Saturday, January 25, 2020


I've said it before and I'll say it again. I believe that the majority of TAG members are good, honest and decent people. Since the very first UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) in January 1992 there have always been one, two or three individuals with self-serving agendas and a willingness to make deals not always in the public interest. Heck we even had one such member foisted upon the best CPAC ever (2010 - Aug.2015) for a while. This current TAG now not only have honest individuals but they also have experts involved with David, Katerina and Dustin. No offense intended to the other members who are strong in their own right. There is however still a problem although the blame does not lie with the TAG members. I have been noticing a disquieting trend of late. The one TAG member of questionable deal making and inappropriate support for Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess has not been assisting appropriately with historical questions that arise. Last evening was yet another example with her question as to whether or not well PW4 was the only on-site deep (municipal aquifer) pumping well. I spoke up from the gallery, contrary to the corrupt and discriminatory Woolwich rules, and assisted Susan on that question and advised her (& TAG) that there were currently two on-site deep pumping wells namely PW4 and PW5. This information at my fingertips was confirmed several minutes later when Linda Dickson read the same from one of the monthly Progress Reports.

My shock arose from the fact that if one is keeping abreast of current Elmira/Lanxess affairs then one reads the monthly Progress Reports which month in and month out specifically states that there are two on-site wells (PW4 & PW5) above and beyond the multiple Upper Aquifer wells. What the heck is going on? Now none of the other members, or Chair, appeared able to answer the question. Certainly even the new hydrogeologists on TAG did not seem to have that basic information at their fingertips. This lack of first hand historical facts and data certainly is inevitable but not yet. I also hesitate to suggest that age is affecting anyone's memory especially Susan as she and I are of the same age. That said yes I freely admit that my memory at age 70 is not the almost photographic memory it once was. It seems clear that the removal of myself and other CPAC and SWAT members in late 2015 was intentionally done to remove historical knowledge and perspectives as well as to assist Chemtura/Lanxess in avoiding dealing with or even acknowledging their past failures.

Jaimie Peznick (sp.?) of Lanxess presented to TAG the new Worst Case Scenario. For many years the Worst Case Scenario has been a large release of Anyhdrous Ammonia. That compound is no longer being used on site. The new Worst Case Scenario is a major fire at one of their tank farms. These tank farms are concrete areas with large usually vertical tanks on them containing various toxic chemicals that are used in Lanxess's production processes. When these chemicals catch fire, and solvents are notoriously flammable, they produce toxic smoke. The actual toxicity is unknown until after a fire and after air samples taken in the smoke plume have been analysed and then studied. Even then the toxicity is highly subjective based upon air criteria, just like water and soil criteria, being based upon the false scenario of only one toxic contaminant at a time being found in the medium (air, water, soil).

Joe Kelly, Susan Bryant and Tiffany Svensson all had input regarding two recent reports dealing with the Canagagigue Creek. These were the Revised Conceptual Site Model for the creek and the Re-Evaluation of Canagagigue Creek Contaminants of Potential Concern (COPC). Joe emphasized the mealy mouthed wording such as the constant use of "may have", "maybe", "may require", "not associated with historic conditions" etc. He also criticized Lanxess denying the possibility that the PCBs in the creek came from their site which used to have a sub-station (hydro?) on their property with PCBs likely in the ballasts and perhaps transformers. Susan spoke at length about the insecticide lindane which was used for decades at Uniroyal and corporate successors. It is a highly toxic chemical and Lanxess's marginalization of it's significance in the Creek is inappropriate. Susan also discussed false claims by Lanxess regarding the extent of remediation of a number of former toxic waste pits on site. Tiffany suggested that she found too many comments and conclusion by Lanxess's consultants minimizing the severity of the environmental problems with little or no scientific backup. In other words the text in places was much too subjective versus being objective. This minimizing specifically is in regards to the number and variety of contaminants of potentail concern in the Creek.

This is the bulk of Thursday evening's meeting although Linda Dickson spoke at length about the November and December (2019) Progress Reports. I may include that in Monday's posting here.

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