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.

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