Saturday, September 29, 2018


The Ontario MOE have certainly mixed and matched their representatives at UPAC/CPAC over the years and the decades. The only really consistent, longterm rep was Steve Martindale who I couldn't help but like. I believe all of twice were harsh words exchanged between us and we sorted that out on both occasions to our mutual satisfaction. Others complained about Steve's alleged or apparent ultra laid back responses but I always figured that was just his personality etc. Steve was no better or no worse than all the other MOE personnel who showed up on occasion over the decades.

With Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and now Lanexess we had company name changes far more than personnel changes. Jeff Merriman and Dwighte Este carried the corporate banner for decades with others dropping in and out such as Dr. David Ash, Ron ...? Dmitri Makres, Josef Oleajarz, Helder Botello etc. at the helm. Jeff is now retired. The company's consultants were Conestoga Rovers forever (CRA) who were recently taken over by GHD although some of the personnel remain from CRA such as SQuigley and Alan Deal. Luis Almeida currently is GHD's point man.

Now we come to Ramin Ansari, hydrogeologist for Lanxess and possibly for Chemtura although I'm not certain. CPAC members who have seen him at meetings are split on his sincerity, credibility, veracity etc. Some think he is the real deal others believe that yes he's very knowledgeable in his field and that he presents very well when speaking, however that does not necessarily mean that he is sincere, and truthful in all matters.

My first initial bias was that he's a mouthpiece for a corporation who likely are no different from Uniroyal, Crompton and Chemtura. In other words all talk about the environment and all receptors while their actions always appears to be in the interests of their shareholders versus their stakeholders here in Elmira. Their stakeholders are every living thing that breathes the air that they discharge into and who used to drink the groundwater and still drink or live in the surface water that their corporate predecessors dumped into and contaminated. That's one option.

Of course another option is that Ramin is the real deal from start to finish. He's highly knowledgeable along with morals and ethics that demand that his employer live up to their responsibility to clean up their mess both in the Elmira Aquifers, Canagagigue Creek and more.

A third option may be that Ramin will face the reality that whatever his personal scruples are, he's working for Lanxess Canada and they provide his paycheque. They could bluntly tell him to toe the line or they could do it more subtly. For example if Ramin is simply not provided with crucial past information, his employer could essentially fib to him by omission. Dwighte who is still there knows where all the skeletons and coverups are and he could potentially plead ignorance to Ramin on the DNAPL coverup and so much more.

Institutional memory is often lost when employees retire or leave for other reasons. It can also be intentionally "lost" as new employees enter the scene, such as now. It is very easy for new employees to correctly state that they are not so and so from the past and not responsible for errors, mistakes or intentional truth deflections from the past. I agree that they personally are not so responsible but that they do bear responsibility to not assume that everything they are told by their colleagues or supervisors are gospel. If they repeat dishonest environmental statements and facts after being advised by stakeholders otherwise, then they will assume the mantle and reputation of their predecessors.

A fourth and more likely option is that Ramin is somewhere stuck in the middle of the three proposed options. He could be the real deal however he is facing the reality of working for a typical corporation who, whatever their public declarations, have to look out for number one. He may technically be miles ahead of anyone else we've seen and he might based upon that technical superiority be willing and able to move this employer further along the road to environmental remediation than we have so far seen. As always time and actions will tell, not words.

Friday, September 28, 2018


Well the usual cast of characters were present at the Remediation Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting. Jason Rice from the MOE along with Assistant Director of the West Central Region of the MOE, namely Jane Glassco. I had met her years previously at CPAC meetings, perhaps back in late 2011. The GRCA was represented by Nancy Davy and the Region of Waterloo, of course, were not there. They have clearly once again backed away from what I believe they believe is a do nothing committee. Lanxess were well represented with Ramin Ansari, Dwighte Este and Helder Botello. Louis Almeida from GHD was also present late, albeit back in the gallery with us common folks. Tiffany Svensson, TAG Chair as well as TAG reps Joe Kelly and Linda Dickson attended. Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman were co-chairs.

Vivienne Delaney, Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach and I were the common folk in the gallery. Tiffany opened things up by explaining TAG's July 5, 2018 Motion asking for greater sampling in the "Gap" area near the south-east border between Lanxess and the Stroh farm. She stated that the samples should be taken from the topographically lowest level in the "Gap" area and they should not be only the top 15 cm (5.9 inches). Also the more stringent Table 8 standards for soils within 30 metres of a waterbody are more appropriate as the Stroh Drain is a waterbody.

Ramin advised that Lanxess intend to complete the excavations and remediation on the Stroh property along their eastern boundary before the year is out. He also suggested that Lanxess could take another look at the "Gap" when they start their work on the Risk Assessment for the Canagagigue Creek.

Jason Rice of the MOE stated that the MOE feel it's better to wait for further examination as well regarding the Stroh Drain and the "Gap". He basically suported Ramin's position.

There was discussion on the ongoing trials and tribulations in regards to the failure to get pumping well W9 up and running. This had been strongly criticized at the TAG meeting a week prior. Ramin claims that Lanxess are doing their best. Ramin also suggested that to date they have not discovered who and where the excess chlorobenzene is coming from. This was the approximate 1,300 kg that Dr. Neil Thompson had indicated could not be accounted for by Uniroyal Chemical.Ramin indicated that they were looking diligently for other sources of this chlorobenzene. Personally I think they are just about thirty years late on that exercise. The off-site cleanup required full knowledge of all sources and this was even claimed by Uniroyal Chemical's own consultants in notarized Affidavits to the Environmental Appeal Board. Interestingly Ramin mentioned that one of the co-owners of the former Varnicolor site (Elmira Pump) was involved in these discussions. This involvement could be simply a sharing of groundwater results or possibly more.

Joe Kelly and Linda Dickson of TAG both presented comments and issues at the meeting as well.

To my discomfort I may have to say something nice about Mark Bauman. My recollection is that he suggested a private meeting after the RAC meeting in order for TAG and friend to elaborate and clarify on the issues surrounding the Stroh Drain, Interceptor Trenches and the "Gap". Sebastian agreed to this meeting prior to him being able to dig up the specific CRA report with the topographical map (ground elevations) on it. That was a good thing as I raced over to my home just prior to the meeting ending and grabbed both my 2' x 3 1/2' map plus the specific CRA 2013 report with the pockets in the back including the map titled "Existing Conditions".

Lo and behold I was treated as exactly what I am, a very well informed stakeholder on these matters when I got back. We talked, discussed, debated and argued I'm guessing for 3/4 of an hour. Sebastian was magnificent. Tiffany spoke little but observed, listened and learned more details about these issues from the debate. We ended on a very collegial note with kind words all around. Either an optimist or a naive person would call it a breakthrough. Thirty years of double dealing, backstabbing and lying to the public makes me a skeptic even though I appreciated the back and forth discussions last early evening. Some of the points and comments were very good and strong and others frankly I viewed as spurious although I did not say so. As always time will tell as to whether Ramin and Louis along with Helder and Dwighte really want to know the truth and take appropriate steps.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


This should always have been the focus and various UPACs and CPACs over the decades have made this obvious to Uniroyal, their corporate successors and the Ontario MOE. The July 2003 Request For Action was a huge step in that direction and Crompton, Chemtura and Lanxess have only grudgingly taken steps to follow through on that. The scam involving GP-1 & 2 , in my opinion, should have sent various CRA and Chemtura personnel to jail. Similarly the Stroh Drain, possibly combined with what appear to be Interceptor Trenches, should do the same. These issues certainly provide evidence that significant amounts of Uniroyal Chemical contamination have been diverted surreptitiously onto the neighbour's farm and then into the Canagagigue Creek. This all needs to be investigated by unimpeachable parties, not by self-serving or corrupt bodies that Woolwich Township have long been inflicted with.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


RAC - Remediation Advisory Committee. Is the purpose of most committees to solve problems or simply to give the impression that somebody is doing something about the problem, whether they are or not? In the cases involving the public interest such as Uniroyal Chemical, did the MOE and Township form a committee (UPAC) with the express purpose of letting the community vent while behind the scenes assuring Uniroyal that votes, motions or resolutions from UPAC, at most, would receive lip service only?

Tomorrow's RAC meeting has a very brief Agenda. There are no Delegations and under Section 4. there are three Recommendations from TAG namely 4.1 "East-side Remediation and Investigation Follow-up"
4.2 "Offsite Groundwater Containment Update"
4.3 "Creek Investigation, CSM Development, Timelines and Next Steps"

There is also under 5. "Stakeholder Consultation-The TAG/RAC Process" That should be interesting and I expect mostly a self-congratulatory pat on the back attempting to legitimize the illegitimate.

Item 4.3 above refers to CSM. That stands for Conceptual Site Model and is an example of both too much discussion in private behind closed doors as well as what happens when meetings are held five months apart and Minutes don't come out in a timely fashion. I have not missed a single public meeting of either RAC or TAG yet here I am wondering what the hell a CSM for the Canagagigue Creek is. We did receive a CSM for the Elmira Aquifers a while back produced by Dr. Neil Thompson.That CSM essentially described the stratigraphy or subsurface aquifers and aquitards beneath Elmira as well as showing how contaminant migration from Uniroyal to the north and south wellfields occurred.

From that am I to assume that a CSM for the creek is going to describe the various soils , clays, stones , sediments etc. and then explain how contaminated sediments move downstream along with dissolved solvents in the surface water? At this late stage all citizens should know what is going on and if those attending all the public meetings don't, then clearly the public meetings are just for show. In other words MOE, RMOW, GRCA, Lanxess and GHD start sharing in the public meetings and not using them as camouflage for what's happening behind the scenes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Well they do! They've now set a record during July and August 2018 for the lowest volume of off-site pumping in years. 44.6 litres per second for the month of July combined with a whopping 44.2 litres per second for last month (August). For perspective realize that six years ago they promised to TRIPLE the volume of off-site pumping from approximately 53 litres per second to presumably 150 litres per second or so. A couple of years later and they had reduced their brag from TRIPLE to DOUBLE. Well generally since 2012 they've obtained regular pumping rates of approximately 60 litres per second which is approximately a 14% increase. Doubling the pumping from 53 to 106 would be a 100% increase and tripling to the magical, mystical 159 l/s would be a two hundred percent increase by my math.

Instead they've generally avergaed a 14% increase since 2012 with this summer being a major decrease of 18% from the 2012 averages. Not to worry though, Lanxess just like their predecessors have a whole litany of excuses. Fortunately for them both the Ontario Environmental Protection Act and the MOE themselves obviously must accept excuses as a defence because no charges have been laid. I mean really who are we to suggest that the environment is more important than the feelings of corporate polluters or that profits to shareholders should in any way be diminished by illegal or immoral behaviour?

Monday, September 24, 2018


We received the Minutes of the last RAC meeting three days ago. That would be six days before the next RAC meeting which is this Thursday, September 27 at 4 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers. Now here's the punchline. The last RAC meeting was held on April 26, 2018. Yes that is FIVE MONTHS ago. That folks is not public consultation. To just receive the Minutes of a public meeting held five months ago is asinine. Welcome to Woolwich folks. This is the home of world class polluters receiving world class adoration and protection from accountability. It is a team effort involving the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Woolwich Council, well paid client driven consultants, and last but not least, co-opted hand picked (by the polluter) citizens, willing to deliver key concessions under the guise of representing the public. No I am not describing generally citizens on TAG. There are some good ones although there are also two who are not. One of them is not a Canadian citizen, does not live in Woolwich Township and by her own admission, while allegedly representing the public, has accepted work and favours from Conestoga Rovers, decades long consultant to Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura. The other, while allegedly representing the public, has accepted all expense paid trips including accomodations, air travel and meals from the chemical industry lobby (CCPA/CIAC) of which Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura are members.

I repeat only in Woolwich Township folks is corruption so blatant and yet so unaccountable.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


Luisa D'Amato has written an Opinion piece titled "Don't make candidates organize the debate". While I agree completely with her basic premise that's not why I am discussing her article here in today's posting. She has possibly inadvertently raised some interesting issues politically in Woolwich Township. Firstly we have Ward 1. The alleged "incumbents" are Pat Merlihan and Julie-Ann Herteis. In fact Julie-Ann is no incumbent. She was appointed by Woolwich Council last spring via a blatant scam. Ten other very capable and professional applicants went to the trouble of applying and then writing a speech and delivering it to Council for their consideration. Council considered nothing. At least three or four out of the five of them considered nothing at the public meeting. They had privately and hence likely illegally decided prior to the public meeting that Julie-Ann was their kind of councillor, namely quiet, uninformed and capable of following direction just as she did under the Todd Cowan council.

Not good. Now we come to Scott McMillan whom I do not know. Mostly. I have one alleged incident from his school days. More importantly he was/is chair of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). News flash folks. That for me at least, is not a positive recommendation. I will never again vote for anyone who has held that position and I should have known better the first time. History and time have taught me that lesson. Let me put it this way. My experience with the WRDSB is that they are most unlikely to vote as chair an honest, informed individual who's sole goal is improving the educational system for STUDENTS. There are lots who want to improve it for teachers, bureaucrats at the WRDSB, the unions or other stakeholders.

Soooo as weak a candidate as Julie-Ann is I would rather have her on council than a strong but flawed in the public interest individual such as I believe Mr. McMillan to be. Plus privately I have heard that she is basically a good person. If that is correct then maybe I'd better get used to her.

Patrick Merlihan far and away in my opinion is the best of a bad lot on that council. Yes he's arrogant and a bit of a know it all but I think he's still the best by far.

Larry Shantz and Murray Martin are a disappointment. Murray is and always has been beyond hopeless. Maybe Larry has some redeeming social value but I haven't seen it so far.

In my opinion both Eric Schwindt and Fred Redekop are excellent candidates. It is a shame that they are running against each other.

The only bonus with our pretend mayor Sandy Shantz returning is that she's got one more term to publicly self-destruct. Todd Cowan did it in one term. Sandy is pushing her luck with a second term.

See you all during the election!

Friday, September 21, 2018


Some boring parts and some really interesting parts. Linda Dickson reported on the MOE's Review of GHD's 2017 Annual Monitoring Report (AMR). I had read and reported here last month about Abdul Quyum's (MOE) highly critical review of this 2017 AMR.Linda indicated that the MOE have problems with a number of conclusions that GHD makes based upon very limited evidence. Also the MOE believe that GHD were not able to confirm hydraulic containment of the shallow aquifer discharging into the Canagagigue Creek.Thirdly differences in lab results between the MOE's lab and Lanxess's lab were not adequately explained. Susan Bryant supported Linda's view regarding Mr. Quyum's criticism. Susan stated that it was the "longest and most critical review in years of the AMR".

There was a reference to suspected validity problems with the Mann-Kendall tests used to determine contaminant trends in the AMR. O have long suggested that they are lacking in their interpretations based upon plain common sense in looking at the Tables of concentrations they present.

Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach presented the June Lanxess Progress Reort and David Hofbauer presented the July Progress Report. Sebastian suggested that the shutdown of a significant off-site pumping well (W9) may reflect "no sense of urgency" on Lanxess's part which is very sad, bad and inappropriate if true. A brief discussion was held about W4's absence which I advised had been shut down a year ago.

Sebastian raised my issue about the Interceptor Trench and the satellite photos as well as recently discovered legal Affidavits to the Environmental Appeal Board promising the construction of this method to contain contaminated groundwater from the east side pits. Tiffany Svensson suggested that this information had been passed along to RAC and hopefully would be discussed there.

Susan led a discussion on the Technical Experts Meeting. Of course the best informed lay citizen was not invited and that would be me. This pretty clearly indicates that public consultation continues to be the purview of the guilty polluting parties such as Lanxess, GHD and the Ontario MOE and they only want to hear from those they favour ie. those willing to keep secrets not in the public interest.

There was an indirect reference to "other" sources only. No one mentioned Bolender Park Landfill, First St. Landfill, Lot 91 or the south end of the former on Uniroyal site, M2 Landfill. While the middle and north end of M2 may be hydraulically contained it is unlikely that the part now in and around the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) is. To my knowledge there is and never has been any leachate control or hydraulic containment of the Bolender, First St. and Lot 91 dumps. This is to the everlasting shame of the Township, Region and the province (MOE). At the end of the meeting I brought this information to TAG Chair Tiffany Svensson who appeared to have little or no knowledge of it which was to be expected. Of course this information should have been brought forward publicly for all to hear however due to Sandy Shantz's and Mark Bauman's incompetence or possibly worse, the public are refused the opportunity to address TAG publicly.

On October 30, 2018 TAG Chair Tiffany Svensson will be addressing Woolwich Council in regards to the efforts of TAG and I believe RAC which she attends as TAG Chair.

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Well overall the Observer's take as written by Steve Kannon is a far more accurate portrayal of events of 2015 than the self-serving and biased take expressed my Mark Bauman in the Observer a couple of weeks back. What a dork with such a self-selective memory of events. "Woolwich signs on to changes in election audit committee" is the title of the front page article.

The Observer advises us that of the ten member pool of MECAC members, five are the same twits as before. That would include Tom Jutzi, Murray Stoddart, Robert Williams, Larry Aberle and especially Chair at the time Carl Zehr. Now there's a professional politician if ever I saw one and that is not a compliment. I am stretching my memory a bit but there was one of that original group who did stray from the pack and vote against all the rest on one issue, likely in regards to whether or not to send young Scott Hahn on to the courts.This vote was taken after the formal, independent and much more rigorous Audit as ordered by MECAC took place. That ordered Audit is much more detailed and comprehensive than the standard audits done by candidates own accountants such as Sandy and other candidates do voluntarily.I believe that it was Murray Stoddart who stood up on his hind legs on that one vote at least. He still voted not to order an independent, formal Audit of Sandy Shantz's cooked financial statement to his shame and everybody else's.

One other tiny issue. On page 4 Steve Kannon suggests that it was Shantz and Bauman who footed legal bills of their own, above and beyond the Township's expenses. While that is appropriate, what about Scott Hahn? He was sending a lawyer to court in regards to the Crown examining the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) and deciding whether to prosecute or not. Crown prosecutor Michael Carnegie advised the Judge that he felt that on the strength of the evidence that he could get a conviction however he felt that it was not in the public interest to do so. Apparently enforcing the MEA is not in the public interest for some reason. Picking and choosing which laws to enforce is not right, even if it is legal. The law is an ass.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


In a nutshell, likely it does. This is the issue with provincial legislation affecting lower tier municipalities. There is little or no enforcement and in fact it's essentially lip service compliance. Even when formal complaints are made the attitudes and biases of the politicians are readily apparent.A huge part of the problem is the municipal clerks. While they are allegedly somewhat responsible to the relevant provincial legislation, in fact they are hired and promoted to their jobs as Clerks by the municipal council. They can also be fired by the municipal council so who do you think they pay the most attention to?

Last evening's Woolwich Council meeting discussed Terms of Reference for the Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee or MECAC. That is the same bunch of biased, incompetent, politician loving folks who messed up so badly here in Woolwich during 2015. They utterly failed to remove Sandy Shantz from the mayor's chair after I demonstrated that she had failed to file an Auditor's Report with her Financial Statement. She inaccurately kept her expenses below $10,000 thus avoiding the mandated need for an Audit. Unfortunately her bookeeping skills weren't up to the task as I readily found thousands of dollars of unreported and or inaccurately reported expenses. To this day she still hasn't formally reported all of them, contravening the conditional reinstatement to the mayor's chair given by Justice David Broad of Superior Court in Kitchener. This is why I occasionally refer to her as the pretend mayor of Woolwich Township. I wonder when would be the best time to pull the plug on her?

Page 1 of 6 (pages 30-35) in last evening's Agenda gives some indication of how nearly automatic MECAC granting of a formal, independent Audit should be. It appears as if they can only deny one in the most obvious and egregious cases which is exactly the opposite of what occurred with Sandy Shantz. She went to the first MECAC meeting admitting many of her faults and failures and improperly resubmitting her Financial Statement and new Audit to MECAC. They did not have the authority to accept it late but they did so anyway. They also failed to immediately advise all and sundry that she was now automatically removed as mayor of Woolwich. That took my doing a few days later. The Clerk also screwed up royally in not immediately removing Sandy from the mayor's chair.

Page 3 of 6 also indicates how each municipal clerk can cherry pick their own representatives from the Regional pool of MECAC reps when an Application for a formal Audit has come to them. What a scam. It's like judge shopping in effect, whereby the accused would be allowed to pick a judge who he feels is soft on whatever his particular crime is.

Page 4 of 6 discusses Conflict of Interest issues. Again what a scam. Instead of a real conflict of interest policy it narrows it down to pecuniary conflicts of interest only. Therefore apparently it's just dandy for MECAC reps to be personal friends or political or business colleagues etc. of the politicians they are investigating. Again what a crock!

All in all after serious study I can assure you that the system isn't merely weak, it is broken.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


On occasion over the decades I have been accused of being too negative. Of only reporting the failures but not the successes of Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess. As a broad generalization I would mostly agree. Afterall the well paid professionals including consultants and even media experts whether on Uniroyal staff or independent companies all have taken their job of presenting the company in the very best light possible, very seriously. I would suggest that despite overwhelming evidence pointing to very bad behaviour by the company,that those professionals have done reasonably well. Therefore why exactly should I feel any discomfort about presenting the companies fibs, lies, failures, deceptions and manipulations to the very best of my humble and limited abilities? Hence I do not.

Between late September and late December 2010 there was an outpouring of press including CKCO-TV, K-W Record, Woolwich Observer and the Elmira Independent describing the release of 4,200 kilograms of BLE-25. That's right 4,200 kilograms or approximately 10,000 pounds of a mixture of diphenylamine and acetone which under pressure was blown out of a roof vent on the Chemtura site to be spread far and wide around the town of Elmira, Ontario.

One such newspaper article was the Wednesday December 22, 2010 article published in the Elmira Independent and titled "Closed vent cause of Chemtura release". The improperly closed vent contributed to an unacceptable buildup of pressure within a reaction vessel at Chemtura. The process was not under direct human supervision at the time and thus both visual and audible automatic alarms were not
responded to in a timely manner. Hence a rupture disc did its job by breaking under the pressure and releasing the contents of the rection vessel into the open air rather than the vessel exploding inside the building and causing both extensive property damage and likely human injuries or fatalities.

Chemtura have promised changes including operators present at all times during the running of this process.

The company were strongly and appropriately criticized for failing to inform both Woolwich Township and local residents either by the emergency phone system or in person. The town siren also was not deployed as the Township were in the dark about the release and its severity.

To the best of my knowledge the company did apologize as well as spend a lot of money with professional cleaners and auto body shops cleaning 270 cars and just over 200 homes affected by the fallout of BLE-25.

Monday, September 17, 2018


I submitted my June 30, 2018 Elmira Advocate posting to TAG (Technical Advisory Group) back in July and it is on their correspondence list. With this dual committee system (RAC & TAG) it doubles the chances of paperwork and documents not being distributed to all the stakeholders,unless of course everything submitted to TAG automatically is sent on to RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee). I do not know. Anyway I would like my June 30/18 posting sent to RAC not because I expect any action from them but simply to erode their plausible deniability regarding the MOECP (Ministry of Expanded Corporate Pollution) and their inadequate efforts here in Elmira, Ontario.

That particular posting is a relatively detailed critique of the MOECP's Review of Lanxess's consultant's 2017 Canagagigue Creek investigation. Any reader wishing to see that posting merely has to go into the Blog Archives on the right side of the page.

The title of the June 30/18 posting is in quotation marks in the title above and refers to a quote from Susan Bryant that was published in the Elmira Independent on February 5, 1999. It of course was referencing the MOE's behaviour back in the 1990's and it certainly hasn't gotten any better. Any reader of this Blog knows that both the MOE and Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess along with their consultants CRA/GHD have lost my faith and respect decades ago.

Therefore one obvious solution is for me to simply present this document to RAC as a Delegation at their September 27/18 meeting in Council Chambers. As I stated two days ago here, I am hesitant to do so. I may have to send it to them via a different process.

Despite my disparaging comments about the RAC and TAG process two days ago there are some positives. First of all despite some of the volunteers being curling buddies and friends of the mayor, generally speaking they have shown themselves to be intelligent and concerned citizens. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences have been beneficial although I expect that they may share some frustrations knowing that all their efforts and input are being filtered through the RAC committee. Simply put Chemtura/Lanxess were very good at avoiding doing the obvious when they dealt with UPAC & CPAC, face to face, once a month. It's so much easier now when they really only have to show up for RAC meetings three or four times per year.

RAC are also the problem. The MOE and Lanxess run the show and the other agencies and groups defer to them far more than independent citizens ever did. Also with the exception of the Region and their rep, the other two groups really don't have a clue about groundwater contamination etc. The GRCA, Woolwich Township and the Region of Waterloo will not push and if they do it is oh so softly and respectfully. The MOE and Lanxess and their consultants have never treated either the public or the other stakeholders respectfully. Deception, manipulation and psuedo science presented to the public and their representatives is incredibly disrespectful and that is their stock and trade. Some of us call a spade a spade and my response to those who don't like being called dishonest is if you want my respect then start being honest with us.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Well first of all it simply can't be done. Many have tried and many have failed.I have in the past spoken as a Delegation to RAC and there were zero questions or even what could seem like interest from the members. I have submitted important information and data to TAG under both Chairs, namely Dr. Richard Jackson and Tiffany Svensson. As of the Agenda for next Thursday it does not appear that the Interceptor Trench Affidavits and satellite photos that I have submitted will be up for discussion. I could be wrong and be pleasantly surprised next Thursday but I'm certainly not counting on it.

The TAG process as set up by Sandy Shantz and council does not allow for Delegations to the citizens appointed to TAG. That is disgraceful but a very effective way of keeping myself and CPAC at bay. Wouldn't want us polluting the young (?) and inexperienced (?) minds on TAG apparently. I am of two minds regarding being a Delegation to RAC again. The Interceptor Trench issues are vitally important to the health of the creek, the health of public consultation and much more. That said should I continue to try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? The process is perverted, undemocratic and a sham of public consultation. I hate to assist in propping it up in any fashion. TAG is this September 20 (6:30 pm.) and RAC is held on September 27/18 at 4 pm I believe in Woolwich Council Chambers.

Friday, September 14, 2018


They were sent out last evening. The Minutes are for the Thursday, July 5, 2018 meeting held in Council Chambers. As mentioned earlier here in the Advocate the next TAG meeting is this coming Thursday at 6:30 pm in Council Chambers.

The Agenda is quite brief although it does contain two Monthly Progress Reports namely for June and July of this year. There are also 2017 Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) Review comments. Depending on what depth TAG delve into this item it could be interesting as the MOE and their hydrogeologist, Mr. Quyom, did take exception to a number of items in GHD's AMR. I reported on Mr. Quyum's review a few weeks back here in the Advocate.

The Minutes of the July meeting appear to be spot on. Page 4 of the Minutes has an excellent Motion from TAG advising the MOECP that they TAG are not satisfied with the sampling to date in the "Gap" area of the Lanxess property next to the Stroh farm. Also the MOECC had acknowledged errors in their Audit Report of the 2017 Lanxess Canagagigue Creek Floodplain Soil Investigation. I had pointed thes out in a written submission to TAG and the TAG Minutes acknowledge that the MOE's revised and reissued
Audit Reort is in part to address my concerns.

Under Section 4 "Correspondence and Documents received since last TAG meeting" I have to assume that the only items listed are items up for discussion at this Thursday's meeting because there are several other Documents that have been received including my Interceptor Trench Affidavits as well as my satellite photos showing the man made works on the surface of the east side property.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


First off, as of right now, this week's edition of the Woolwich Observer is not on-line, hence I can't give you the readers the link to their Editorial titled "Ford uses Charter clause at his peril...and ours too".(It's on-line now!) My overall position on this Editorial is that I support it. I might add in general that despite occasional specific criticisms of specific matters I have posted here; overall I agree with far more of their Editorials, comments and opinions that otherwise. Unlike me (this is a joke coming) they aren't yet perfect but I continue to hope.

Quoting from today's Editorial in regards to Premier Doug Ford and his use of the Notwithstanding clause; "If the changes could be justified as more than spite, then there would be no harm in announcing his intention for the legislation to take effect at the next election, with or without the pretense of public consultations - a usually perfunctory facade perpetrated by many governments to legitimize their (often poor) already-made decisions."

O.K. now first off I admit that I'm going to extrapolate the Observer's generalized view on public consultation by governments to a specific, local public participation matter, namely the former UPAC and CPAC as well as RAC and TAG. I have formerly admitted to being naive politically when I first got involved with Varnicolor Chemical and then followed up with the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC). Relatively quickly I did realize that UPAC was a fraud loaded with Uniroyal sympathizers whether former employees or local politicians on Woolwich Council. I didn't realize that even after the bulk of them departed UPAC that the committee was still viewed by Uniroyal, Township Council, and the province through the Ministry of Environment (MOE) as being primarily for appearances sake. Or as the Observer's Editorial states "...a usually perfunctory facade perpetrated by many governments to legitimize their (often poor) already-made decisions."

All these governments had already decided privately that it was in their and Uniroyal's best interests to let nature and dilution expend the time and energy to slowly clean up the site and area rather than Uniroyal to do it. Afterall these government bodies and agencies had all been part of the problem for decades prior to the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis and the longer public focus stayed on it, the worse it would be for everyone's credibility. Hence the official attitudes and behaviours favouring those who go along to get along and attempting to discourage those seeking the truth without favour or prejudice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


1) Interceptor Trench 2) Stroh Drain 3) The "Gap" 4) GP1 & 2

These four issues above have all been covered in these pages. They have all been presented publicly at either CPAC, RAC, TAG or in Woolwich Council. Yet after four years not a one of them have been so much as addressed by our authorities much less admitted to. This folks is evidence of a corrupt system, plain and simple. Within these groups listed above we have the Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township, The Ministry of Environment and the Grand River Conservation Authority. Not one of them have phoned me or any other CPAC member and asked for more details or clarification.

1) The Interceptor Trench on Chemtura/Lanxess's east side appears to collect contaminated groundwater and divert it off-site to the neighbouring farm where it eventually discharges further downstream into the Canagagigue Creek (Gig).

2) The Stroh Drain is a below surface drain collecting both groundwater and surface water, clean and contaminated, and transports them downstream into the "Gig".

3) The "Gap" is the area where Chemtura's consultant GHD intentionally avoided taking soil samples in 2015 after we had clearly and publicly indicated our concerns and insights about this area as a pathway from Uniroyal/Chemtura to the Stroh farm and Drain.

4) GP1 & 2 appears to be a scam perpetrated by Chemtura and their consultants. Older maps show that GP1 has been relocated twice from it's original position which is extremely close to the "Gap" area just west of the Stroh farm and Drain.

The coverup of all things environmental by all parties in authority continues to this day. Shame on the pack of them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Unfortunately that's what it took to remove the old guard from our municipal politics in October 2010. Todd Cowan could have been the long term saviour of all things political and environmental here in Elmira but he failed miserably. He was much too flawed himself.

On October 9, 2010 a Kari Rayner from Elmira had a Letter To The Editor in the Woolwich Observer. She stated that football players practising outdoors at Elmira District Secondary School suffered burning eyes and had a nasty taste in their mouths from airborne chemical emissions. I'm assuming that Ms. Rayner is a teacher as she states that they sent their students out to walk home at the end of the school day at about the same time as the leak of BLE-25 from Chemtura that wasn't reported to the Township or the emergency telephone system until 10 pm. that nite.

It was reported in both local newspapers that many other families including some near the opposite end of Elmira than Chemtura found the tarry deposits on their children's playground equipment. As has been previously stated, Chemtura did spend time and money cleaning up their mess.Their failure was in the initial release via rupture disc and then their failure to tell the Township and local citizens via the telephone warning system.

Monday, September 10, 2018


If this wasn't so serious it could almost be funny. Today we learn of ongoing problems with lead in our school's drinking water.For many years now our local school board, the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) have been gaining notoriety for their poor academic performance. That's right this is the same board which is very long on puffery and suggestions that they are a world class institution providing world class education, blah,blah and blah. Turns out not quite so much. By a long shot. It turns out that the provincial math and english test scores for Grade 3 and Grade 6 students have exposed some pretty second class results. Gee maybe we could throw some more taxpayers money at the teachers and at the administrators. That always seems to work (Not!). Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the story titled "Some local school taps fail lead tests".

We've long known that lead can negatively affect brain development and learning outcomes. It especially has negative effects upon children. Sooooo exactly how long is it going to take our braintrust at the WRDSB to come up with their spin on this one? Remember these guys are all about spinning everything. Whether it's the latest flavour of the month Edubabble properly known as nothing more than a new educational fad or whether it's explaining away rising teacher absenteeism, these guys can spin a tale.

Therefore while currently allegedly exerting world class efforts to reduce lead concentrations in the fountains at our schools, might they not suggest that this is why they haven't been able to keep up with their educational counterparts around Ontario for so many years now? They've tried the English as a second language excuse due to children of immigrants, despite Toronto for example having lots more. Now it's time to get really creative. Our children aren't doing well because we've rotted their minds with excessive lead in their drinking water. See it's really not due to our managing and supervising nor is it due to teacher issues at the public school level. It's lead in their brains. That's it! Keep the money flowing suckers oops taxpayers. We love our public school system just as it is. No changes required.

Saturday, September 8, 2018


Or at least that is unless they get postponed as they did last year. What a great deal for Lanxess. Unlike Uniroyal, Crompton and Chemtura who mostly faced the public on a monthly basis; these buggers can bullshit, bafflegab and blow smoke and not have to face the music literally sometimes for six months. I'm referring here to the RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) not the TAG (Technical Advisory Group) committee. While they don't meet as often as UPAC and CPAC did nevertheless they have been more regular than RAC by far. Thanks can go to Sandy Shantz for that freebie. Of course Lanxess and the MOE are not obliged to attend TAG meetings and thus rarely do.

TAG are scheduled to meet next on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 6:30 pm. The Agenda usually comes out the Friday before the meeting. RAC are scheduled to meet a week later (Sept. 27) at 4 pm. That Agenda also comes out several days prior to the meeting. Possibly TAG at least will be discussing among other things the Interceptor Trench satellite photos along with the newest information, Affidavits etc. recently unearthed. Unearthed I might add not from the Township's archives but from mine. The Township have flatly refused access to those archives by CPAC members in the past. Information is power and they don't like to share.

Friday, September 7, 2018


It's called ethics. It's called walking the talk. It's called standards. Whatever you want to call it, the Observer no longer have it. RIP.

My post here yesterday was titled "Ending On A Whine - Mark Bauman". This was my response to the Observer's story titled "Ending on a high note". The Observer's reporter did a story on retiring councillor Mark Bauman. Fair enough he's been a Woolwich councillor for the last eighteen years. Granted in some circles in this Region that no longer carries much if any panache. Woolwich has been publicly exposed for their small town, inbred?, second and third rate governance. Incidents such as the 2016 attempt to shut down Delegations to council regarding Chemtura, the masquerade last spring of appointing Julie-Anne Herteis to council over ten other, much better qualified candidates and the manufactured crisis to remove CPAC in 2015 because Chemtura and the MOE were crying for their mommies.

The Observer actually were on the public's side in response to these incidents. The Observer reported the facts and in their Editorials made it clear where they stood. They referred to Woolwich's embarassing act in regards to trying to shut down citizen Delegations. They initially supported citizens such as Dr. Dan Holt, Richard Clausi and myself in regards to half of Woolwich Council being found in contravention of the Municipal Election Act (MEA). The Observer questioned the claims of Mark Bauman and Sandy Shantz regarding CPAC's alleged "dysfunction", both a Mark epithet and a usual political fallback position when you really have nothing to justify your criticism. The Observer knew there was dysfunction but it lay at the feet of Chemtura and the MOE, not CPAC.

So why am I disappointed with the Observer? They have not published comments from two different Woolwich citizens in regards to yesterday's Observer article about Mark Bauman. There were numerous errors of fact in that article and Richard Clausi as well as myself politely pointed them out yesterday in the Observer's Comment section at the end of the Mark Bauman article. We were told we were awaiting "moderation". Well we are still waiting! Are these comments acceptable only if they support the Observer's position? Have the Observer decided that they don't want anything in their newspaper right before the election that might hurt Patrick's chances of re-election? Keep in mind our comments do not remotely reflect upon Patrick, only upon Mark Bauman.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Just a few factual errors in today's Woolwich Observer article titled "Ending on a high note". The Observer reporter claims that Mark failed to follow "new" provisions in the province's Municipal Act. No offence to the reporter but clearly right off the bat he's just writing what Mark tells him, otherwise he would know that the provision insisting that ALL candidates MUST file an expense report was not new. Secondly it's not the Municipal Act of Ontario it is the Municipal Elections Act (MEA). Those are two entirely different and separate pieces of legislation.

Secondly Mark was not "tied up in legal wranglings" at the Superior Court of Justice. Nor was I " to take me (Mark) to court
and cause a lot of grief." There were no legal wranglings because Mark and his lawyer as well as the Township did not advise the citizen (me) who informed the Municipal Clerk of the infraction, that it had gone to court. The proceedings took ten minutes maximum as the Township supported Mark's reinstatement and no one else was given the opportunity to oppose it. It was Mark himself who took it to court, not I.

"It was a huge expense for the taxpayer...", "it was a huge waste of time and effort - court time." Right, ten minutes of court time. Blame the taxpayers' expenses on the Municipal Clerk, Val Hummel. She is the one who failed to enforce the MEA by not insisting that Mark follow the black and white provincial law that explicitly states that ALL candidates, including acclaimed candidates MUST file expense reports (ie. Financial Statements). Acclaimed candidates can still have expenses for example by spending thousands of dollars on campaign signs,advertising etc. Therefore they like every other candidate MUST file Financial Statements. That is and has been the law for a very long time. Having the Municipal Clerk run interference for a candidate who fails to observe the law by telling a citizen, in front of a witness, that a) yes Mark's Financial Statement is on line and then b) telling the citizen that oh his Financial Statement is on her desk should be punishable by law as well but somehow Woolwich, Mark and their supporters overlooked that.

"And it was basically for not putting an "X" on box when I handed in my expense report." What kind of crap is this Mark? You didn't hand in any expense report until I called you on it. And Woolwich Township were so stupid they let you do this at least twice before that. And I'm the bad guy here?

Some of us refer to Mark as Mr. Flip Flop. I believe that he talks out of both sides of his mouth. In other words he tailors his comments to the audience in front of him. If it's the Chamber of Commerce etc. then Chemtura/Lanxess are the salt of the earth. In a private setting with environmentalists then he states that they need to do so much more.

This is the same Mark Bauman who once inaccurately advised Woolwich Council publicly that he was proud to have now kicked me off of CPAC twice. Trouble is that was the first time he did it (2011). Later on in 2013 he voted against me being reinstated when CPAC went to Council unanimously recommending that I be reinstated. And Mark whines in this Observer article that someone who disliked him, took him to court and caused him a lot of grief. Poor baby. You're lucky I didn't kick you in the eggshells, you sniveling piece of crap.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


How do our local idiots, political or otherwise, get away with their "Oh we need to talk politely to Chemtura" shtick? Eight years ago this month (September 2010) Chemtura sprayed Elmira with BLE-25, a rubber additive. This toxic tar consists of diphenylamine and acetone. Acetone of course is best known as nail polish remover. Unfortunately it appears to have similar properties with automobile paint finishes. It also stuck to houses, playground equipment, lawns and outdoor furniture. All in all a mess. Of course just like all the other "fugitive emissions" it was an accident. The problem is it's only sort of an accident. A rupture disc inside a pipe did exactly what it was designed to do. That is it ruptured, spewing the contents of a pressure vessel up the exhaust stack and into all our mutual air. Thanks for sharing Chemtura, NOT.

The other problem is that the very next month other air complaints were flooding back into Chemtura for their evening and weekend releases, shades of 1998 until 2000. The only good news is that fed up folks in Elmira finally turfed a number of long time Uniroyal supporters and apologists, masquerading as Woolwich councillors. The only one who escaped that fate was Mark Bauman over in St. Jacobs.

Actually there was another problem. Yes Chemtura owned up to it this time, unlike other releases they had whether into the air (chlorine) or into the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant (toluene). The problem was nobody sounded the town siren warning residents to shelter in place. Yes cars and houses and more got sprayed but students at recess, outdoor phys-ed classes etc. didn't need to if either the Township or the company had gotten their act together. Unfortunately it seems as if it takes a crisis, a disaster or more to get people involved and the dead wood removed. Politicians are masters at manufacturing crises, just look at Sandy and Mark inventing a non-existent CPAC crisis just under four years ago. Well in a sense I guess there was a crisis in that both Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of Environment were screaming for their mommies. In rode Sandy to save the day, or at least Chemtura and the MOE's day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


The Woolwich Observer published a Letter To The Editor on Saturday May 3, 2008 titled "CPAC generates plenty of questions but offers very few answers". This Letter was written by Dr. Henry Regier. It may well be this letter that set Dave Brenneman, CAO of Woolwich Township, on the path of no private meetings by committees of council, at least for a brief period.

Henry took aim at private breakfast meetings promoted and called by CPAC Chair, Pat Mclean. Henry appropriately asked whether or not they were paid for by Chemtura Canada. Henry also noted that the character of these breakfast meetings changed over time. For many of us work precluded any ability to attend breakfast meetings the majority of the time. Unsurprisingly no such constraints hobbled Pat or Susan Bryant who seemed most supportive of them. How easy it must have been to sell your ideas and positions to a small subset of the voting members of CPAC. A subset that excluded some of the best informed CPAC members.

Henry also took aim at consultancies, particularly he wanted to know the specific details as to who paid for them, who called for the consultant to attend and exactly how was this consultant then accountable to CPAC. Henry specifically named Wilf Ruland and asked some pretty direct questions as to just exactly who was Wilf reporting to and working for. Henry also pressed the point as to the extent of this consultant's independence namely: "Knowing that the company was paying his consultant fees (if that was the case) would it be fair to speculate that a consultant's enthusiasm to press potentially embarrassing questions may have been moderated? On some public occasions, may such a consultant have felt it necessary, partly because of his own financial interests involved, to contradict one or more members of CPAC to the advantage of the company's position on issues in which the expertise of those CPAC members clearly exceeded his own expertise?"

Wilf Ruland did good things for CPAC and for the public. He also, with help and supervision from two CPAC members, did great harm to public consultation.

Monday, September 3, 2018


Well more power to the Regional Clerk Kris Fletcher for her sense of professionalism and humour. Her response to my Application to serve on the upcoming MECAC is as follows:

"Dear Mr. Marshall:

Re: Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC) Appointments

I am writing to express appreciation for your interest in serving on the Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC). The matter of appointments to this committee was reviewed by the Area Clerks in August 2018.

Although you were unsuccessful at this time, your application will remain on file should a vacancy occur during the term of this committee. Thank you for your willingness to serve as a representative.

Yours truly "

Kris Fletcher

Now while that was very nicely written I think we all know that the comments around the table were less than nice. I can especially hear our clerk, Val sounding off on how one Mr. Marshall dragged that really nice Mark, Scott and Sandy through the mud etc. etc. That in a nutshell is the problem with the whole process. Municipal Clerks are actually supposed to be somewhat independent of their municipal councils and their duty is supposed to be to the province and to the Municipal Act and eventually to the people being governed. It just isn't so and Val is a prime example. She personally broke the law in her defence of certain Council members and in her failure to immediately remove both Mark and Sandy from Council for their serious violations, as ordered by the Municipal Elections Act.

In my Application to MECAC I kind of rubbed their noses in the fact that they too screwed up royally here in Elmira with their failures to act according to law. At least we hope their actions were incompetence and not deceit.

I trust everyone took note in Ms. Fletcher's first paragraph that it is the area Clerks who decide who will be on MECAC and hence responsible for overseeing that we have somewhat honest elections. That is precisely why the committee last time had so many former politicians and good old boys on it. These Clerks certainly don't want to see anyone independent and unbeholden to the status quo on there. They could cause "trouble" if they were to strictly enforce the law of the land after all.

Saturday, September 1, 2018



which likely are an illegal diversion of contaminated groundwater onto the neighbour's farm. To date neither Chemtura, Lanxess nor the Ontario Ministry of Environment have responsibly or reasonably commented on this matter.