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.


  1. I agree to disagree with you on many aspects of your targeting of consultants and their relationships with their clients but at least you have two good reports to review and comment on. In my opinion it is a start and from these reports hopefully a direction forward for more investigation, sampling deeper and more strategically, analyzing more parameters then what was done and reporting again but this time in a timely manner agreeable to all involved.

  2. If only! What you have suggested is reasonable and logical therefore highly unlikely any of that will happen. These are masters of manipulation and deception, smoke and mirrors. I agree with your comment but Lanxess and the MOECC are trying to tie this all up with a red bow and finish it.

  3. You have nothing but time so keep on plugging and bashing away and who knows the Environmental Gods may shine down on you.