Thursday, May 31, 2018


Firstly the highlights or improvements: The second page describes the drinking water system. For example it lists the names and the numbers of wells in the particular system. Then it describes the actual manner of disinfection (bacteria removal) for the wells whether an Ultarviolet system or sodium hypochlorite or ammonium sulphate combined with sodium hypochlorite . Any unusual expenses during the year are listed and itemized. These reports advise us as to how much of the year individual wells may have been shut down. Lead testing is done and concentrations listed. Under Organic parameters my suggestion of several years ago has finally been implemented which was to show Haloacetic Acids (HAA).

The problems or inadequacies with these reports. Firstly still not enough organic parameters. There are way too many ubiquitous solvents in our groundwater which for some reason the Region don't want to test for. This includes, Toluene, Xylenes and NDMA. There are lots more. Organic testing for parameters is not always done every year. That is ridiculous. Every two to three years simply means that a problem such as a major spill nearby will go unnoticed longer. A description of the location of the wells would be nice. Why shouldn't citizens know which wells are nearest them and for example be able to keep an eye out in their neighbourhood for spills or leaks that could affect their drinking water? The depth and the aquifer the well is screened in would be helpful. If a bedrock well it could explain a slightly sulpher smell in the water for example.

This one is huge. So well W47 was offline for 34 weeks in 2021. WHY? Tell us why our drinking wells are shutdown while we are on water restrictions please. Was it a mechanical breakdown or is there a plume of benzene approaching the well. If the well is toast forever then tell us. Don't just keep repeating for five or six years that it is offline and then finally tell us it has been decommissioned without telling us the reason why.

Give the public the standards or criteria please. This includes standards for the products of disinfection such as chlorine residuals, chloramine concentrations, Halaoacetic Acids and Trihalomethanes. Simple exceedances yes or no are imprecise. Are we constantly drinking water that is on the razor's edge of exceeding the health standards or is there a significant margin of safety? The same thing should go for the organic parameters whether benzene, trichloroethylene or Glyphosate (Round Up) in our drinking water.

Some of the Region's Annual Reports have the concentration numbers for HAA and THMs. Far too many don't and refer you elsewhere. That is a cop out and most of us won't find them. If you want, put them in both spots but quit effectively hiding them.

These changes would be a very good start. As they currently are it is far too easy for marginal quality wells to be kept in the system for far too long and these reports effectively hide their shortcomings for most readers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Ah for the good old days when the Elmira Independent, Gail Martin and Julie Sawyer were covering CPAC meetings. There were two excellent articles in the December 3, 2008 edition of the Independent. These two articles covered a CPAC meeting held on November 28, 2008. The first article was titled "Ministry has harsh words for Chemtura" and the second titled "Contaminants should be removed, says Marshall".

The first article describes the report produced by the Ontario Ministry of Environment presented at the CPAC meeting which criticized Chemtura s "best efforts" to maintain hydraulic containment of it s site during construction of the new Ammonia Treatment System. Steve Martindale of the M.O.E. stated "Chemtura s monthly reporting has identified when containment had been lost". "It is the Ministry s opinion that the loss was understated". Further Steve Martindale stated "in regards to omitting monitoring wells from it s monthly reporting that Chemtura should not unilaterally revise the monitoring program for the containment wells". I attended the meeting as usual and also strongly criticized the lack of hydraulic containment of the site during the Ammonia Treatment System upgrades.

The second article was in regards to DNAPLS or dense non-aqueous phase liquids. A CPAC sub-committee had studied DNAPLS for nearly two years and determined that very little work was further required. Unsurprisingly these conclusions were the ones favoured by Chemtura, the M.O.E. and Pat & Susan of CPAC. Pat & Susan ensured that neither the highly critical letters of Jaimie Connolly (M.O.E. hydrogeologist) nor of Wilf Ruland were included in the report or handed out to CPAC members. They also refused to advise CPAC members of the incredible meeting held in January 2007 between Drs. Beth Parker and John Cherry with myself, Susan, Pat and Wilf Ruland. The critical letters of Connolly & Ruland eventually surfaced during the next reincarnation of CPAC around 2012 and I spoke publicly to CPAC about their significance. Susan suggested that she and Pat may have failed to send them to me because I was not on e-mail at the time. What a pathetic excuse for hiding crucial information.

The incredible meeting held at the University of Waterloo recommended source removal of DNAPLS whenever and wherever possible. This shocked and dismayed the other three and especially so for Pat & Susan whom I believe had long ago made a private, verbal deal with Uniroyal to let them slide in exchange possibly for more creek work.

I have since learned that this was neither the first nor the last examples of hiding key information from the public by various authorities and individuals.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


I've had a quick look this morning at the On-line Region of Waterloo Drinking Water Reports for the City of Kitchener. Kitchener has six different well systems spread around the city. Many wells are shut down due to industrial contamination although you'll never see that written in any of the reports. Other wells have long term low level readings of Trichloroethylene (TCE) the contaminant/degreaser of choice for industry for many decades.

The Parkway Wells are one example of low level TCE being present. This is courtesy of a former Deilcraft furniture plant's presence in the area. There was a cleanup however TCE is a notorious DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquid) and extremely difficult to find and remove all the free phase chemical in the sub-surface.

The Woolner's Well System has been shut down for some time now. It is located along the Grand River albeit further downstream than the long shutdown K70 and K71 wells immediately downgradient from Breslube/Safety-Kleen. There have long been problems with the odour from these river infiltration wells. If memory serves the presence of Phenols in the river water over the years may have contributed to the odour problems.

The Strange St. Well Supply is sort of a misnomer as those wells have long been degraded by local industrial contamination. If I had to guess I would guess that the long gone Uniroyal Tire Co. on Strange St. was the major source of industrial contamination. Currently three of the five wells from this system are out of service and the two remaining wells are relatively new and located out Glasgow St. well away from the original ones.

The Greenbrook Well Supply System was shut down a few years back in order to install an updated treatment system to remove 1,4 Dioxane from the raw water courtesy of Varnicolor Chemical or Uniroyal from Elmira, Ontario being put into the nearby Ottaw St. Landfill. Currently it is working well although it also suffered from an explosion due to human error a while back due to the inadvertent mixing of chlorine and ammonia. Oops!

The K34 Well System consistes of three wells which are working well.

The last, biggest and most expensive system is the Mannheim Water Treatment Plant. The repairs and upgrades in 2017 were in the millions of dollars. This is the shame of industry externalizing their waste disposal costs by putting them onto the taxpayers. Groundwater prior to pollution is abundant and inexpensive compared to treating surface water such as the Grand River.

Monday, May 28, 2018


The K-W Record did a story in 1980, a year after the Love Canal story broke. It was a comparison between our very own Uniroyal Chemical in Elmira and the infamous Love Canal in the United States. The Ontario Ministry of Environment stated in the story that Uniroyal could never cause a similar disaster with their buried on-site wastes for two reasons. Firstly the chemicals were buried in plastic lined pits and secondly because the company and the site were under government supervision. Well how did that exactly turn out again?

To say that the M.O.E. claim was disingenuous is putting it mildly. It was their "supervision" in the first place that allowed the company to bury the most highly toxic of wastes both beside a surface water body (Canagagigue Creek) and immediately above the underground aquifer which supplied Elmira with its' drinking water. Nice job that.

As far as plastic lined pits that's a new one on me. Yes they allegedly had plastic on top of their two "consolidation" pits, RPE 4 & 5. That however was to prevent rainfall from entering the pit and like a bathtub then overflow the liquids over the top. By the way whether the plastic kept rain out I don't know but I do know that it sure didn't stop pesticide odours from exiting the pits and I've got the Trespass citation from way back in 1991 to prove it.

All the pits and ponds installed in the 1940s and 1950s were unlined and leaked like a sieve. They were then lined with CLAY in 1970 and continued leaking albeit at a slower pace. CH2MHILL, consultants to the Region of Waterloo, estimated in 1992 that after clay lining the west side operating ponds leaked about 3,400 litres per day. The likely reason that clay was used was because the toxic stew of wastes Uniroyal had would likely have quickly dissolved and gone right through any plastic sheeting on the market at the time.

The last point is this. Love Canal was horrific because people including children were living right on top of it. The actual volume of wastes was a small fraction of the volume here in Elmira. In other words Love Canal was actually small potatoes compared to our local mess. Their suffering however was not.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Part of the problem is the lack of information provided. When one has found discrepancies in the past with information provided by the Region who are in charge of water supply and treatment, one tends to be very skeptical of data gaps or just plain lack of clarity. That is the case with the three water systems supplying Waterloo residents with their water. First off Well W10 is located on the west side of the city in a non-industrial, almost rural area. It appears to have been shut down for years with the usual zero explanation as to why. We are simply advised this year, the same as last, that the system has been offline for the entire year. What pretty much seals the deal is the sample dates for the various organic (carbon based) and inorganic chemicals tested. All these dates are from 2005, thirteen years ago. Zero more recent sampling data.

The Erb St. Well System consists of four wells W6A, W6B, W7 and W8 all pumping into the Erb St. reservoir. W8 was offline for 5 weeks, W6B was offline for 4 weeks and well W6A was offline for the entire year. The previous year Well W6B was offline for 13 weeks and well W6A offline for the whole year again. While there was also zero explanation in 2016 as well, there are clues. The disinfection system had numerous adverse results with both too short of a Contact Time of the chlorine with the water as well as too low of a concentration of chlorine in the treated water. Hence disinfection had to be restored on numerous occasions. Clearly there are either bacteria problems in the source water or there is an ongoing problem with the treatment system. i would expect engineering problems could be more readily remedied than contaminated source water in the wells.

Now we come to the William St. Well System. There are four wells namely W1B, W1C, W2 and W3. Well W3 was offline for the entire 2017 year. No explanation given. It wasn't offline however the preceding year. Strange. Also odd are the chloramine readings listed as exceeding half the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS). The ODWS for chloramine is 3 mg/litre. These readings are between 1.51 and 1.82 mg/litre. These 1/2 exceedances fill an entire page, there are so many. Chloramines are the chlorine residual that stays in the treated water to kill any coliform or E.Coli bacteria. Why they are so routinely high (albeit below the maximum criteria) likely is due to bacteria levels coming from somewhere.

The other long term problem with the William St. wells are trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations. Again they are below the ODWS of 5 parts per billion (ppb) but they should not be present in drinking water at any measurable concentrations. They are routinely in Waterloo residents tap water at up to 1.5 ppb. Last year there were higher results and likely they have been significantly higher over the previous years.This has been ongoing for many decades and shame on both the Region and City for tolerating it. I seriously doubt that there are any human studies which can definitively determine that decades long, low dose TCE exposure isn't harmful to human beings.

Friday, May 25, 2018


I covered the West Montrose System last Saturday. Today will be the Conestogo and Maryhill Systems. Heidelburg is shared between Woolwich and Wellesley (Region of Waterloo). Heidelburg has surprised me for years that despite the major groundwater contamination and ongoing remediation at their downtown corner (former Mayor Strauss gas station); their drinking wells seem to be unaffected. I expect Mr. Strauss that that is much more good luck than good management on your part.

Both systems in Conestogo, the Golf Course System and the Conestogo Plains System seem clear of any problems according to the reports.
That is odd given the small Grand River influence on one of the Golf Course wells. I would have expected to see more bacteria in the raw water. Also I'm pleasantly surprised by the lack of bacteria in the Conestoga Plains wells based upon the conglomeration of septic systems all around the wells. Again perhaps better good luck than good management. Kudos to the Wellesley Township Reports as they actually have the quarterly readings of both Haloacetic Acids (HAA) and Trihalomethanes (THM) included. This is unlike Cambridge and Woolwich townships who make you go looking for them when they should be included directly in the region's Annual Reports.

What also seems odd is that the Conestoga Systems (presumably both?) are going to be replaced by the incoming pipeline from St. Jacobs and Waterloo bringing water up from the Integrated Urban System (IUS) used throughout Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. While the raw water problems in West Montrose certainly demand a replacement source and it is the same pipeline then being extended over to West Montrose; it is peculiar that Conestogo allegedly has such good water yet it's also being replaced. I have to wonder if this is the Region being the Region. Once found to be liars and deceivers it's a long road back. They out and out lied publicly about the Kitchener river wells K70 & K71 along the Grand River, downgradient from the Breslube (now Safety-Kleen) site in Breslau. Those wells were closed and it wasn't due to the strongest bacteria in history it was due to leakage from subsurface oils and petroleum sludges between the factory and the Grand River.

The Maryhill two water systems are generally quite acceptable in quality. There have been past problems with bacteria but they seem better in this report. Unfortunately chloramines, a disinfectant by-product are a little on the high side in the one system. They aren't above the maximum criteria of 3 mg/litre but they do rate attention and are singled out because they exceed 1/2 the criteria for inorganic compounds. It is understandable based upon past bacteria issues in the raw water that they are shading the treatment a little on the heavy side with this chlorine compound.

The following comment is not specific to the Woolwich water systems. All these reports from the Region of Waterloo lack the exact Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) with each chemical tested in the treated water. They have a simple YES/NO to indicate if that standard has been exceeded. This is unacceptable as residents do not know how close the chemical comes to exceeding the criteria plus they also do not know if the Method detection Limit (MDL) provided is reasonable or not in regards to the drinking water standard. My comments and criticisms over the years to both the Region and Woolwich have provided for some improvements in these Reports. Well done but more still needs to be done for these Reports to serve residents better.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


First some big picture items. Far too many of the Cambridge wells are identified by number only. That is totally ridiculous to enable residents to know if their closest wells likely supplying their households are up to snuff in comparison with other raw water sources around Cambridge. While well systems such as the Shades Mill System and the Pinebush System may be helpful in letting residents know where their water is coming from, listing wells by number only such as G4, G5, G6, G9, P6, P9 is totally unhelpful and in fact downright deceptive. Give an address or something so residents know which wells are better and which are worse. For example which wells are located near the former Ciba-Geigy (Novartis?), which are near the Cambridge Landfill, which are near Northstar Aerospace etc..

Way too many Cambridge wells are MIA -missing in action. No explanation, no idea as to whether they were polluted, what they were polluted with (bacteria, solvents etc.), whether they have a mechanical breakdown that will be repaired etc.. It would also help if the Region's on-line Annual Reports (drinking water) went back a few years as they used to rather than only posting two years worth and then advising to contact them directly for older reports. On-line reports are supposed to save everybody time and energy not give them the runaround. Speaking of runaround where did these Cambridge wells go and why? P2, P5, P6, P7, G10, G11, G12 and G13? O.K. I know what happened to the two wells closest to Northstar Aerospace (P6 & P7) although that's no thanks to the Region of Waterloo.

Getting back to all the Annual Reports for the different wells and well systems in Cambridge I have a bone to pick with the Region and the City. The Annual Reports have recently added a column for HAA results. That's right HAA. Any idea what the hell that is? Well it stands for Haloacetic Acids which are toxic by-products of disinfection. Similarly THMs are Trihalomethanes which are also toxic by-products of adding chlorine to the water ie. the disinfection system. However the Annual Reports may have a column for HAAs and THMs but they don't have a concentration present. There is a reference to the individual municipal reports claiming that that is where they can be found. What the hell, put them in the Regional Annual Reports where they belong. Anyways after some serious digging I found them. Sort of. In the City of Cambridge Annual Report they have a single concentration for ALL the wells for the YEAR. Yup it's an annual average of all the Cambridge wells for the entire year. That folks is lying by numbers as it's totally useless.

Oh and I found another well to add to yesterday's list of wells shut down either entirely or for numerous months in 2017. That would be well G9 which again no thanks to the Region of Waterloo, I know where it is located. It is in the south end of Cambridge not far from the Allen-Bradley plant. This well has historically had low levels of Trichloroethylene (TCE) in it for decades. Maybe the levels have risen, maybe something else has been found, who knows. It was shut down for the entire year.

Numerous Cambridge wells have allegedly been twinned. G4 now has G4A combined with it. Similarly H4 has H4A, H5 has H5A, G5 has G5A. My strong suspicion is that the original wells are contaminated with either industrial or agricultural chemicals and the second twinned well is screened at a different, less contaminated depth in the aquifer. This may be bolstered by the fact that there have been low levels of contaminants in the Hespeler wells for decades (H3, H4 & H5). Also as mentioned yesterday three Hespeler wells are either decommissioned (H3) or shut down for the whole year (H4 & H5). Finally well G4 was shut down for 40 weeks last year and well G5A for the entire year. This twinning of the wells ie. adding a second well at the same location has only been going on for the last five years or so.

Finally I need to also point out that Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup continues to have an outrageously high Method Detection Limit of 25 parts per billion (ppb). Advising us that Glyphosate is <25 ppb (less than 25 ppb) is shameful and outrageous and I don't care how high the current drinking water standard for Glyphosate is. We have a right to know what is in our water and if it's there at 5, 10 or 15 ppb. then tell us directly!

Just for the record there are also two low level detections of a herbicide (metalochlor) and a solvent (dichloroethylene) at wells G6 and G5 respectively. It is no coincidence that these two wells are both near the old contaminated Ciba-Geigy plant.

Overall we are all drinking highly treated groundwater due to a history of negligent toxic waste disposal (& spills) by industry with Mickey Mouse enforcement and remediation if and when it is found.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Everybody got water in their taps over in Cambridge these days? Boy you'd never know it by a quick glance through the Region of Waterloo's Annual Reports (drinking water). It was almost like an extension of the long weekend yesterday when I checked out a bunch of Cambridge drinking water wells. P6, closed and DECOMMISSIONED. H3 DECOMMISSIONED. H4 off-line for 52 weeks in 2017, H4A off-line for 9 weeks. H5 shut down for 52 weeks in 2017, H5A shut down for 29 weeks. P16 shut down for 52 weeks. Good lord and all I had time for was a quick glance at some of the wells in the first line plus a peek at the next line (of 4) which was the Middleton wells.

Hopefully over the next week I'll find time to look at the rest of Cambridge's wells but it looks to me as if the chickens of Cambridge's industrial past combined with our authorities (ie. municipal & regional politicians) has come home to roost. Polluter pays is a dandy slogan regarding remediation of contaminated ground and groundwater. The reality is that our politicians would rather sleep with polluters (figuratively) then fight them in court. A century of machine shops, textile factories, heavy and light manufacturing, dry cleaners, plastics and chemicals manufacturing, gas stations etc. have all done a major number on Cambridge's groundwater. The Region have and will continue to deny it but the wells seem to be falling faster and faster.

Mind you the Region are pretty sneaky about it. They appear to prefer to simply stop pumping contaminated water into their treatment system for a period of several years before declaring a well to be decommissioned. P6 up by the Bishop St. community (& Northstar Aerospace) is one example. It not been contributing water to the system for a few years now. Check out the various chemical testing dates they have in this years final Annual Report for this well. I believe the last testing for various chemicals including Trichloroethylene was 2011. Holy crap. How many other wells have simply disappeared from these Annual Reports over the years? How many more should disappear based upon chemical contamination? The Region used to have several years of past results on their website. Now it's 2017 and 2016 only although they allege that they will provide earlier dates if you ask them nicely.

I'm pretty confident that in upcoming Annual Reports we will see wells H4, H5 and P16 decommissioned. May as well as they aren't providing water anyways.

So what is the good news as per the above title to this posting? Well if you've still got water it's courtesy of the IUS or Integrated Urban System. The Region have pipelines between the three cities so that we all will have water even as individual wells bite the dust. That way we can continue to share Trichloroethylene, Glyphosate (Round Up) and other chemicals in our groundwater equally. Ever wonder why we are pumping out Grand River water and paying a fortune to treat it? Sort of like the Middleton Wellfield which had $210,000 in replacement costs last year but continues to distribute trichloroethylene (TCE) at 1.5-2.0 parts per billion in our taps. I'm not in favour of a Great lakes pipeline but when the time comes, then our politicians will be singing a different tune regarding the "quality" of our groundwater.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Ontario leaders pledge to clean up mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows". Yes every provincial election there is more talk about doing what should have been done thirty years ago. The parallels with what is going on here in Elmira are amazing. The time frames are similar. The players are similar (Ontario Ministry of Environment) as are some of the contaminants namely Dioxins as well as Mercury. The result in both communities includes toxic river sediments and contaminated fish.

The mercury is courtesy of Reed Paper dumping 9,000 kilograms of it into the river back in the 1960s. There were further studies done a year ago that included one suggesting that there may still be ongoing leakage of mercury into the English-Wabigoon River system. This is in part because mercury concentrations have not decreased in the last thirty years which would have occurred otherwise through dilution and uptake by fish. Similarly here in Elmira concentrations of Dioxins/Furans and DDT are not decreasing in the Canagagigue Creek since the major investigation back in 1995-97.

I reported here about Grassy Narrows issues on February 19/17 and March 1/17. Over another year has passed with the Liberal government promising money and claiming that preliminary work is starting. That "preliminary" work apparently includes efforts to stop the ongoing leakage of mercury into the river. They've known where it's coming from for over a year (at the very minimum) yet they haven't physically isolated or removed the source. What the hell!

Then they are the Progressive Conservatives under Doug Ford. He stated that a Tory government would make it a priority to as quickly as possible clean up the contamination. Oh please! The Torys (Conservatives) just like the Liberals have had decades in power to do just that and haven't lifted a finger. If they won't clean up Elmira with the contamination moving into the Grand River and towards large communities such as Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Brantford etc. then why would they clean up the English-Wabigoon system for the sparse population up there? Isn't democracy just grand.

The only difference here in Elmira is that our authorities at all levels are participating in the sham of public consultation and the sham of polluter driven "investigations" and "clean ups". Here the authorities at least feel that they have to pretend that they are constantly monitoring and constantly looking for solutions. Dr. Dick Jackson walked after he'd had enough of the scam.

Monday, May 21, 2018


Goutweed has been making its' presence known here in Elmira in a big way. It is an invasive plant originally from Europe and northern Asia. It was brought to North America to be used as an ornamental plant in gardens and as a low maintenance ground cover. The problem is that it is too good as ground cover as it rapidly and uncontrollably spreads forming dense patches that displace native plants and reduces species diversity.

Goutweed has been described as having compound leaves which can be green or white in colour. By mid-summer the tall leafy stems produce clusters of white flowers. The roots are impenetrable and spread underground in all directions including in and around other plants roots. Moist soil and light shade help spread this plant although it can also tolerate heavily shaded areas. Logged forests and abandoned fields are often home to Goutweed although unfortunately lawns and gardens will also host it.

Control is very difficult with persistent hand pulling and removal of all underground roots. This may succeed in the early days only of infestation. Also frequent mowing at short heights will slow its' spread. Covering with black plastic sheeting will also inhibit its' growth and spread. The literature claims that glyphosate (Roundup) will kill the plant because the chemical moves into the roots. Unfortunately contact herbicides (Weed Be Gone?) on the leaves are ineffective. This is unfortunate because glyphosate has become ubiquitous in our groundwater courtesy of its' effectiveness and hence mass use.

Recently Woolwich Council has been approached about this growing problem by at least one local citizen and asked for assistance. The last I heard was that they had agreed to provide some assistance although whether or not that has happened yet I am unsure.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Disappointing to say the least. Disappointing in that the Region of Waterloo seem unable or unwilling to share information with the public about this water supply. On page 2 of 6 of the 2017 Annual Report (Drinking Water) they advise that the four supply wells WM1, 2, 3 & 4 were taken out of service in August 2017 because the "treatment plant has been shutdown while significant upgrades take place.". Then we are advised on the next page that there has not been equipment installed, repaired or replaced and further more that no significant expenses were incurred. Really?

A further study of this six page report only confirms that the four supply wells were out of service (offline) for 18 weeks in 2017. Zero mention why or where the water in the taps of residents is coming from. I'm willing to bet that many West Montrose residents don't even know that the Region made the decision a few years back to permanently (thank God) shut down the four "river" wells and hook West Montrose up to a pipeline that runs over to Conestogo and from there tie it in at St. Jacobs with the water pipeline running from Waterloo up to St. Jacobs and Elmira.

So where currently is West Montrose's water coming from? I don't think that the pipeline is completed but I could be wrong. This Annual Report (drinking water) is the place to tell us. It doesn't. The alternative which has also been used for several years in conjunction with the four wells is multiple tanker loads of water per day brought in by the Region and discharged into the West Montrose treatment reservoir. This water comes from the IUS or Integrated Urban System which basically means it undergoes treatment at one of numerous water treatment locations and then is put into the integrated urban system which serves Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

What we do know from this report is that the raw water in the "river" wells (WM1, 2, 3 & 4) is still polluted. This is hardly a shocker as it's been so likely from day one decades ago. Total Coliforms ranged from 0-65 in the raw water after membrane filtration to determine bacteria levels. E.Coli ranged from 0-3. E.Coli are the killer that ended seven lives in Walkerton in 2000 and made thousands sick, some with permanent health problems because of it. Justice Dennis O'Connor made it clear in his Inquiry Report that water supplies needed to be protected from the source to the end users taps. This he referred to as the multiple barrier system. Having known contaminated source water and relying upon failsafes further down the line to treat the water contravenes both the spirit and the intention of the O'Connor Inquiry and Report.

I hesitate to condemn the Region of Waterloo by suggesting that West Montrose residents have been serviced for decades by a third world water supply system. Prior to construction of so many homes on septic service upgradient from the river wells, likely the Coliforms and E.Coli were only seasonal problems more associated with flooding in the Grand River. The septic systems combined possibly with the upriver trailer park simply would have greatly exacerbated the bacteria problems associated with surface water such as the Grand River infiltrating into the wells.

Friday, May 18, 2018


O.K. first off I have never in my life voted Conservative. Anywhere, anytime for any candidate. That said I do have a couple of friends and a couple of acquaintances who do believe in the principles of Conservatism. Unfortunately what we are seeing from those in charge of the Conservative Party of Ontario has absolutely nothing to do with the Conservative Party platform. It has everything to do with self interest and a lack of morals and ethics.

Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Opinion Piece by Luisa D'Amato titled "Smeared by his own party, MPP Michael Harris is too good to lose". Other political commentators have expressed similar views regarding the expulsion of Michael Harris from the Conservative caucus as well as parachuting in to his riding (Kitchener-Conestoga) Michael Harris Jr., the son of former Premier Mike Harris, to run as the Conservative candidate in next month's election. How bizarre or opportunistic is it to nastily and indecently remove Mike Harris from the riding he's held for many years and parachute in a candidate with the same name? Are the party brain trusts hoping that the electorate are so stupid that they will be re-electing the same person they've voted for in the past?

Luisa D'Amato raises the following points: The female intern never worked for Michael Harris. The woman involved was the more flirtatious or "sexually aggressive" in the texts they sent. Michael Harris was single at the time. They never spoke again. She never complained about his texts. Party officials reviewed the texts in 2013 in the context of a totally separate and unrelated complaint by the woman against the Party and found them to be a non-issue.

Michael Harris Jr. was unsuccessful in his bid to be nominated to represent the Conservatives in Waterloo. Apparently his father, the former Premier, is a top fundraiser for the Conservatives and he wanted a seat for his son in the Ontario legislature. How convenient this whole affair has been to some and how devastating to the Conservatives' own, well respected member of the provincial parliament (mpp). Shame on each and every guilty participant in this smearing of a good man. This includes Michael Harris Jr. in that he would be willing to have any part whatsoever in the backstabbing and removal from caucus of a good, sitting m.p.p. for his own personal benefit. This folks is not democracy. Please do not vote for the new parachuted in Conservative candidate, Michael Harris Jr..

Thursday, May 17, 2018


I've been somewhat distracted over the last couple of months what with the issues of the East Side (Off-Site) Investigation (ie. Stroh & Martin farms) as well as the latest Floodplain soil, Creekbank soil and Creek sediment testing. The results of both of these investigations have reinforced the environmental disasters that Woolwich Township has suffered over the last seventy years. That Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can still be found in our soils and creek sediments this many decades after the surface pits and ponds have been taken out of use is terrifying. These POPs include Dioxins/Furans, DDT, PCBs and more.

I've been working on my book for a year now. I call it my "Elmira" book. It of course focuses on the Elmira water crisis of 1989 and the ensuing thirty years. It will not be a pretty picture. In the last year I have read the entire newspaper collection from the Woolwich Observer, Elmira Independent and the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. I have put together a Chronology actually from 1898 until literally this month. It has been an eye opening.

Cold hard facts from five, ten, fifteen and twenty years ago are showing patterns and themes. Anomalies, bizarre behaviours and odd actions by various parties are making sense in hindsight. Literally buried in the weeds on a daily and weekly basis one often does not see the big picture of what is going on.

I have also reread numerous reports, saved technical documents and other data and input from colleagues and others over the last thirty years. Many scams such as the DNAPL cover ups and the shallow hydraulic containment of only the south-west corner are much clearer now. Clearer in the way that they fit into Uniroyal/Chemtura/lanxess's overall strategy of minimization, junk science and hiding behind credentialed experts.

Some of the themes I am discovering were expected, others not. For example the evidence is rising that speaks to both the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Uniroyal Chemical having had prior knowledge of the likelihood if not certainty that the drinking wells were going to be contaminated sooner than later.

The hastily produced book by Bob Burtt in 2014 which I renamed "Ode to Susan" will not remotely be similar to mine. I also will avoid direct, personal and inaccurate criticisms of individuals that pervade Bob's book. Clearly Susan, Pat, George K, Bill B. and even Todd Cowan had axes to grind and Bob used their self-serving "recollections" as if they were gospel. This of course is because Bob hadn't been even remotely involved for the last decade prior to his book. Therefore he was ripe for revisionist history by these individuals. He also relied on his good buddy Susan and his belief in her sincerity. I don't deny that I have been blunt and critical here in this venue (Elmira Advocate) however I expect to temper that somewhat in my book.

I have two possible routes for publication and have confidence in both. Regardless this exercise has been an eye opening for me. I expect it will be the same for readers down the road. The extent of the corruption and collusion behind the Elmira Crisis will also be a shocker to the public. You haven't seen anything yet when it comes to our authorities, elected or otherwise, and their willingness to mislead, deceive and obfuscate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


We are now well into the Ontario provincial election. Has anyone so much as seen a single question directed towards a single politician of any party in regards to our community police forces? Why is the media not all over this with the three political leaders, two of whom are women? Are they afraid of some sort of backlash by male voters? Seriously?

Has there been any sort of backlash in regards to the "Me Too" movement that started in the U.S.? Have males in particular risen en masse to defend Harvey Weinstein or any other powerful men in Hollywood? I don't think so. The victims of this bullying and abuse of authority have brothers, fathers, uncles, husbands and boyfriends. This mistreatment of women in the entertainment industry has indeed caused a backlash and it is most appropriately a backlash against the male perpetrators.

This same mistreatment of women has occurred both here in Waterloo Region as well as throughout Ontario (& a lot further). Why are our political leaders and parties not all over this? Kelly Donovan as well as the ladies who have filed a lawsuit against the Waterloo Regional Police, their union and the Police Services Board deserve both credit and support. Those three bodies have either participated in the abuse of their authority regarding female officers or have shut their eyes and held their noses while it unfolded all around them.

Twenty-five years ago I observed first hand the behaviour towards female employees by males either in positions of authority or tacitly supported by the authority of foremen and supervisors at the City of Waterloo. To my shock and surprise the worst offenders were not the young men; it was the middle aged, long married and with children (including daughters) men who were most hostile towards females doing the same work as they were in the public works department. Their fragile male egos were threatened apparently.

Kelly Donovan's book is titled "Systemic Misfeasance in Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Suppression of Whistleblowers". This book even shocked myself who had seen first hand similar attitudes and behaviours. Frankly our police should know much better and how they can protect female (& male) citizens while mistreating their fellow female police officers is a testament to either stupidity, hypocrisy or the power of peer pressure supported by authority from on high.

This should be an election issue. Heads must roll at the top, both in the police administration and in the political arena. Regional councillors appoint a majority of the members of the Police Services Board. Regional councillors have looked the other way for far too long. Regional councillors of both genders should be making this an election issue in the upcoming October municipal elections. As this is a systemic problem in many police forces across Ontario and as the province appoints the rest of the members of the local Police Service Boards then it is a provincial problem that needs to be addressed now. Our media can and should step up and start publicly asking hard questions of Doug Ford, Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horvath and Mike Schreiner.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Neither Lanxess nor the Ontario Ministry of Environment want people with good memories on the public advisory committees; other than of course those with flexible, good memories. Those folks, for a price, are able to overlook embarrassing facts to the powers that be.

That of course is the purpose of history; to remind ourselves as to what works and as to what actions do not work. Therefore if we pay attention we are less likely to go in circles either repeating the mistakes of the past or reinventing the wheel when we already know that it works.

In the June 13, 2008 Elmira Independent, Julie Sawyer wrote an article titled "Biomonitoring raises questions". This investigation was a disappointment to CPAC members. They had high hopes that the completed creekbank stabilization as well as contaminated soil and sediment removal along Chemtura's south-west creekbanks would have resulted in a greater reduction in contaminant concentrations in the test organisms, namely clams and leeches. Most interestingly, CPAC Chair Pat Mclean stated "What I am seeing here is clearly saying that we have additional sources". Isn't that just precious? Currently TEN years later we have come to the same conclusion AGAIN.

This is precisely why I became more aggressive in demanding answers and accountability from the professional liars in charge of the phony investigations and resulting "cleanups". We knew the truthful answers as well as the solutions 10, 15 and even 20 years ago hence most of the honest brokers were stalled literally unto death (Esther Thur), unto deafness and great difficulty hearing at public meetings (Henry) and finally unto political removal ( yours truly & more). The only citizens with any long history at the RAC and TAG meetings are the pair that the polluter and their regulator prefer dealing with. Guess why?

Julie Sawyer reported in the June 27, 2008 Elmira Independent that the new Ammonia Treatment System was nearly up and running. Dwight Este of Chemtura advised that the startup would be in mid July. In fact it wasn't until the September 2008 Elmira Independent story titled "Treatment system now online" that we learned that it was operating, sort of. Instead of the planned 700 gallons per minute it was running at 300 gallons per minute. One of the other interesting notes at the CPAC meeting of September 8, 2008 was that the meeting only lasted an hour because CPAC did not have a quorum. Stupid bastards had of course removed their most reliable, informed and outspoken member a few months prior. I was present at this September 8 meeting as always and it was hard not to laugh at them. The same thing has happened at TAG meetings where a lack of quorum was only recently avoided by one of the multiple missing members showing up a half hour after the meeting started. Meanwhile there were two or three CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members sitting there in the gallery as always. If Sandy and Mark weren't such idiots a lack of quorums wouldn't be an issue. Around and around in circles we go.

After this meeting I sent a Letter To The Editor (Independent) which quoted part of the Environmental Review Tribunal's (ERT) decision supporting my claim and evidence that the placement of monitoring well pairs off and on-site could provide inconsistent or inaccurate data regarding containment of on-site contaminated groundwater. I had proven this to Wilf Ruland, hydrogeologist, as well as at a meeting between Chemtura, CRA and the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.). Those parties either lied or rolled belly up under pressure from the professional liars present. Despite this part of their decision the ERT approved the Certificate of Approval anyways, allowing the Ammonia Treatment System to proceed uncorrected. At a later date Conestoga Rovers quietly removed the offending well pairs. Typical
face saving behaviour.

In the October 10, 2008 Independent Julie Sawyer reported that the long promised and overdue M.O.E. report detailing whether or not Chemtura had passed the bar of "best efforts" in their attempts to maintain hydraulic containment on their site during construction of the Ammonia Treatment System. While it has been admitted that containment was unlikely, the question is whether or not the company will face any consequences for their failure to do so. I spoke at the meeting and gave all parties the details of the pumping rates. I stated "They (Chemtura) weren't even pumping at half of what they were pumping in the early 90s. Best efforts suck. I look forward to the MOE report and if it says anything but that then it will confirm what I already know about the Ministry.".

After the first 100 promises regarding dates of reports, cleanup dates and more have all fallen through, one loses all faith if it's an individual stringing you along. Somehow Canadians are much more tolerant of both corporations and government ministries when they make and break commitments. I continue not to understand the distinction. No one is perfect and all of us can make mistakes. It's when the "mistakes" outnumber the fulfilled promises and commitments that an intelligent person must come to the harsh reality and conclusion that they are routinely being intentionally misled.

Monday, May 14, 2018


It was May 2000 and the Mike Harris government had been in power for five years. They lasted two more before being tossed by the electorate. Sixteen years since of both positives and negatives in our provincial Liberal government. Unfortunately the negatives have been vastly outweighing the positives for many years now. I don't believe in throwing out the baby with the bath water. Prior to Mike Harris we had Bob Rae and the NDP. Times were tough economically and among other unpopular measures were "Rae Days". The teachers unions were appalled and outraged especially as the NDP were pro labour unlike the Conservatives. Little did the teachers unions know that the incoming Mike Harris government was going to slash a billion dollars from the education system. That made Bob Rae indeed look pro union, unfortunately only in hindsight. Mike Harris also slashed nurses jobs as well as gutting the budget for the Ministry of Environment. What a message Mr. Harris sent business, industry and unfortunately the Ministry of Environment. He told the M.O.E. clearly that they were there only to get votes for the government of the day by appearing to be in charge of industrial emissions to our air, land and soil. In reality they were not supposed to inhibit any company's bottom line by insisting upon strict adherence to provincial environmental laws. Negotiations, cooperation and moral suasion were to be the keys. Afterall possibly Mike Harris believed that business and industry would respond to his government's cost cutting principles and not take advantage. Naive at the best.

Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Opinion piece by political commentator Geoff Stevens titled "Thinking Ford? Cast your mind back to Walkerton". Mr. Stevens pulls few punches in his criticism of the damage done to Ontario by Mike Harris and the Conservatives. Were they totally wrong on everything? No they weren't and I say that as a anti PC voter forever. Yes there was waste in both our hospitals and in our schools. Whether there was within the M.O.E. I do not know. What I do know is that the slashing of health care including the firing of thousands of nurses was ridiculous. The same thing goes for the slashing of the budget of the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

Geoff Stevens makes a strong case that the damage to the M.O.E. was a significant contributing factor to the Walkerton disaster. It was of course not the only cause as indicated in my post here last Saturday. Justice O'Connor spread the blame to all the appropriate parties including the M.O.E.. His recommendations have mostly been acted upon since although contaminated raw water sources are still being used for human consumption with however proper treatment and we hope better monitoring. Justice O'Connor made it clear that the water supply needed to be protected at every stage from the source, through the treatment systems and into the distribution system.

Geoff Stevens also spells out in his Opinion piece what the essential role of government is supposed to be. It is to serve and protect its' citizens. It is not to perpetuate itself and its' party to the detriment of the people. This good advice has long been lost at all levels of Canadian government.

Saturday, May 12, 2018


Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story written by Paul Hunter (Toronto Star) and titled "Walkerton's poisoned water ruined this cop's life. So he ended it.". There is neither fame nor fortune involved. While "only" seven died, thousands became sick. Some permanently. Robbie Schnurr an off duty OPP officer was one of the unlucky ones. He wasn't even living in Walkerton, his home town, at the time. He was back for a visit.

It does not matter what the source of the contaminated water. Once seriously poisoned your life will be shortened and most probably you won't even have the satisfaction of sending the perpetrators to jail. That must be especially galling for a police officer because there are identifiable perpetrators. In the Walkerton case it was two brothers (Koebel), the town council and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Some were incompetent, some were negligent, some were lazy and some were all three. The results were death and injury, in some cases permanent and life shortening injury.

There were no multi million dollar lawsuits to take good financial care of the victims. The perpetrators at the bottom of the hierarchy were fired, the ones at the top lawyered up. There was an Inquiry and the Judge spread the blame widely. Just about every opportunity and every back up contingency was missed.

Here in Elmira, Ontario we have had the same thing from our poisoned water supply. The ability to avoid accountability here was magnified because while Walkerton was an acute, sudden poisoning here it was a slow, decades long, assault upon the immune systems and the health of residents. Many have died since prematurely of cancers and other diseases related to solvents and carcinogenic compounds in our water supply. One I will name because she attributed her health problems to Uniroyal Chemical and that was Esther Thur. She was an active participant in the EH-Team as well as a founder of APT Environment. She had cancer repeatedly after living for over fourty years in Elmira. To date any Health Study has been assiduously avoided by all our pollution loving authorities.

People have died just as slowly here in Elmira as some of those in Walkerton. They have avoided the blame and accountability much better here than in Walkerton. Yes Councillor Mark Bauman, some times blame must be assigned in order to discourage future similar murderous behaviours. This Barry is why I am still fighting here in Elmira. Lanxess, Chemtura, Crompton & Uniroyal you have to date escaped full transparency of your sins and full accountability for them. You have not escaped forever. You and your fellow travellors will eventually be brought to justice. Keep looking over your shoulders.

Friday, May 11, 2018


Yesterday's Woolwich Observer has two separate Opinion pieces which will be an eye opener for many unfortunately. It's unfortunate because the evidence is all around us and has been for a very long time. The Opinion pieces are the Observer's Editorial titled "Municipal race is a call to arms, not to Kool-Aid" and the second is Steve Kannon's "Odds are Michael Harris was a victim of party politics endemic to our system".

Michael Harris was our local MPP at Queen's Park for the past seven years as a member of the Conservative Party. While I don't care for Conservative politics I must say that overall I was impressed with Michael Harris. His party has however shown their true colours in spades. Firstly was the coup d'etat that removed their leader Patrick Brown and that has been followed by the even more spurious allegations against Michael Harris. Shame on any political party for falsely making allegations against the member of another party but there may be a special place in hell for those filth who attack members of their own party for their own personal gains.

As Steve Kannon states "It may be just a coincidence Harris was pushed out after co-chairing the campaign of rival PC leadership candidate Christine Elliot. Or that the allegations followed the failure of Mike Harris Jr. son of the former PC premier, to secure the nomination in the neighbouring Waterloo riding." Right, that's it, just coincidence. Both sets of allegations were less than even serious. They were lie filled examples of ordinary behaviour that goes on all the time around us. They were not criminal acts and they might not even be considered by many as much worse than naughty. What they were, were convenient excuses for the liars and bullies who pervade our political systems.

In the Observer's Editorial about our local municipal politics they tell it straight regarding our current crop of councillors with one, maybe two exceptions at most. "...the elected officials conflate their interests with those of the citizenry. Co-opted into the bubble, they take on the mindset of the public sector employees whose interests are increasingly at odds with residents' needs, particularly when it comes to spending priorities and keeping budgets under control.". The Observer advise that municipal politics need to be more adversarial with councillors more at odds with Staff who are constantly putting administrative and program spending ahead of other more serious priorities (infastructure etc.) . There is very little value to the taxpayers in paying employees at rates both higher than the citizens are earning as well as higher than what private industry pays its' employees. Municipal governance particularly at the Woolwich Township level is not rocket science after all. Hell just look at some of the idiots that have been on council for years. All they have going for most of them is Mennonite names (Shantz, Bauman, Martin) backed by money and influential friends. That is our local reality.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Is this an indictable offence? Could Conestoga Rovers (CRA), Uniroyal Chemical and the Ontario Ministry of Environment be brought up on charges under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act ? Could criminal charges even remotely be considered if this self-serving action could be proven to be an intentional act of collusion between parties all receiving various benefits from deceiving the public and saving themselves dozens of millions of dollars in clean up expenses?

Or on the other hand are these three bodies simply so stupid and incompetent that they made an honest mistake? A mistake that again saved CRA's client dozens of millions of dollars. Would the Ontario Ministry of Environment knowingly go along with this corrupt action even if somehow it made them look better? It's hard to see how relocating GP1 to a position slightly less likely to allow off-site travel of toxic liquid wastes would benefit them. What if it's a combination of the various possibilities. For example could Uniroyal and CRA have conspired and left the M.O.E. out of it? Then the M.O.E., as suggested being stupid and incompetent, they never picked up on it?

Decades later the biggest thorn in the Ontario's side (at least here in Elmira) then exposes that the M.O.E. went along with a $3.5 million cleanup that was in the wrong spot. Hoo boy that certainly puts the Ontario M.O.E. between a rock and a hard place. It's like the Todd Cowan defence at court over his charges of stealing expense money. Todd claimed that he was dyslexic, financially incompetent, disorganized and essentially lazy or in other words he didn't know what he was doing as Mayor of Woolwich Township. I would just love to see the Ontario M.O.E. claim that no we aren't corrupt we're merely incompetent. So for the last 3 1/2 years only have the Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) been going along for the ride waiting to see if my and CPAC's revelation will gain any traction?

The retreat of the media has been pretty dramatic over the decades. They simply don't seem to want to cover anything controversial that can't be categorically and instantly proven. This is a bombshell but the guilty parties have never shown any appetite for apologies or mea culpas.

The moving of the location of GP1 on maps took place in at least two steps. Again there may be a combination of human error (ie. screwups, incompetence etc.) as well as an intentional conspiracy. The first error may very well have been just that, an error by consulting company CH2MHILL in their map they produced for the Region of Waterloo in 1991. Then a sharp eye at CRA seeing the possibilities and being client driven may have seen the opportunity to deflect and kill future massive off-site cleanups on the Stroh and Martin farms. If so that surely would have cemented their long term and profitable association with Uniroyal and their successors.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Only a very few veterans of the Uniroyal wars will recognize the 97.5% figure above and then possibly coordinate it with the word "Bullshit". 97.5% is the figure given to UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) by Conestoga Rovers (CRA), likely by Steve Quigley. 97.5% is the magical number apparently pulled out of thin air by CRA to indicate how much of the contamination flowing into the Canagagigue Creek comes from the south-west corner of their property. That's right, CRA told UPAC, the media and the general public that 97.5% of the toxic contamination flowing into the creek where it flows through Uniroyal's property comes from but one quarter of their creekbanks, namely the south-west corner.

No one disputed that the south-west corner was a cesspool. Many of the unlined (originally) ponds and pits were in the south-west corner of their site. This included RPW 3,4,5,6,7,8. RPW stands for Retention Pond West. It also included TPW2 (Tar Pit West) and M2, the former municipal/industrial landfill for Elmira.

The thing is that these pits and ponds have that little designation "west". Therefore one could conclude that there are likely pits and ponds with an "east" designation. Indeed there are namely RPE (Retention Pit East) 1,2,3,4,5 as well as TPE1 (Tar Pit East), along with BAE1 (Burial Area East) and RB1 & 2 (Reburied area). It even turns out that Uniroyal Chemical played mix and match. They had two pipelines across the Canagagigue Creek running their toxic liquid wastes from their west side production facilities over the creek and into two of the east side ponds. They also cleaned out sludges from some of the west side ponds and reburied them into the two east side "Consolidation Pits", RPE 4 & 5. The entire site is a toxic disaster.

Simply put none of us believed for a second that 97.5% was an accurate figure. It made exactly zero sense. The Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (EH-Team) left UPAC in disgust in January 1994 over their failure to protest the DNAPL (Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids) coverup. Susan and Sylvia cut a private deal, outside APTE, with Uniroyal regarding DNAPLS. They then got screwed by Uniroyal in return with the 1/4 of the upper aquifer hydraulic containment only . APT Environment left UPAC in disgust six months later due to this 97.5% lie that was used to justify only hydraulically containing 1/4 of the upper aquifer entering the Canagagigue Creek. The 1/4 being of course the south-west corner of their site.

Enter 2014 and my and CPAC's discovery of the Stroh Drain running for a couple of hundred metres parallel to Uniroyal/Chemtura's east side property line. Then we had the discovery of the land surface contour lines. Thank You CRA for not completely hiding the contour lines along the Chemtura/Stroh property line. Holy crap everything runs downhill from Uniroyal's east side. Downhill meant not only west and south but eastwards onto the Stroh farm. We also found evidence via satellite photos of what might very well be an Interceptor Trench diverting the grossly contaminated east side groundwater. The groundwater was heading south and west towards the creek but this likely diversion sent it due south and then eastwards over to the Stroh farm and into the Stroh Drain where it discharged several hundred metres further downstream.

We were pleasantly astounded when with only 1/4 of the creek hydraulically contained, it appeared to be cleaning up so well on the Uniroyal site. It was too good to be true yet the concentrations of solvents in the creek plummeted. Hindsight being 20/20 now we believe that both the Ministry of Environment as well as Uniroyal were in on the scam. The Stroh Drain was likely built around 1985 as part of the cleanup prior to admitting that our drinking wells were irrevocably contaminated (Nov. 1989). Both Uniroyal and the M.O.E. knew that the bulk of the east side contamination was not entering the creek on the Uniroyal property but much further downstream on the Martin property where the Stroh Drain discharged back into the creek.

97.5% was a lie. It was however likely not as big a lie as we believed in 1994 because it was the result of a highly immoral and likely highly illegal diversion of contamination through two private properties to the east. CRA and Uniroyal claimed that they could back up 97.5% contamination removal with mathematics and hydrogeology. They never did that with UPAC or the public. The M.O.E. however had to be in on the scam in order to agree to only containing 1/4 of the upper aquifer where it discharged to the creek. With these kinds of folks in charge of environmental cleanups it becomes obvious as to how much trouble our environment/earth really are in.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Guess what. They were lying to us then on an ongoing basis as well. Nothing has changed and nothing will as long as Chemtura/Lanxess, the M.O.E. and our local Council are all in bed together. The biggest and brightest time was with the new, albeit inexperienced, Council of 2010-2014. Then we had the professional liars on the run right up until they were able to hide behind the skirts of the new Mayor and Council immediately after the October 2014 municipal election. Dear God folks do not re-elect our current idiot mayor. Her default position is reluctant agreement with the party with the most power, money and influence and why should that surprise anyone?

The January 26, 2007 Elmira independent had an article written by Gail Martin titled "Treatment plan ready". Note this is only the plan not the waterworks themselves. The plan was to treat the ammonia in the groundwater which inhibited discharge levels to the Canagagigue Creek during the warmer summer months when ammonia is more toxic (we are told) then during the colder months of the year. At the same CPAC meeting yours truly raised the issue of ongoing lack of hydraulic containment of the on-site groundwater as well as reduced off-site pumping rates.

In September 13, 2007 we learned from the K-W Record that Agent Orange victims in Gagetown, New Brunswick (military base) would be receiving a one time payment of $20,000 each if they were there between 1966 and 1967 and could prove ill health effects associated with Dioxin exposure.

On October 27, 2007 the Record also had a story titled " Snack topping proves harmful". It's more information on Diacetyl which is the chemical used in butter flavouring on microwave popcorn. Our good friends here in Elmira (Uniroyal Chemical) produced it regularly for decades.

In the February 27, 2008 Elmira Independent, Julie Sawyer wrote an article titled "CPAC tackles groundwater". By this time we had had many months of ridiculously low pumping rates of groundwater on and off the Crompton site. CPAC members hypocritically bemoaned the lack of groundwater pumping and hence containment even though they had thrown me under the bus when I appealed the Ammonia Certificate of Approval to the Environmental Review Tribunal. Pat and Susan lied privately to the CPAC members and persuaded them that my Appeal was counter productive. Easily led by the nose idiots although many had been brought on board CPAC by Susan to be her cheerleaders.

In the June 6, 2008 Elmira Independent Julie Sawyer again wrote an article titled "Contours misleading, says activist". Yours truly had a nice picture along with the article. CPAC did agree with my Delegation at this meeting in which I advised that Conestoga Rover's groundwater contours had "...a lot of creativity to them.". I referred to the Crompton (Uniroyal) site as hemorrhaging contaminated groundwater versus simply leaking contaminated groundwater.

These newspaper articles are important as they indicate the ongoing failures to both contain much less actually clean up Uniroyal's legacy of illegal and immoral toxic waste disposal in and around Elmira, Ontario.

Monday, May 7, 2018


It's been a slow process. It's been very close to 3 1/2 years now since idiocy was restored en masse to Woolwich Council. Generally that means the return of former councillors with a history of decisions not in the public interest. That would mean Mark Bauman, Sandy Shantz and Murray Martin. The addition 3 1/2 years ago of newcomer Scott Hahn did not raise the average IQ. Then of course let's be honest here. There were a couple on the previous council (2010-2014) who also honestly could never be called brain trusts. One of them replaced Scott Hahn when he suddenly resigned. That move alone was supported by at least three of the current councillors namely Sandy, Larry Shantz and Murray Martin. Any who witnessed that contemptible sham also believe beyond a reasonable doubt that those councillors bald faced lied to the public. They had exactly zero intent to replace Scott Hahn with the best candidate. As far as the public interest goes they replaced him with the least competent candidate available. Council's measure was taken and found wanting however, within the first six months of their term of office. This recent incredibly poorly orchestrated performance was merely the icing on the cake.

Then we have Lanxess who bought out Chemtura Canada. Also GHD took over Conestoga Rovers & Assoc.. These two corporate bodies were much more cautious and careful in their dealings with the public. They said the right things and they took some early positive steps. The appointment of Dr. Richard Jackson as TAG (Technical Advisory Group) Chair by Council (believe it or not) was an incredible positive although it took several months and meetings for us to completely understand the immensity of his experience and grasp of the political situation as well. His departure after only fifteen months on the job has been attributed by some CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members to the refusals by the Ontario Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.) as well as Lanxess to take the necessary steps to advance the off-site aquifers cleanup as well as the cleanup of the Canagagigue Creek. Finally it has been suggested a little more gently and diplomatically that TAG itself missed an opportunity. Dr. Jackson had asked them what they would be willing to do to spur more concrete action from Lanxess and the M.O.E.. He specifically asked if they would be willing to go to the media, do interviews and publicly call out Lanxess and the M.O.E. if they continued to drag their heels. TAG both unfortunately and perhaps not unsurprisingly were reluctant to do so. It was out of their comfort level. Most of them were new at public consultation and public confrontation of both a government body and a new corporate entity to Elmira seemed well... maybe unCanadian to them. At least that's my interpretation.

3 1/2 years later and past the very brief but golden age of Dr. Jackson and it's now clear that Lanxess and GHD are no improvement whatsoever. They will ignore what they don't want to acknowledge and they will cloak it in their usual psuedo (junk) science. They will "explain" what they want to explain and they will continue to ignore the Stroh Drain as well as both the Stroh and Martin contaminated soils. At least that is except for a very shallow (5.9 inches) and very narrow (10-12 feet) strip along their property line. They will continue to add pumping wells that literally pump miniscule amounts of water (< 1.0 litres/second) while reducing pumping at others. There has yet to be any significant increase in off-site pumping rates much less the triple later reduced to double pumping volume they promised in November 2012. They are liars and deceivers just like their predecessors. All hail corporate power and local political corruption! Dioxins and DDT will again be found in huge quantities in and around the creek another fifteen years from now and these same corrupt bodies will wring their hands and promise on their mother's graves to do what they should have done twenty-five years ago from now and fourty years ago from then.

Saturday, May 5, 2018


While the Minutes are not out yet from last Tuesday's Council meeting, nevertheless I've received a report upon comments made in regards to the RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meeting back in late March. Apparently Councillor Bauman raised concerns and frustrations with both Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Duh! This is exactly what you were told by each and every CPAC member back in late 2014 and 2015. At that time you lied including using words such as "dysfunctional". Later on you waffled by suggesting that "dysfunctional" wasn't a criticism of the CPAC members it was the reality when the Ministry and Chemtura refused to attend CPAC meetings. Nice. Typical politician's move.

Regardless Mark appears to be stepping up in regards to the Stroh Drain. While it's hard to fully accept Mark's last minute death bed conversion nevertheless it is welcome. The Stroh Drain and area is obvious to anybody with even half a brain and an ounce of honesty. That of course rules out most of our current Woolwich Council. Not all thank goodness although the honest, intelligent ones are a very small minority.

My understanding is that Councillor Patrick Merlihan raised the question with his concerns about the Stroh Drain. Well done Patrick. Then it was Councillor Mark Bauman who picked up the ball and explained that Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment were studiously ignoring the soils, sediments and water in and around the Stroh Drain. Keep in mind that both these corrupt parties (Chemtura & M.O.E.) never admitted or indicated that the Stroh Drain even existed. For over thirty years it has been draining parts of both the Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess property plus the Stroh property and they and the Ontario M.O.E. kept that information hidden. It's been exposed by myself and CPAC for the last 3 1/2 years and the guilty parties continue to do what they do best which is minimize, lie, deflect and always delay, delay, delay.

Friday, May 4, 2018


On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I posted about the sham of what pretends to be a legitimate and serious complaints process for citizens dealing with unreasonable, lying or deceptive politicians or bureaucrats at Woolwich Township. This comes about because they have blatantly lied, delayed and deceived in regards to methane at explosive levels still in and around the Bolender Park Landfill. Processes like these are inherently suspect. In order to work they need honesty and sincerity from the people in charge of them. Unfortunately if these people were honest and sincere in the first place then there really wouldn't be any need for a formal process to insist upon their honesty and sincerity now would there?

It's now been a full six months since I politely sent them 40 neatly typed questions all relevant to the current situation at the former Landfill. The entire history in the Township's consultants reports from 1983 until 2016 is terrifying. The lack of followup by the Township to various recommendations by their consultants is ridiculous. The internal inconsistencies within these reports are surprising. The principles of methane monitoring including consistency and complete coverage of the perimeter of the Landfill appear to have been ignored. High methane concentrations found in monitoring probes almost seems to guarantee that those probes will not be tested either a year or two later or sometimes ever again. Probes were consistently lost, destroyed or flooded and hence unserviceable. In my opinion the taxpayers received neither good value for their money spent nor did they receive the appropriate care and protection from the possibility of methane explosions. I repeat that this may well have been a two way street with Township staff and politicians equally irresponsible in not following recommendations or in not carefully reading the reports and demanding clarifications and explanations for parts that made little or no sense.

ADR Chambers, the so called Integrity Commissioner has not responded to date to my return e-mail to them questioning a process that demands conveyance of complaints from citizens to ADR Chambers to go through the Municipal Clerk. Frankly I don't expect to receive a response. Keep in mind that Agree Inc. the so called Municipal Ombudsman took a month to respond to my complaint and their response after a month was sorry but it's not in our jurisdiction so you'll have to go through the Integrity Commissioner (ie. ADR Chambers). I received this response by the way at 3:56 pm. Monday April 30, 2018. I responded to that by indeed sending my complaint to ADR Chambers at 5:34 pm. and lo and behold they responded back the very next morning at 8:17 am. with the dandy advice that I needed to work with the Municipal Clerk.

There's a very small fly in all of this of course. Both the Municipal Ombudsman (Agree Inc.) and the Integrity Commissioner (ADR Chambers) appear to be either grossly incompetent or grossly dishonest. As both are supposedly professionals then surely they would know about the recent legislative changes to the Municipal Act. These took place in May 2017 and state that a complaints process against a municipality being conducted by the Integrity Commissioner for said municipality must be concluded by May 1 in an election year. Perhaps complaints in an election year could be detrimental or prejudicial to incumbents seeking re-election. Poor babies. As if the whole convoluted complaints process using multiple bodies and funnelling it through loyal, highly paid staff isn't enough of an advantage to bureaucrats and politicians already. Ah yes it's all a scam folks. Always has been and always will be. Afterall why would any ethically challenged parties ever agree to independent oversight when for the same price they can have the appearance of same without the risk of actually publicly getting their knuckles wrapped?

P.S. note carefully the times and dates listed in the third paragraph from the top (ie. 2nd paragraph up from here). Nomination day was Tuesday May 1/18 and any complaint in the hands of ADR Chambers had to be CONCLUDED by that date. Agree Inc. waited to tell me it was out of their jurisdiction until 3:56 pm. on Monday April 30/18 and advised me to go to the Integrity Commissioner ADR Chambers. ADR Chambers on May 1 made no mention of any deadline having been passed. I expect that would have been their punchline a few days later. No collusion here folks. Stop gawking. Keep on moving. All is well with democracy.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


Not only never admit even the obvious if it is the least bit critical but in fact straight up lie about it. If the evidence is overwhelming that either Staff or Councillors haven't been on top of their jobs, then attack the messenger. That is the Woolwich way. Obviously this is not the behaviour of the majority of Woolwich staffers. Nor does it describe the behaviour of all the Councillors, just some.

I was a Delegate to Woolwich Council in regards to methane issues in the former Bolender Park Landfill many times. All of one question from councillors in all those Delegations. Not a hint of concern that more quickly needed to be done to protect people living or working in close proximity to the former dump. Lo and behold in today's Woolwich Observer (pg. 5) we are advised that there will be a gas probe installed just north of the former dump, now known as #86 Auto Recyclers. This gas probe is literally decades overdue.

Back in the 1980s methane gas was found in extraordinarily high concentrations north of the former Landfill extremely close to the now Elmira Pet Foods buildings. These concentrations were ten and twenty times higher than the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL). Suddenly these gas probes were never monitored again. Similarly gas probes on the east side of the former Landfill had very high methane readings in close proximity to homes on High St.. The answer seemed to be to stop monitoring them and install different probes in slightly different locations. This could easily be interpreted as if and when you find uncomfortable readings change your monitoring in order not to find any more high methane readings.

The multiple technical reports written by Conestoga Rovers are riddled with anomalies, inconsistencies and downright illogical conclusions or assertions. One of my favourites is in regards to surface water allegedly preventing lateral methane migration. To this day neither Woolwich Staff nor CRA (GHD) have backed that up with any kind of relevant and legitimate scientific literature.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


To understand people's reactions you have to sometimes understand the context. Yesterday I received an e-mail from ADR Chambers. They are Woolwich Township's Integrity Commissioner. I guess when a corporation are lacking certain items they go out and try and buy them.

In yesterday's post I advised as to my having gone through the Township's internal complaint process. I believe it may have been fashioned after the internal complaints processes in either North Korea or even more likely, Syria. I then went to the Municipal Ombudsman who after another month directed me to the Integrity Commissioner, ADR Chambers. Keep in mind that it's now been a full six months since I sent my 40 questions to an already prepared Council and Staff in regards to the Bolender Park Landfill methane issues.

Following is the exact e-mail received from ADR Chambers:

"Good morning Mr. Marshall,

Thank you for your e-mail.

ADR Chambers' jurisdiction regarding complaints is only established upon receipt of a Formal Complaint conveyed to us by the Township Clerk. Accordingly you may wish to speak with the Clerk about this matter.

I regret that I can not be of more assistance.

Kind regards,

Jenn Rosen, B.A. LL.B./ ADR Professional
ADR Chambers "

Well O.K. that's a bit of a peculiar response albeit a very polite response. Keeping in mind the full circumstances here was my response back to her:

"Ms. Rosen: Are you actually advising me that if the Towmship Clerk, a paid employee of Woolwich Township, were to choose not to convey to you my complaint that you therefore would not proceed to do your job and investigate Woolwich Township's behaviour as requested? Please answer this question thoughtfully because I'm already in stitches with laughter and I'm really too old for that sort of thing.

Sincerely Alan Marshall".

Yes I am laughing at the ridiculousness of the initial response I have received from ADR Chambers. I have made it very clear in various correspondences to Woolwich Township, the Municipal Ombudsman (Agree Inc.) and now ADR Chambers that this is a very simple and straightforward complaint. Citizens are at risk according to professional (allegedly) reports produced by the Township's (& Uniroyal/Lanxess's) consultants Conestoga Rovers (now GHD Consulting). Proper and appropriate actions appear not to have been forthcoming and my questions were to further clarify the entire situation whether for better or worse. I might add that I have thirty years of first hand technical experience in regards to reading and understanding technical, environmental reports through my long association as well as membership in municipal citizens' committees dealing with Uniroyal Chemical, Varnicolor Chemical and much more..

Finally I might add that the Township Clerk's loyalties were made obvious three years ago when she thoughtfully chose to ignore provincial legislation in favour of Woolwich "tradition" in regards to not insisting that Councillor Mark Bauman file Election Financial Statements. That temporarily cost Mr. Bauman his municipal seat only after I complained although our judicial system rapidly restored his position. I now await a response from ADR Chambers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


The first reason is that mostly they are a sham. Not all, just most. This is because they are set up by the guilty parties as a sort of insulation between their self-serving behaviour and those whom their acts have harmed. They are also manufactured to represent a hypothetical, arms length independent third party. Of course they are no such thing. MECAC (Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee) are a good example. They are a bunch of allegedly third party, independent persons, unbiasedly judging whether local politicians have contravened the Ontario Municipal Elections Act. In reality they are a bunch of former local politicians with pro politician biases as well as having previously worked with some of the politicians they are now judging. What a farce! In the Woolwich cases (Sandy Shantz and Scott Hahn) they were beyond dreadful AND there was a strong business connection between Sandy and one of them. This we found out in mid adjudication and raised a stink privately that led to one of the MECAC members being "absent" from that point on. Again what a farce!

Now we come to the black and white case of Woolwich Council refusing to answer 40 well researched and well written questions given to them last November in regards to the explosive levels of methane in the Bolender Park Landfill. Three months later and Township Staff sent me a response. Sort of. They advised me that Council had stated that they only had to answer two of the questions because allegedly the other 38 were of a "historical" nature. Such horse manure. One that is a lie as many of the questions related to information provided in the most recent Conestoga Rovers reports in 2015 and 2016 and secondly so what even if they were? This problem has been around for 35 years. Of course there are going to be some questions related to earlier decisions and actions which are affecting methane concentrations today.

One of the two questions Staff answered was about the so called ditch on the east side of the former Landfill. The "ditch" in fact is a depression from the illegal water pipe installed across private property decades ago. Conestoga Rovers gilded the lily in their excuses about this so called ten foot deep ditch preventing methane migration eastwards. The ditch is less than half that depth and it does not stop methane migration. That is typical unsubstantiated CRA junk science. By the way I am looking forward to seeing Woolwich Township in court sometime this month over their illegal water pipeline.

Firstly I went through Woolwich's internal complaints procedure. As expected it was the usual biased, eyes shut, ears covered exercise in nonsense. I had been advised that I needed to do this prior to going to the municipal Ombudsman (Agree Inc.). So then I went to Agree Inc.. They took a month to inform me that this complaint was not within their purview and suggesting that instead I go to Woolwich's Integrity Commissioner. Keep in mind my 40 questions were sent to the Township very early last November. It's now been six months and I've received all of one honest, accurate answer. Yes they have lots to hide on this file. I believe that they and their predecessors have been negligent in regards to the dangers involved. Part of the purpose of the 40 questions was to determine if there were any extenuating circumstances or other facts that would put the Township's actions in a better light. Was it possible that they had failed to advise me prior to November 2017 of some crucial facts that would make the likelihood of an explosion or other hazards less likely? Their refusal to respond intelligently and honestly seems to say otherwise. They appear to be in full blown defensive posture. What exactly are they afraid of? Have there been some serious adverse effects that I and the public don't know about?

Woolwich's Integrity Commissioner is ADR Chambers Inc.. The bad news for Woolwich Township is that just having an Integrity Commissioner doesn't mean that you have integrity. I have now reapplied to ADR Chambers. Let's see how this unfolds.