Saturday, July 30, 2022



Apparently the Ministry of Environment (MECP) requested that Lanxess better characterize contaminant concentrations around identified "outlier" (i.e. hotspots) locations. It seems to me that Lanxess have cherrypicked location S-14 (02) in the north-east corner of their property. While indeed this location had a high concentration of dioxins (33,110 pg/g) there are others with higher concentrations and much closer to the Creek as in creekbank soils as well as sediments. Normally we refer to the three KNOWN "hotspots" as by the bridges crossing the Creek at New Jerusalem Rd. (Reach 3), Northfield Dr. (Reaches 1 & 2) and the furthest downstream namely Jigs Hollow Rd. (Reach 1). 

I also wonder about location NJCB1 in Reach 3. Yes it has high DDT concentrations in soil but so do many others around the three KNOWN hotspots. 

As far as collecting earthworms at this late date I am wondering why that wasn't done four or five years ago. Indeed twenty years ago some earthworms were sampled on the Lanxess site (east side) and found to have very high dioxin concentrations in them. Moles, voles, birds, fish, snakes, raccoons and many other species consume earthworms and hence via bio-accumulative processes persistent organic pollutants move up the food chain. This is but one more pathway for these toxic contaminants to spread through the environment after their initial release into the natural environment, including the on-site natural environment. 

Friday, July 29, 2022


 I won't go so far as to suggest that TAG are having an epiphany regarding the "benefits" of either Risk Assessments or of treating professional deceivers and manipulators with respect but I will state that the past CPAC treated Chemtura and fellow travellors with more respect than they deserved and TAG, in my opinion, have bent over backwards to be solicitous, deferential and oh so respectful. All for nothing. And I suggest from the Minutes of the last TAG meeting that were released yesterday that TAG members are not impressed and in fact are generally disappointed with the polluter and friends (consultants & MECP) lack of reciprocal response. 

The TAG Minutes of the June 23/22 virtual public meeting are clear. Lanxess/GHD/Stantec are not satisfying the concerns of TAG members and in fact even the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP) are not yet satisfied with the efforts and results of the Draft Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek. The MECP have released their latest comments in a document dated June 30/22 titled "Review Comments for the Canagagigue Creek Draft Risk Assessment Report". The Ministry (MECP) want further evaluation of sediments in the bottom of the Creek as well as creek bank soils in the three "hotspot" areas (3 bridges crossing the downstream Creek). They also wish further assessment of contaminant risks to farm families' health from consuming chicken, eggs, cattle and dairy products produced on their farms. Thirdly the MECP believe that additional evaluation of exposures through consumption of fish in the Creek are necessary. Lastly the MECP want a better assessment of groundwater exposures the length of the Creek.

Susan Bryant has made it clear that she assumed, in hindsight wrongly, that the Risk Assessment (RA) was the last step before remediation in the Creek began. Well she was half right. Currently Lanxess are stating that the RA itself is the last step as cleanup is not required. Unbelievable! Lanxess/Stantec have stated that the risks to both human and ecological receptors in the Creek are "acceptable". Well it's obvious that Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and Lanxess have felt that way literally since 1942 and the start of production. Otherwise they would have taken at least a modicum of care way back then. Nobody who sincerely supports environmental sustainability takes Three Quarters Of A Century to BEGIN cleanup of a toxic creek that they have polluted. The Risk Assessment is merely more greenwashing from experts in the field enabled by weak, duplicitous municipal, regional and provincial politicians. 

If the Woolwich Observer continue their recent good work then an informed Public might be the last and only hope for proper cleanup. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022


 I'm going into a little more detail today regarding what appears to me to likely be dishonest and disingenuous groundwater and drinking water information being given to the public. The garage/service station on the NE corner of Lobsinger Line and Kressler Rd. sits on the Wellesley/Woolwich boundary. It is however clearly in Woolwich Township. 

I am smelling an inappropriate scratch my back and I'll scratch yours political scenario. Yesterday here I indicated a number of past examples of the Region of Waterloo gilding the lily by not indicating to the public the clearest and most accurate causes of groundwater contamination affecting local drinking water. I have sent my comments regarding the proposed Heidelberg Water Treatment Plant to both Stantec Consulting and to the Engineering and Planning, Region of Waterloo, Water Services as suggested in the on-line document.

There are four Alternative Solutions proposed. Number 1. is do nothing which seems odd considering that we are told that "...significant components (of the water treatment plant) will reach the end of their service life within the next five years." 

Alternative 2. is "Implement upgrades to the existing Heidelberg WTP (water treatment plant). Allow the plant to continue supplying Heidelberg in the long-term. " This "alternative" is ranked second lowest after Alternative 1., albeit in my opinion by a rather bizarre ranking system. One thing it does do is give the appearance that nothing is wrong with the groundwater and the treated drinking water from the Heidelberg wells. 

Alternative 3. is the preferred and most highly ranked alternative. It suggests decommissioning the Heidelberg plant and building a short pipeline from St. Clements to Heidelberg and supplying both towns from the St. Clements wells.

Alternative 4. suggests extending the new pipeline a little further to the existing Heidelberg WTP storage tank. This would entail partial decommissioning of the treatment processes at Heidelberg WTP.

What seems clear to me is that there appears to be exactly zero discussion or even mention of the years long groundwater remediation underway in Heidelberg caused by underground leaking fuel tanks at the garage mentioned in my first paragraph. Does the plot thicken? Possibly local residents have received updates on the years long remediation efforts and effects. Possibly not. What I do know is that contaminated groundwater flows and carries contaminants with it. It can even flow against the normal groundwater flow direction by being "pulled" upgradient by the pumping of municipal drinking water wells. This is exactly how Elmira's north wellfield became polluted with NDMA from Uniroyal Chemical despite the natural groundwater flow being south to south-west.

Is this the normal don't scare the horses or the public with bad news scenario going on or is something more insidious? Is the fact that the owner/operator of the service station was both a local Mayor as well as a Waterloo Regional Councillor for many years part of the reason? To counteract the appearances  of fibbing or even simply ignoring the groundwater contamination it would be appropriate for all the Heidelberg groundwater studies to be released to the public. I suppose it could be possible that the quite gross groundwater contamination including LNAPLS floating on the surface may not have entered the cone of influence of the Heidelberg pumping wells. Personally however I am doubtful of that. The wells are much too close. It is also possible that the Region have been treating this contaminated groundwater successfully but the costs have become exorbitant and untenable to continue to do so. Hence the real need for upgrades.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022


 I've long known and understood that the various Councillors comprising the Region of Waterloo Council rarely have us the public front and centre. Today I will focus on their environmental, pro business biases that have negatively affected all of us. 

The most recent is the Heidelberg Water Treatment Plant upgrades. So far although I am still looking I have not seen any reference to the very serious groundwater contamination from the former Bill Strauss garage at the corner (Lobsinger Line & Kressler Rd.). Also historically we have  trichloroethylene deep (bedrock) groundwater contamination at the Middleton Wellfield. While I am aware that a former local dry cleaning establishment may have contributed, I have long thought that Canadian General Tower were the main culprits despite a knowledgeable consultant telling me otherwise. Then we have the Region's refusal to publicly admit to the extent of groundwater contamination between the Grand River wells known as K70 and K71, downgradient from Breslube/Safety-Kleen in Breslau. Also added to this list is the ingenuous as always reasons given for shutting down the West Montrose wells and treatment plant. Basically a pipeline was built from Conestoga over to West Montrose followed by Conestoga being hooked up to the IUS or Integrated Urban System which is the overall interlinked system of wells and treatment operated by the Region of Waterloo. The real problem in West Montrose was the never ending addition of bacteria to the wells located in the floodplain of the Grand River. The bacteria came from both the river and from upgradient septic systems. Nice!

Perhaps I don't expect the Region to make a big deal about "outing" various corporate and other polluters in our communities but I certainly don't expect disingenuous or blatant lying from them either. Hiding behind "treatment upgrades" or other innocuous "improvements" really does not inform the public as to where the problems really lie. Whether nearly uncontrolled growth or corporate indifference to the environment, citizens need to be honestly informed in order to make their positions known to our governments.   

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

LUISA D"Amato takes it to the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) Trustees

 Yesterday's Record newspaper published Luisa D'Amato's Opinion piece titled "Trustees' decision to ban Ramsay from meetings is undemocratic". Well good for Luisa. Subtle she isn't. Now I did post here back on  July 9/22  her following quote about the school board namely: "...I was routinely infuriated with the Board's hostility to dissent and their intransigence." Now once again I find myself concerned with semantics. I had originally believed that Luisa was speaking about the WRDSB administration regarding her original January 2012 quote. Certainly in yesterday's Opinion piece she is focused on the elected Trustees. Personally I am convinced that there are a few good Trustees as in ethical, intelligent and open minded. I believe that they are unfortunately in the minority. At the same time my understanding of the WRDSB senior administration is that the majority as in a very high percentage of senior staff  are not ethical or open minded. Intelligent maybe?? Yes this is mostly based upon thankfully long past experiences with the filth back then.

Currently it is the elected Trustees who are making everyone at the WRDSB look bad. My educated expectation is that senior staff promote and are happy with elected Trustees who toe the line. Trustees who do not rock the staff's boat, positions or dictums will generally emerge unscathed and available for higher office. Two local (Woolwich/Elmira) examples would be Councillor Scott McMillan and Mayor Sandy Shantz.  

Luisa D' Amato also quoted her support yesterday of a recent Letter to the Editor (from Robert Roth) which stated "Trump must be envious. The cancel-culture commissars on the board have achieved what Trump could not - they have actually overturned an election result." She and he are actually referencing the Trustee's banning an elected trustee (Ramsay) from participating in the Trustees' meetings and decision making. 

Overall the public impression is that a majority of trustees are little, petty children arguing over anything and everything, important or otherwise, just to get their way. And if those trustees in the minority with different opinions are making inroads or making it too clear that their position or opinions have merit then they must be shut up and shut down. At all costs. No matter how egregious and unnecessary the sanctions and discipline may be. Even if it makes the majority of trustees and the WRDSB look like idiots.  

Monday, July 25, 2022


 Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carried an article by Jane McArthur and Cassie Barker titled "We need to fix pesticide management". They advise that Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has not been doing its' job well. Increased miscarriages, premature births, and elevated breast cancer risk among farm women are happening in Ontario. The herbicide Glyphosate is one specific chemical blamed. Glyphosate is also ubiquitous now in our groundwater to the point that it has the highest laboratory Method Detection Limit  (25 ppb.) of all listed toxins in the Region of Waterloo's Annual (Water) Reports. This is most likely in order to produce Non-Detections in samples rather than detections, whether or not above criteria. In Quebec 98.7 per cent of children tested were found to have pesticides in their bodies. Long banned DDT is still found in the breast milk of Inuit people. 

The European Union has a goal of reducing pesticide use in half by 2030. Canada does not. Pesticides have reduced soil biodiversity and its' ability to store carbon. Risk Assessments are criticized for their potential to promote the use of substances that may result in human and environmental damage. In other words often times the risks outweigh the benefits other than to the pesticide manufacturers. As biologist Mary Brown has stated "Health risks are incompatible with our need for safe food, healthy communities and a livable planet."

Saturday, July 23, 2022


 Death by a thousand cuts. That is what we and the rest of the world are doing. All in the name of "economic activity" we are overpopulating and slowly devastating the Earth. We are doing this with the cheerful dismantling of environmental checks and balances by right wing only partially ideological political forces. Looking close to home it is the Conservative government of Doug Ford who have removed "red tape" slowing down development. This development includes in and around wetlands. It includes gravel pits beside residential areas. It includes new residential subdivisions literally across the street from chemical companies as here in Elmira. It also includes the renamed Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).It makes little difference what the name is.

 Risk Assessments are a joke. Environmental Assessments if you can get them are a joke. Here in Elmira we are advised that the Risk Assessment for the Canagagigue Creek is voluntary. Of course it is when the entire "assessment" is under the control and purvue of the polluter (Uniroyal/Lanxess). Of course it's voluntary when it determines, neither unilaterally nor independently, that downstream cleanup is not needed as all toxic risks are "acceptable".

  The Planning Act is either a disgrace or being badly abused or both. The same goes for all environmental legislation in this province. It stinks!

Friday, July 22, 2022


 Yesterday's Woolwich Observer published the following story written by Leah Gerber titled "Province looking to chemical producer to check for Canagagigue hotspots".  Despite long standing concerns and oh so careful and gentle criticisms by TAG (Technical Advisory Group), Lanxess and their consultant Stantec have refused to date to agree to remediation/removal of either highly contaminated soils or sediments in and along the Creek. Hence the Ministry of Environment (MECP) have also weighed in asking for more evaluation and revisions of their Draft Risk Assessment prior to it being finalized. 

   The MECP want further evaluation of the known "hotspots" along the Creek although not long ago TAG requested further evaluation of all "hotspots" not just the very few known ones at the New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr. and Jigs Hollow Rd. (Near West Montrose). 

   Ms. Gerber also references the alleged "voluntary"  investigations and Risk Assessment of the  Canagagigue Creek.  Unfortunately even if those are voluntary what is not voluntary is so much as even a token cleanup of the highly toxic, bio-accumulative and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)  in the soils and sediments of the Creek far in excess of all provincial and federal criteria, guidelines and regulations. To date Lanxess and fellow travellors refuse to do even a small sliver of actual cleanup downstream from their property here in Elmira. This is despite five miles of heavily contaminated downstream Creek to where it enters the Grand River. 

   Furthermore Lanxess's claims to full consultation with all stakeholders and concerned members of the public are lies. CPAC including myself have been viciously and continuously denied the right to ask questions and give verbal comments to RAC and TAG for the last seven years solely because of the excellent job they and I did from 2011 until September 2015.  Lanxess will not, unless forced by either the MECP or an outraged public, lift their fingers and spend one nickel more than they are forced to do on a real cleanup of the Canagagigue Creek.   

Thursday, July 21, 2022


 By inadequate cleanup I'm referring to the trifecta namely the Elmira aquifers, the Canagagigue Creek and the actual grossly polluted former Uniroyal Chemical site itself. These bogus and deceptive technical reports include Conestoga Rovers (CRA) and GHD technical reports. On a comparative basis with other consultants perhaps their client driven conclusions may or may not be further from a nuetral, unbiased position although my opinion is that they are. 

   As examples I will state that a multitude of DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquids) reports from the 1990s and 2000s are in this category as well as the reports regarding the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACS). There was also some serious deception in at least one of the Ammonia Treatment reports back around 2006 - 7. 

  The plethora of reports on the state of the Canagagigue Creek starting in 2012, initiated by George Karlos of the Ministry of Environment, are also prime examples of manipulation and deception. First and foremost there is the issue of locational bias. Chemtura initially sends out CRA personnel to sample soils and sediments in the most accessible locations which would be where the three downstream bridges cross the Canagagigue (the "Gig"). This is at the New Jerusalem Rd, Northfield Dr. and Jigs Hollow Rd. (#46). Lo and behold all three locations which allow for personnel and equipment to be dropped off right at the Creek have exceedances in sediments and soils for both DDT and dioxins/furans. These exceedances then fuel further and later testing in the same locations versus taking an equal number of samples up or downstream from these already proven to be highly contaminated locations.

   Of course the larger number of parameters tested for increase the laboratory costs hence the parameters are scoped to DDT compounds and dioxin/furans. Way back in 1996 there were lots of herbicides,  insecticides, fungicides etc. as well as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) found. IF they are no longer there it is because we (Uniroyal, Woolwich, Region, Ontario MOE) have allowed them to be both ingested by wildlife and diluted and spread out by downstream migration.

   Joe Kelly, former TAG member, jumped all over GHD for their sediment sampling using shovels instead of proper core samplers in the bottom of the Creek. The excuse that the bottom of the Creek was "armoured" precluding the use of core samplers was ridiculous. If it's "armoured" (stones/rocks) then move elsewhere where the core samplers can properly move through the sediments on the bottom of the Creek.

  Method Detection Limit (MDL) abuses are huge in my opinion. The most recent 2020 Creek Investigation was a stinker with biases against finding higher numbers of exceedances in Creek sediments of DDT (& compounds) as well as of lindane. This also includes smaller creeks that feed into the "Gig" such as Larch's, Landfill Ck., Shirt Factory Ck, Bolender Park Ck, and the Stroh Drain). Essentially the MDLs are higher than the federal or provincial health criteria hence the reports will state that the toxic compound will be Non-Detect at the particular high method detection limit used. For example if the criteria for a compound is 1 ppb or part per billion and the MDL is set at 3 ppb. then all exceedances between 1 and 3 ppb. will not register as exceedances but as Non-Detects.

  These are but a few of the scams being used to minimize both the extent of contamination as well as to reduce the costs of cleaning up after this man-made environmental disaster. 


Wednesday, July 20, 2022


 Do you think that warnings given whether on deeds or elsewhere will actually dissuade buyers or renters from moving into the new affordable housing proposed on Union St. in Elmira across from Uniroyal/Lanxess and Sulco (CCC)? We are in the midst of a housing crisis whether a cost crisis or a supply and demand crisis. Any housing (especially new) put on the market will be filled. It doesn't have to be just immigrants, English as a second language folks or even out of town Canadians who will leap at more reasonable residential rental or buying opportunities .

   Of course it will help if they are younger and less experienced politically and economically. I view it as a less sophisticated but much greater risk gambling scenario. Yes we all want our own homes, master of our domain, king of the castle and in charge of our tiny lived environment. Parents want their children to be able to literally step out their door into a front or back yard in order to play outside. Perhaps parents want to be able to sit on their front porches and say hello to neighbours passing by. But at what cost?

   No parents will knowingly subject themselves much less their children to the risk of toxic, potentially life altering chemical emissions literally from across the road. This in fact is why there are provincially mandated separation distances and buffer zones between chemical industries and residential homes. It appears that once again any legislation or policies to protect citizens from serious dangers they are unaware of will always be trumped by the profits available to developers, builders and other behind the scenes government lobby groups. Exemptions, work arounds and "mitigation" of issues are the keywords in planning. Nothing, no matter how stupid, lacking in common sense or dangerous can not be overcome or bypassed. On paper at least.   

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


 Five days ago I posted here that something was off. There was no media announcement of the upcoming OLT (Ontario Land Tribunal) Hearing in our local papers. Whether virtual or in person this Hearing would have been attended if the public knew about it. They did not.  I suspected that behind closed doors discussions might have resolved a couple of the issues and perhaps required a rescheduling.

   Not so. The Hearing was held yesterday and it appears that Woolwich Township have reversed themselves. Why? For close to a decade this proposed residential development has been opposed by Sulco, local citizens and Woolwich Township. What has changed? Even Chemtura/Lanxess originally opposed the idea of a new, modestly priced subdivision across the street from themselves and Sulco (CCC). In what universe does good planning equate locating a residential subdivision beside two chemical plants, a Sewage Treatment Plant and shunting rail cars in the wee hours of the night? If ever a project has exposed the underbelly of growth for its own sake and the consequences be damned, this is it. Yes it takes backbone to be in a fight against bigger and better financed opponents. Rolling over and surrendering does every Township resident a disservice. It also tells them that their councillors will abandon them at every opportunity just as they have in regards to Uniroyal/Lanxess cleanup failures.

Monday, July 18, 2022


 MECAC - Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee - heavily populated by retired politicians trying to polish each others and current politicians public images. My opinion to the question in the title above, based upon first hand experience at the time as well as serious reflection afterwards, is yes, hell yes, stunningly yes. Just another pack of self-serving, egotistical snots yet again at the public trough.

   The title of the Record article written by Paige Desmond and published on November 2, 2015 is "Chemtura boosts water cleanup". Once again it was all a sham as in "Chemtura is doubling its efforts to pump and treat Elmira groundwater..." and "Four new wells have been installed and infrastructure is under construction." The reality is that yes at least four new wells were planned as in Wells W6A/B, W8 and W9. However the W6 and W8 wells were located and pumped at a tiny pumping rate such as .4 litres per second and .08 l/sec. respectively.  Meanwhile the only well with a planned serious pumping rate was W9 and allegedly due to technical difficulties it took literally several years long after 2015 to even begin to regularly pump it.    

  Further more the "addition " of these new wells was accompanied by the complete shutdown of very heavy pumping well W4 (near Howard Ave.) and the reduction later on of Well E7 to intermittent or "pulse" pumping . All for show or at least all for saving the chemical company as much money as possible with the willing complicity of its' fellow travellors.

Saturday, July 16, 2022


 Lanxess continues to disappoint.  With everyone's attention focused on the HHERA or Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment, it is so easy to miss the routine day in and day out cleanup failures. Of course I've been posting here literally for years about the lack of off-site, Elmira Aquifers pumping rates. Well make no mistake even though June 2022 off-site pumping is higher than it has been over the months, years and decades it still isn't adequate by the criteria set by Chemtura/Conestoga Rovers in November 2012. Not even close although total off-site pumping last June was just over 70 litres per second. 

   Now we get to on-site pumping and dear Lord while that also has never been at the rate that Jeff Merriman of Chemtura promised (i.e. 6.0 l/sec)  nevertheless it has at least been targeted for 4.7 litres per second and usually is close to that. Well not for last month when the daily average for the entire month was  a meagre 3.7 litres per second. We are advised that this is due to plugging of the pipelines that convey groundwater from the wells (PW4 & 5) to the treatment system. These wells are both in the Upper Municipal Aquifer (MU). These pipelines will not be unplugged before the end of July or early August.

   Yes TAG member Linda Dickson will undoubtedly pick up on this decreased pumping of the on-site MU at the next TAG meeting (Aug. 11/22). I am not sure however that she will realize the enhanced problem of reduced on-site pumping combined with even marginally increased off-site pumping. Basically the Target Rate set by GHD of 4.7 l/second is the MINIMUM pumping rate needed to maintain hydraulic containment of the heavily contaminated municipal upper aquifer at the "normal" pumping rate of 53-62 l/sec. The current off-site pumping Target rate is about 64 l/sec although rarely achieved especially with the intermittent pulse pumping at well E7. With the current increased off-site rate of 70 l/sec and the on-site pumping reduced to only 3.7 l/sec the direct result is a loss of on-site hydraulic containment. In other words the lowered off-site municipal (MU) water level will exacerbate the reduced on-site pumping (therefore higher water level) causing a loss of hydraulic containment and a loss of dissolved chemical contaminants from on-site to off-site. This whole issue of balancing on and off-site pumping so as not to overwhelm the on-site pumping has been well known for decades. So why are they doing it? There is no good answer.


Friday, July 15, 2022


 The quote above is from a banner that I had attached to the roof of my car way back in the mid to late 1990's. I believe that I parked outside the then municipal arena on Schneider Ave. to attend a public  UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee) meeting.  Probably my concern was in regard to the ongoing DNAPL (Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquid) coverup by Uniroyal/ CRA with the acquiescence of the Ontario Ministry of Environment. There were of course other cleanup failures ongoing by then including the plans for the Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACS). The fact of the matter is I likely believed that individual parts of the cleanup were inadequate but still believed that there was hope if not optimism for a really good cleanup. It was never to be for a multitude of reasons.

   On-site source removal was never a priority.  As late as 2003 CPAC's  (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) Soil & Water Sub-Committee produced a three page document which listed, to the best of our knowledge at the time, locations of on-site buried wastes including DNAPLS. Little honest work was done.

   Uniroyal was heavy into conquer and divide with local environmental activists especially those in APTE. Private meetings and deals were already the norm including sweeping away DNAPL cleanup in exchange allegedly for creek cleanup down the road. Exactly how well has that worked for you Susan and Sylvia?

   Unknown to me Woolwich Township were securely in the pro Uniroyal/Chemtura camp. Decades later I found out that Uniroyal had not infiltrated early Town Councils, they actually dominated them. This continued as the polluter (Uniroyal) and the Township shared environmental and engineering consultants quietly for decades. 

   All our allegedly local public bodies knew where their bread was buttered. The GRCA, Region of Waterloo, MOE, Woolwich Twn. all pretended to be in favour of a real cleanup of the groundwater, surface water and on-site Uniroyal soils when in fact they were simply delaying and running out the clock. Whenever it mattered at UPAC or CPAC, lies were told, contamination was minimized, cleanup costs were exaggerated. The running out of the clock was in regards to allowing Uniroyal contamination to leave the site via all the various transport mediums including air, groundwater, surface water, erosion etc. to be disbursed and distributed downstream, downwind and down gradient (groundwater). 

   Local candidates friendly to Uniroyal always popped up prior to municipal elections. Some kept their pro polluter biases on the downlow for many years others were less subtle. All the guilty "stakeholders" promoted and gave public acclaim to those citizens working on their behalf while those who were not received the opposite whenever possible.

   So today we are on the cusp of the finish line according to Uniroyal/Lanxess Canada. That is shameful based upon the failure to restore to drinking water standards our formerly excellent groundwater and to restore the Canagagigue Creek as much as possible by eliminating at the minimum the dioxins/furans and DDT in exceedance of all health criteria in and around the Creek. Meanwhile the site itself in Elmira remains a constant threat to further recontaminate our groundwater until or unless the worst soil chemical contamination is removed. 

Thursday, July 14, 2022


 In the history of bad ideas and bad planning decisions this is one of the really bad ones. That said I will suggest that Woolwich Township for a change have been on the right side of this one to date. Lanxess/Uniroyal initially were also in opposition but apparently since they got rid of their Anhydrous Ammonia uses they feel that their risk of being the cause of a catastrophic human disaster have been reduced. For several months I have had this Monday July 18/22 marked on my calendar as the scheduled start of the Hearing brought by the proponent against Woolwich Township. 

   The proponent is looking for municipal approval and the proponent over the last decade has made changes including noise barriers and possibly improved noise insulation in the walls of homes facing Lanxess and Sulco. Several years back the proponents lost a Hearing based upon what I felt was a relatively bogus reason namely night time noise from shunting rail cars on the Lanxess and Sulco property. Indeed the noise is an issue however for me and other locals with knowledge of the history of spills, fugitive emissions, fires and explosions from Lanxess/Uniroyal; those seemed to be the most terrifying concerns that could cause a loss of life of nearby residents. 

   Oddly enough I have seen absolutely nothing in either the Woolwich Observer nor the Waterloo Region Record regarding this supposed Hearing (OLT) starting this Monday. Last minute discussions and negotiations often occur but seriously there is public opposition to the dangerous location of this residential development and some notice or update would be appreciated by all. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


The title above is due to Sandy's comments in today's Waterloo Region Record article  written by Paige Desmond titled "Township mayoral races picking up".  While all of us applaud the planting of more trees i.e. a greening initiative, somehow I feel that the abject failure to limit herbicide  emissions from Uniroyal/Lanxess fails that goal. This includes components of Agent Orange that are in the soils and sediments downstream of the former Uniroyal Chemical plant including 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, dioxins/furans etc.  Obviously the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), insecticides (lindane, endrin, endosulfans, DDT) are also harmful but more likely to the benthic community, fish and animals moving up the food chain. And oh yes of course to human beings whether residents, farmers, fishermen etc.

   Sandy also feels that the Elmira bypass is a good idea. Of course it is. Downtown Elmira is clogged with trucks and diesel fumes. Plus local and other developers just love the idea of having shifted the Elmira bypass to the east side of Elmira. Taxpayers as usual will foot the bill for more expensive infrastructure namely roads and bridges. The Canagagigue Creek and its' floodplain are larger and wider on the east side whereas a bypass on the west side would require less cost to the taxpayers. Then there is the hidden bonus. East side commercial and industrial development including a highway will literally gravel and pave over the legacy of no downstream cleanup in the Canagagigue Creek. Burying toxins will not protect anyone. It will simply continue the do little or nothing policies of Sandy and friends (Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura, Lanxess, MECP) that have been going on for a half century. "greening initiatives" my butkus!   

Tuesday, July 12, 2022


 O.K. I'm being a little humourous/sarcastic with that title above. We have just recently doubled our nominees for Mayor from one to two. Yup that's it. Sandy Shantz has joined the fray against Councillor Patrick Merlihan who declared two months ago. Isn't that strange. It appears that Sandy may not have actually embraced the idea of running against a challenger. Now I say this based upon my recollection of the last two municipal elections. Four years ago I believe that Sandy was acclaimed i.e. there were no challengers for the Mayor's position. Eight years ago the incumbent Mayor Todd Cowan imploded. Now with further thought during that campaign I think that Sandy had declared prior to Mr. Cowan's unfortunate descent into the depths of accountability which eventually included  criminal charges only some of which he beat. His re-election chances however were long gone prior to election day and prior to his conviction on one of the lesser charges.

   Regarding the other councillors the lack of nominations is also peculiar to date. That some may choose to not run again is certainly both an option and probably in the public interest. There are other community members with an interest who may very well step up and declare shortly. 

  In my opinion, despite Todd Cowan's self destructive behaviour, he actually had an acceptable Council to work with. By that I mean generally good people albeit a couple maybe weren't the most committed to the job or the sharpest. I am not a fan overall of the current Council or Mayor for a plethora of reasons that I have elucidated here many times. That said in the spirit of fair play I will pat the 2014-18 Council on the back for their decision  to erect the Fish warning signs along the Canagagigue Creek downstream of the Uniroyal/Lanxess site. This was particularly worthy because the Ontario Ministry of Environment flatly refused to do so when asked by Woolwich Township. When they refused either Sandy or Council stepped up and those signs can be seen on the New Jerusalem Rd. bridge over the Creek as well as at Northfield Dr. and Jigs Hollow Rd. (West Montrose) where they cross the Creek. 

Monday, July 11, 2022


 Today's Waterloo Region record has the following front page story titled "It sounds like blatant discrimination". This is Part 3 of a series about a Toronto Star investigation into alleged medical driver license suspensions in Ontario. Two additional smaller headlines are "Ontarians stripped of licenses despite "doing everything right" and "It's ridiculous. They're serving more time than a drunk driver."

   Before continuing let me add that literally for decades I have referred to the Three Stooges of the Ontario government whether Liberal, Conservative or NDP (way back when)). Those three stooges were and are the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Transportation.  This is simply my opinion based upon close observation for at least the past 45 years. 

   This Toronto Star investigation has turned up hundreds if not thousands of simply idiotic license suspensions based upon the most frivolous of medical excuses. The examples are so egregious and so outrageous that I have to seriously ask whether somebody, somewhere is getting a kickback of either money or favours in return for Ontario drivers' names to have their drivers' licenses suspended. If not then the answer has to be pure, petty bureaucratic maliciousness in arbitrarily and frivolously removing citizens' driving licenses.

  My father-in-law Aden was one of the victims of the Ministry of Transportation corruption or whatever it was. They took his drivers' license away based upon a tiny paperwork error from an eye examination. That error was immediately corrected by the relevant optometrist and sent to the Min. of Transport. THREE YEARS later those bastards restored his improperly removed license only after he had repeatedly jumped through their hoops and loops including driving exams in Toronto and London if you can believe it. He had been driving both privately as well as commercially taking Old Order Mennonites around Ontario and even into the United States for many years. Not a single complaint, charge or ticket of any kind. Yet to save face after  totally screwing up, the Min. of Transport insisted upon all these additional, ridiculous bars that he had to jump over. Excuse me all to hell if I hold the Ontario Ministry of Transport in total contempt.        

Saturday, July 9, 2022



Monday, January 16, 2012


Guess who's the biggest bully in the schoolyard? You may or may 
not be surprised to learn that it's the School Board themselves. 
Specifically that would be the Waterloo Region District School Board. 
This opinion of mine is shared by parents who have come up against
 the system , some very honest and courageous teachers within the 
system and finally I would suggest by Record reporter Luisa D'Amato
 in her Opinion piece in Saturday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record titled
 "Tory M.P.P.'s challenge public school board over child care". Let 
me quote her directly and you the reader decide if I'm overstating the
 case: "I covered education for many years at this paper. Sitting at
 school board meetings, I was routinely infuriated by what I saw as 
the board's culture of hostility to dissent, and it's intransigence."

"...the board's culture of hostility to dissent...". Wow that's pretty 
strong language and it's accurate. This I know from personal 
experience dealing with them when my children were young and in
 their clutches. You can't imagine my relief when both my children
 were out of high school and they and their parents no longer had to
 deal with the cowardly bullies who run our education system. My 
wife and I spent seven years in and out of Court, as a direct result of
 the School Board's refusal to deal honestly and properly with issues 
that they bore responsibility for. Although our case was thank god 
significantly less horrific than the Ron Archer case, that case is one 
that this School Board should all wear to their graves. Indeed if there
 was one iota of justice in the local education system, there would 
have been a housecleaning at the Waterloo Region District School 
Board over their grotesque and I believe criminal failure to stop that 
pedophile in his tracks. Instead the Board enabled his criminal 
activities with a well known policy of transferring teachers which
 became known as "passing the trash". As far as bullying goes, it 
is our Judicial system which enables the school Board to bully 
parents. At that time the Waterloo Region District School Board had
 an annual budget of $350 million, just slightly higher than mine (HA!).
 They used their financial superiority to beat up on dissenting parents
 via the ridiculously costly judicial system. Whether civil suits, 
provincial offences such as Trespass or whatever their gutless little 
minds could dream up, nothing was too petty or malicious for them. 
The last thing however they would do is honestly discuss, debate,
 compromise or even acknowledge when they had a problem much 
less admit a mistake. "...the board's culture of hostility to dissent 
and their intransigence.". Thankyou for this and other writings 
over the years Luisa D'Amato.

There are two reasons that I am resurrecting this decade old post of mine namely once again the Board's behaviour. Board as in the controlling mind(s) of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). Not the Trustees. Now one and two decades ago I knew the specific names of the as..oles who were the controlling minds of the WRDSB. Often short males with an outsize ego, minimal ethics and a penchant for abusing power. Oh also cowardly and I don't think fraudulent is too inaccurate although there may well be a better word that escapes me at the moment. What I mean regarding “fraudulent” is the use of taxpayer funds for improper purposes namely paying lawyers to harass and intimidate parents or others with legitimate educational concerns and criticisms.

   Teacher Carolyn Burjowski and I believe trustee Michael Ramsay currently are on the receiving end of the WRDSB's viciousness or as reporter Luisa D”Amato calls it “...the board's culture of hostility to dissent...”. When will gutless, self-serving politicians of all stripes and levels (municipal, regional, provincial, federal) get off their butts and actually advocate for their constituents? Is the WRDSB so powerful that they are totally unaccountable? I don't think so. What an opportunity for the provincial Conservative government to step in and take a serious round out of our local board. While they're at it they might also examine why the Teachers' Union are missing in action. It is their duty and responsibility to defend unwarranted assaults upon their members which Ms. Burjowski certainly was when this started.

Thursday, July 7, 2022


 As per page 2 the Ministry of Environment (MECP) are not amused that Stantec unilaterally and without justification dismissed the MECP's suggestion that all past relevant comments and reports from the MECP be included in the Draft RA  Also as the Ministry has previously raised they would like to see post-remediation confirmatory sampling in areas of the Creek on the Lanxess site that were either capped or excavated nearly twenty years ago. 

The MECP state that   "...the exclusion of groundwater as a complete pathway for the Farmer/Resident (Table 5-2) is not supported." Apparently the Region of Waterloo had requested "... that groundwater samples from the deep-water aquifer should be assessed based on potable water limits." Furthermore certain risk management strategies by both the Region and the Township and an understanding of the risk associated with groundwater needs to be clearly communicated in the HHERA (RA)."

The MECP are unhappy with the qualitative analysis versus a quantitative analysis requested by them. This is for exposure pathways including incidental ingestion, dermal contact and also trespasser scenarios. The MECP have also made clear that they expect more sampling and delineation of the extent of contaminant impacts in the areas of higher concentrations ("hot spots"). Also exposure point concentrations are a problem for the MECP. They feel that Stantec's methodology " understood to be a conservative mean estimate that is representative of a central tendency estimate, however it would not be representative of a reasonable maximum estimate." Doing this would provide an indication of potential issues from the elevated concentration areas or "hotspots". 

Interestingly the MECP state that there is insufficient justification for toxicity reference values (TRV) used in the HHERA (Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment). They then advise that using the MECP's TRV values is NOT sufficient justification of TRV selection. Wow?

The Ministry (MECP) are not happy with the qualitative versus quantitative assessment of the risks associated with consumption of fish. There are concerns that there are problems with the assumptions used that may not account for the developmental and reproductive effects of dioxins/furans and hence these assumptions may not be applicable to this risk assessment. Further problematic assumptions include a lack of addressing soil-to-plant uptake. This potential pathway of  exposure through plants needs much more work. There are also issues with the consumption of free range chicken eggs and that the analysis is not adequately protective of human consumption of possibly contaminated eggs.

Lastly the MECP actually give Stantec a blast for their use of the term "acceptable" risk. They state that it is not appropriate as a risk communication language "as acceptability can be subjective to an indiviual's perspective of risk."                                                                                                                     

Between today and Tuesday's posting here we can see that the MECP are politely albeit highly critical of the Draft RA. My experience is that these criticisms and comments will be easily addressed, brushed aside, ignored or token efforts made to reduce them. Rarely does the MECP advise a polluter or his consultants that the errors and omissions are such that they should throw out their report and start over. That is unfortunate because self-serving, client driven technical reports are the norm not the exception. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022



Oh my did Scot Piatkowski, Katherine Woodcock and other trustees get publicly spanked or what? Check out the Youtube video of Dr. Peter Woolstencroft's Delegation to the Waterloo Region District School Board on January 24, 2022.  Please check the link below or Google: peter woolstencroft Delegation to the WRDSB     

I have also allegedly seen the video of Carolyn Burjowski's Delegation to the WRDSB on January 17, 2022. I neither saw nor heard any disrespect, discrimination, hatred or anything else even barely inappropriate regarding the subject of transgender people or for that matter anybody. She was however taking aim at what she, I and many others view as age inappropriate books concerning gender identity and more that is in the school library of her Kindergarten to Grade six school.  

I am truly appalled and now most certainly have my answer to the question I have had for years namely: Is the Waterloo Region District School Board as inherently corrupt now as I understood them to be twenty-five years ago? Keep in mind that my definition of corrupt may be different than yours.

Legitimate questions from the two WRDSB meetings of January 17 and January 24, 2022:

Are many of the trustees stupid or corrupt?

Do they believe everything that they are told by the WRDSB administration especially the legal advice?

Based upon the evidence I see no reason for this to go to the courts. The Board have screwed up whether out of naivete, fear, inherent stupidity or plain dishonesty or malice. It most certainly appears as if the WRDSB have a department labelled MLLAFSSP (MisLeading Legal Advice For Self-Serving Purposes). Wow the Board's arrogance has not diminished over the decades.

So who am I specifically referring to when I say the WRDSB or just the Board? Darned if I know. I keep hearing the Board of Trustees referred to as the Board and also the Waterloo Region District School Board as the Board. It's clear as mud. However there is a mind behind the Board's bullsh.t. Whatever the title I have to believe that it is the most senior fulltime staff at the Board making the decisions including the decisions to lie to trustees, the public and to parents. Now the question may be is there belief in the Board's bullsh.t versus blind, uncaring, say what I'm told to say obedience? Upon likely pain of legal action and worse. 

Four remaining questions:  

What the hell is the Agenda of the Board's controlling mind?                                                                

What is their motivation?                                                                                                                    

Where the hell is the teachers' union in all this crap?                                                                                    

 Do we as taxpayers mind our money being spent either to defend the                                                        guilty, senior employees of the WRDSB or to legally harass the innocent?

Tuesday, July 5, 2022


   Well the July TAG meeting was pushed back to August in order for the members to be sure to have time to read the Min. of Environment comments prior to the meeting. Well they've been available since a day or two after the last TAG meeting on June 23/22. I've actually read the report three times to date as well as high lighting many of the most important statements and the fact is I'm still unsure as to how significant the Ministry's (MECP) comments actually are. The reason is because I've been reading the Ministry's comments on technical reports from Lanxess/Uniroyal and their consultants for over three decades now and I've learned that no matter how much "concern", "criticism", "anger" is expressed by the MECP it rarely changes anything. Somehow magically all the serious flaws in Lanxess/Uniroyal reports are "addressed" when in fact they rarely are. I no longer will be surprised if at some future time we learn that Uniroyal and corporate friends have been extorting compromises from the Ministry of Environment for decades.   

   There is a two page attachment on the front of the nine page unsigned MECP report titled "Review  Comments on the draft report entitled Risk Assessment-Canagagigue Creek, Elmira, Ontario (Stantec) dated February 16,2022" . The two page attachment is signed by Jason Rice Regional Engineer MECP. It has a brief summary not of requirements but of requests hence again why I am skeptical. These requests are for a revised draft report (RA) and allegedly are " undertake additional human health evaluation...". These requests include:                                                                                                                                   

"* further evaluation of areas of sediment in the creek and creek bank soil where elevated levels of contaminants were found ('hot spots');                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        * further assessment of the potential risk to human health from consuming farm animals (i.e. chicken, eggs, cattle, dairy products) that may graze on the creek flood plain and could be exposed to contaminants;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      * additional evaluation of potential exposures through the consumption of fish from the creek; and,                                                                                                                                                                                  *provide additional information and assessment of groundwater" 

    The nine page report is of course more detailed and it raises some interesting questions for me including why is this RA voluntary and NOT being conducted under the regulatory requirements of Ontario Regulation 153/04. This statement is on page 1 of the nine page review and also states "For example, there are several requirements within the regulation that this risk assessment would not be fulfilling." Of course as I and other informed citizens have been discriminated against via being refused either membership in TAG OR the right to ask questions/demand answers of Lanxess/MECP/GHD/Stantec etc. then most likely these questions and others will go unanswered. 


Monday, July 4, 2022


    This is not good news for nearby Elmira residents on George St., Charles St. and Spruce Lane. Currently they are already facing more truck traffic, noise, diesel fumes and more courtesy of the recent announcement of a proposed truck parking lot on top of the former Bolender Landfill by 39A Holdings who presumably bought from the former owner who recycled auto parts (i.e. a wrecking yard). Now according to Chuck Martin, speaking on behalf of SEB Limited Partnership who purchased Woolwich Bio-En last year,  the facility had been running since 2014 "largely without the feared impacts" that local citizens (including me) had expressed back then. Off the top of my head I have heard very little concerns over the last five years with the operation although I am not a very nearby neighbour as others are.         

   As I read the article written by Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer titled "Increased demand has biogas facility looking to double in size", I and presumably others can not but feel somewhat betrayed. Is this just more of the bullsh.t perpetrated by our planning department, zoning legislation and politicians in general? Years ago Winterbourne residents were assured that the proposed Jigs Hollow gravel pit would be strictly an above water table gravel pit. Residents objected including pointing out how high the water table was and that there wasn't the volume of gravel available above the water table that the proponent suggested. Sure enough a couple of years after the door was opened and they were excavating if the proponent didn't go back asking for and receiving the right to excavate gravel below the water table right beside the Grand River. Once again death by a thousand cuts to our Heritage River and to local citizens quality of life.                                    

   Also according to Chuck Martin Woolwich Bio-En are not asking Council for any change in the current trucking agreement presumably with Woolwich Township. Mr. Martin feels that the current agreement will more than cover the increase in truck traffic that they would expect after expansion. Again this seems somewhat odd to me. Allegedly the initial citizen disputed agreement they received years ago for truck traffic was much higher than they have actually needed for years. Why and was this expansion forseen back then? Also the story indicates that SEB Limited Partnership will need approval via odour and noise studies from the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP). So does Woolwich Township have any say in this major proposed expansion or not?  

Saturday, July 2, 2022


    I did not in yesterday's post include the title of Thursday's Woolwich Observer story written by Leah Gerber . It is "Community experts say Lanxess is not doing enough to address contaminated hotspots in Canagagigue Creek". That long overdue title should take some of the wind out of Lanxess's sails. It has been far too easy for them, GHD, Stantec and the MECP to sell their crap/version of events to the public.  I was  pleased  with a number of comments made by TAG members at the last virtual, public meeting on June 23/22. Not with all but certainly some by TAG Chair Tiffany Svensson and others. The fact that some (not all) of these comments made our local newspaper (Observer) is nothing short of wonderful. Please let it continue even if there are sometimes occasional and unavoidable errors. 

   The other piece of information for my readers who haven't seen and read the Observer story is the picture included. Hallelujah! Oh boy but somebody at the Observer really put it to Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment with that! It is a picture of the warning signs erected by Woolwich Township along the downstream Canagagigue Creek. They state : "CAUTION Consuming Fish Caught Here May Be Hazardous To Your Health" and the picture included shows a fish and a knife and fork inside a circle with a line running through them indicating prohibited. These signs can be found at the three roads that cross the creek downstream (east) of Lanxess/Elmira namely at the New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr. and Jigs Hollow Rd. just outside West Montrose.     

   The back story to these signs is also interesting. They were erected after the Ontario Ministry of Environment refused to do it themselves. Back around late 2015 or early 2016 TAG and Dr. Richard Jackson asked the Ministry to put these signs up due to the numbers of both out of town and local people fishing in the Creek.  The MECP flatly refused with no logical reasons given. In my opinion the reasons are obvious. All they want to do is get this scandal/mess off their plate and they knew in advance that a Risk Assessment (RA) run by Lanxess and friends would do the job for them. Just like the entire environmental disaster caused by Uniroyal Chemical and enabled by gutless bureaucrats and politicians it was never about cleaning up the environment even partially, it was about giving the appearance of so doing. Hence a Risk Assessment (RA) with the veneer of scientific professionalism done by somebody other than Lanxess/GHD was just the ticket. Hence Lanxess hired Stantec and their reputation for the job.           

   So what's the problem now? The problem is that this Draft RA has clearly stated that there are no unacceptable health risks to human beings well past (downstream) the Uniroyal/Lanxess plant. Really? Meanwhile for years the public have been told otherwise by these signs (i.e. No Eating the Fish) not to mention the awkward problem that persistent and bioaccumulative toxins have been detected above health criteria for miles downstream. DDT and dioxin/furan concentrations in sediment and creekbank soils are incredibly high still even half a century after the daily dumping has ended. The Observer's TITLE, PICTURE and TEXT put the lie to Lanxess and fellow travellors who continue to deceive and endanger the public.                                                                                               


Community experts say Lanxess is not doing enough to address contaminated hotspots in Canagagigue Creek

Friday, July 1, 2022


      It's been a very long wait. Literally years have gone by without that newspaper covering the games going on that pass for public consultation, community input and allegedly professional reports dealing with groundwater cleanup, DNAPLS, migrating dioxins/furans and the removal of toxic sediments and creekbank soils from the downstream Canagagigue Creek. Well better later than never although I suspect that the damage to a proper cleanup which we were promised more than three decades ago is irrevocable. As both Wilson Lau and Tiffany Svensson said at last week's  virtual TAG meeting, the Risk Assessment process will not clean up the already known "hotspots" in the Creek. They both suggested that "community concerns and acceptance" of the HHERA (Risk Assessment) might sway Lanxess Canada to do better. Concerned community members may be able to push hard enough but for that to happen those concerned community members need to be informed. That is starting to happen with the renewed interest in the issue by the Observer and with Leah Gerber's excellent reporting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     One week ago I quoted here in the Elmira Advocate the first sentence from Susan Bryant expressing her disappointment with Stantec's response to TAG's Risk Assessment concerns and comments. Reporter Leah Gerber has done the same only she included several more sentences from Susan. In its' entirety Susan said "I believe that TAG has asked for the very most meagre, doable remediation. Not dredge the creek, not stop possible sources that we may know about on the site. But simply the removal of a limited number of hotspots, all of limited extent. That's it. I had expected the risk assessment to delineate these areas for cleanup but this response to TAG's comments suggests that nothing need be done about these deposits, which science tells us are there, of persistent bioaccumulative toxins measuring orders of magnitude above acceptable levels. To me that is just not acceptable."                                                                                             

      I have not been in the habit of quoting Susan or applauding her actions since late 2007 however these comments of hers are accurate and correct including TAG asking for "...the very most meagre, doable remediation...".  Even if Lanxess does what TAG has requested it will be no more than a token "cleanup" of the creek. TAG has tacitly confirmed that during past public (virtual) discussions when they agreed to ask for remediation of ALL hotspots in the Creek not just the currently known ones.