Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Last evening Tiffany Svensson, Chair of TAG (Technical Advisory Group), spoke to Woolwich Council about the status of the Lanxess (Uniroyal Chemical) cleanup. She started by suggesting that her talk would not be about minutia or remediation details and specifics as much as it wold be "out of the weeds" and at a higher level.That is very appropriate as it should be at the level that the councillors can understand, which isn't very high.

Tiffany referred to the "Gap" area and how TAG were still pushing Lanxess and the MOE to do more soil testing there near their south-east corner as it was the low lying area where overland flow of waste waters occurred. She also referred to the excess chlorobenzene that is in the Elmira Aquifers, allegedly from an unknown source. Tiffany also referenced the Conceptual Site Model produced by Dr. Neil Thompson. She referred to it as an agreed upon statement of facts describing the Elmira sub-surface in detail including where the contaminants are, where they are going and where they are from.

Tiffany mentioned the likelihood that the 2028 deadline to clean up the Elmira Aquifers will not be achieved. She suggested that by 2019 the pumping rates in the Elmira Aquifers will be where they need to be. Unfortunately that is not accurate. Even with the addition of Well W9 the pumping rates are far behind what Chemtura (Uniroyal) and Conestoga Rovers (CRA) claimed were necessary in November 2012 to achieve 2028 cleanup.

The only good news that I heard was that there will be a search for enhanced remedial technologies. In fact as Dr. Richard Jackson advised us there are no "magic bullets" coming down the pipe. There are however far better established technologies available than pump and treat (hydraulic containment) and hopefully Ms. Svensson and TAG will push RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) into pushing Lanxess to use them.

Tiffany referred to the pending Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek several times. She has not seen how pathetic the last one was (2004) or I doubt that she would be quite so enthusiastic about it. Lanxess apparently are hiring other outside experts to assist in this effort. That I suppose is a start.

Both councillors Patrick Merlihan and Mark Bauman briefly spoke about the 2028 deadline. Tiffany was positive and upbeat in her presentation however she also honestly presented a number of unresolved problems and issues. It will be up to both Council and the public to determine a) whether anything close to best efforts have been underway since 1989 and b) whether the current efforts are satisfactory. It is my opinion formed over nearly thirty years of in depth study that the answers are no to both a) and b).

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


The initial new CPAC membership consisted of Chair Julie-Anne Herteis, Dr. Dan Holt, Ron Campbell, David Marks, Vivienne Delaney, Lynne Hare and myself, Al Marshall. The earliest changes were Lynne Hare resigning in disgust after the first private meeting in the Councillor's Boardroom in April 2011 when Julie-Anne and Todd misbehaved. Then Julie-Anne resigned as Chair and then I was voted off CPAC by Woolwich Council after Todd and most likely CAO Dave Brenneman as well, lied to council about me allegedly promising not to put CPAC stuff in this Blog.

Todd Cowan became chair and soon after Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach joined CPAC. A year or so later I helped get rid of Todd as Chair by ratting out his behaviour to councillor Mark Bauman. Ugh! Exchanged one ass for a smarter ass. At least Dr. Dan became chair of CPAC. Graham Chevreau was added to CPAC and both he and Sebastian were excellent additions. Somewhere down the line a Susanna Meteer was added. She had potential but was nothing but reactionary and more concerned about her future reputation with the MOE than with getting the groundwater fixed. She resigned after a short term only. David Marks eventually resigned after he did excellent work in regards to achieving the November 2012 turnaround by Chemtura and CRA regarding them not making the 2028 Elmira Aquifers restoration deadline without major increases in effort such as pumping and more. During this time, Rich Clausi, Dr. Henry Regier and I were added as a sub-committee to CPAC. We were called SWAT for Soil, Water, Air & Technology. Chemtura were totally upset about our name.

So by 2015 CPAC consisted of Dr. Holt, Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Viv Delaney, Ron Campbell, Graham Chevreau and SWAT was still Richard, Henry and I. We were a magnificent team of eight intelligent and informed citizens working together. Anyone who says differently are either ignorant and ill informed or they are out and out liars.

Monday, October 29, 2018


O.K. just to put this in perspective, our democratically elected governments at all levels routinely lie to citizens. That makes Justin, Doug, formerly Stephen and Kathleen all liars so exactly why would say Todd or Sandy be any different? Of course they aren't. What is interesting is when successive governments use the very same lies and get away with them. Following is an example.

The Elmira Independent had an article in their March 24, 2011 edition titled "New CPAC terms of reference approved". The Woolwich Observer two days later had an article on the same topic titled "Council adopts new guidelines for CPAC". There indeed were a couple of legitimate changes such as insisting on evening meetings rather than the 9 am. meetings which Chemtura and the MOE preferred and that made Pat and Susan feel like big shots because they could attend and most working citizens could not. Also all meetings were to be open to the public including sub-committees. While some tightening was needed based upon abuses in the past, this provision while good in theory, was sometimes a little too strict. All the rest of the so called changes were window dressing exactly as Sandy Shantz did in mid 2015. Blather about "greater council involvement in the process" was just that, blather. Council already had their own member on CPAC. Comments about greater reporting back to Council were just plain nonsense. Any and all council members could attend the advertised in advance, public meetings, if they wanted. The reality is none of them wanted.

This goes for both Todd Cowan's and Sandy Shantz's councils. Both of them lied and bullfrittered to the public with their claims of greater accountability and involving council more. In Todd's case as hinted at by Ron Ormson of CPAC a week later, Todd and company had no confidence in the old CPAC. The reason was under Pat McLean, CPAC members had both gotten much too close to Chemtura and two members were making decisions that were either all voting CPAC members decisions to make or Council's. Sandy on the other hand wanted to clean house of the citizen volunteers (CPAC) because the two most routinely dishonest parties (MOE & Chemtura) didn't like their dishonesty and intentional delaying being thrown in their faces. Poor babies wanted it both ways as they had it with the old CPAC. In other words they could lie like dogs yet not regularly be called out for it.

Neither council wanted to call a spade a spade and tell the public the truth. Shame on them both although the greater shame is Sandy's as her reasons for removing CPAC were to give the lying big boys a major break.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


A week ago yesterday I took a little environmental field trip over to the cemetery beside Uniroyal's (Lanxess) Envirodome/Toxidome/Mausoleum. I reported here in the Advocate that as of that date there appears to be absolutely zero start of the promised shallow excavation on the Stroh property along Lanxess's eastern property line. With the benefit of binoculars one can clearly see at least a couple of fairly new groundwater monitoring wells installed on the Stroh property. All of this of course, is about thirty years too late. While contaminated ground and surface water that flowed from Uniroyal has been diluted and migrated southwards, eastwards, and vertically downwards, likely the hydrophobic compounds such as DDT and Dioxins/Furans are still in the soil at various depths both shallow and deep.

The Ontario MOE (MECP) have recently advised Lanxess that they want more wells and groundwater monitoring on the Stroh property. While this is a good thing per se it is also no more than a red herring. The groundwater amazingly still has some very high concentrations around OW-36 located within both BAE-1 (Burial Area East) and RB-2 (Reburied Drums) right beside the Stroh property. Otherwise most of the dissolved solvents including 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, benzene, NDMA etc. have migrated far and wide likely including into crops grown on the Stroh property over many decades. This elephant in the room is but one of many conveniently ignored by our authorities. After all they surely don't want to arouse the masses to the point of running politicians and polluters out of town on a rail.

I expect that the MOE are helping Lanxess by focusing on dissolved contaminants in the groundwater rather than the hydrophobic (water fearing) compounds mentioned above which sorb onto soils. The higher the organic carbon in the soil the more these compounds cleave onto them versus say onto sand or gravel. It is my belief that this area of the Stroh farm along the property line with Lanxess and further south in and around the Stroh Drain is a major "Sink" of Dioxins, DDT and possibly other of these compounds.These compounds will continue to slowly erode by wind, rain and flood moving down the Stroh Drain and into the Canagagigue Creek and Grand River forever if they are not removed. Also the shallow or surficial (5.9 inches) soil removal that still hasn't started yet should in fact be called a superficial soil removal not a surficial one. Mobilized by solvents, DDT and Dioxins can and have penetrated two and three metres below the ground surface but with future development, construction, ploughing, landscaping etc. can again be exposed at surface.

Friday, October 26, 2018


Well I guess I'm the poster boy for inappropriate behaviour by a municipal council towards a citizen volunteer. This comes after being kicked off of CPAC on two occasions namely in February 2008 and then again in May 2011. Of interest of course is that I was reappointed to CPAC by Woolwich Council in between those two instances. Odd I have yet to receive an apology for either booting. Also of interest is that after the second booting in 2011, CPAC members themselves, with the exception of Mr. Flip Flop (Mark Bauman) voted for and formally requested that Woolwich Council reinstate me to CPAC in 2013. Via mayor Todd Cowan's usual lying, this time to his own council members, that reinstatement was denied three votes to two. The almost mentally challenged Julie-Anne Herteis had the deciding vote and seemed all too pleased with her negative vote. That of course hardly crossed my mind when Julie-Anne was immorally, improperly and via the abomination of a sham public meeting, appointed to Woolwich Council last March. I was not devastated earlier this week when she came in last in the Ward One municipal election. I have stated here that I don't think she is a bad person, per se. She is however easily led and she does have a petty, mean streak. Only time will tell if her replacement Scott McMillan is better equipped to make decisions in the public interest. I am hopeful although truth be told I simply don't know the gentleman.

Oh and the title above? Activists doing their job in the public interest should never be arbitrarily removed because either a fellow citizen or a politician don't like their message. I am the canary in the coal mine in regards to the negative effects of environmental citizen committees being under the control of ignorant, biased or petty council members. Are we as citizens so naive that we still think that most politicians are there for our good? I sincerely hope not. They are there to support the status quo which means money and wealth continue to rule in our so called democracy.Just look at Premier Doug Ford's recent rollback of the legislated minimum wage increase previously scheduled for January 1, 2019. I'm sure that the franchisee owners of McDonald's, Tim Horton's, Harvey's etc. will now avoid either bankruptcy or a reduction in their Caribbean and Bahamian holidays next summer.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


The revolution against old style Woolwich politics and politicians occurred during the 2010 municipal election. Mayor Bill Strauss and long time Woolwich Councillor Pat McLean lost to upstart Todd Cowan. The rest of Woolwich Council including long timer Murray Martin also got the boot with the exception of Ward Two councillor Mark Bauman. Ruby Weber also lost in this election and Sandy Shantz had chosen not to run after being the one to give Pat McLean the boot four years earlier (2006). So Todd Cowan, Julie-Anne Herteis, Al Poffenroth, Bonnie Bryant and Mark Bauman rounded out the 2010-2014 Woolwich council. Bauman of course was the counter-revolutionary in the group.

The strength in this group was Bonnie Bryant and Mark Bauman. Todd was all show although he certainly didn't lack in the time and effort he put in. His real lack became apparent a few years later with his expense scandal for which he was convicted of breach of trust while being acquitted of fraud. Very lucky. The counter-revolution in 2014 was all about Sandy Shantz challenging Todd Cowan and Bonnie Bryant for mayor. It turned out to be a slam dunk due to Todd's self-destruction although Sandy may have won anyway with her Mennonite background, church presence and former council and school board experience. Bonnie would have made a very good mayor, far better than Sandy based upon both brains and integrity.That Murray Martin won against Lisa McDonald is another testament to ill informed voters going for Mennonite name recognition.

So we have just struggled through the 2018 election sort of. Larry Shantz. Murray Martin and Sandy Shantz were all acclaimed. That is very unfortunate. That Julie-Anne Herteis, Scott Hahn and Mark Bauman are gone is very good. Congratulations to election winners Patrick Merlihan, Fred Redekop and Scott McMillan. You three can make a difference and an improvement in all things Woolwich although you have three problematic councillors to worry about. Sandy can not lean on Mark Bauman any longer which is a good thing.

This revolution and counter-revolution dramatically affected the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). There was a house cleaning after the counter-revolution in 2010 and yet again in 2015 after the counter-revolution. If nothing else it shows that committees of council are subject to the vagaries, biases and ignorance of the elected councils. This time with only a third of the council changing it is unlikely that we will see a wholesale change especially with Sandy Shantz defending her RAC & TAG creations from 2015.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


As per Monday's election we have two new councillors joining Woolwich Council namely Mr. McMillan and Mr. Redekop. I believe that Woolwich Council have been improved albeit not as much as I would like to have seen. Oh well. The removal of Ms. Herteis was absolutely necessary in order for this council to have any semblance whatsoever of credibility or democracy. That she was appointed via a behind the scenes, backroom process not in the public interest, was glaringly obvious to those few of us who actually attended the public council meeting in which nine or ten highly competent and qualified applicants spoke from the heart and demonstrated their confidence in the process that Woolwich Council laid out for them and the public.

Woolwich Council lied to them. Woolwich Council lied to the public. It was far worse than a sham and both the many applicants and the public were insulted by the brazen and pathetic dog and pony show that council presented to the public. The Woolwich Observer, bless them, were also not amused and said so in their next edition. I doubt that a single person in that room came away from that meeting without a very sour taste in their mouth.

It was obvious to me that Mr. McMillan was going to beat Julie-Anne in Monday's election. Less obvious was that he also beat the incumbent Patrick Merlihan. Julie-Anne had a very respectable 1300 and change votes. I do not think that she is a bad person however nor do I think she is the right person for the job. A couple of other Woolwich councillors I know for a fact are not the right people for the job yet there they sit. Julie-Anne was part of that scam last March and she and Council deprived Woolwich citizens of any one of a number of far superior candidates.

To Mr. McMillan and Mr. Redekop I can only suggest that you tread carefully. There are bad people on that Council who will do their best to co-opt you. They will tell you that it's us versus them. They will tell you that Council must always present a unified front. They will tell you that they are the most experienced. They may indeed be the most experienced liars and deceivers and manipulators. Woolwich Township unfortunately has had a litany of those folks in public service. Please stand on your own two feet and rely on your morals, ethics and conscience. That is the only experience you need.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Who exactly are the election apologists kidding? Reputation tattered (in Woolwich Township at least among the intelligent) political analyst Robert Williams is claiming that the delays and breakdowns in the voting tabulation system are no big deal. Really? "There's going to be growing pains. There's going to be challenges." Do you think? "We need not to be impatient about the result." Sorry but that's complete crap Mr. Williams. Very similar to your comments three years ago in Woolwich about not sending Mr. Scot Hahn on to the courts for his remarkably self-serving and illegal Financial Statements as determined by an independent, professional detailed forensic audit.

This Township in their infinite non-wisdom chose not only to go to internet and telephone voting but also chose not to make paper ballot voting available to those of us who wanted it. They intentionally chose a system that can not be confidently confirmed via a recount of hard copy, paper ballots. They also were warned as of the first day of advance polls by multiple voters including myself and Richard Clausi that their internet and telephone voting systems were NOT working. What did they do about that? Nothing apparently.

The City of Cambridge have extended their polls until 9 pm. last evening. Wellesley extended theirs also. Only Woolwich and Wellesley picked Dominion Voting Systems to be their election internet provider. Dominion are also making excuses. They claim that their system was overwhelmed by sheer volume of attempted votes being cast. BULLSHIT! First of all there aren't that many voters in Woolwich or Wellesley Townships in total and secondly voting turnout to date had been less than thirty percent of eligible voters. Give me a break with all the bullshit and excuses coming from one political pundit and from the guilty party (Dominion).

Many people have given up trying to vote in this election. Any system that requires multiple attempts before successful voting is a BAD system. It will discourage future participation and lower the current voter participation in this election. Furthermore now I'm hearing about "confirmations" being received when you vote on the internet. Well I didn't receive a "confirmation" so does that mean my vote was not actually received? Any system that lessens confidence in its credibility and reliability will also lower voting participation. Is that what this is all about?

Lastly there is the issue of timeliness. There is an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. I believe that many people feel that a delayed election result may very well be a dishonest election result. We have all become comfortable with the norm being final election results being available within hours or sooner of the polls closing. We also understand why all the polls must close at the same time so that early results from one poll do not affect later voting at another poll. Well throw that right out the window now folks with this mess. Results being held up for a day or two are just inviting clever and unscrupulous people to figure out how to tamper with those results. This election will become infamous. What are we going to learn from it?

Monday, October 22, 2018


He called a spade a spade. He called out Chemtura/Lanxess and the MOE for their gross failures. He personally got into it with big shots who showed up from the MOE with their oil to be spread over troubled waters. He did not suffer fools gladly and he was a breathe of fresh air. Oh how I laughed at Sandy and Mark for their goof in hiring Dr. Jackson because he made CPAC look like not only the professionals that they are and were but more importantly made CPAC look like the calmest most mellow professionals which they are and were.

Dr. Richard Jackson (Dick) hammered Chemtura/CRA/GHD and the MOE for their failure to examine sediment transport in the Canagagigue Creek. He hammered them for their failures to discover basal gravel units at the bottom of Elmira aquifers which were the preferential route of groundwater and contaminant flow. He hammered them over their incomplete testing of the ISCO (In Situ Chemical Oxidation) technology.He demanded and received a proper and serious Conceptual Site Model (CSM) of Uniroyal Chemical and the Elmira Aquifers which both demonstrated and explained the subsurface flow of groundwater throughout the area. He took the measure of all parties and stakeholders involved in the alleged cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers and he found them wanting. All of them.

Unfortunately this included TAG. RAC I believe was also more than obviously lacking. With TAG the final issue was their reluctance to go to the media to increase pressure on the parties in charge. In TAG's defense I will say that at that point they only had a year on the job so to speak. Yes they admired Dr. Jackson but going to the media seemed to most of their backgrounds to be well, radical. It was out of their comfort zone. Dr. Jackson knew the route forward to proper cleanup was blocked by the vested interests namely Chemtura/GHD and the MOE. He knew they needed a very hard shove from the public and that would only occur if the public were clearly led by some authorized group like TAG. When it was not to be, he decided that he was not interested in leading a losing proposition that didn't have to be so.

Saturday, October 20, 2018


I believe it's a somewhat subtle piece of propaganda. First of all we haven't had a media presence at any of these public meetings since their inception in 2015. TAG or Technical Advisory Group and RAC Remediation Advisory Committee were started by Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman to be "more company friendly" versions of the old CPAC then known as the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee. The "more company friendly" quote is from the Woolwich Observer back in 2015. While I and others have been extremely disappointed in the Observer's lack of coverage of these two committees of council since September 2015, at least the Observer covered the removal of CPAC and the pathetic excuses by Sandy and Mark at the time. This included both coverage of council discussions, CPAC Delegations to Council and cartoons in the Observer pointing out the truth versus the pap being given to the public.

The timing and scheduling of RAC and TAG meetings are also part of the propaganda. Lanxess, the MOE (MECP), and Woolwich Council want Uniroyal/Lanxess and groundwater contamination to fade from the public mind. What better way than to slowly diminish the frequency of these so called public meetings? Yes TAG is held at 6:30 pm. in the evening which followed the last CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) practice. Prior to that the CPAC Chair, Pat McLean, refused to entertain evening meetings. This set the pattern for local working citizens being virtually shut out of attending these meetings.Thank you Pat and sidekick. By the way today CPAC stands for Citizens Public Advisory Committee and consists of nine committed and active local volunteers with extensive volunteer and professional expertise in environmental matters.

The next TAG meeting is scheduled for Thursday November 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm. in the Dodie Hummel Room beside the Woolwich Council Chambers. This is more than two months after the last TAG meeting on September 20/18. There are lots of issues being ignored simply because the majority of TAG members plus very competent chair have no historical experience or reference to know what has gone on over the past thirty years here in Elmira. This was done intentionally by Sandy and her sidekick at the request of both Chemtura and the Ontario MOE. Shame on the pack of them.

The next RAC meeting is scheduled for Thursday December 13, 2018 at 3 pm. likely in Council Chambers. Obviously the time of day will preclude the vast majority of the working public from attending. This is for the convenience of the GRCA, Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township reps (Sandy & Mark), Lanxess and Ontario MOE plus two TAG members & chair.The last RAC meeting was September 20/18. Again there are lots of serious issues requiring attention but certainly the GRCA and Woolwich Township reps don't have a clue what they are. Currently Lanxess and the MOE are happy campers with only a very few storm clouds on the horizon for them. As usual they will count on our local politicians to aid and abet their efforts to sell the Volkswagen beetle cleanup as the Cadillac Sedan de Ville model.

Friday, October 19, 2018


At he last RAC meeting on September 27, 2018, Ramin Ansari advised TAG, RAC and the public that Lanxess would finish the shallow excavations on the Stroh property on the east side of Lanxess before the end of the year. Well that could still happen however as of late yesterday they hadn't even started. That is nearly a month after the promise was made and despite global warming there is absolutely no guarantee that the weather won't turn really nasty in the next few weeks. This is always the problem with outdoor work late in the fall as even simple frost in the ground increases the difficulty and costs of sub-surface excavations. Heavy rain or deep snow also complicates what should otherwise be a simple straightforward operation.

The world will not end if this cleanup does not happen this fall. Unfortunately Lanxess's credibility will take yet another hit. They have to date not stepped up and gotten the off-site pumping rates up to where they need to be. Essentially what extraordinary chance there ever was to achieve the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers, to drinking water standards, by 2028 has been frittered away since 2012 when Chemtura admitted that a huge increase in pumping was required. To date neither Chemtura nor Lanxess have come even close to those promised pumping rates. This has destroyed even the remotest chance of achieving 2028 as well as Chemtura's credibility. Lanxess seem intent on quickly destroying their's as well. Even if and when they get pumping well W9, west of Lanxess, up and running again it simply is no where near enough to achieve the cleanup mandated and promised. Each and every General Manager of Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura and probably Lanxess have all made the same promise to do so. Pretty obvious what that makes their promises worth.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


This Woolwich Council will have all of two new members, likely Scott McMillan and .... gad I think it could be very close between Eric Schwindt and Fred Redekop. Regardless I am feeling very confident that Ward Two will end up in good hands with either one. I do not view the "loss" of Mark Bauman as any such thing. I am far less confident in regards to all the rest. Yes I do support Pat Merlihan in Ward One, both with my vote and with a sign on my front lawn. Between Julie-Anne Herteis and Scott McMillan I have concerns. His stint on the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is not a positive with this elector. I have first hand experience with the Board's bottom of the well, lower than earthworm, rotten to the core, values.This was a personal experience with them twenty years ago. As a reminder to the general public let me remind you of another ongoing scandal at that time at the Board and that was the Ron Archer scandal. Mr. Archer was finally convicted after nearly twenty years of abusing children with the WRDSB enabling him all the way. Also I might add that we have other local political luminaries who rose to prominence through the WRDSB. I have no use for any of them.

Ms. Herteis by all accounts is a good and decent person. What she lacks to be a good and effective representative is not her fault. I expect that Mr. McMillan is going to win simply based upon his Board experience and accompanying public persona. He also has a ton of signs all over Elmira and Julie-Anne does not. I do believe that Mr. McMillan is a hard worker. I've seen him walking and delivering his pamphlets door to door in town. If he wins as I expect, I will give him the same support I gave Sandy Shantz for her first term in office as a councillor. If and when he goes along with the council crowd and votes in favour of matters not in the public interest, he will lose my support.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Well if nothing else Pat and Susan have certainly proven the point that citizens' groups or committees appointed by council have zero authority and even less chance of making a difference unless of course they totally toe the line drawn by council. Unfortunately the vast majority of Woolwich Councils over the decades have been more interested in not rocking the boat and maintaining the status quo hence the chances of a committee of council making a difference are just about nil.Ever since council through councillor Pat McLean, back in 2000, lied and deceived CPAC into becoming a committee of council; CPAC have been a toothless tiger with the one exception from 2011 until September 2015. Even then CPAC's last months were weakened by the undermining performed by Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman of the almost entirely new Woolwich Council.

The 2011-2015 council despite a number of flaws were on board environmentally and recognized that change to CPAC was desperately needed in order to get the ground and surface water cleanup back on track. Of course little to nothing of the sort has occurred since the Sandy Shantz regieme took over. The Canagagigue Creek is about to receive a token Site Specific Risk Assessment (SSRA) likely on a par with the last one done around 2004 regarding the Chemtura site itself. The off-site groundwater pumping has barely moved since the last CPAC (2011-2015) forced Chemtura and CRA into promising a tripling of the groundwater pumping.

Back on February 16, 2011 the Elmira Independent carried an Editorial as well as a major article in regards to the pending new CPAC appointments. The old CPAC knew they were gone after Council announced in January 2011 that new Applications would continue to be accepted. That b.... did the same later in 2015 after the only applicants to the new CPAC or whatever new name Sandy came up with, were Pat, Susan and all the 2011-2015 CPAC and SWAT members.This is how either incompetent or corrupt councils manage membership applications to committees of council. If your public call for applications is only responded to by citizens you personally don't want, regardless of their honesty, knowledge and responsibility, then you lie like dogs and pretend you don't have enough applications. In fact you throw the initial, properly and formally received applications out and you personally solicit your friends, colleagues, and or supporters to bail you out.

This is why a citizens' committee overseeing the long delayed, corrupt and failed Elmira cleanup needs to be a citizens' committee, not a committee of the usually incompetent or corrupt Woolwich politicians.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


The Lanxess Monthly Progress Report for September 2018 has just been released. I am happy to report that after decades of inaccurate information on a very simple and straightforward matter, namely groundwater flow direction, it seems as if they've caught up to me, CPAC, Peter Gray, Morrison Beatty, and the Ontario MOE. Why the MOE never got around to correcting the obvious self-serving drivel that passed for professional expertise by Uniroyal's consultants is almost beyond explanation. Note I suggested "almost" beyond explanation. If unlike our pretend mayor, Sandy Shantz, you do believe in corruption then either that or the possibly softer expression of they are all in bed together will suffice for the explanation. The Surficial Aquifer in Uniroyal's north-east corner has a groundwater divide which as that area is the highest point of land within hundreds of metres in all directions makes the groundwater divide both likely and easy to understand. Water gravity flows generally downhill wherever possible and in this case that means eastwards as well, over on to the Stroh farm.

All the parties above have known that for decades yet Uniroyal and successors were allowed to fudge the truth of that for decades. Could this be a Susan Bryant style of white lie allegedly for the greater good? In other words let the polluter away with this hopefully small fib in order to gain a bigger concession somewhere else? Of course when you are an English lit and grammar grad you are under qualified and lacking in technical knowledge to be making those deals. The MOE should know better but apparently they don't. Unless of course they saw letting Uniroyal away with that fib would help their interests as well by not allowing the public to know that Uniroyal spread their contamination onto nearby farmland and crops (corn & soybeans).

Finally once again we learn that after thirteen months off-site well W9 is not yet back in service. While the pumping rate for the off-site Elmira Aquifers is doing well historically (> 60 l/sec.) it is still a far cry from the promised pumping rates of triple the 2012 rates which were around 53 l/second. Even when that public promise was downgraded to a doubling of the 2012 rates it hasn't come close. Therefore according to Conestoga Rovers own data we need the off-site wells pumping a grand total of between 100 to 150 litres per second in order to remediate the aquifers by 2028. Of course those rates have been needed for the past six years and simply have NEVER occurred. And the Ontario MOE/MOECP/MECP continue to do NOTHING about it.

Monday, October 15, 2018


First point: Not every councillor either voted for or behaved badly on each and every following issue. For example Scott Hahn wasn't involved in the pretend carefully orchestrated appointment of Julie-Anne Herteis to Council last March and only three councillors messed up their post election Financial Statements so badly.

multiple inappropriate closed (in camera) council meetings as pronounced by the Ontario Ombudsman.

refusal to answer 40 carefully thought out and neatly typed questions by a citizen regarding the Bolender Park Landfill.

gross and significant and documented with multiple witnesses, conflicts of interest of two TAG (technical advisory group) members not acted upon.

council's attempt to refuse to hear Delegations regarding Uniroyal/Chemtura by Dr. Dan Holt and myself.

council frivolously nitpicked a citizen's Delegation (moi) thirty seconds into it and then walked out of chambers.

council refused to seriously listen to Bolender Park Landfill methane issues and both allowed and participated in falsehoods.

three of six councillors grossly botched their post election Financial Statements some through incompetence and some through intent.

council's treatment of previous council appointed volunteers to CPAC in 2015 was scurrilous, deceitful, dishonest and contemptible.

council's intentional dishonesty and deceit of the public in regards to the sham appointment of Julie-Anne Herteis to council last spring.

Woolwich is a wonderful place to live. Unfortunately its governance is pathetic and has been so for decades. Citizens need to spend more time watching, listening and reading about their council members decisions and biases.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


I suspect it's all about appearances yet again. Backwards Woolwich in so many ways just want to look cutting edge. They want to look competent and professional. Unfortunately from their CAO, Council, Clerk and mayor they simply have proven over and over again that they are no such thing. Look at the public disaster of the last election in 2014. Half of council were caught with egregious and blatant errors in their financial statements. At least for those that even submitted Financial Statements. When I started my inquiries I was lied to by the Clerk regarding Mark Bauman's Financial Statement first of all being on-line and then secondly being on her desk. It was no such thing and he temporarily at least got the boot from council.

So now this gang that can't shoot straight have decided to go to insecure telephone and internet voting. Well the complaints have already started. Thursday I tried first of all telephone voting and when that failed I tried internet voting. Both were utterly useless and not working. I tried the Help line provided in my letter sent to me and it worked! That is after I gave the lady a hard time about the garbled recording at a key point in the instructions for telephone voting and after I carefully, exactly as instructed, typed in the address provided for the Internet voting. The address provided did not take me directly to the Woolwich voting site; instead it took me to a list of ten or more related internet voting websites. What the heck!

Others are having problems. The lady on the Help line did admit that they had had several issues and complaints that morning with the telephone voting. My friend and colleague Richard Clausi also could not make the internet voting work. Realize this is a guy with both extensive computer experience and extensive voting and election procedure experience. News flash here Woolwich brain trusters. Most voters after trying either telephone or internet voting unsuccessfully will not invest more time in a process that did not require change. Paper ballots work and there is a hard copy that can be recounted if irregularities have occurred. If total voting numbers are down it will likely be because of this new, insecure, and without the bugs removed telephone and internet voting.

Friday, October 12, 2018


In 1962 Severin Argenton opened for business on First St. in Elmira. At that time he did not own the building on 62 Union St. which was owned by B-Line Trucking, also known as Bridgeland Terminals. Therefore he had thirty years of leaking and dumping of solvents and more on that property bounded by First St., Union St. and Howard Avenue. His waste mismanagement practices resulted in gross contamination of at least the top fifty feet of the gravels, soils and clays beneath the surface. He introduced a minimum of six different solvents into the Municipal drinking water aquifer beneath his site. Some of those solvents were the same ones as Uniroyal Chemical also put into the drinking water aquifers but as they had much deeper pockets, the Ontario Ministry of Environment focused on them for cleanup costs.

In 1970 after Varnicolor had delivered its waste to the town dump, there was a fire and Council prohibited further disposal of industrial wastes in the Elmira dump. Guess which dump that would have been folks? The Bolender Park Landfill operated from either 1962 until 1968 or according to some sources until 1970. Regardless the point is that not only Uniroyal but every industry in town handling all kinds of toxic wastes were permitted to dump in our local in-town dumps. To this day those dumps are likely still leaching industrial wastes into our ground and surface waters.

In 1971 a committee appointed by Council listed six local firms as "eyesores" one of which was Varnicolor. Councillors requested the company to dispose of a large number of barrels containing waste chemicals which were stored on the property.

The following year (1972) Council gave Varnicolor permission to use town property next to the south pumping station on Oriole Parkway east for storage. Fencing and a floodlight was required. The floodlight was there for a while but the fencing was never installed. This property being referred to is the nationally infamous Lot 91. My understanding is that Varnicolor eventually purchased this property. According to Jock Ferguson of the Globe and Mail, General Motors made an inspection of Lot 91 in the mid 1980s and saw their labelled waste drums tipped over, leaking and being generally improperly handled by Varnicolor. GM had paid a middleman to properly dispose of these drums and that middleman had then paid Varnicolor to properly dispose of them. GM and the MOE were not impressed.

In 1986 Varnicolor was required by the Ontario MOE to remove all liquid and solid industrial waste from Lot 91 and take it to the company's main site at 62 Union St.

In 1988 I started working for Varnicolor Chemical. It was the beginning of the end of the company's polluting practices although it took huge assistance from Susan Rupert, Richard Clausi and Ted Oldfield as well as Phil Jalsevac of the K-W Record and Bob Verdun and Shirley Rennie of the Elmira Independent.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Well the question is why wouldn't they? Lanxess and the MOE/MECP are happy and if nothing else Sandy and this council have made it clear that their happiness comes first. Heaven forbid that they should be inconvenienced or upset by strident citizen activists demanding the truth from them. The very good news is that Pat and Susan just like the last three years plus are not in charge of either RAC or TAG and acting as proxies for Lanxess. Sure RAC who have but only moral suasion really can't insist on anything but with the Region of Waterloo present, in name at least, along with the GRCA and Woolwich Township and the Chair of TAG, they do have the opportunity to make forceful recommendations if they wish. That is unlikely however by their very nature combined with the political nature of those bodies. It's all about backroom lobbying, negotiations and possible backstabbing. Of course the chances of public pressure are just about nil as we have a grand total of zero media present. That goes way beyond shameful especially as we supposedly have a local media presence right here in Elmira with the Woolwich Observer.

RAC, of course, stands for Remediation Advisory Committee and TAG stands for Technical Advisory Group. There have been and likely will be changes on the TAG membership. Woolwich Council and the media have both been long advised about Susan and Pat's various grotesque conflicts of interest in writing and by multiple witnesses. To date they have chosen to do nothing. To add insult to injury, Susan also is neither a Canadian citizen nor a resident of Woolwich Township. To date none of that has apparently fazed Woolwich bureaucrats or councillors. It will eventually but let's see exactly how stupid they are and for how long they will ignore the obvious conflicts of interest in having both of them on TAG. For the record conflicts of interest are not solely as defined by Woolwich Township. That said even by their feeble definition Pat and Susan are past skating on thin ice. Maybe this is all for the good and when they crash through the ice they'll take certain corrupt politicians along with them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Sometimes it's hard to figure out what the strategy is of the MOE and Chemtura/Lanxess. Sometimes even when you know, you don't understand the reason why. At least in regards to Dioxins & Furans we all understand the seriousness of the situation. Anyone who has seen the photographs of deformed Vietnamese children understand that these chemicals can not be allowed to exist in our environment. The seriousness of their effects is such that following generations can end up paying the price of their parents and grandparents exposure to the chemicals. I believe the terms are mutagenic and teratogenic. Dioxins, furans and dioxin like PCBs all can negatively affect our genes and hence future generations. American soldiers returning from Vietnam and their families as well who were exposed to Agent Orange along with Vietnamese citizens who were exposed, all have varying degrees of life long health detriments.

Dioxins are not only grossly toxic they are persistent in the environment. Dioxins released to the natural environment by Uniroyal prior to 1970 are still bioavailable today to lifeforms in and around the Canagagigue Creek. They are in the creek sediments, the creekbank soils and even further from the creek in the floodplain soils. They are found in various lifeforms such as sediment dwelling invertebrates and in multiple species of fish in the creek. If they are in the fish then they are in whatever wildlife eat the fish whether by catching them or scavenging them after they die. This would include raccoons, foxes, coyotes, hawks, and owls etc. Human contact would include activities in and around the creek including children swimming or wading in the creek. Sport fishing and consumption of fish is a very bad idea and signs have been posted along the three roads that cross the creek between Elmira and the Grand River.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


I was just looking over the news back in February 2011. As of my posting from one week ago (Oct. 2/18) I had indicated a number of serious problems with CPAC over the last several years. That said almost nobody involved had clean hands. That certainly included the Chair of CPAC who threw democratic process and procedure out the window as the need suited her. Certainly the new Council ignored the old Terms of Reference exactly as the old one had. Allegedly there was an executive on CPAC which I and Dr. Regier, both longterm members of CPAC had no idea about. In fact Henry Regier had been asking about the existence of an executive or not for some time. This was likely the excuse that Pat and Susan used for making CPAC decisions behind CPAC's back or at the very least without informing some of the more experienced and knowledgeable members.

Then of course was the matter of reopening the Application process two or three months after it had been closed with ample applications. Todd Cowan did that because the organizationally incompetent twit thought he had two of his appointees all taken care of only to find out at the last minute that there were no completed applications for them. That improper procedure was then used by Sandy Shantz as a precedent four years later to get rid of CPAC, who had already applied, in order to solicit some of her curling buddies to apply. Unbelievably cheesy and improper but par for the course in Woolwich Township. And those idiots pretend not to know why I personally have put them through the wringer publicly for the last four years.

Then we have hydrogeologist Richard Petrone. What a hypocrite. Again it sure looked like a Pat and Susan production with him "resigning" from CPAC in protest just prior to Todd and company giving him and the rest of the old CPAC the boot. Richard claimed a lack of respect and further bullshit. Unfortunately Richard didn't have the respect to show up to CPAC meetings when he was a member. His attendance was abysmal but he had the credentials which has always been a hallmark of reliance upon by all the guilty parties in Woolwich. That would be council, MOE, Chemtura, CRA and the list goes on.

The majority of citizens who pay all the bills have clean hands. The majority of our authority figures who spend our tax money do not.

Saturday, October 6, 2018


In this July 31 set of Responses, GHD reproduce the MOECC's (MOE, MECP, MOECP) ie. Ministry of Environment Review comments first and then they respond to them. I'm not sure why GHD references the MOE as MOECC other than perhaps they like others figure that a pile of dung by any other names smells just as bad. Hmm that comment just slipped out. I prefer to save my harsh comments for the MOE when they most deserve them. These current comments and criticisms by the MOE are actually pretty good.

Page two is a little surprising. GHD reference private residential wells north of Church. St. Say what? Back around 2014, Woolwich Council passed a by-law mandating that all residences and businesses musdt be hooked up to municipal water due to the NDMA and more groundwater contamination.That information is of course relevant to the nearby Bolender Park Landfill. Holy gosh I had no idea that homes in that area were drawing groundwater from near that old municipal/industrial landfill.

Page two also wrongly suggests that the nearest surface water discharge for contaminated shallow groundwater is to the Canagagigue Creek. What a pile of crap that is. The Stroh Drain folks is a surface water body with life in it and it does indeed draw shallow groundwater into itself.

Pages 3, 4, and 5 discuss flow direction in the Surficial Aquifer (SA) at the north-east corner of Lanxess. Finally after barely thirty years of B/S and horse manure, Lanxess and their consultants are admitting that there is off-site flow to the east of their property over to the Stroh farm. Small credit goes to the MOE and major credit goes to the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) for getting this very obvious fact recognized. I personally have known that CRA's decades old flow direction arrows and verbal drivel about the SA was NOT upheld by the excruciatingly few data points (from wells) they had and based their self-serving conclusions on.

Page 6 discusses incorrect statements provided by GHD in an earlier report and upon which the MOE were criticizing their conclusions. The issue has to do with groundwater located in the Upper Aquitard (UAT). Good to know that even in areas of silt and clay that groundwater both exists and can migrate albeit not at great speeds or in great quantities. That said page 7 advises us that both 2,4,6 trichlorophenol and 2,4 dichlorophenol were found in off-site (Stroh) Upper Aquitard (UAT) wells above the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS). Oops that's not good.

Friday, October 5, 2018


Two days ago here I posted about an October 2, 2018 three page letter from Jason Rice (MECP/MOE) to Ramin Ansari of Lanxes/Uniroyal Chemicals. I mentioned how that letter suggested good news in that the MOE (MECP) appeared to be getting on Lanxess's consultant's case regarding inadequate reporting and responses to the MOE's concerns. Now obviously I received that October 2, 2018 letter in a very timely manner. It was received however also two days later by the more appropriate direction which would be from the Woolwich Township Support Specialist who assists the RAC and TAG committees. I have thanked this individual for passing along late yesterday the October 2, 2018 letter to me. I have also thanked her for including a July 31, 2018 letter from Alan J. Deal of GHD, consultants to Lanxess.

The Support Specialist advised me in her e-mail that she had only just received the July 31, 2018 letter. I have no reason to doubt her word on that. That July 31, 2018 letter however is the exact letter that the MOE's (MECP) October 2, 2018 letter was based upon. Obviously it should not take over two months for the Support Specialist of RAC and TAG to receive a communication of this significance dealing with both the east side of Lanxess (Stroh farm) as well as with the Stroh Drain and migration of both contaminated groundwater and surface water.

In the scheme of pretend public consultation, deception and fibbing over the last nearly thirty years, this July 31, 2018 letter is relatively small potatoes. CPAC received letters written in May and June 2008 from two hydrogeologists (one was MOE) in June 2014, six years after the fact. Those two letters were crucial and their absence allowed Chemtura and CRA to misrepresent DNAPL facts and data for another six years.

The significance of the very late July 31, 2018 letter is that TAG, CPAC and myself did not have that information for either the September 20,2018 TAG meeting or the September 27, 2018 RAC meeting. This let Lanxess off the hook from potentially some serious criticism. The next TAG meeting is November 31/18 and the next RAC meeting isn't until December 13/18. Late information is but one more delaying tactic and in this case will likely be long forgotten by December meetings. That folks is how the guilty parties manipulate information and discourage and delay informed criticism.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Since the public RAC meeting of a week ago there have been some back and forth e-mails between myself and Ramin Ansari of Lanxess Canada. Ramin is a hydrogeologist and seems to be the man in charge these days on environmental matters at Lanxess here in Elmira, Ontario. While I've been impressed over the last year or so on the odd occasions when he and Lanxess along with the Ontario MECP (MOE) have attended public meetings with the RAC committee, I have had no interchanges with him until recently. I would suggest that I am more positively impressed with him since these back and forth e-mails.

One of his communications with me included a chart that the public were shown I believe during a presentation by Dr. Neil Thompson of the University of Waterloo probably just over a year ago. It is titled "Mass Remaining" and shows the mass of both NDMA and chlorobenzene estimated to be dissolved presumably in the off-site aquifers as well as the mass sorbed onto silts and clays in the low permeability aquitards. Then it shows how much mass of both NDMA and chlorobenzene that has been extracted by the pump and treat system. This mass can readily be calculated when one knows the concentration of the two compounds in the contaminated groundwater as well as the total number of litres pumped out over a time period.

The results show a total of 170 kg. of NDMA was estimated to be in the off-site aquifers and aquitards while to date 180 kg. of NDMA has been removed by the pump and treat system. Keep in mind that there are at least ten more years of pump and treat scheduled primarily because of NDMA although all parties admit it will take longer (much).

Chlorobenzene is considerably more bizarre. There was 1,300 kg. of chlorobenzene estimated to be in the off-site aquifers and aquitards and to date 3,300 kg have been extracted by the pump and treat system.

I think that it is fair to say that Lanxess have found this to be odd and strange. They appear to be on the lookout for the other source of chlorobenzene while at the same time focusing on their pump and treat system and getting it up to speed. Ramin advised that to date they don't know who else might be responsible. I've given him a couple of suggestions all of which I have published here in the past.

What I find interesting is NDMA. While not as dramatically peculiar as chlorobenzene, nevertheless more NDMA has already been removed than Uniroyal Chemical allegedly ever dumped, spilled, or released. It seems pretty clear to me that there is at least one more source in addition to Uniroyal. My first bet is on Varnicolor Chemical. Keep in mind that Uniroyal released precursers to NDMA such as dimethylamine which combined in an acidic environment with nitrogen compounds from Nutrite/Yara. Maybe Uniroyal had some of their own nitrogen compounds or not but I expect that Nutrite exacerbated the problem dramatically with both ammonia and nitrogen compounds in their groundwater. Varnicolor handled and mishandled dimethylamine along with everything else. Their site and nearby were historical pig farming operations. NDMA can be formed in and around sewage treatment plants as well as from ground soaked with pig urine and feces combined with the proper precursers such as dimethylamine. Of course this has never been seriously investigated by our authorities. They got their sweetheart deals and don't want to rock the boat.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


The quote above is in regards to a letter sent yesterday to Mr. Ramin Ansari of Lanxess Canada formerly Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura by Jason Rice of the Ontario MECP formerly MOE/MOEE etc. I have disparagingly referred to the MOE's new name as Ministry of Empty Corporate Promises or my favourite Ministry of Expanded Corporate Pollution. The name that they prefer is Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The quote is from one of the many local citizens who donate their time and efforts to overseeing and advising both the MECP and Lanxess Canada in regards to the cleanup of one the most contaminated sites in Canada, here in Elmira. Generally speaking over the last twenty-nine years the victories have been few and far between. This east side (Stroh farm) is a long ways from a victory for either the environment or the citizens but we are making inroads. I can also advise that TAG have a number of honest, committed citizens who are part of the solution. In my opinion their chair for only the last year and a half,Tiffany Svensson, is slowly establishing herself as both knowledgeable and fair. I tend to wait a while to take the measure of new participants before commenting thus I am glad to see a number of actions and initiatives of a positive nature from her.

The letter from the MECP to Lanxess repeatedly uses the terms "is not known", "deemed not adequate" and "have not been completed". Clearly the MOE are dissatisfied with the efforts of Lanxess's consultants, GHD, to date. The MECP wish to see data that will give all parties a much better idea as to the extent of the contaminant plumes of NDMA, 2,4,6 trichlorophenol and 2,4 dichlorophenol. The last chemical is the raw material for the herbicide 2,4-D and the first is within a whisker of being the raw material used in another herbicide 2,4,5-T which when combined with 2,4-D makes the infamous Agent Orange. This is not a coincidence as the Uniroyal/Lanxess site manufactured them all decades ago.

The MECP want to know whether these plumes have either penetrated the aquitard or found a route around it and into the deeper aquifers. They also want to know the extent to which the Stroh Drain is acting as a preferential pathway for contaminated groundwater. This was one of the many issues raised by Peter Gray (MTE) nearly four years ago after his Report commissioned by CPAC regarding Chemtura contaminants migrating eastwards onto the two farms located beside (east) and below (south) of Chemtura.

Obviously CPAC's efforts were not only accurate and timely but they have exposed one more long term coverup by Uniroyal Chemical and their corporate successors. This of course puts the lie to Sandy and Mark's mealy mouthed comments during my brief absence at the end of the meeting last Thursday in which they stated that the current progress couldn't have happened four years ago. That was a cheap shot at the best CPAC there has ever been. I expect that Tiffany's e-mail last Friday to Sandy and Mark, the MECP and TAG was somewhat embarassing for Sandy as Tiffany mentioned the nine CPAC members and their Delegation to Woolwich Council in August regarding Interceptor Trenches and the Stroh Drain. All items raised by CPAC four years ago and being investigated and discussed now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


On January 26, 2011 the Elmira Independent published my Letter To The Editor titled "CPAC needs to change". My Letter was in response to both an article and an Independent Editorial published in the previous week's edition. I pointed out the hypocrisy in former chair Pat McLean's claims that suddenly "continuity and knowledge" on CPAC were important. Three years previously she and her fellow travellor, back doored and back stabbed the by far most knowledgeable, technically and historically, member of that committee for their own self-serving, political purposes.

I also pointed out CPAC's slowness on matters such as the Comprehensive Long Range Plan and the DNAPL sub-committee. They seemed quite happy to progress at Chemtura's snail like pace while granting them concessions such as reduced groundwater monitoring and approving reductions in the data presented in the Annual Monitoring Report.

Further hypocrisy would be in chair McLean and sidekick wishing to involve CPAC in the Hawk Ridge Homes proposed development across from Sulco and Chemtura. Fine that is a significant issue but how many times have I raised groundwater issues in Elmira only to be told by McLean that CPAC's mandate deals strictly with Chemtura, not with other companies or problems off of Chemtura's property?

Mclean also bizarrely suggests that changing the Terms of Reference may be difficult or complicated as Chemtura is paying the costs associated with CPAC. Odd again as to how many times in the past that the Terms of Reference have been changed to accomodate concerns of others than the public. Odd how the polluter paying the costs of the committee, in Ms. McLean's mind, complicates changing the Terms of Reference. Is she suggesting that by their paying costs that they have charge or control of CPAC? That's dangerous ground you are on there Pat.

Lastly I pointed out that contrary to Chemtura's and the MOE's opinion that the Elmira Aquifers would not be cleaned up by 2028. My opinion on that matter has since been agreed to by Woolwich Council, the MOE and even Chemtura Canada themselves. Too bad that very old CPAC couldn't see the obvious back in 2006 to 2010. They were in need of reform and it happened shortly thereafter.

Monday, October 1, 2018


Last Friday I posted about that meeting and included comments from Ramin Ansari in regards to the excess chlorobenzene found in the aquifers by Dr. Neil Thompson (U. of Waterloo). Ramin advised that they were looking for the other sources of chlorobenzene in Elmira. He also mentioned that they were having discussions with one of the owners of the former Varnicolor Chemical site. That would likely be Jim Germann of Elmira Pump. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Germann is an honest, hardworking individual, caught in a very difficult situation, no thanks to our less than honourable Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

In one sense Ramin might be viewed as having publicly, indirectly fingered Varnicolor Chemical as the culprit. I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over that. In fact the ramifications would go far beyond simply piling more crap upon the original and now deceased owner of that company. Ramin suggested that they could do an isotope analysis of the chlorobenzene in order to differentiate Uniroyal Chemical's (Lanxess) chlorobenzene from some other companies chlorobenzene. Hmm. If that is possible why wasn't it done decades ago? The obvious answer is because none of the big players wanted it done including Uniroyal and their corporate successors.

It never made any sense to me that Varnicolor didn't have chlorobenzene in their shallow groundwater. That said there are two other potential nearby sources for the pool of Dnapl with chlorobenzene found behind (west) Varnicolor Chemical near the Elmira Water Tower at OW57-32R in 1998 and reported (very quietly) in the monthly Progress Reports. I brought this to CPAC in 2012 and we fought with Uniroyal/Chemtura and the MOE about it then.

The long and often delayed cleanup and still dangling carrot of a Record of Site Condition from the MOE supposed to have been given to Elmira Pump years ago speaks to ongoing problems. Is the delay, all at Elmira Pump's expense, in order to ensure that all guilty MOE employees are safely retired and ensconced on their pension gravy train before the you know what hits the fan?