Wednesday, February 5, 2020


O.K. I'm guilty of somewhat gratuitous poking and prodding of the bear with this next comment. I still prefer calling the MECP the Ministry of Expanded Corporate Pollution. There we have to get a giggle at least once in a while when dealing with these )@(#*$*%&^. Hmm seems to be a bit of a typo there. Truth be told I do understand that employees, especially lower level employees of the MECP, have through good looks, lobbying, connections, good fortune, merit or whatever obtained a government job with security, benefits and wages not commensurate with equivalent private sector jobs. They very likely have families, mortgages, and all the rest of daily expenses that they are responsible for. Giving up one's career/job just because one's employer or their raisn d'etre is a sham, is a huge step. Let's be honest. Somebody else will cheerfully take over the job that you found distasteful. So you ignore the big picture. You ignore what you know are counter productive steps such as conditions, rules and regs laid upon known polluters that will never be implemented and never enforced. You focus solely on your job and your responsibilities. You do them diligently and you do not take undue advantage of sick leave (i.e. when you're not sick) or other perks of your job. You attempt to do a full days work for your wages and you continue to hold your nose each and every time a local known polluter screws up the environment publicly that your office has been "monitoring" for years.

Right now such a polluter is Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess. Each successive company has purchased both the assets and the liabilities of their forerunner. Perhaps it is a testament to the weakness of our environmental laws and their enforcement that companies are so willing apparently to buy a company with such a disgraceful environmental history and remaining environmental liabilities. Currently a Site Specific Risk Assessment is in the cards for the Canagagigue Creek. It's only about thirty or fourty years overdue however the delay has been in order for as much as possible of the polluter's toxins to flow, erode and or be flushed downstream into the Grand River. Then of course so as not to provoke the non-righteous wrath of the polluter, certain concessions must be made. Afterall the MECP/MOE certainly don't have the budget, manpower, legislation or anything else necessary to actually force the polluter into compliance. They are and always have been a paper tiger and everyone involved with them knows it perfectly well. They are there to give the appearance of environmental stewardship. Yes they can be hell on wheels for a small company (like Varnicolor Chemical) if provoked sufficiently. The big boys however are way out of their league and that is and has been so by political intent of our provincial governments whether Liberal or Conservative from day one.

The concessions mentioned in the last paragraph include the MOE accepting junk science and methodologies all beneficial to the polluter (think shovel sampling versus core sampling & Method Detection Limits dozens to hundreds of times higher than legislated criteria and standards). Concessions also include looking with a blind eye to all the other contaminated areas and companies and landfills contributing to the pollution of the Canagagigue Creek in Elmira and downstream. I submitted a list of these companies and sites to Woolwich Council and RAC last year. Then of course there are all the other chemical contaminants from Uniroyal that have been arbitrarily and unilaterally dropped from consideration by Lanxess with hardly a whimper from the MECP/MOE. Finally there are contaminated soils on the Stroh and Martin farms to the east and south of Uniroyal/lanxess that have not been properly examined by Lanxess/GHD/MECP. In fact all parties have blatantly refused to do any testing in specific areas pointed out to them on these farms as being repositories of Uniroyal's overflowing east side pits from the late 1940's until about 1970. All of these Persistent Organic Pollutants bind with soil particles but can be eroded/flushed downstream especially during heavy rainfalls and flooding conditions. In fact both of these farms have areas submerged by the Canagagigue Creek when it is in full flood as it has been more often the last few years. Maybe now you can understand why I so frequently show my distaste for the Ontario MECP/MOE. They are an intentional sham and a joke.

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