Wednesday, January 29, 2020


A couple of days ago I mentioned here in the Advocate some off-site groundwater pumping issues during December 2019. They were not as bad as the November off and on-site pumping failures.

580, 470, 310 Those numbers are the concentrations (parts per billion i.e. ug/l) of chlorobenzene, toluene, and carboxin in groundwater being pumped by on-site well PW5 (municipal aquifer) as well as the upper aquifer wells. Sort of. On-site well PW5 sometimes goes through the same treatment train and other times joins numerous off-site wells for treatment in building 44D. It is concentrations like these and higher which produce anxiety for the future of the Elmira Aquifers with this contamination merely "hydraulically contained" by ongoing and allegedly never ending groundwater pumping.

Lindane and aniline concentrations are decreasing in MISA outlets to the Canagagigue Creek from Lanxess Canada. Ammonia, carboxin and phenolics are not. MISA stands for municipal industrial strategy for abatement. These outlets are supposed to be for cooling and storm water but unfortunately they seem to have been somewhat infiltrated by contaminated groundwater.

Table C.2 continues to mystify with some chemicals having higher Lanxess downstream concentrations of contaminants while others have higher upstream of Lanxess concentrations. Of course if the public, including the most informed public, had the ability to request clarification of the company at public RAC or TAG meetings then perhaps these anomalies could be explained. Only perhaps because colourful and creative narratives are still being handed out at these public meetings by the company and their consultants.

Figure D.1 shows the alleged Surficial Aquifer on Lanxess's north-east corner. The flow direction arrows are still incorrect as even the text in their report admits to flow off-site to the east. It would be nice if they could adjust this Figure to correlate with both their text and with reality. I spent years proving that they were wrong on the east side of their site and no they don't have to acknowledge my contribution but at least acknowledge consu=istently the facts that I proved.

Appendix F may have some real good news although it is hard to have confidence with anything presented by this company and their predecessors on the site. Appendix F appears to show declining levels of Non Aqueous Phase Liquids (primarily Light Napls versus Dense Napls) in shallow wells around Building 15. This of course is the building from which 10,000 to 40,000 gallons of toluene leaked decades ago and which Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess all felt that serious cleanup would be too onerous. Instead they went back to the tried, true, slow, and less expensive pumping and treating. The real question is how much of this was collected and treated versus discharged either as dissolved or as free phase liquids into the creek.

P.S. to date Lanxess appear unwilling to provide any new date by which they feel they will have restored the Elmira Aquifers to drinking water standards. The old date of 2028 is universally confirmed as not going to happen.

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