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.

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