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?

1 comment:

  1. Great last question and my answer would be yes. As for the bank and island in the creek I also think sediment movement was an issue of transportation in flood or heavy rain events.