Wednesday, July 31, 2019


This is not the first time that I have sung the praises of Cynthia Doughty, hydrogeologist, for the Ontario Ministry of Environment. She has done it again in a letter to Jason Rice, Regional Project Manager (MOE) dated June 20, 2019. Of course the question is how much will her employers (the MOE) support her. On page 2 Ms. Doughty states "However, for at least the last three years, the UACS has temporarily lost hydraulic containment." Then on page 3 she states "The UACS has not consistently maintained hydraulic containment since operation began in 1997." Holy crap ! That is huge.

The UACS is the Upper Aquifer Containment and Treatment System. It is the reviled and long criticized "least expensive and least effective " containment system that Uniroyal and CRA installed in 1997 to stop the grossly contaminated upper aquifer discharges to the Canagagigue Creek. Uniroyal, Chemtura etc. have bragged about it's effectiveness for decades. It appears that if it had been done properly it could have been much more effective.

I have been commenting in this Blog for years as well as at the last CPAC that the so called difference in surface water elevation in the creek and the elevation of the nearby groundwater was inadequate. I even recall discussions with Eric Hodgins of the Region of Waterloo where he defended the very small differential in water elevations as likely being adequate. He was wrong and I was right and this is not by a great deal the only time that citizen scientists or simply well informed residents and citizens have spoken truth to those in authority, only to be ignored and marginalized.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


The above remark I believe was made by Pat Potter in 1995 regarding Uniroyal Chemical and the Elmira Water Crisis. If my memory serves correctly this occurred at a public meeting in the old arena complex on Snyder Avenue in Elmira, Ontario. At this meeting many experts as well as laypersons spoke in regards to Uniroyal Chemical's (once again) mickey mouse plans to hydraulically contain the shallow aquifer on only one quarter of their site (i.e. south-west corner).

As of this date the "Uniroyal trials" are not imminent. Based upon my hard earned knowledge and experience of the last thirty years, it would be easy to conclude that either the original corporate body or the current one are home free. Except. Uniroyal and their successors have shown over the decades an uncanny ability to seize defeat from the very jaws of victory. They have done this via fires, explosions, air releases, and more at the most inopportune times for them. Similarly just as environmental activists begin to give up on the majority of citizens ever rising up and demanding environmental improvements, they surprise us. A routine fugitive release of BLE-25 in September 2010 was enough to get all of Woolwich Council ejected in the next month's municipal election with the exception of councillor Mark Bauman from St. Jacobs. Almost a perfect election despite some of the less than stellar replacements in hindsight.

Time is both the weapon of choice of corporate polluters and their regulators as well as their greatest worry. What is coming down the pike to expose their coverups and failures in honesty and forthrightness? Dr. Richard Jackson was one such surprise for them. His criticisms from September 2015 until December 2016 of the MOE, CRA, and Uniroyal/Chemtura were incomparable and highly damaging to them. The failure of the local media to capture Dr. Jackson's public comments was unfortunate however his comments were indeed captured and published nevertheless. There is a record of them. I expect that more is coming. Every local person who has passed on prematurely from diseases that are not inevitable but exacerbated by bad air, food, and or water have left family members behind with long memories. They will not forget Uniroyal Chemical nor their fellow travellors.

Monday, July 29, 2019


It is unfortunate however necessary as sometimes life intrudes upon one's plans. Likely my Delegation in regards to the properties east and south of the Lanxess property and their impact upon the Canagagigue Creek will be rescheduled for August 13, 2019. Initially I was going to speak as a Delegate to the May 16, 2019 RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meeting however that august body had their meeting postponed from mid May to September 5, 2019. That to my mind pretty much sends the message to all citizens that take both the Elmira aquifer contamination and the Canagagigue Creek contamination seriously; that our politicians and varying authorities do not.

RAC were advertised by Sandy Shantz as a group of concerned stakeholders. What a joke! They consist of the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), Region of Waterloo (RMOW), Woolwich Township, Lanxess, GHD, and the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE/MECP). Some of those so called "stakeholders" had been missing in action for more than a decade and had not attended CPAC meetings much less sat as members. I will say that the Region of Waterloo had done good things in the past and they preceded their departure from the long ago CPAC with a warning that if CPAC did not listen more carefully and pay more attention to their position that they would depart as they did.

Hopefully my Delegation to Council will occur on August 13/19. While certain Council members such as Sandy and Murray (at the minimum) may prefer citizen Delegations about Lanxess and contamination go to RAC rather than council, that is too bad. Especially it is too bad as Sandy fairly recently reduced the minimum number of yearly RAC meetings to three. Yes three! That too speaks to me as an attempt to slowly wind things down. I'm sure that Lanxess and their consultants GHD would like to run their mickey mouse Risk Assessment game on the Canagagigue Creek and get their pre-determined minimal cleanup so that they can put this whole thing behind them. Of course the result will be the never ending and still ongoing slow leakage of contamination both from on-site (Lanxess) as well as from off-site areas that were impacted by Uniroyal Chemical but never acknowledged. This would include the former Nutrite site as well as possibly near OW57-33 (Elmira Water Tower) (DNAPLS) unless of course the ones near the water tower came from Borg Textiles. It also includes Persistent Organic pollutants (POPs) on the Stroh property east of Lanxess.

Saturday, July 27, 2019


Recently a friend and colleague advised me that well known environmental activist, Pat Potter, had been known to go to public meetings regarding environmental matters wearing a button which said "THEY ALL LIE". Now my understanding of that conversation was that Pat was referring to corporate polluters, the Ministry of Environment, consultants to corporate polluters, and any and all politicians prepared to voice advice or opinions on the matter at hand. Stating the old joke, I don't think it's fair to paint all the members of those groups with the same brush just because 95% of them are guilty.

Two and a half weeks ago I posted here about the December 2012 blowup at Woolwich Council Chambers regarding the decision to re-verify Chemtura or not with the *Responsible Care logo and membership. Dr. Holt got into it big time with Chemtura reps Josef Olejarz and Dwight Este. The January 31, 2013 Elmira Independent carried more news on the issue that occurred at the monthly CPAC meeting at the end of January. Bob Masterson of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) attended and spoke about the *Responsible Care program. Myself, Vivienne Delaney, Dr. Dan Holt, and Richard Clausi (SWAT) all strongly criticized Chemtura's behaviour at the December 18/12 Council meeting in which they took turns misrepresenting and making false allegations against CPAC Chair, Dr. Dan Holt.

At this January 2013 CPAC meeting there was also strong criticism of Pat McLean being appointed to the verification committee by Chemtura. The criticism, plus details, came from Richard Clausi. He made it clear that Pat McLean, based upon her past behaviour, was viewed as being far too sympathetic with Chemtura Canada. For me the final takeaway from this entire episode was that *Responsible Care and the CIAC are simply a public relations tool in Canada for the chemical industry. They are just part and parcel of the entire sham of community public consultation. The polluter's hands are on the controls throughout the entire process of cleanup, "research", and unfortunately they even have major input into who represents citizens on public advisory committees and verification teams. It is all a pathetic joke aided and abetted by local municipal councils and the provincial ministry of environment.

Friday, July 26, 2019


The TAG Agenda for this Thursday (6:30 pm.) was sent out yesterday along with the Minutes from the May 9/19 TAG meeting. This Tuesday at 7 pm. I will be a Delegate at Woolwich Council speaking about Canagagigue Creek issues and possible solutions. The TAG meeting two days later will also likely touch upon some of these identical issues. Certainly the 32 page handout (Agenda & Minutes) has some very interesting maps showing primarily Lanxess's south-east corner via Google Earth although a picture of my large 2 1/2 foot by 3 1/2 foot map is also included which shows the entire east side of the site as well as part of the west side.

Joe Kelly had a hand held device that read ground surface elevations and it did indicate the direction of surface water flow into the former wetland area to the immediate west of the Stroh Drain, Ditch, and Berm (SDDB). It also indicated surface flow into a small and shallow pond just south of the former RPE-5. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach indicated his belief that overland flow of massive quantities of Uniroyal Chemical's waste water would quickly fill the small pond and move further south and then east onto the Stroh property. Indeed Uniroyal and Chemtura themselves have clearly indicated that the waste waters flowed well past the tiny unnamed pond, past the SDDB and into GP-1 and GP-2. GP-2 in fact is right at the extreme southern boundary of the Uniroyal/Lanxess property.

Of course water and accompanying contaminants will flow via gravity towards the lowest lying areas. Contaminated waste water does not flow towards the most accessible and least expensive to clean up areas just because polluters' hired guns (consultants) say so.

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Hydrogeology is not rocket science. The fact that water flows either under gravity or under pressure is about the most basic knowledge anyone needs, to be able, via common sense and some study of the facts and physical properties of a site, to understand where groundwater is going and whether it is likely to be contaminated. Surface water flow in my opinion is even easier to understand. Groundwater is out of sight, out of mind. Surface water flow however can be directly observed. It can also be directly plotted and determined by very simple ground surface contour lines. These are based upon extremely accurate elevation above sea level measurements which have been done for the entire Uniroyal Chemical/Lanxess Canada site.

These elevation levels have been published by Conestoga Rovers, GHD, the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE/MECP), MTE, and possibly even the GRCA. The information has been available for the Uniroyal site at least since 1985, probably earlier. Last Monday I posted here an article titled "Three Very Difficult Facts For Lanxess". At least one additional fact needs to be added.

Jeff Merriman, environmental engineer for Chemtura Canada (i.e. Uniroyal), publicly assured CPAC members that Uniroyal Chemical had ploughed furrows in a north to south direction on the east side of their site in order to funnel and direct overflowing waste waters from their east side waste pits due south towards gravel pits GP-1 and GP-2. Now under gravity these waste water discharges would have flowed both westwards directly to the Creek as well as southwards into the former wetlands that comprised most of the south-eastern corner of their site. The former furrows however can be seen on some older photographs and do appear intended to lessen westward flow towards the Creek. Also there is a very large swale that can be seen both in photographs from the 1990s as well as from satellite photos. This swale is on the immediate west side of pits RPE-2 southwards to RPE-5 and past. It too appears designed to funnel east side waste waters into the former wetlands in the south-east corner.

So why does Lanxess and their predecessors all admit to this contaminated waste water flow going south but not eastwards over on to the neighbouring Stroh property. The answer is obvious. Money needed for more cleanup. Why won't the MOE admit to it? The same reason they lied to the public in October 1991 and supported Uniroyal Chemical's claim that they Uniroyal were the sole source of contamination to the Elmira municipal aquifers. We now know that at a minimum Nutrite (Yara) as well as Varnicolor Chemical had a piece of that action as well. The MOE looked incompetent enough after decades of falsely reassuring Elmira residents that their water supply was safe from Uniroyal Chemical to then admit it wasn't safe from multiple different sources in Elmira.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Money can buy you an acquittal and it is used by the Crown to convict. The party without it is at a huge disadvantage even if the Crown have a weak case. Just look at the numbers of citizens both in the U.S. and Canada who are exonerated after being convicted of serious crimes and sentenced to decades in jail. Two groups of lawyers come to mind namely Innocence Canada and the Association for the Wrongfully Convicted. Both groups have freed many wrongfully convicted citizens and have long waiting lists for their services.

Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled " Murder case highlights how money can be a key to defence". It is about the Dennis Oland murder case in New Brunswick and is the poster child for monied defendants receiving much different outcomes from our judicial system. Nicole O'Byrne, a law professor at the University of New Brunswick said that Mr. Oland "had the resources to pay a defence team to follow up on every aspect of the case by hiring experts and by taking portions of the case to the Supreme Court of Canada for determination." She further added that "...not all citizens have equal access to resources that may be needed to mount a successful defence".

Kirk Makin, co-president of Innocence Canada stated that "...many of the people wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated are poor people who can't afford the best defence." He added "Dennis Oland is a very fortunate man. The difference is profound between someone who has the means to get the best defence and pursue every avenue of appeal vigorously. The vast majority of people don't."

Mr. Makin also stated that people with top lawyers are treated differently by the courts (i.e. by judges). "When a top lawyer such as an Eddie Greenspan walks into court they are taken very seriously. There's a deference that's shown to them because of their reputation and skill". I interpret that as meaning that their words are given more weight by judges and juries.

Poor people are usually convicted. Rich people often aren't. Whatever happened to guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Whatever happened to being judged upon the evidence presented? I've been there and an asshole judge with a bias or a personal animosity or who is simply incompetent can make a mockery of our entire judicial system. And the judicial system let them get away with it forever. Shame on the pack of them and the political apparatus that doesn't care.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Today's Waterloo Region Record has a Letter To The Editor written by Robert and Dale DeMatteo, two Occupational health researchers from Campbellcroft, Ontario. The title at the beginning of the Letter is "Why workers are demanding a public inquiry into WSIB." They have read numerous denial of claim decisions from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) in regards to General Electric cases in Peterborough, Ontario. These two researchers refer to the WSIB as using "science" as a weapon against injured workers. And thus has it always been. The WSIB and its forerunner the Workmans Compensation Board (WCB) were set up essentially to allow employers to save money and increase their profits on the backs of their workers. Sometimes literally. With workers being refused access to the courts for proper compensation after being injured on the job, the financial burden was transferred from private employers to the public purse. As it always has been whenever possible. It's called externalizing of costs and the most obvious example is companies transferring their waste disposal costs onto the public via dumping into the common air and common waterways.

This Letter To The Editor makes clear that the Board have long used standards and criteria not enshrined in law. They have demanded evidence and "proof" of the cause of injury far in excess of that which the Act demands. In other words the Board has and continues to weed out claimants from just compensation. Hence workers who had zero say in the original formation of the two compensation boards removing workers rights to sue have even less say in the management and operation of a compensation system that is biased against them. What I also find disheartening is the arbitrary nature of the WSIB decision process. They appear to deny obvious claims of groups of workers (GE in Peterborough & rubber workers in K-W) in order to save money but allow other individual, questionable claims possibly in order to indicate that they do pay out for some claims. A car insurance company pulling this crap would likely be run out of town as should the Ontario WSIB.

Monday, July 22, 2019


1) Both they and the MOE have long ago confirmed that waste waters from RPE 1-5 flowed as far south as GP-2 which is well past the low lying area on the Stroh property which I believe is a "sink" for dioxins/furans, DDT and more.

2) The Canagagigue Creek has these toxic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) downstream in its sediments and creekbank soils for the next five miles (approx. 8 km).

3) Uniroyal Chemical produced these toxic POPs on this site.

As I have stated many times here in the Advocate as well as publicly at Woolwich Council meetings as well as at CPAC and RAC meetings, the likelihood of these chemicals being exactly where I have shown them to be is extremely high. No reasonable unbroken links exist in the evidence chain. On the balance of probabilities criteria, honest and unbiased experts and citizens understand and acknowledge this situation. Unsurprisingly those with either culpability issues (MOE perhaps) and those with cleanup money on the line continue to ignore the obvious and refuse to do legitimate testing necessary to make my assertions proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

So far since the discovery of the Stroh Drain, Ditch and Berm (SDDB) five years have been wasted by Chemtura/Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. All our local authorities appear to be firmly behind them. I am ever hopeful that some politicians will come to their senses and or discover the truth for themselves sooner than later.

Saturday, July 20, 2019


The following is a verbatim copy of a Delegation given to the then Woolwich Council appointed Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) now known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) by citizen and SWAT (soil, water, air, & technical sub-committee) member Richard Clausi.

"Thank You.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank this CPAC for the wonderful work you have done on behalf of Elmira and all water users downstream.

I especially want to thank Dr. Dan Holt for his leadership and guidance as your committee has made significant strides in investigating and initiating work, East and Suth, that heretofore has been ignored....even to the point of obtaining grant money to do studies that the Ministry of Environment should be doing.

Your credentials are impressive:

2 PHD's, Dr. Dan Holt and Dr. Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach

1 professional nurse,

2 technical savvy professionals who each have their own environmental consulting companies and a SWAT that includes nationally recognized experts in their field, most notably,

Dr. Henry Regier, yet ANOTHER PHD, and also a recipient of the Order of Canada.

Of course you have engaged professional peer reviews to obtain paid opinions on items that you as volunteers have stated and know to be true. Perhaps, the greatest tribute to your work is that both the Ministry and the Company have boycotted these public meetings because they are unable to answer your specific and informed technical questions.

I point this out because, as you know, at a private meeting on April 9th, many outlandish claims were made by a group of stakeholders, indeed 14 of 17, have had no direct contact with this CPAC. Among the most troubling was the suggestion that you do not have the technical expertise to deal with these complex issues. I am also very concerned with the suggestion that CPAC meet less often, and, worse,that small technical committees meet privately, out of the public eye. It has been to your credit that you have insisted on transparency and the public right to hear all the information regarding the remediation efforts.

I find it amazing that "stakeholders" who have never shown their face at CPAC, and yet contributed to the poisonous, negative comments in the April 9 report/minutes or meeting notes which appeared on township letterhead, again, despite special invitation to attend tonight, are nowhere to be seen. These include folks from the GRCA, the Region, chemtura, ministry and even Council, who were personally invited at the last council meeting. I suggest that, the so called dysfunction is not within the CPAC committee but rather with the stakeholders who seem to be nowhere in sight tonight.

So what is the agenda? Have no fear, the "boycottees" will return when the right conditions are presented to them. It would appear that rather than being unable to understand the subtleties, you CPAC, are too smart, too savvy and, unfortunately, not passive or compliant enough. My fear is that the successful effort to smother real progress on cleanup, will put your work into a weird hibernation, perhaps to wake up in 2028 with a declaration that the water is now "safe". Grand River Users, be very, very afraid."

Advocate readers: Please note that Mr. Clausi has not used the word "liar" even once. Nor has he used the inflammatory term "corruption" even once. Nor has he specifically named the pretend mayor Sandy Shantz, who presided over this meeting even once. Nor the names Susan Bryant and Pat McLean who aided and abetted this travesty and attempted smearing of Woolwich Township volunteers. Lastly he did not mention, now thankfully departed, then councillor Mark Bauman who was also part of this disgusting and contemptible meeting orchestrated to undermine public consultation for the benefit of Chemtura Canada and their partners in pollution, the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Yes readers my language is harsher and blunter than many. But many other honest citizens believe the exact same things that I do albeit they are better at choosing gentler words and phrases to describe exactly the same thing as I do.

Friday, July 19, 2019


This sad individual comments on almost all my postings. His bias is in favour of the Ministry of Environment (MOE), "professional" consultants, the GRCA, and various credentialed experts. He of course is a former employee of the federal government and he rubbed shoulders with the MOE (MECP) and GRCA during his time with the feds.

His expertise in groundwater or hydrogeology is nil. That said he does have knowledge of surface water, sedimentation, erosion and deposition. His knowledge of chemical contamination whether ground or surface water is also nil. He has never attended a single public meeting in regards to Uniroyal Chemical in Elmira over the past thirty years. His knowledge, if any, regarding Uniroyal, their consultants, and the MOE's behaviour here in Elmira is all second or third hand. He has never heard their nonsense and self-serving drivel at public meetings here in Elmira.

Here's the thing. If he wasn't such a rude and biased individual he actually could add something to the conversation regarding Canagagigue Creek. His expertise could be helpful to those of us with first hand knowledge of the contamination of our air, ground water, surface water, soils and sediments with dioxins/furans, DDT and metabolites. As well there are mercury and PCBs and more in the fish in the Creek. The problem is that almost every comment he makes, informed and worthwhile or not, does not get published because he intentionally insults myself the author of this Blog. The insults are mostly childish and inaccurate. He thinks that that's O.K. because I insult Uniroyal and successors, plus the MOE. I do this based upon first hand dealings with them over the last thirty years. He and other local twits (some politicians) believe that MOE and Uniroyal (now Lanxess) deception or lying to the public is O.K. and should be tolerated whereas I do not. Lying is the ultimate disrespect and insult and most especially should not be tolerated from people working for the government and paid for by us the citizens, residents, and taxpayers.

Until professional and pathological liars including most(?) politicians understand that the public do not condone lying the way that they do, they will never understand that activists' contempt and disrespect for corporate and government liars will continue until they stop lying. In other words when the lying and accompanying insults to the public stop so will my responding insults. Meanwhile anyone with an opinion, informed or not, may comment here on the Elmira Advocate but forget the personal insults. Why would I publish them on my Blog? Leave out the personal garbage and yes I may criticize some uninformed or inaccurate comments but I won't insult them.

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Tough to argue with the above title but entitled, privileged, corporate employees have no problem doing so. Today's posting concerns yesterday's post and map. The highest elevation on the former Uniroyal Chemical site is 361.8 metres above sea level. The lowest is 344 metres above sea level and occurs along the banks of the creek in the southern portion of the site. The highest elevation is located on the north-east corner (i.e. top right). The daily volume of waste waters being pumped into the east side pits in the 1960s was 173,000 imperial gallons per day as per both Uniroyal and the MOE. On a five and half day work week that is just about one million gallons of contaminated waste water PER WEEK being dumped into the natural environment by Uniroyal and with the full knowledge of the Ontario Water Resources Commission (OWRC), forerunner of the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE).

CPAC and the public have been advised by Chemtura employees that Uniroyal ploughed furrows into the ground surface running north to south for the express purpose of channelling all the overflowing waste waters southwards versus some of them flowing westwards. Besides these man made furrows there is also a large swale on the immediate west (left) side of the former pits that runs southwards from the bottom of RPE-1 (the most northern RPE) past RPE-5 (the most southern RPE). It appears that the idea was both to discharge these toxic waste waters back into the Canagagigue Creek downstream of Uniroyal (out of sight out of mind?) and possibly they felt that the longer the liquid wastes were held on the soil versus the most direct route into the Creek, the more time they would have to break down, possibly.

Yesterday's map has both the Martin and Stroh properties clearly marked although they do not show up well on the image on my Blog. The large red arrows are on the Stroh property and indicate the location of a probable "sink" of dioxin/furans, DDT and more. This area unfortunately is submerged during major flood events as per the GRCA map presented here on Monday July 8/19. The smaller red arrows indicate a tiny pond on the Uniroyal/Lanxess property that also should be examined as a possible smaller "sink".

It is quite possible/likely that based on gravity flow some of the east side pits toxic contents flowed westwards after their diversion southwards and that they then discharged into the Canagagigue Creek on the Uniroyal property. Also there may be a small gap at the top (north) of the diagonal ridge of high ground (in red) that permitted entry of these gravity flowing waste waters into GP-1. In hindsight both GP-1 and GP-2 were somewhat red herrings put forth by both Chemtura and the MOE in 2013-2014 for remediation partly in order to pretend that large quantities of Uniroyal's wastes had not flowed eastwards onto the Stroh property and southwards onto the Martin property. That behaviour and public deception in my opinion is a form of corruption.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Recently I have included two maps along with my postings here in the Elmira Advocate. One was on Friday July 5/19 and the next on Monday July 8/19 a mere nine days ago. The first map (Friday) showed the map that I put together back in late 2014 and in an environmental universe of logic, reason, and common sense that map would have unilaterally blown thirty years of public relations efforts, lying, and junk science from government (MOE/MECP), consultants, and Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura, out the window. It did not because logic, reason, and common sense have not prevailed against money, power, professional liars, and all their fellow travellors. The bottom half of my map was constructed from a May 2013 CRA (Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. Dwg. C-02) map and included ground surface contour lines on it which clearly indicated where the toxic contents of decades of overflowing east side pits ended up primarily on the Stroh property.

The second map from Monday July 8/19 shows the Grand River Conservation Authority's (GRCA) 100 year floodline across the Lanxess (Uniroyal) south-east corner as well as across the Stroh and Martin property. It helps explain the planning and rationale behind the Stroh Drain, Ditch and Berm (SDDB). Of course I have slowly learned over the decades that presenting clear facts to our authorities is a waste of time. For them it's all about plausible deniability. One has to spoon feed the facts to politicians, their supporting bureaucrats, and polluters in order to slowly eliminate all unlikely and bizarre possible interpretations that they can and will come up with.

Following is another nail in their credibility coffin. This map shows via clearly visible yellow arrows exactly where the bulk of Uniroyal Chemical's overland flow of waste waters travelled. The yellow arrows follow the decreasing contour lines and hence indicate the direction of surface flow. The contour lines have been determined by CRA, MOE, GRCA, MTE, and others and are consistent with each group.The red arrows show exactly where the toxins (dioxin/furans, DDT etc.) settled in the lowest lying surface depressions. This is where sampling and probable remediation is desperately required to stop the ongoing flow of these Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) into the Canagagigue Creek. They are mobilized by heavy rains, snow melt and ongoing flooding.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


In June 2019, a mere six years and seven months after the November 2012 public announcement that they, CRA and Chemtura, would triple the volume of off-site pumping, they have still failed to do so. That said they have set a high mark for off-site pumping of 77 litres per second average for the month of June. Back in 2012 they were averaging around 53 litres per second. This included all the off-site pumping wells at that time which were W4, W3, W5A, W5B, and E7. Currently they are pumping W3R, W8, W9, W6A/B, W5A, W5B, and E7. The W6 wells and W8 however are at tiny pumping rates with the heavy lifting being done by E7, W3R, and W9 (finally).

In May 2019 Uniroyal / Lanxess broke the 70 litre per second mark for the first time. Even higher the following month of June. Do I believe that they will ever double or triple the 53 litre per second mark of 2012? I do not. That would require over 100 litres per second to double it and over 150 litres per second to triple it. The track record for this site over the last thirty years has been one of bull manure, delay, and obfuscation. Their promises and words are nothing but wind. Also keep in mind that that promised tripling was supposed to include In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) in order to quickly decrease certain hot spots in the off-site municipal aquifers. That attempt was an unmitigated failure and Chemtura were grilled by Dr. Richard Jackson for their substandard efforts to implement it.

Monday, July 15, 2019


I have no doubt that residents in both Conestogo and Winterbourne will have negative impacts from the Jigs Hollow Pit (gravel). This would occur whether above or below groundwater extraction however below will exacerbate those negative impacts. At the same time I understand that the proponent (Kuntz & Preston Sand & Gravel) have a right to timely due process which they have not received.

For me it's about the bigger picture. It's about the proliferation of gravel pits all across the Region and across Ontario. Aggregate producers like to pretend that they are environmentally responsible by having a multitude of different gravel pits everywhere thus allowing them to underbid gravel contracts if their put is closer to the required gravel needs than their competition. I don't buy that for a second. It's all about them making more profit via more contracts via having the most pits licensed. The gas and diesel savings from haulage are going directly into their pockets and the nearby residents to these pits are merely collateral damage to their profits. Of course our Ontario government and Ministry of Natural Resources have been in a form of collusion with the aggregate producers forever. Why wouldn't they be. The association of aggregate producers are far more likely to make political party donations than the nearby individual residents.

There are indeed some necessary uses for sand and gravel. House and road construction come to mind. But each and every gravel pit located along the Grand River (and others) is death by a thousand cuts to the water quality in those rivers. That sand and gravel located along the rivers act as natural groundwater filters in removing sediments, bacteria, and other harmful matter from discharging
into creeks and rivers. Once removed by extraction that loss of a filter is permanent to the water body. As far as restoring prime agricultural soils via remediation after gravel extraction, that is just plain hooey. We had that explained by experts at the OMB hearing into the Hunder Pit (outside Conestogo) several years ago. Disturbed soil put into piles and then eventually regraded back takes decades to ever have its microbiological components restored to their original quality.

Gravel is a natural resource but it historically has not been extracted to the benefit of society or the environment as a whole. It has been extracted solely to the benefit of the aggregate producers and their fellow political travellors at the regional or provincial levels.

Saturday, July 13, 2019


Well it took them long enough. And our so called public Conservation Authority, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), should be ashamed of their public relations. Also they should be ashamed of their lack of transparency in their attempts to hide from accountability. Finally they should be ashamed of their willful abuse of Ontario legislation by hiding behind our Freedom of Information laws in order to avoid answering very simple and straightforward questions from not just one local concerned citizen but from many who had verbally expressed concerns with the lack of a proper outlet from the new storm water pond behind the Floradale Feed Mill that was discharging into the Woolwich Reservoir via overland flow of rainwater and mud.

Yesterday I was again at the scene albeit for the first time in two weeks. Not so much as an update or even an estimated time of construction had been provided to me after I had sent several e-mails to both the MOE (MECP) and the GRCA. They also had refused to provide me a copy of the permit (presumably with drawings included) that would have shown the intended construction of a proper outlet to the reservoir. I had indicated in those e-mails that other users of the trail had expressed serious concerns with the scenario of having the storm water pond built, including gravity flow channel directly to the trail overlooking the perhaps eight foot embankment down to the reservoir. At that point both during the spring rainy season and afterwards the rainwater and mud was either running down the trail (northwards) or over the embankment directly into the Woolwich Reservoir.

Do these bureaucrats actually believe that these are matters of national security? Do they believe that terrorists might somehow learn something that could undermine the stability and security of the Woolwich Dam? Why is it so important to them to keep secret the date of construction of a concrete outlet from a storm water pond into the Woolwich Reservoir? Do they think that responding to open, legitimate information requests from the public somehow weakens their power and authority in all matters pertaining to surface water in the Grand River valley? Or are they perhaps even more scared of increased observation and accountability, not from fellow political travellors, but from the unbiased general public?

Last question: Are they so petty and jealous of their authority that their biggest priority is to avoid the public ever learning that the squeaky wheel gets the grease?

Last comment: I'm not an engineer but the concrete outlet looks impressive and professional. Presumably the felt type material covering the inlet on the east side of the trail is to filter out the mud and sediments accompanying the storm water flow. Also presumably when that felt type covering becomes clogged it will be either cleaned or replaced. The outlet then goes underneath the trail and emerges on the face of the embankment (west side of the trail) above the level of the water in the reservoir whereupon it discharges into the reservoir.

Friday, July 12, 2019


The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) began five minutes late yesterday morning in Woolwich Council Chambers. As the LPAT representative entered the room a voice rang out "All rise!" We all did automatically. Approaching my 70th birthday I asked myself why.

Discussion around who had party status began. Eric Davis is representing five citizens, four from Conestogo and one from Winterbourne. They are three men and two women. Their major issues are Visual Impact, Noise, Air & Water Quality, and lastly Cultural Heritage. They want to have party status because to date the Township of Woolwich have not made a commitment as to whether or not they are opposed to the appeal to LPAT by Preston Sand & Gravel (PSG). The appeal is in regards to Woolwich Township's non-decision to date as to whether or not they will agree to lift the current holding provision on the Jigs Hollow Gravel Pit located between Winterbourne and Conestogo, along the Grand River. The holding provision states that PSG, operators of the gravel pit, can not excavate below the water table. The five citizens also want to be included in any settlement discussions and for that they need to have party status.

Jeff Wilker is the lawyer representing Preston Sand & Gravel. PSG, the operator, would like party status along with Kuntz Sand & Gravel who still own the property. They are appealing Woolwich Township's non-decision regarding the holding provision because they feel that the Township have been dragging their feet excessively.Both the party status request of Eric Davic and Jeff Wilker were accepted.

Then individuals approached the tribunal asking for participant status. Six citizens, four from Conestogo and two from Winterbourne were given that status which allows them to make presentations to the panel but not to call or cross-examine witnesses, make motions or request a review of the tribunal's decision. Also participants can not be exposed to a costs award against them as members of a party can. I believe that these six participants however, plus more that can still be accepted at the next pre-hearing meeting, will only strengthen the case for the party of five represented by Eric Davis. Based on the potential for a costs award I believe that considerable praise should be given to Willian Noorish, Emily? Price, Jan Huisson, John Milloy, and Della Strobosscher.

Woolwich Township did not get out of this pre-hearing unscathed. Jeff Wilker on behalf of PSG and Kuntz S & G made it clear to the LPAT rep that the Township have been ridiculously slow, tardy and uncommunicative. It then got worse as the Township's own lawyer, Kevin Thompson, advised all parties that that the Township had failed to provide notice to 16 households who had filled in a form requesting notification and updates regarding the Jigs Hollow Pit at an earlier public meeting and the Township failed to advise them about yesterday's meeting. Hugh Wilkins, the LPAT rep, was very upset upon hearing this news from Mr. Thompson. I suspect that I may be one of the people on that list as I only found out the time and location of the meeting by a personal phone call from a friend earlier in the week.

The two outstanding peer reviews that the Township are waiting for are the Hydrogeological and the Noise reviews. Of course there are experienced and knowledgeable citizens in Woolwich Township eminently capable of providing a review, even free, to the Township but they've shown little or no interest in tapping that experience over the decades.The next pre-hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2 at 10 am. in Woolwich Council Chambers.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


The meeting this morning is actually a pre-hearing presumably to identify parties and participants. The issue is the long running Jigs Hollow gravel pit which started with Kuntz Sand & Gravel and now is in the hands of Preston Sand & Gravel. LPAT is the provincial replacement for the long disparaged and strongly biased Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) which had a well deserved reputation for never seeing a proposed gravel pit that it didn't like. Near the end of the OMB's run as the best friend to the aggregates industry it actually decided against a couple of gravel pits locally. One was over in Puslinch Township and another right down the river a tiny bit with the proposed Hunder gravel pit.

The Jigs Hollow Pit is located just outside Winterbourne, Ontario. It unfortunately is also located right beside the Grand River. Fortunately for our local aggregate industry, the designation of the Grand as a heritage river does not impact in the slightest upon their removing the filtering effects of sand and gravel from along the river. Groundwater is effectively cleaned prior to discharge into surface water bodies when it flows through sand and gravel beforehand.

This gravel pit received a lame duck approval from Woolwich Township for an above groundwater pit way back in 2010. Some pro gravel pit councillors got bounced with the incoming Todd Cowan council in October 2010 but that did not stop a last minute approval for the gravel pit. Today's LPAT meeting is at 10 am. in Woolwich Council Chambers.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


In another life I might have been a historian. Perhaps a hydrogeologist first then a historian. Advocating for citizens includes assisting in learning the lessons of the past. They are far too easily forgotten which only aids the professional liars all around us. The Woolwich Observer carried an article on December 22, 2012 titled "Chemtura, CPAC chair at odds over Responsible Care designation". Dwighte Este of Chemtura made false allegations against Dr. Dan Holt, chair of CPAC, stating that he had breached confidentiality around the verification process and was not supposed to go public with information he had. Dr. Holt vigorously denied that and made it very clear that he and other verification team members had been asked to sign confidentiality agreements at the start of the process and had refused to do so. For Dwight Este after the fact to be calling upon unsigned and refuted confidentiality terms to be followed by Dr. Dan or others was ridiculous. Dr. Dan also advised Woolwich Council and Chemtura (Dwight) that Dwight's comments about a negative atmosphere at CPAC meetings occasioned by public input at both the start and end of public CPAC meetings was the company`s own fault. After all the public`s comments were simply a reflection of their concerns about a lack of progress with efforts to clean Elmira`s contaminated groundwater. Those concerns, in the meantime, have been confirmed and validated, as indeed now all parties including Lanxess (formerly Chemtura (Uniroyal)), the Ontario MOE, GHD (CRA) admit that the August 2028 deadline will not be met.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Prior to the rest of this post criticizing males in charge of historically male dominated institutions such as the military, RCMP, police, firemen, and even municipal public works departments, let me be very clear. The few women who have managed to advance to positions of authority, whether in these just listed male dominated institutions or even in politics which certainly used to be the sole domain of males; they have not done much either to advance the careers of their female colleagues nor to advance the cause of women in general as being more ethical, caring, or honourable when they are in positions of authority. My observations have been that most of the women who do advance in male dominated institutions do so by mimicking the behaviour of the males around them. This is not a compliment to either gender. They tend to adopt "circle the wagons" and "the blue wall" type of attitudes as well as promoting of the status quo even when doing business as usual has been proven to be counter productive to the credibility, reputation, and integrity of the organization.

Two articles appeared in today's Waterloo Region Record which may illustrate why I believe this to be so. The first is titled "Deal reached in harassment lawsuit against RCMP". The RCMP have been front and centre for many years now for both their alleged and proven unfair and unequal treatment of many women in their ranks. The second article while shocking may be less an indictment of male power and privilege or not as it concerns CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. I suspect that they too are male dominated in the top leadership positions but I admit I don't know that for a fact. Also the article concerning them titled "Group says spies went too far" is not about their treatment of women in their workplace but about how those in charge have strayed so far from their mandate, whether they admit it or not. This includes allegations by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) that CSIS have spied on Canadian environmental groups as well as upon certain aboriginal groups.

All of this is of course in the light of both historic and ongoing workplace harassment including many years ago of the City of Waterloo Public Works department. I am advised that there has been incredible discrimination against females attempting to do research or teaching at the university level. Apparently universities were very male dominated institution historically although university educated males are at least bright enough to recognize how stupid and unsustainable that behaviour is nowadays and are addressing those wrongs. Again here in Waterloo Region we the residents and citizens have been subjected to the shining of light upon our very own local police force and it has not been pleasant. There is a lawsuit initiated by four former Waterloo Region police officers (3 female, 1 male) that has been attempting to be certified as a class action lawsuit. Of course we the taxpayers are paying legal costs to the WRPS and the civilian board as well as to the Police Association in order to block these legal attempts to redress gender discrimination. That misallocation of taxpayer funds in order to buy legal protection from doing the right and proper things are routinely practiced by police forces, school boards, Mounties, politicians and other non accountable institutions. Another local, former police officer, Kelly Donovan, has also been facing taxpayer funded legal harassment by the Waterloo Region Police Service and their cronies on the civilian police board and in the police association which appears to be firmly in bed with the old boys club.

Monday, July 8, 2019


I included a picture of my large 2 1/2 foot by nearly 3 foot map in last Friday's posting about the Stroh Drain, Ditch, and Berm (SDDB). This map originally produced by me in October 2014 is a very detailed map of Uniroyal/Lanxess's property on the east side of the Canagagigue Creek primarily. One can see four of the ponds on the west (left) side of the Creek namely RPW 5,6,7, & 8. RPW stands for retention pond west. On the east (right) side one can see from the top right corner and downwards (south) part of IR-2, then all of RPE-1,2,3,4,5 . IR-2 stands for Iron oxides 2 and RPE stands for Retention Pit East.

Anything outlined in red represents higher elevation ground and lines in blue represent the lowest ground elevation and hence include the Canagagigue Creek and the smaller Stroh Drain (SDDB) in the bottom right hand corner (i.e. south-east)

On the top left corner of the map there are both photographs of the Stroh Drain taken in 2014 as well as topographical maps of the entire site. The topographical maps are produced by the Ontario Ministry of Environment as well as the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA). The bottom half of my map is actually taken from a Conestoga Rovers (CRA) May 2013 report regarding GP-1 & 2 (gravel pits 1 & 2) and is titled "Existing Conditions". CRA helpfully included topographical contour lines and unhelpfully left a few short gaps in the contour lines as they crossed the property line between Chemtura/Lanxess and the Stroh farm. In conjunction with multiple other sources these ground contour lines are quite clear and abvious.

One recent addition to my map is not as yet on this computer image and that is the new red line representing the "Berm" in SDDB. The "Berm" is on the immediate east (right) side of the most northern end of the Stroh Drain and may extend close to 165 to 200 metres. I have previously described here in the Elmira Advocate as it likely being so positioned in order to prevent Canagagigue floodwaters from more readily eroding heavily contaminated soils in the very low lying area immediately east of the Stroh Drain that have been deposited via overland gravity flow from RPE 1-5. The flooding creek to the west breaches its channel and flows south-eastwards across the entire south-east corner except for the high diagonal (north-west to south-east) ridge of land outlined in red on the map.

While the ground contour lines on the computer image are not clear they are very clear on my actual map and their direction of ground surface flow is obvious to any honest, unbiased parties. Of course those parties are in very short supply in Elmira, Ontario, Woolwich Township.

P.S. Also likely not visible on the computer image map is the names of the property owners to the immediate south ( i.e. below) namely Martin and to the east (right) of course is Stroh.

This above map shows the 100 year floodline in yellow. Note the long narrow "finger" hanging down on the right side near the Stroh Drain. This represents the high ground produced by the Berm consisting of the soil excavated from the Stroh Drain.

Saturday, July 6, 2019


In The Alternative Are They a Little Too Willing To Impose Sanctions That They Do Not Have The Authority To Do?

Today`s Waterloo Region Record carries the following article tiled `Fake snake gets Cambridge man banned`. Allan Dettweiler, a man in his 70s using a walker has been banned from Cambridge city hall and all municipal premises for a year for attending a council meeting last month with a wooden snake wrapped around his neck. On the face of it that seems to be an extreme reaction to what appears to be a simple non-violent, non audible protest. That being said yes Mr. Dettweiler has protested before including a brief verbal outburst from the gallery last January which earned him a three month ban. Prior to that he placed ``Ditch Donna"cards on chairs in council chambers urging voters to unseat incumbent councillor Donna Reid. That got him a one month ban. I would suggest that perhaps Mr. Dettweiler`s failure was in obeying the first two bans which has emboldened council.

That however may also be part of the problem. Did Cambridge council actually agree and vote as a group to ban Mr. Dettweiler or is this as stated in the article a decision made by city clerk Michael Di Lullo and mayor Katherine McGarry? While limits on the public`s behaviour may be necessary I really don`t think any of these actions by Mr. Dettweiler cry out for anything even close to a one year ban and certainly not one imposed by the dubious authority of a municipal council or less.

Up here in Woolwich Township I`ve seen far worse behaviour by elected councillors far in contravention of their own written policies and nothing ever happens to them. Perhaps Cambridge council might want to have a serious talk with the Waterloo Regional Police in regards to the legality of their banning a citizen from public municipal buildings and functions. Short of a court conviction on some sort of disturbing the peace charge or something similar I really doubt that municipal councils can unilaterally ban anyone. They of course can call the police after threats or violence but simple minor protest is not only the right of citizens I believe it is their duty as well.

Friday, July 5, 2019


So exactly how hard is it to determine exactly where overflowing waste waters from Uniroyal Chemical ended up? Based upon decades of detections of dioxins/furans and DDT in the Canagagigue Creek, clearly that Creek has been the respository for massive amounts of these chemicals over time. We have been advised that contaminated sediments on the bottom of the creek begin as suspended sediments, eroded from either contaminated creek banks on the Uniroyal site or mobilized by heavy rains or even floodwaters further away from the creek banks. Once one begins to understand the extent of overland flow of creek water on the Uniroyal site, either from first hand observation or from 100 year floodplain maps, one can more readily comprehend the ability of this overland flow to scour and erode surface soils and carry them back into the creek. As I have previously stated the Canagagigue Creek in flood goes across the entire south-east corner of their property scraping and scouring everything in its path. When I say "across the entire south-east corner" that is with the exception of the elevated north-west to south-east ridge of land. I believe that Uniroyal Chemical tacitly has admitted this by the highly unlikely to be coincidental Berm on the Stroh property that is part of the Stroh Drain, Ditch and Berm (SDDB). This Berm in conjunction with the Ditch immediately beside it is a somewhat effective physical barrier protecting and reducing erosion of the "sink" of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) that migrated from the Uniroyal property and were deposited in this lowest lying area.

Hence it is simply an exercise in topographical study. In other words follow the ground surface contour lines from the north-east part of Uniroyal where their toxic waste pits overflowed. Just like groundwater flow direction, one simply puts flow direction arrows perpendicular to descending contour lines to see the direction of flow of either ground or surface water. It really is that easy, yet to date, Lanxess continue to pretend that it isn't. Any citizen with the time and interest can draw these flow direction arrows on the various topographical maps and see for themselves that a very large component of the east side waste pits overflow ended up on the Stroh property on its eventual way southwards into the Creek.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Last April 3 I posted here about statements made by James Bennett, lawyer for the WRPS. Those statements as quoted from the Waterloo Region Record were a frank admission that the facts stated in a class action lawsuit against the police service were essentially correct but that the Ontario Court of Appeal was not the appropriate venue to be discussing/debating them. The allegations by several female police officers as well as one male officer are both shocking, disappointing and miles beneath the level of conduct we should both expect and demand from our regional police force. These allegations have also been substantiated via the public statements and book written by former Waterloo Region Police officer, Kelly Donovan, titled "Systemic Misfeasance in Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Suppression of Whistleblowers."

My blunt and personal opinion, bottom line of the whole sordid history of opening up traditionally male jobs to women is as follows. Our politicians and other members of the power structure decided that they were tired of hearing as to how only large, rough and tough males could possibly be effective police officers. In other words the possible pool of labour capable of handling front line police work was incredibly limited. I would suggest that indeed it is. Not very many men or women are capable of handling the mental and emotional stress and anguish much less the physical efforts occasionally required.

That said the recruiting requirements historically demanded seemed to focus on the physical requirements and much less on all the rest. That was an error. Hiring six foot tall white men, with or without a bad attitude, certainly didn't reflect all of society. By opening up the police force to women, racial minorities, and persons of smaller stature our politicians and authorities pretended that they were being egalitarian. In fact they were simply shifting the physical requirements further down the list and getting in on the leading edge of recognizing women as being mentally and emotionally equal to men. They were also simultaneously by expanding the potential labour force for police officers probably thinking economically that expanding the supply of labour would keep downward pressure on the costs (i.e. wages).

Now here's where it gets nasty. These expanded recruiting scenarios were forced upon both the rank and file officers as well as the senior management. No one on the current police forces, soldiers, firemen etc., who had all been recruited based primarily upon their size and strength, were the least bit amenable to hiring people based on qualifications that many of them did not have. I'm not suggesting that skills like empathy, intelligence, common sense, deescalation techniques, note taking, public speaking, were totally foreign to current police officers etc. but as these officers were not hired for those skills in the first place then it is likely that many current officers did not have them in abundance.

So what is "nasty" about normal human reaction to change that may negatively affect one's future career? Well male politicians themselves were beginning to feel competition from female political candidates and they didn't like it. What was the old boys' club going to do? Easy! While the politicians would order integration of both genders they would privately assure the old boys' management that there would be limited to no oversight as to how female candidates were treated or accepted within the rank and file. Yes politicians of both genders would give lip service to proper, decent, normal human behaviour but it was left entirely up to the hugely male dominated senior police management to insist upon fair treatment of women police officers or not, as they chose. Well as the rank and file were dead against women in policing, police management in order to keep the respect and support of the rank and file determined that it was in their best interests to look the other way as much as possible.Very nasty behaviour by male co-workers may leave no visible scars but it certainly would discourage new female recruits from joining and also discourage current ones from staying. Throughout this, male and female politicians have happily looked the other way while continuing to spout platitudes to the public as they have always done.

Kelly Donovan has recently released a report indicating that our Waterloo Region Police Service has spent over $200,000 dollars on legal council in the last two years fighting and harassing her before the courts. This is yet another way to silence women in policing and to discourage further participation by them. Our regional politicians, male and female, are supporting this behaviour. The police, police services board and regional council are abusing both female police officers, past and present, as well as regional taxpayers by continuing to legally harass those who speak out. Taxpayers of both genders do not support these misogynistic attitudes and behaviours. When will our politicians get this through their skulls and act accordingly?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Generally speaking, water flows downhill. In other words gravity is the normal, usual, and natural force determining the direction of flow from overflowing pits and ponds on the former Uniroyal Chemical property. Why is this relevant now you ask? It is relevant because neither Uniroyal, their successors, nor the Ontario Ministry of Environment ever cleaned up the toxic mess left behind. Granted an awful lot of their mess has flowed from pits RPE 1-5 (i.e. Retention Pits East) southwards and eastwards into the Canagagigue Creek. It in turn via gravity flow has unceremoniously dumped those toxins into the Grand River approximately seven or eight kilometres south-eats from the Uniroyal site.

For thirty years testing in and around both Uniroyal Chemical and Elmira has focused on water testing, whether groundwater or surface water. The number of soil samples that UPAC, CPAC,and the public ever saw was a miniscule proportion of the total number of water samples taken, analysed and published. With the recent focus on the Creek; RAC, TAG, and the public are seeing many more soil and sediment samples than ever before. This is a good thing albeit decades overdue.

As production on the former Uniroyal site of both DDT and metabolites as well as the precursers to dioxins/furans, namely 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, has long been ended; one might have expected that detections of DDT and dioxins/furans in the Creek would also have ended. Unfortunately not so. These chemicals are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which both preferentially adhere to soil particles and only break down very slowly in the natural environment. The biggest shock apparently to some has been the fact that DDT rather than its breakdown components DDD and DDE is still prevalent in soils and sediments in and around the Canagagigue Creek. This appears to speak of long buried DDT slowly being eroded by wind, rain, snow melt, and flooding of the Creek and being mobilized and transported into the Creek. This is precisely why disposal of toxic compounds, especially liquid toxic compounds, into pits, ponds, lagoons, or whatever fancy name for land disposal there is; is such a stupid idea.

TAG members along with CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) members have walked the extreme east side and south-east corner of the former Uniroyal (now Lanxess) property. We know which way the water flows. Also there are a number of topographical maps available which clearly show where overflowing Uniroyal Chemical waste waters flowed. We have admissions both verbal and in writing of these overflows from Uniroyal, CRA, and the MOE (MECP). These topograpical maps have been produced and published over the decades from CRA, MTE Consulting, MOE, and others. There are even topographical maps of the site on-line. All these maps are consistent with each other as well as with the first hand, birds eye view of citizens who have walked the area.

Therefore why have Lanxess and their consultants, GHD, not presented to TAG and the public a clear map showing the exact low lying location that Uniroyal's waste waters ended up in? Why do they continue verbally to deny that there is a "sink" of DDT and dioxin/furans on the Stroh property to the immediate east of their property? The answer is the same as always. Money. A real cleanup of these POPs is going to cost them money not to mention bad public relations. The MOE are in the same boat. Lanxess may very well ask for a financial contribution although based upon the 1991 Control Order this would be "new" contamination, unknown at the time. The MOE (MECP) of course will also lose face over this as citizens (CPAC) made the discovery and brought it to public attention not them.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Trichloroethylene (TCE) stalked its victims in the Bishop St. community of Cambridge for decades. The TCE as well as other solvents including trichloroethane (TCA) were discharged improperly and most likely illegally at two industrial operations (Northstar Aerospace & Rozell) on Bishop St. TCE is a liquid however it does not fully dissolve in groundwater. Rather it is known as a Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL). It tends to sink below the water table (i.e. it is dense) until it hits a lower permeability area of either the sand and gravel aquifer or the clay and silt aquitard. It then often pools on the surface of the lower permeability zone where it slowly dissolves into the groundwater over decades and possibly even centuries based upon the volume of the DNAPL chemical and other factors. Nevertheless this slow dissolution of the DNAPL (such as TCE) will elevate groundwater concentrations of TCE above drinking water standards.

In Cambridge the TCE impacted the indoor air via vapour intrusion through basement walls and floors. It also contaminated the local groundwater and although the MOE (MECP) and the Region of Waterloo refused to admit it, strangely both nearby regional drinking wells have been closed down. P7 was closed prior to the public discovery of TCE and P6 several years after. The nearby Grand River was impacted with seeps of TCE entering the river directly along its banks.

TCE has a long and sordid history of causing human illnesses and deaths. This includes the famous Woburn, Massachusetts case that was portrayed in the movie "A Civil Trial" starring John Travolta. Typically, two local businesses (Beatrice Foods, Riley Tannery) disposed of their waste TCE irresponsibly. The Tom's River case outside New Jersey was another well known case involving TCE. My recollection is that possibly the culprit was Ciba-Geigy, coincidentally who also contaminated groundwater at the north end of Cambridge in the early 1990s.

There has been negligence and coverups both private and governmental at far too many contaminated sites in North America. This includes Elmira (Uniroyal & Varnicolor), Kitchener, and Cambridge. It is decades past time for our authorities, municipal and provincial, to stop protecting polluters and covering up the health risks to nearby residents. Full disclosure, transparency, and accountability need to be practiced not just be platitudes spilling from the mouths of the professional liars we call politicians.

Monday, July 1, 2019


Frankly I was shocked. While not a large industrial site by any means, the length, variety, and duration of manufacturing in the midst of a residential area was very surprising to me. Rych Mills, historian, wrote an article titled "100 years of manufacturing on Shanley Street". It was published in the Waterloo Region Record two days ago. We the public have been advised that the main contaminant on the site is trichloroethylene (TCE) but to me that is like suggesting that the main risk from an atom bomb is the initial shock wave. Not mentioning fire, heat, or radiation is just plain ridiculous. This site has manufactured furniture with multiple different companies. It has also manufactured store counters, wall bins, floor racks and display units. Lastly Morval Durofoam, ending in 1991, produced plastic and foam components for cars as well as specialty packaging products.

Each and every one of these manufacturers may have added their own particular varnishes, paints, solvents, metal cleaning agents, acids, and plastics to the mix of whatever is below the ground surface on that site. The article does mention "migrating pollutants" although no specifics are made as to how far they've gone or their toxicity.

This I can tell you. Based upon my thirty years of observing, interacting, and dealing with the Ontario Ministry of Environment I would find it astonishing if they have any more than a rudimentary understanding of the sub-surface contaminant hydrogeology or the current health risks associated with that property. That this kind of manufacturing enterprise could be allowed in a residential neighbourhood decades to a century ago is beyond belief. That it has not been studied carefully and the technical results released to the neighbours and public is shocking. No good ever comes from keeping problem areas hidden. This could end up being another Bishop St. community in Cambridge where hundreds of homes were impacted by TCE from Northstar Aerospace and Rozell Mfg. Clearly our authorities have learned nothing from past environmental disasters and crises.