brought up the inconvenient fact of contamination consisting of black staining and chemical odours in both test pit TPOW36-5-R -A as well as in well OW185-5 on the Stroh property. This contamination is at depth (4.5 metres) in OW 185-5 and at 2 metres below ground surface in the test pit. Neither of these known contaminated locations will be excavated with this sham cleanup. Sebastian advised that TAG should want to connect the dots. Both these locations are right beside the most notorious and heavily contaminated Burial Area 1 (BAE-1) as well as Reburied Drums (RB-1 & 2) on the Chemtura property. Allegedly neither the test pit nor the well contained Dioxins or DDT at high concentrations. Isn't that convenient. There are literally hundreds of other toxic chemicals on the Chemtura property and clearly they have moved onto the Stroh property. Remove them you buggers!

As a direct result of the political decision made by Sandy and Mark Bauman three years ago to remove me and most of the CPAC members from the process, public consultation has suffered. This is despite the best efforts of several very good people on TAG who simply were not involved as recently as three years ago. Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E. cried to the new Woolwich council after the 2014 election for help from the mean and terrifying seniors and others on CPAC who had been appointed by the previous council. Mark and Sandy stepped up to protect the defenceless and timid corporate polluter in our midst.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


The main course of business this evening will be the Off-Site Investigation. This consists of looking at six surficial soil samples, seven new groundwater monitoring wells and eight test pits near the new monitoring wells. Unfortunately while this work was worthwhile nevertheless it ignores the likely most heavily contaminated areas. As mentioned yesterday this would be the Stroh property in and around the part of the Stroh Drain nearest to the Chemtura (Lanxess) property.

There is however one other spot still on the Chemtura property that has been conveniently ignored. That would be the true location of GP1 on the east side of the diagonal strip of high ground in Chemtura`s south-east corner. This strip of high ground lies in a north-west to south-east orientation and is clearly visible on various maps including the topographical map referenced in yesterday`s post.

The true location of GP1 is courtesy of two earlier maps including the 1985 ``History of Uniroyal Wastes`` by Jackman et al as well as the map by CH2MHILL consultants produced in February 1991 on behalf of the Region of Waterloo. The title of that report was ``Elmira-St. Jacobs Water Supply Project Volume II- Elmira Aquifer System: Contaminant Plume Mapping And Source Investigation``.

It is possible that if the excavation of gravel was deep enough that a considerable amount of Dioxins and DDT could have been trapped in this area on the east side of the diagonal strip of high ground. On the other hand if they only excavated the higher ground down to the level of the low lying swampland to the north and east then overflowing waste waters coming from the pits to the north would have flowed south-east onto the Stroh property as previously mentioned. Either way both this area and the Stroh Drain need to be properly sampled. Do not hold your breathe waiting for either Lanxess or the Ontario M.O.E. to do this work. They are looking for less contamination and hence less expense and public health and the environment be damned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


In my opinion the production and distribution of a topographical map of Chemtura's south-east corner was one of Conestoga Rovers most bone headed moves out of many. Topographical maps of course show surface elevation contour lines. Satellite photographs from both Google Earth and Waterloo GIS have also been helpful. The map was produced in April 2013 as part of the GP1 and GP2 Remediation and Capping. It is titled "Existing Conditions" and is drawing C02.

The key is the knowledge of just exactly how many gallons of Uniroyal Chemical's liquid toxic wastes were pumped across the Canagagigue Creek via two pipelines. The RPE pits or Retention Pits East were the recipients of these daily deluges of waste waters from the west side of the creek production facilities. 175,000 Imperial gallons per day were pumped across the creek and up the hill to the RPE pits on the high ground along Uniroyal's eastern border with the Stroh farm. A 5 1/2 day work week would produce close to a million gallons of waste water per week being added to the soils, air and groundwater on the east side.

These pits were of course uncovered. Uniroyal and their partners in pollution hoped for as much evaporation as possible. They also counted on infiltration into the ground. Lastly due to the slowness of the previous two methods especially during cold weather (winter) and cloudy days they counted upon the relatively unaccessible terrain in their south-east corner. It was a low lying, swampy area with however tree cover obscuring the view from the east and north. This south-east corner was approximately 20 metres lower than the highest ground at the north-east corner of their property. As per both written reports and the testimony of their employee Jeff Merriman they ploughed furrows from their RPE pits in the north down to Gravel Pit 1 and 2 (GP1 & 2) in the south-east. Finally via satellite photos one can actually see swales in the ground coming right from the most northern pit (RPE1) due south towards GP1 and 2.

Both the problem and the solution was that the swales couldn't be ploughed through swampland. Hence they ended north of the two former gravel pits . At that point the massive volumes of liquid wastes were emptying into and spreading out into the swamp. Keep in mind even normal precipitation upon the already saturated surface and sub-surface ground would only have increased the volumes of liquid wastes flowing constantly towards the lowest surface elevation. They gravity flowed downhill which then took the bulk of them off the Uniroyal property and onto the Stroh property. The lowest point is in fact on the Stroh farm well south of where they no longer could farm their fields both due to trees and more importantly the constantly saturated and submerged ground surface.

Clearly what was already a low lying, swampy area became a cesspool on both their properties. The lowest lying area on the Stroh property would eventually fill up and overflow southwards towards the Canagagigue Creek. I can only imagine the smell and the sight of it. During the hectic cleanup that went on during the mid 1980s prior to the announcement of the contamination of the south wellfield by Uniroyal in 1989; the Stroh Drain was built. This manmade drain would have solved problems for both Uniroyal and the Strohs. It would have lowered both the water table as well as the surface water accumulating on the Stroh property not that far from their home. It would also over time have allowed surface accumulations of Dioxins and DDT etc. to be flushed via rainfall and snowmelt into the Drain which then carried it southwards where after running through the Martin property it would discharge into the Canagagigue Creek further downstream.

While CRA's boneheaded move has opened the door to the truth of where the bulk of their Persistent Organic Pollutants (Dioxin, DDT, PCBs etc.) are located; it is not a done deal that they will be cleaned up and prevented from slowly discharging in perpetuity to the Canagagigue Creek. GHD, the successors to CRA are to date studiously avoiding soil testing anywhere near where it is required. The Ministry of Environment are happy to let them get away with it. Both human beings and wildlife will continue to pay the price for this negligence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Of course what all our professional deceivers like to suggest is that the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers, the Canagagigue Creek and the east side (Stroh & Martin farms) is a win win for everybody. What a pile of pus. Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura /Lanxess have all had the same goal and that is to stretch out the minimum number of dollars over the maximum amount of time. Do you think that next year's thirtieth anniversary since the shutdown of the Elmira well fields is just bad luck? Do you think that the "discovery" of ongoing, persistent toxic pollution in the creek sediments and floodplains was not easily predictable and forseeable? Was it simply a combination of magnificent volunteerism and good fortune that the current CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) discovered that the Stroh and Martin farms were contaminated? All the guilty parties, both private and public, knew about that since the beginning.

It was 2014 when CPAC announced their discoveries on the east side. Much of it was from old reports that I dug up and reread in the light of the knowledge we had by that date. CPAC hired with the support of the 2010-2014 Woolwich Council, MTE Consulting who along with myself and a couple of other CPAC members researched the old reports. MTE followed up with more of their own research and the result was given to Woolwich Council, the Ministry of Environment, Chemtura and the public.

Almost three and half years have passed and Chemrura (Lanxess) have stalled and delayed the inevitable findings of Dioxin and DDT contaminated and more farmland. There are exceedances of the criteria of both compounds (& more) on the east side of Lanxess. Now we will see the super cheap cleanup. It has been set up by the initial testing itself as well as by the strung out, step by step process. Quite frankly none of the new volunteers to TAG are going to be going back and reviewing in depth the preceding steps to this last report just released. There are reports not only in 2015 but also relevant reports dealing with Dioxin and DDT testing in the on-site gravel pits (GP-1 & 2) in 2013 and 2014. Frankly I doubt that the one older volunteer with experience will do so either.

Regarding the initial testing, both CPAC and TAG members have made it clear that surficial soil testing only along the eastern border is inadequate and ridiculous. GHD, Lanxess's consultants, state that their soil testing is between 0 and 15 centimetres deep. That is from literally the top of the ground to a whole six inches deep. The claim that DDT and Dioxins and other hydrophobic compounds readily adhere to soil particles and can't go deeper is sheer obfuscation. A site highly contaminated with solvents that do readily dissolve hydrophobic compounds has no problem carrying these contaminants much deeper. The other problem is their "composite" soil sampling. This has been described by experts as simply averaging away the highest readings of contaminants. This is done by taking eleven spread out soil samples and then hand mixing them in a large bag and then pulling out one composite sample. Lastly is the inadequate locations for the sampling. While there is nothing wrong with where they are testing, eveything is wrong with where they aren't. The most likely repository or "sink" for DDT, Dioxins, PCBs and more has been repeatedly pointed out to the MOECC and Chemtura (Lanxess) and then ignored. You will never find what you refuse to look for and test for.

Monday, March 12, 2018


The last time TAG (Technical Advisory Group) met was in December 2017. They meet this Thursday at 6:30 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers. Prior to December TAG hadn't met in five months ie. since July 2017. RAC meets a week from this Thursday. As bad as quarterly meetings per year are they aren't even on track for that. The last "quarterly" meeting was six months ago. Shame on you Sandy and Mark for all of this.

I will be posting a little bit today about the monthly Lanxess Progress Report for January 2018. The lack of off-site pumping is one item that should be discussed, debated and finally hammered over Lanxess's head each and every month. Other unresolved items are as follows. Table A.1 makes it clear that DNAPLS are located in the vicinity of new off-site pumping well W8. This well is just on the east side of Union St. here in Elmira, beside the former Nutrite/Yara facility. The good news is that the high concentrations of contaminants prove that this well and its' location are required. NDMA has two readings both at astronomical concentrations namely 170 and 210 parts per billion. The drinking water standard is .009 parts per billion. Chlorobenzene is also at an amazing 3100 and 3200 parts per billion (ppb). The drinking water standard is 80 ppb.

Even worse these concentrations of chlorobenzene guarantee that there is off-site free phase DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) nearby in the sub-surface. While this is slightly less than the criteria for DNAPLS of 1% of the lab solubility of chlorobenzene; Elmira's groundwater is not pristine. Effective solubilities are what counts not lab solubilities.

Table A.5 shows us the concentrations of various chemicals in the vicinity of the Upper Aquifer Containment wells in the south-west corner of the site. Chlorobenzene is only at 1600 ppb.. Aniline is at 2,200 ppb and Toluene is at a staggering 7,000 and 10,000 ppb. This is an indication of the still present free phase LNAPL (light non-aqueous phase liquid) floating on the water table on site. Twenty-three years after its' discovery and they still haven't gotten rid of it. NDMA is as high as 9.7 ppb..

Table C.2 is both a revelation as well as a shock. I've been watching the difference between upstream and downstream contaminant levels in the Canagagigue Creek as it flows through the former Uniroyal site, for decades. The number of contaminants which increase in concentration in the creek as it passes through the site has been decreasing for a very long time. Suddenly the Arithmetic Mean of concentrations downstream is higher for seven different toxic chemicals than it is upstream. These chemicals are mercaptobenzothiazole, Benzothiazole, NDMA, nitrosomorpholine, chlorobenzene, Toluene and m,p xylenes. Granted the upstream Arithmetic Mean isn't much lower than the downstream but the point is this is a major reversal presumably based upon recent readings which doesn't appear to make much sense over the course of 37 samples being taken. what the hell has happened or is going on? This as well is why there needs to be monthly TAG meetings just as there were monthly CPAC and UPAC meetings for decades.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


It's been that way for three years now and continues. Next Thursday TAG (Technical Advisory Group) will be discussing the "Off-Site Investigation Report" written by GHD and announced in an e-mail yesterday by Woolwich's part time TAG and RAC secretary. The date on the report is February 14, 2018. According to the Correspondence Page which is part of the TAG Agenda and package, the report was received by Woolwich Township on that same day namely February 14/18. So why are presumably TAG and certainly other stakeholders only receiving this report more than three weeks later? This report is 218 pages long and it was e-mailed. This is disgusting.

I and other Woolwich citizens have donated thousands of volunteer hours of our time to this long standing effort. Our appreciation by Woolwich Township has generally been non existent. Apparently now it includes intentionally sitting on 218 page reports for more than three weeks immediately before they are to be publicly discussed. Oh and by all means don't think about sending a written copy to citizens who you know read them cover to cover. Send an e-mail so along with their time you can also cost them paper, ink cartridges and printer wear. Just in case Woolwich you are missing my message please feel free to go ...k yourselves.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Yesterday's Woolwich Observer carries the following story titled "More probes, methane trench proposed for former Bolender landfill site in Elmira". The cover up stated above is a cover up by Woolwich Township in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change (MOECC). These are the same government bodies who successfully covered up their own culpability in regards to the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis.

The Observer article serves to give the public additional confirmation that the methane is still present in dangerous quantities. Hence a new passive methane trench, additional (2) gas probes and an enhanced detection system for the buildings on the property are being recommended.

Two points from the article are clear. Firstly Woolwich Township alienated the site's owner by blocking attempts by him to recycle scrap metal in the Townships. On the face of it this was ridiculous as he has a scrap metal license from the Region of Waterloo. Secondly Woolwich's plans for his site deserve a chilly reception from Mr. Rattasid based upon their own behaviour. That said he has not yet closed the door upon negotiations. In fact he's the one who has been offering multiple options to the Township.

Additional facts include the Township induced trespassing upon the east end of Mr. Rattasid'd property near High St. via their former pathway across his property. This was exacerbated by the illegal waterline that runs from High St. through Mr. Rattasid's property over to Elmira Pet Products. There never was an easement or any other legal right for this infringement on his property.

Both Woolwich Township and the Ontario MOECC have been negligent over the past 35 years in regards to their haphazard, amateur hour efforts to collect methane from this site. I have been to Council six times now advising them of the failures to date in proper monitoring as well as giving them recommendations to get this methane problem under control. Their response has primarily been denial although the most recent proposed addition of two probes off-site is a beginning although not much more. Similarly their decades belated acknowledgement that the methane collection system needed replacing is a start. Much more needs to be done including determining the exact boundaries of where the garbage was buried. Without that knowledge they don't even know if their new probes actually are off-site or not.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Once again our esteemed psuedo mayor overstepped her authority and attempted to interrupt a registered Delegation in the middle of their presentation. Vivienne Delaney was speaking to the recent appointment to council of Julie-Anne Herteis and to the grossly flawed process involved. Sandy got upset but she interrupted the wrong speaker this time. Vivienne handled Sandy the same way she handled the former mayor when he too breached both manners and respectful behaviour. Of course Sandy then shut up, waited for Viv to finish and council to ask Vivienne zero questions and then she proceeded to "comment" suggesting that Vivienne was wrong. This is Woolwich Council's preferred "chickenshit" method of defusing strong or critical Delegates to Council. They don't have the courage to ask the Delegates for clarification or backup to their statements.

Following is a copy of my Delegation to Council last Tuesday. The second paragraph clearly shows the false infornation that gets into some consultants reports and how Woolwich Council and Staff embrace it if it suits their purposes.

March 6, 2018
RESPONSE TO WOOLWICH STAFF REPORT E12-2018 (Bolender Park Landfill)

On November 16, 2017 I sent a typed list of 40 questions to Woolwich Council & Staff as well as to the Ontario Ministry of Environment. These questions were detailed and specific and all related directly to the Bolender Park Landfill located approximately 1/3 of a mile from this building. I received your written responses to my questions early last week. I refer to “responses” in the plural as you did send me responses to a total of two of my 40 questions.
Staff answered question #32 somewhat differently than their consultant GHD has. Essentially Staff’s answer was that topography ie. surface elevations could affect the rate of release of methane upwards into the atmosphere. This is in relation to a small ditch which CRA/GHD had inaccurately described as 3 metres deep in their August 6, 2010 (pg.5) technical report. Last Thursday with the assistance of one of your colleagues I was able to prove that the ditch is closer to 1.5 metres deep, not 3 metres deep. Secondly both GHD and your Staff member have claimed that either flowing water or standing water in the ditch assisted in preventing the lateral or horizontal migration of methane eastwards towards the homes on High St.. Based upon both on-site physical evidence found by myself and pointed out to your colleague as well as eye witness testimony presented to us by the homeowner who has lived there since 1973 it can now be categorically stated that there is not and never has been water either flowing or sitting in the vast majority of this ditch. This is, in my opinion, a typical piece of misdirection and misrepresentation, in line with what I have seen over thirty years from this particular consultant. In regards to the local homeowner your council colleague as well as myself and several CPAC members have his name.
Due to my own research and reading I had opinions on some of the 40 questions I sent you. I felt that I should give Council and Staff the opportunity to express their positions and opinions on these serious questions before I made my final conclusions. Council and staff have now done so. Therefore as they chose not to respond to 38 of my serious , polite and relevant Bolender Park Landfill questions, I have decided to advise Council and the public of my answers and conclusions to just a few of them. By the way, for the record, I did not find the reasons given for answering only two of my questions, to be credible.
My questions #1 and #2 asked who designed and built the gas collection system in 1984. They were unanswered so my conclusion is that after Woolwich Council turned down a very reasonable bid from Daly Construction out of Cambridge, Woolwich Township staff then built the methane collection system. My Question #10 asked if nearby shallow groundwater levels were monitored prior to the installation of gas probes. As this question was unanswered my conclusion is that there was no monitoring of groundwater levels at all hence the gas probes were installed too deeply causing a permanent undermining of the integrity of the entire system as the probe openings intended to draw in methane gas were regularly submerged by groundwater.
My Question #35 asked Council to confirm that the gas collection system had not been removing methane from the subsurface since at least December 1986. As this question was unanswered my conclusion is that the answer is yes. First this would explain how it is possible for extremely high levels of methane gas to still be present nearly fifty years after this relatively small landfill was closed. Secondly Staff likely did not want to admit that they and their consultants have known for decades that the system was not working yet they decided to do very little about it other than hope for the best.
My question #40 asked if Council were willing to do test pit excavations as well as magnetometer ie. metal detector testing in Bolender Park to determine if local eyewitness testimony is correct in that garbage was buried within the park itself. The metal detectors would be looking for buried drums and the test pit excavations to confirm or deny if garbage producing methane does exist in the park and could threaten either the George St. homes or families and children in the park. As this question was unanswered my conclusion is that Council are not willing to do these inexpensive investigations to protect the public.
These are but a few of my unanswered questions and my conclusions thereof. I believe that I will in the future continue to attend Woolwich Council as a Delegate giving my conclusions to these questions on public interest matters in the Bolender Park Landfill and area. I am moved to do this in the interests of the public and due to the vacuum of valid information coming from you.
Thank You.
Alan Marshall with review and comments from a number of CPAC members

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Yes the fix was clearly in last evening in Woolwich Council chambers. Yes the environment as well as health and safety took two hits. There were also however two positive signs that everything isn't 100% pre-orchestrated. Firstly three Council members were upset with their senior staffer Dan Kennally. He presented the so called Elmira Boundary Rationalization along with the St. Jacobs redesignation of the municipal boundaries. Larry Shantz, Murray Martin and Mark Bauman took serious exception to the non-inclusion of the Gillies parcel. They indicated that they had made it clear back in December that they expected it to be put within the new boundaries rather than left out. Mr. Kennally explained that including it would require east side employment lands in Elmira to be reduced by the same amount. Patrick Merlihan argued that for short term gain of potential only seniors housing in St. Jacobs, that council were jeopardizing their long hoped for Elmira By-Pass as well as their east side employment lands. The vote was five to one in favour of including the Gillies .91 hectare parcel in St. Jacobs.

The second sign was Councillor Merlihan's statements at the start of his argument. He made it clear that the Gillies parcel was a done deal by the rest of council in opposition to Dan Kennally's apparently logical and consistent planning decision. Clearly the split on Council is not diminishing.

As far as the fix being in I see that based upon council's idiocy with the Bolender Park Landfill. While I see the so called Boundary Rationalization as an indication of character and integrity by Mr. Kennally; his position on the Landfill is not. He appears to be following council's playbook, lock, stock and barrel. Unfortunately this includes Councillor Merlihan. Obviously this council are terrified about opening a Pandora's box if they do the right thing with the methane problem. They are doing their absolute best not to read the technical reports and not to listen to the few of us who have.

The second environmental hit is in regards to the East Side being used for either Employment lands or for the future By-Pass. The taxpayers will pay a small fortune more for development on the east side rather than on the west side. This is due to the regular flooding Canagagigue Creek and the large floodplain accompanying it. Roads and bridges will have to be far more elevated and impervious to flooding than they would be on the west side of town.

Furthermore there is the strong odour of collusion with Chemtura now known as Lanxess. The odour is not based upon public lobbying by the company as much as it is by the public lobbying for this east side expansion by the owner of the likely highly contaminated farm on the east side of Chemtura/Lanxess. Both these two contaminated farms as well as the Canagagigue Creek are the repository's of the legacy of gross chemical pollution by Uniroyal Chemical, the predecessor to both Chemtura and Lanxess. DDT, Agent Orange, Dioxins, poly aromatic hydrocarbons and so much more are in both the creek sediments and the floodplains downstream. The rezoning of these lands from residential/agricultural to industrial/commercial will immediately lower the cleanup criteria for this entire affected area. That will potentially save Lanxess dozens to hundreds of millions of dollars. Does anyone really believe that that is simply a lucky happenstance for this multi national, multi billion dollar company?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


The October 8, 2005 Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "New life for contaminated creek". It was a story by Bob Burtt about the removal of a large area of creek bank as well as of part of an island in the Canagagigue Creek on the Chemtura property. The soils were highly contaminated with DDT and Dioxins most likely transported there by solvent contaminated groundwater over the decades. This of course is in contradiction to Chemtura's and CRA's long expressed nonsense that these compounds can not travel in groundwater, even highly contaminated with solvents groundwater.

We are also treated to two separate explosions and fires the following year on the Chemtura site. The first was on March 29, 2006 with approximately $75,000 damage. The second was on July 19, 2006 and had an explosion and fire from the roof of the building housing Naugalube production. Naugalube is a petroleum additive in automotive lubricants. Some homes on Ratz Avenue were evacuated as were the residents of the Pilgrim's Provident Retirement Home. These are two of the three fire incidents since June 2004 when a major fire and explosion occurred. The really scary part is that Julie Sawyer in the July 28,2006 Elmira Independent suggested that "After a less- than-stellar track record, incidents at the chemical plant have subsided.".

Hindsight is always 20/20. A number of the causes of these fires and explosions were either ambiguous or undetermined weeks and months later. It's easy for citizens to simply assume that this is a chemical company handling flammable and explosive substances hence accidents are inevitable. I beg to differ. Two items always occur namely a source (fuel) and an ignition such as a spark or excess heat. Is there any possibility that the source could be methane gas from the former municipal landfill on the south-west corner of the Chemtura property?

Monday, March 5, 2018


At the moment there are three Delegates registered to speak to Council tomorrow on two different topics. I am the first Delegate followed by Frank Rattasid Jr.. We are both speaking in regards to various issues surrounding the #86 Auto Recycling property formerly known as the Bolender Park landfill. The third Delegate will be speaking to the recent Council vacancy event.

In my case I am formally responding to a Woolwich Staff Report titled "Former Bolender Landfill Report". This report allegedly has taken staff three months to prepare and is based upon a list of 40 neatly typed and carefully thought out questions which I submitted to council and staff on November 16, 2017. This Report also includes an update of the ongoing work and plans for the former landfill. Staff have specifically advised that this update is for the benefit of both council members as well as the public.

That is an admission that this is indeed a public interest matter as both two businesses as well as several homes and a children's playground and park are potential recipients of adverse effects effects emanating from this former landfill. These potential adverse effects are methane gas and indeed it has been found both on-site and off-site of the Landfill. This inconvenient fact has generally been kept very quiet by Woolwich Township staff and councils over the last three decades.

It is my opinion that the only reason it hasn't been found off-site more often is because of the lack of off-site gas monitoring. These probes were known as GP6-83, GP7-83 and GP8-83 and were located off the former landfill to the north between it and the current Elmira Pet Products Plant. After their initial very high levels of methane gas were discovered these probes were never tested again. That in my opinion is gross negligence on the part of all the authorities involved which includes the Ontario Ministry of the Environment as well as successive Woolwich Councils over the last thirty years plus.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story in today's newspaper titled "Woolwich Township fills vacancy on council". The regular reporter for all things Woolwich is currently away on holidays and obviously this reporter (Laura Booth) has zero background on the ongoing political scandals and machinations up here in Woolwich. The proof is in the pudding in that she did not write a balanced story. Unlike the Woolwich Observer she only interviewed Sandy Shantz and no one else for this story. She also did not attend the council meeting last Tuesday where the putrid odour of deceit emanated throughout the meeting.

The Observer story and Editorial can be accessed either directly on-line (Google Woolwich Observer) or from the link I have here on this Blog two days ago (ie. Thursday). Obviously I would expect that if she had also read the Observer story she would have known about the public's disgust as this whole "Application process" was a charade.

Sandy Shantz claims that council behaved fairly and democratically. Do you think that democracy is about setting up a process to recruit ten applicants who were obliged to make two trips to the Township building, fill out an Application form and then show up for a public meeting and give a speech; all for a masquerade to cover council's dishonesty and lying to the public? It was a done deal long before the ten applicants sent in their Applications. They were window dressing to Council's dishonesty. Council disrespected those applicants as well as the general public. This is Sandy Shantz's idea of democracy.

Friday, March 2, 2018


Starring: Sandy Shantz, Larry Shantz, Murray Martin, Mark Bauman, David Brenneman, Patrick Merlihan and Val Hummel with honourable mention to Julie-Anne Herteis

Sandy: We've had three years of hassle, grief and scandal. I want someone who is quiet, carries no baggage and won't upset the apple cart.

Mark: Well obviously we won't pick any of those CPAC storm troopers then.

Patrick: Whoa Mark. I thought you indicated that you had a preference for Dr. Dan Holt.

Mark: Come on! That was a strategic vote just to give the impression that we as a council had open minds. Besides you'd already voted in favour of him and I knew nobody else would so I just made it look close.

Murray: Anybody who seriously wants that asshole Holt on this Council are just plain nuts. Don't you remember him making us look stupid two years ago? If I saw him on the road I'd run him over.

Larry: Guys come on now. Whoever we choose it's at least got to look like we made a serious effort. What about Julie-Anne? She really isn't much of a prize but she is willing to play ball.

Sandy: We're stuck with her now. Between David and myself we committed to picking her. There's no going back now. We've just got to make the best of it.

Mark: You do realize that her best attribute on the 2010-2014 council was that she stayed awake unlike you know who, who was asleep half the time? Seriously the lights are on but nobody's home.

Murray: Well dammit that's why you told me you wanted her as the replacement. Just do it and to hell with these stupid Applications.

Patrick: Murray have you read these Applications? There are some incredible resumes here.

Murray: Why would I bother to read them? We've made up our minds already. Hell I don't even want to have to listen to them at Council. It's a waste of time.

Patrick: Folks it's bad enough you want her just because she's agreed to sit there and not say anything but seriously we have to at least make it look good.

Larry: We are. First off she is a former councillor and seriously how many residents have come out to watch us at work? They don't know she's a lightweight. Secondly maybe a few voters will like that she's a woman.

Sandy: Excellent. The gender balance thing. We could actually sell that.

Mark: Don't make it too complicated. Focus on her so called experience. That's all she's got.

David: Look Val knows this whole thing is window dressing. She'll put on a real show with her description of the voting process, the number of rounds and the dropping off of names as we progress. It'll look all right.

Patrick: As long as you guys know that I'm still voting for Dr. Holt.

Mark: I might too just to make it look close. Besides he really is a good candidate.

Murray. He's an asshole!

Larry: I'm O.K. with the whole set up but I don't like all this playing.

Sandy: Larry we need to do this. Too many people would have seen right through it if we'd just given the appointment to Julie-Anne. This will work. So it's settled. Nobody other than Mark and Patrick vote for Dr. Holt. The rest of us can take our time and eventually give our three votes to her.

David: You know these are kind of going to be secret ballots. Maybe we have to guarantee that say Sandy votes each and every time for Julie-Anne and Mark and Patrick vote each time for Dr. Holt. That way we won't slip up and accidentally vote somebody else in over the course of several rounds of voting.

Murray: That's what I mean! Just vote once and be done with it.

Sandy: O.K. keep it simple. We finish it on the very first round?

Mark: It's safer. Wouldn't we be the idiots if after promising this thing to Julie we accidentally gave it to somebody else. That's the only way this could go off the rails if we screwed Julie-Anne and then she ratted us out.

Sandy: You're right. David do you agree? Is everybody O.K with that plan?

Larry: I'll go along.

Patrick: Me too but couldn't you at least pretend to listen to what the candidates say first and then make it a real vote?

David: No! We have to stick together on this. You vote how you feel and the others are going to do the same. As Larry said earlier on we're only doing this because the province insists we have to replace Scott.

Sandy: Good, meetings over. Remember this meeting never happened.


Thursday, March 1, 2018


Today's Woolwich Observer carries the following front page story titled "Woolwich picks former councillor to fill vacant seat". Steve Kannon of the Observer was diplomatic albeit factual as he stated "The voting process lasted only minutes in what appeared to be an orchestrated effort that placed Herteis' experience above all other considerations. Eight of the nine candidates, who had previously made written applications outlining their bids for the seat, made pitches to councillors who listened but asked no questions of any of them.". Furthermore Steve wrote "In the end, Mayor Sandy Shantz and Ward 3 councillors Murray Martin and Larry Shantz made short work of things, opting for Herteis."

"Afterwards, Holt said he wasn't surprised by the outcome. "It was pretty obvious what was going to happen"". That it was as several citizens, myself included, accurately predicted the outcome weeks in advance. I also posted here two days ago that Herteis already had the position in her back pocket and knew it. That was clear from her nonchalance and lack of effort amply demonstrated in Council Chambers on Tuesday evening.

The Observer also wrote about this charade in their Editorial on page 6. It is titled "Vacancy filled, Woolwich still waiting on change". That's a reference to councillor's "leadership" style which is essentially rubber stamping Staff reports presented to them. That will also occur this Tuesday in Council Chambers in regards to the ongoing Bolender Park Landfill methane problems.

The Observer's Editorial also stated "After a formal application process and something of an interview before Woolwich Council Tuesday night, the candidates were treated to what seemed to be a foregone conclusion. With no debate and little input, three of the five councillors immediately picked Herteis...". They also stated "The chosen option was less democratic than choosing the runner-up and, given the orchestrated feeling of Tuesday's proceedings, a bit of window dressing in the end." Again diplomatically the Observer did make references to Herteis's "experience". What a joke that is as I explained in the last couple of postings here.