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?

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