Tuesday, January 31, 2023


 I am almost overwhelmed. Yesterday I posted some results from rereading my Elmira Advocate posts from September 2015 to July 2016. Today I'm adding only SOME of the rest that Dr. Jackson spelled out from August 2016 until his last RAC meeting in December 2016.

Some of these statements of Dr. Jackson are direct quotes that I wrote down. Amazingly there are even a few from Lisa Schaefer as she dutifully recorded them in the TAG Minutes. They are shocking and I am printing them out for future dissemination.

" TAG discussed the potential that the Township has exhausted all technical arguments and run into a wall of public policy and bureaucratic lethargy and as such, the only path forward is a media strategy or going to the Environmental Commissioner, which does not report to the MOECC but to Queen's Park."

"TAG also discussed whether a technical advisory committee was beneficial anymore to the Township as a technical case to the MOECC does not seem to move the need for action forward. Perhaps a group who focuses on public policy is what is needed going forward."

"TAG is concerned that the MOECC is stating that suspended sediment sampling does not help manage the problem. Federal law mandates that the Provinces monitor pesticide contamination and it is not at MOECC's discretion to decide whether or not to monitor suspended sediment.".

This last quote comes from my October 15, 2016 Elmira Advocate Blog posting and is based upon my handwritten notes taken at the public TAG meeting two days earlier:

"Lastly Dick Jackson suggested that he would like Hatfield consultants to do an independent Risk Assessment of the creek as they are recognized international experts on Dioxin contamination. Dick also suggested a trip to the Environmental Commissioner regarding technical evidence that the M.O.E. are violating Ontario law." 

WOW! This is but a small sample of what else Dr. Jackson and indeed occasionally other TAG members had to say. Where oh where was our local newspaper when we needed them so desperately to report this?


Monday, January 30, 2023


 I mean mostly the TAG members consisted of Sandy's curling buddies from the Elmira Curling Club plus citizen members on TAG were designed to be second fiddle to RAC which is the government bureaucrats and politicians who know little or nothing. Talk about the perfect pretend "public consultation". A funny thing happened however. Technically and environmentally Dr. Jackson was miles ahead of everybody else on Council, RAC, TAG, Chemtura, CRA and the Ont. Min. of Environment (M.O.E.). He was what could only terrorize Chemtura and the M.O.E. namely an honest, highly credentialed expert and highly experienced environmental professional. And he couldn't be bought or intimidated by those @#$%^&*(.

For sixteen months Dr. Jackson as Chair of TAG made Chemtura, Conestoga Rovers (CRA) and the Ont. M.O.E. cringe and cower. He called them out bluntly and incessantly. Why did he do that? Probably because he knew that they had hijacked the cleanup of Elmira's soils, ground and surface water and talked world class cleanup while delivering third class or worse results. Frankly he made it clear that he was appalled by their version of an environmental cleanup.

Following is a short list of his serious criticisms of their cleanup:

Suspended Sediments in the Canagagigue Creek. For decades they were throwing out the baby with the bath water. In other words they tested and sampled the water for everything AFTER filtering out the really harmful suspended sediments transporting Uniroyal Chemical's toxins downstream to local neighbours and the rest of Waterloo Region.

Dioxins in and around the Creek. Dr. Jackson wanted a truly independent company to test for dioxin contamination in soils and sediments downstream from Uniroyal/Chemtura. He even suggested that he had zero confidence in the M.O.E. doing it but would have confidence if Hatfield Consultants with their extensive expertise did the work.

In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) pilot program attempts. He referred to them as amateurish among other things. According to Dr. Jackson the attempt at off-site contaminant source removal was set up to fail. Readers keep in mind that yours truly made a Delegation/Presentation to CPAC back about 2009 extolling not only the virtues of ISCO but also the fact that it was used to remove Trichloroethylene (TCE) from groundwater in Cambridge from the Northstar Aerospace Co. and another. 

Chemtura/CRA failure to recognize a major basal gravel unit at the bottom of the Municpal Aquifer that was a strong preferential pathway for contaminated groundwater flow . As I recall targeting this pathway for pump & treat wells or other remediation would/could have cut many years off of cleanup times.

Back Diffusion from soils back into groundwater was not properly understood nor planned for. Personally I'm thinking that this is where the DNAPL coverups and intentional DNAPL investigation failures contributed to the failure to achieve drinking water standards by 2028. Uniroyal contaminants migrate through both aquifers and into aquitards and other less permeable underground stratigraphy. After decades of pumping aquifers to reduce their contaminant concentrations, the contaminants back diffuse from aquitards etc. into the aquifers. This back diffusion based upon the quantity of contamination bound to the soils results in slow increases in groundwater contamination again (i.e. "Rebound"). 

There is more. I am currently reading through my Elmira Advocate postings of TAG meetings between September 2015 and December 2016. The majority of these postings occurred the next day after the public TAG meetings which I attended and took notes at.


Saturday, January 28, 2023


 Or worded otherwise is there any public value in their continued goody two shoes, oh so deferential, oh so polite existence? Hmm despite Tiffany's attempts (in harmony with Ramin Ansari's) to verbally minimize the serious consequences of long term, continued on-site pumping failures, the answer is grudgingly yes. Lies are being told but even the most deferential and dense TAG members are at last beginning to ask well why is there a Target Rate in the first place if it's numbers are being ignored? Eventually they will clue in to the fact that the Target Rates as clearly STATED IN WRITING are the actual pumping recommendations either to maintain hydraulic containment on the Lanxess site (i.e. stop leakage of contaminated groundwater off-site) or they are the required pumping rates to actually clean up the contaminated Elmira Aquifers. Oh and these Target Rates are determined by Lanxess Canada's own client driven consultants (GHD).

Other unanswered and unclarified comments also go onto the formal record (maybe). Tiffany's comments about the excess chlorobenzene discovered or at least pronounced by Dr. Neil Thompson is an example. Chlorobenzene is a DNAPL chemical and maybe, just maybe "they" continue to lie to citizens on this point as well. Yes chlorobenzene concentrations have dropped in many locations. If however there is still sub-surface either residual or free phase chlorobenzene present then good luck with that. Slow dissolving chlorobenzene (& other DNAPLS) will be with us for a very long time as in literally decades or longer. While it dissolves into groundwater at above drinking water standards it takes a very long time to do so without additional cleanup technologies being used. Additional technologies that Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura and Lanxess have long resisted and their fellow travellors including politicians have given them support to resist and ignore.

Keeping TAG around longer is better than shutting everything down and pretending the crisis is over. It is not and the Creek, the Elmira Aquifers and the Lanxess site remain highly polluted. Of course over thirty-three years have been wasted with the cheapest, least effective cleanup possible always ruling.

Friday, January 27, 2023


 Well the Township's audio sucked for at least the first ten minutes. Hence there I was watching people's lips moving while I could hear nothing except for every couple of minutes a screech in my ears. I missed the first three Agenda items namely Land Acknowledgement, Disclosures of Pecuniary Interest and Approval of Previous Minutes. Only the last would have been remotely interesting particularly as the second is so much bullsh.t. 

Item 5.1 "MECP Comments on AMR (Annual Monitoring Report)" might have been interesting . Hard to say. I did hear Tiffany Svensson (2nd (& worst) TAG Chair) mention the "excess" chlorobenzene found in the Elmira Municipal Aquifers. Of course all the Johnny Come Latelys on TAG haven't the foggiest notion where it came from as allegedly neither does Tiffany. I can tell you when CRA found it and where, en masse, as DNAPL 100 feet below the ground surface smack dab in the middle of the off-site Elmira drinking water aquifers. Of course this is why I and a few others are not on TAG. Our information is not wanted or appreciated being given to the public. 

Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach asked when and who will be involved in future discussions regarding the failed 2028 groundwater cleanup deadline. Sandy Shantz, bless her pointed little head, advised that politicians don't understand technical issues. Ooh what a surprise. They do understand however whom they want in charge and whom they don't and truth and facts come a far distant tenth.

Sandy also suggested that excess water from the treatment systems is being discharged into the Canagagigue Creek. Well of course it is but contrary to Sandy's ignorance it is not either clean water or water meeting the Ontario Drinking Water Standards as weak as they are. It is contaminated groundwater that has at least been partially treated to lower the concentrations of multiple toxic compounds. 

Item 5.2 was actually not a bad discussion of the ongoing failures namely months and greater than a year of on-site Municipal Aquifer pumping wells PW4 & PW5. Other wells were also mentioned and there was the usual bullsh.t debate, courtesy of Tiffany, about whether those long term failures to achieve the Target Pumping Rate indicate a loss of hydraulic containment and thus contaminated groundwater flowing off-site. Tiffany prefers that it doesn't yet nobody on TAG seem bright enough to simply read Lanxess's consultant GHD's words written at the bottom of each monthly Table presented. Those words indicate that GHD are recommending that Lanxess pump each well at OR GREATER than the stated Target Pumping Rate . Holy fu.k but they are dumb!

We also were advised that toluene continues to be found being discharged into the Creek at greater than their discharge criteria. Of course short of a minor verbal slap on the wrist all parties appear to feel that the environment should suck it up. Councillor Nathan Cadeau attended the virtual meeting (Ha some of those fu.kers were there together) and he asked pointed questions as to why it took so many months or years to repair the frickin pumps. Sebastian was also helpful during this discussion.

Susan raised a good point about the Elmira Aquifers getting a lot of attention and money (including taxpayers') while the Canagagigue Creek continues to leak from 3/4 of its creekbanks. This leakage of course includes NDMA, benzene, toluene, chlorobenzene and lots more. Sha also pointed out the falsehoods and deception of individual Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) when there are multiple contaminants simultaneously both in the Creek, the Grand River and in our drinking water.

Item 5.3 was RAC/TAG administrative updates. Basically one more TAG member has resigned namely Dustin Martin. This follows Bill Barr, Joe Kelly, Katharina Richter, Pat McLean and probably more. The only two I miss are Joe Kelly and Katharina Richter. TAG briefly discussed new members but in their vast ignorance continue to ignore those with the most local experience and knowledge right in front of them. Doubtless they've been told and as good little boys and girls they comply. 

The next meeting is March 23, 2023 presumably at 6:30 pm. and presumably still unnecessarily virtual.. 


Thursday, January 26, 2023


 I suppose as long as they continue to meet sort of publicly (i.e. remotely/virtually) then in theory at least there can be some appropriate opposition to their unacceptable plans and delays. Also they do take Minutes and then publish them which also is helpful. Finally occasionally we hear from Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment and while most of it is inaccurate, wishful thinking, junk science at least we get it in writing. Perhaps further generations will publish a book of humour with quotes from these two parties. Let's see how about "Dilution is the Solution for Pollution"? Better yet how about "Dilution and Verbal Pollution Equals The Solution!"  Here's my favourite "Dilution of Pollution is Always My Solution".

Well I can't help it but obviously I must think that there is light at the end of this very long tunnel (into the 34th year now). Really as all politicians know it only takes a crisis, real or manufactured, to give momentum for change. Maybe the soon to be built Hawkridge Homes on Union St. will be the unfortunate answer. Sulco (CCC) seriously and honestly shone a light on the potential for either serious issues or even worse with this new subdivision. Chemtura/Lanxess bailed on their responsibilities in my opinion. Sometimes non-actions have more serious consequences than actions.  


Wednesday, January 25, 2023


 TAG  - Technical Advisory Group  - TAG do not even generally directly engage with Lanxess or the Ministry of Environment. They were set up to be middlemen between Lanxess/GHD/MECP via giving advice to RAC which is the Remediation Advisory Committee. Just to be clear whatever weaknesses and failures TAG have, RAC are much worse. They are a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians representing the GRCA, Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township etc. Their organizations have long ago signed off on the sweetheart deal with Uniroyal Chemical and their corporate successors. They got a water pipeline up from Waterloo and they've had an ongoing token attempt at "cleanup" for  the last thirty-three years. No where near good enough.

Item 5.2 is Monthly Progress Reports for October, November and December 2022. TAG have expressed appropriate concerns regarding both reduced on-site (MU) Municipal Aquifer pumping (PW4 & 5) as well as off-site pumping in the past. Current off-site total pumping is in the vicinity of 70 litres per second which historically is very good. Unfortunately when Chemtura etc. have made promises to CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) of 100 - 150 litres per second (i.e. 2x & 3x 2012 pumping rates) that 70 l/s doesn't look so hot. The problem however is that the on-site MU pumping isn't even achieving it's Target Pumping Rate (4.7 l/sec) that was set for the old off-site pumping rate of approximately 53 l/sec. Meanwhile they are pumping more than ever off-site which draws contaminated on-site water off-site . 

The other pumping issue is the greatly reduced pumping of the UACTS or Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System. That doesn't even seem to be getting a look from TAG or anybody else. This is alleged "public consultation" at its' worst. Nobody has much history and one that does sold out long ago. Our authorities love this model and will keep on plugging in new members at their will versus calling upon experienced and knowlegable citizens such as myself and former CPAC members.

Regarding Agenda Item 5.3 "RAC/TAG Administrative Updates" the least that will be is no change in membership as the guilty parties are happy with it or possibly the beginning of the wrap-up and wind-down of even token, fake public consultation.  


Tuesday, January 24, 2023


 A few years back the Waterloo Region Record had a headline to the effect of "Whatever is in the water in Woolwich Township?". This was a reference to all the ongoing scandals and tribulations in Woolwich Township including three elected councillors being hauled up on the carpet and getting their knuckles lightly rapped due to election filing failures. For those of us who had been on the receiving end of Woolwich Township obfuscation, deceit and a pretend crisis it was wonderful.

Sooooo getting back to what's in the water got me to thinking... I have long been wondering about how the male TAG members are so calm, so quiet and so willing to either ignore or swallow bullsh.t without complaint. Keep in mind they may, just like Lanxess/GHD/MECP, view that behaviour as  a positive. At one point I postulated that perhaps Lanxess/Woolwich had the medical records for  incoming male applicants and simply eliminated those with normal testosterone readings. Ahh but then I gave my head a shake and realized that that was crazy not to mention highly unlikely. Heck no! It's all in the water just like the Record had suggested! There is a ton of water treatment going on. Why couldn't this include treating only the water coming via pipeline up from Waterloo?

Now I'm not a chemist so I'm not going to suggest which particular chemical, additive or enhancement is being used. Remember how many decades that Waterloo Region citizens were doused with Fluoride without our consent? Same thing. Maybe something to reduce male aggression or even normal male backbone perhaps? Isn't Lithium sometimes prescribed for patients to calm them down? Is it even possible that they would dose the male population with female hormones in order to enhance female attributes of calmly talking out problems versus getting upset? It's all very complicated.

Regardless male TAG members certainly have politely disagreed with Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment from time to time. Oh so politely to the point of almost apologizing for disagreeing. Maybe Elmira is the testing grounds for an amenable, always polite, never angry, never confrontational population. If Elmira and Woolwich folk continue to swallow the bullsh.t doled out here and ask for more then politicians across Canada will demand an expansion of the program. Yay once again Elmira leads the way! 

Monday, January 23, 2023


 Well mostly my friends and colleagues no longer are attending. They literally can't stand the bullsh.t and the idiocy on constant display. There are some notable exceptions. Vivienne attended until the in person meetings became virtual and have continued as such. Sebastian is a TAG member and I do not know how he stomaches the lies, bullsh.t and crap that goes on. He has spoken the truth very well and generally either been ignored or minimized by his TAG colleagues. His common sense and general understanding are cheerfully denigrated by some with professional credentials in Biology, Chemistry, Hydrogeology and Bullsh.t. Better ten honest and intelligent citizens than two bought and paid for "professionals" who know their "place" in the pecking order.

Why do I attend? Simple: to act as a witness to this environmental and political corruption. Make no mistake that is what it is. It is politicians at all levels having made deals including sweetheart deals that are not in the public interest. I read the reports and understand them. They consist of junk and psuedo science prepared by client driven consultants etc. constantly selling the cheapest cleanup via constantly finding ways to minimize and misinterpret sampling, investigations and other alleged evidence. When all the players are on the same team you rarely get an honest competition, discussion or debate. The game is "fixed" and has been since about Sept/Oct/Nov 1991 if not earlier.  

Saturday, January 21, 2023


 It's still a virtual meeting which sucks. It's still a bullsh.t meeting which sucks. It' still an abortion of public consultation which sucks. 

Section 5. is "Other Business" and consists of 5.1 MECP Comments on AMR (not included albeit possibly provided weeks/months ago), 5.2 Oct., Nov., Dec. Monthly Progress Reports and 5.3 RAC/TAG Administrative Updates.  I expect that the most relevant and interesting would be 5.1 but not enough to have yet gone looking for that report which could and should? have been provided. 

Section 3. Approval of Previous Minutes is most interesting as it mostly captures what was discussed at the last TAG meeting of November 10/2022. That includes TAG's stupid failures to even pretend to be interested in what this member of the public has to say by their possibly not reading my reports but more likely not understanding and or not interested enough to ask any questions whatsoever, ever. Also TAG and CPAC member Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach has delivered a wonderful written critique of the MECP's (Min. of Environment) 2020 Fish & Sediment Study Report. Yes yours truly had some input but it's all Sebastian's words and writing and it is wonderful. He bluntly questions the MECP's idiotic conclusions based upon their absolute flimsiest evidence possible. He points out their illogic and their unwillingness to be open minded when there are several possible explanations/interpretations. He does not call them fu.king liars anywhere in his report however a reader less diplomatic could be forgiven for ending up with that conclusion.   

All in all an excellent critique which like so much will go nowhere. There are no intelligent, honest and influential readers to any of these written reports. This is corruption Canadian style. No need of guns, bullets or billy clubs when you can stack influential positions with fellow travellors as well as revel in both psuedo and junk science as you professionally lie your way through an alleged "cleanup". 

Friday, January 20, 2023


 The Woolwich Observer are continuing with some excellent environmental stories and articles written by Leah Gerber.  Yesterday's is titled "Looking at ways to improve the health of the Grand River". It kind of seems to me that other than "The Friends of the Grand River" as well as the University of Guelph; there may be a gaping lack of attention  to this Canadian Heritage River which frankly is shameful.

Apparently the annually stocked trout into the Grand River generally are not surviving past the first year. Holy crap but that is both ridiculous and awful! A Prof Ryan Prosser at U. of G. is studying what's going on and to date it looks as if the benthic community biodiversity n the river is greatly lacking. This lack of biodiversity affects all the rest of the life in the river as insects and bugs are a major food component of fish and more. Near the Shand Dam (Belwood Dam) the biodiversity was very low. The actual study area was from the Dam down to West Montrose which should be the very best and cleanest parts of the river. In fact nutrient pollution is only mentioned once but it appears to be a major factor. Nutrient pollution basiclly means livestock and or nitrogen pollution from fertilizers. neither is good for trout nor apparently for insects. 

Dr. Prosser will be making further presentations about his findings in the future. My question is what will actually be done and by whom. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A HISTORY LESSON: WATERLOO REGION RECORD MARCH 5, 2016 "Politicians are human too"

 Well as far as I know animals, plants and machines are all immune from either prosecution or even man made rules, laws and regulations. Hence to the best of my knowledge it is always human beings who on occasion face the courts for various and sundry violations of the rules. In this particular case the "charges" if you will are under the Municipal Elections Act and quite frankly yes they may speak to integrity, honesty etc. but quite clearly we are not remotely talking about serious criminal charges or heaven forbid any serious penalties or outcomes. Three Woolwich councillors including Mayor Shantz probably chose to take self-serving shortcuts for a variety of reasons whether or not they are willing to admit to doing it on purpose. 

Perhaps what Mayor Shantz is actually saying is that she is offended at being "charged" at all precisely because she is a politician. Maybe she feels that her status as a local big shot, former councillor and financially well off (1 percenter ?) individual should exclude her from some of the "lesser" laws. I truly hope that is not her attitude because it sure looks to be based upon an attitude of entitlement as in I'm above this little shit that mere mortals around me need to be careful of.

Mayor Shantz is quoted as saying "...the same election expense mistakes could have been made by any politician."  Well as a matter of fact they weren't. To the best of my knowledge her multitude of errors were hers alone whether in Woolwich or the Region of Waterloo. Whether similar or identical "mistakes" as she calls them have ever been committed by other politicians in other jurisdictions I have no idea. This I do know: some of her "mistakes" were mathematically self-serving for her and allowed her to stickhandle initially around the requirement for an Audit if she exceeded $10,000 in expenditures which she most certainly did. That particular "mistake" I found to be very concerning.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


The best of us on our best day are beyond incredible. Unfortunately the rest of us stink on our worst days and simply are repulsive on our average days. On our good days most human beings are worth the air they breathe. 

Human beings are motivated by self-interest and sometimes by family interest. The public interest abides in most of us just below interest in the survival of earthworms during rain events. 

Is envy or lust for power and influence the worst of various sins? I tend to think so as it motivates us to behave very badly. Human beings routinely lie for self-interest even though eventually most people who routinely lie are eventually found out and identified as liars. This lust for power and influence starts at an early age. Often it is those persons who absolutely were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Their families and parents had little to no power or influence and as well likely little financial means. There are jokes about short people with examples like Napolean and perhaps even Hitler front and centre. I do know that on our regional and municipal councils, short men are well over represented with names not being necessary right now. 

You can even see it in political parties as well as in environmental groups. Good Lord but sporting organizations are full of it both amateur and professional. People rapidly become more concerned with their status and position than with the goals of the organization. In other words they identify their rise and position within the organization as an indicator of the health of the organization itself. As such they believe that reinforcing their position and status is paramount and always aligns with the interests of the organization whether it does or not. School Boards are another typical example of human beings completely losing sight of the end goal of the organization as they jockey and manipulate to put themselves at an advantage.  

What is scary is that this group of people generally are good dissemblers. They hide in plain sight and they know what to say to both fit in and to generally be liked. They are in it for the long term and as many of the people around them have absolutely no idea of their hidden agenda, it makes manipulation so much easier. It may be hard to fool someone who's already on to you but fooling friends and colleagues who like you is child's play. It does take brains to get away with this anti-social behaviour over the long term. That said there will always be people along the way who have figured you out and lost all respect for you as a consequence. For the truly lustful for power and influence, losing friends or family support is of little consequence. 


Monday, January 16, 2023


 Sometimes the subtle approach works best and other times the direct approach is better. Obviously a Delegation to Council is the direct approach. If I decide to go ahead with this it will likely be sometime within the next four weeks. 

What I will be telling Woolwich Council is that the fairly obvious fact of allowing the polluter to essentially run their own cleanup is akin to allowing the fox to guard the henhouse. It is an obvious conflict of interests. The corporate polluter answers to shareholders first and foremost and only slightly to underfunded alleged regulators such as the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP). In this case particularly the MECP has a long history of back room private deal making with polluters and informed and up to date citizens are left shaking their heads at how the public interest has been subverted. Do keep in mind that Woolwich appear to have a Conflict of Interest policy that permits everything provided money does not change hands directly. Other blatant Conflicts of Interest include the Township sharing consultants with Uniroyal Chemical (Conestoga Rovers) and successors for decades. 

The alleged "cleanup" has been second fiddle and second class from the beginning. Whether it is blatant deception from hired consultants (10% vs. 1% DNAPL solubility rule) being exposed by citizens regarding DNAPL (residual & free phase) on site or other psuedo scientific gibberish being touted as "proof" that DNAPLS are not present (eg. Lab Solubilities vs. Effective Solubility calculations).

ISCO (In Situ Chemical Oxidation) attempts and efforts by CRA and Chemtura were publicly mocked by Dr. Richard Jackson, the first Chair of TAG. Off-site pumping rates have never been  close to the volumes promised. On-site pumping rates have been faltering for months to years now as well and to date the explanations have been minimal and unlikely. 

The Canagagigue Creek "cleanup" has been yet another years long waste of time as suits blather, calculate and ignore shoddy sampling and downstream "investigations" whose purpose in hindsight was always to minimize the quantity and magnitude of environmental damage to soils, sediments, waterways, fish, other life forms and to human beings. It has simply been a thirty plus years show of phony concern and phony accountability. If Woolwich Council decide to honestly examine the situation they will find themselves in a difficult situation. That is not a reason to back off or run and hide. 

Saturday, January 14, 2023


And that is all on our authorities from the Ontario Ministry of Environment to The Region of Waterloo, and Woolwich Township. That cleanup time is gone. Those bodies all allowed Uniroyal Chemical to take control of everything. Part of the reason was the past negligence and culpability of those very same authorities. At all costs they were willing to make deals to avoid the public learning exactly how negligent and incompetent that they were. There were environmental laws and regulations simply ignored for decades prior to November 1989. The signs of the gross impairment of the air, water and soils was obvious. Not only dead fish but for God's sake, dead cattle in the Creek.

Can even the best local Council turn this around now? It will be a battle and the nastiness of the past will flourish yet again. Politics sometimes unfortunately are all about compromises to get everyone on board. Sometimes the compromises however are not worth getting everyone on board.  As the Chinese proverb goes "May you live in interesting times".

Friday, January 13, 2023


 Same problem, same excuses? Lanxess claims that under pumping the on-site Municipal Aquifer  pumping wells, PW4 & 5 is not a probl;em because they say so whereas GHD very clearly say that they recommend that Lanxess pump at OR HIGHER than the published Target  Rates. Come on guys get your sh.t together! 

PW4 has a Target Rate of 2.9 litres per second (L/s) which they made in December whereas PW5 has a Target Rate of 1.8 l/s which yet again they did not achieve in December. The total pumping Target Rate is 2.9 + 1.8= 4.7 l/s. Instead they only achieved 2.9 + 1.4 = 4.2 l/s. At the same time the off-site pumping rates were going full bore with a total of 69.65 l/s. Oh my God but that is much higher than it used to be when the on-site pumping was not only considerably higher but Jeff Merriman had promised CPAC at one point that they would keep it at 6.0 l/sec. Apparently promises are nothing but wind for chemical companies.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


 Perhaps it is too soon for any firm conclusions however I will say this. Being negative and critical is not nearly as much fun as being positive and upbeat. The thing is when one finds perhaps 25% of municipal councillors who are smart, unbiased and their minds are open to differing positions and opinions, one can over decades of experience become somewhat jaded. I will say this: in hindsight I know exactly how deceitful, dishonest and self-serving a minority of people are. The problem is that they can readily sideline, distract and manipulate more honest but naive people. That is how they achieve their goals under the guise of promoting the public interest.  

To date I believe that most of the new councillors have shown an open mindedness to listening. That is huge. I would also suggest that Sandy's reluctance to run in the first place against Patrick Merlihan may have been  wise. Yes she won the election presumably fair and square but look what she's dealing with. A brand new Council who other than Bonnie Bryant have no political experience to speak of. I am a fan of Councillor Bonnie Bryant based on her previous term on Council. I think that she and most of the other new councillors are going to be challenging for Sandy to handle or manipulate. I do not believe that Sandy is smart enough to wrap intelligent, strong willed people around her little finger. Yes as Mayor she has a ton of advantages, perks etc. to hand out but that should only work with those already somewhat bent. I am looking forward to seeing how this Council steps up and work. Hopefully in person Council meetings will take place again soon as I'd like to watch in person..

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


 As a broad, general statement there is absolutely no doubt that Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura abused the *Responsible Care ethic and slogan for self-serving purposes. Those purposes were to attempt to show themselves in a far better environmental light than they deserved. Regarding Lanxess I also am not impressed with their willingness/keenness to go along with the facade/sham of public consultation on display in Woolwich Township and surrounding the alleged "cleanup" of the Elmira Aquifers and of the Canagagigue Creek. Their actual actions regarding the "cleanup" range from inadequate (lack of source removal) to pathetic with their claims that there are no "unacceptable risks" to human health in the downstream Canagagigue Creek. Funny but I don't see any of them or their consultants living downstream along the Canagagigue Creek. It's mighty easy to claim that there are no health risks from driving drunk if you never ride in an automobile. Similarly it's easy to say that opioids are not a social health issue if you and your family have been fortunate enough to never have needed them medically. And on and on  as "suits" run the "cleanup" and tell the exposed public "Don't worry, be happy, we are in charge and in control."

A while back I read some literature regarding *Responsible Care. It was enlightening and informative. If followed to the letter I have little doubt that chemical companies could greatly improve their negative impacts on society, the environment and on human health. From my reading *Responsible Care acknowledges not only current operations but also past, historical actions that can still impact society today. That is to their credit. Therefore why is their Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP) advised that while yes they are part of the *Responsible Care program, they the CAP are only to discuss/consult on current operations not past? That seems more than a little hypocritical and self-serving to me. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2023


 My December 9/22 e-mail to CPAC was titled "Holy crap I asked a question at RAC last night!"  CPAC of course stands for the Citizens Public Advisory Committee which was formerly known as the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee before being improperly and dishonestly removed as a committee of council by Sandy Shantz and Mark Bauman. 

In my e-mail to CPAC I expressed astonishment that after only 7 1/2 years, I as a knowledgeable, local citizen  had been allowed to actually ask a question  at a public meeting regarding MY and the PUBLIC's drinking water. Mighty nice for the crap in charge to do so. I await a public apology but expect that to be 2-20 years away. I also elucidated Ramin Ansari's (Lanxess) reason/rationale/excuse as to why decreasing on-site Municipal Aquifer pumping at wells PW4 and PW5 is O.K. despite those pumping rates being lower than the written Target Rates determined by their own consultants, GHD. I also advised CPAC that I was going to carefully examine my ongoing pumping rate Tables whose raw data comes from the alleged monthly Progress Reports formerly produced by Conestoga Rovers and now produced by GHD. This I did back in early December and I posted here in the Elmira Advocate the results of that research.

Hence I would ask CPAC to go through the Archives section on the right to find both December 10 and 11, 2022 for the breakdown as to what changes have occurred in both on-site and off-site pumping over the last few years as well as what the (non-existent) debate at RAC should have included in order for real public consultation to occur. Business as usual, deaf, dumb and blind cover your ears, eyes and mouth hand picked bureaucrats, politicians and other assorted riff raff is NOT public consultation and boy does it show GLARINGLY. My conclusion is that Ramin was blowing smoke but as long as public consultation excludes informed and independent members of the public then we will never know for sure. Exactly as Lanxess and friends (MECP) are happy with.    

Monday, January 9, 2023


 O.K. O.K. it could be construed as a cheap shot to list here Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess in answer to my own question.  For all I know they might actually be doing something positive (other than talking about it) either in Elmira or south of the border at some of their other locations. But hey I'm just guessing based upon their behaviour and attitudes here that sure appear to be 100% share holder focused and 0% environment/human health based. Things like the Canagagigue Creek Risk Assessment nonsense being perpetrated on Elmira/Woolwich citizens leap to mind closely followed by their on and off-site groundwater pumping deficiencies and accompanying excuses. Then of course there are their gross failures and years long DNAPL (Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids) coverups all to avoid costly but necessary on site source removal. Basically both residual and free phase DNAPL as well as LNAPL (Light Non Aqueous Phase Liquids) guarantee decades or longer additional leakage, contaminated groundwater migration and never ending only partially effective hydraulic containment.

Climate Change you say? It's January 2023 and the forecast highs for this week in Waterloo Region are starting today 2 C., 1 C, 3 C, 2 C, 0 C, 0C, 1 C .  The last couple of weeks have melted all the pre-Christmas snow. For the love of life IT'S JANUARY! Oh and let's check in to Canada's west coast (Vancouver) where I have family located.  They are currently close to normal at 5 or 6 C. for this time of year. However over Christmas their airport was shut down due to snow. Furthermore the snow lasted long enough for many homeowners to unfortunately learn about ice dams on their roofs causing melting water to back up under shingles etc. and leak into their homes. Normally in Vancouver any snow that comes down is all melted within 24 hours before repeated freeze and thaw cycles can form ice dams.

These examples are mere microcosms of weather events around the world. Think about California who's been experiencing 10-15 years of drought only to have flooding during December. FLOODING after a decade and a half of drought. GEEZ! The solution is clear. Fire all our politicians and replace them with scientists.  Real scientists not the bought and paid for quacks who are intellectual prostitutes.

Saturday, January 7, 2023


So who are the real experts? That's easy. They would be people who have spent their lives and careers researching (& teaching) all there is to know about groundwater issues, challenges and fixes. With but one or two very minor exceptions Uniroyal Chemical, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Region of Waterloo and  Woolwich Township have either run and hidden or buried their heads in the sand when it comes to communicating with or discussing groundwater contamination and remediation with the world class and world renowned experts at the University of Waterloo. These experts by the way are not bought and paid for "hired guns" selling their services to the highest paying polluters unlike those who have worked for Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura/Lanxess.

To my knowledge there may have been all of two approaches to the University of Waterloo Groundwater Research Institute over the decades. I was involved in one of them in January 2007 and the second more recent involved Dr. Neil Thompson who was contracted to write a formal Conceptual Site Model (CSM) of the Elmira Aquifers. Dr. Thompson had been recommended by Dr. Richard Jackson, the first TAG Chair (Sept. 2015-Dec.2016). By the way Dr. Jackson had repeatedly advised TAG and the public that the long time CSM produced by Conestoga Rovers & Assoc. (CRA) was merely a one page cartoon picture. Now Dr. Thompson's scope (the CSM) was very limited but indeed he did an excellent job and he made a number of new and interesting discoveries including the presence of possibly an additional 1300 kg. of chlorobenzene that had been released into the Elmira Aquifers. Oh my!

There is I believe only one reason why the U. of Waterloo Groundwater Research Institute was excluded from assisting for so many decades and that is that their motives were public interest motives versus both self-serving and contractual motives held by the involved parties to the contamination. In other words the U. of W. experts could not be relied upon to keep certain embarrassing and prejudicial facts out of the light of day the way the guilty parties could be trusted to do so.    


Friday, January 6, 2023


 Today's Woolwich Observer in it's Year In Review article indicates that there was a meeting of the minds in November and December. Citizens protested twice in front of M.P.P. Mike Harris's office in Elmira (not the real "Mike Harris") firstly in support of education workers and secondly in opposition to the provincial, Conservative government's plans to alter the Greenbelt and make other development changes. Interestingly both Woolwich and Wellesley Township staff have gone on the record in opposition to the provincial government's Bill 23, the alleged "More Homes Built Faster Act". As a long time political observer and critic I would rename Bill 23 as the "More Horseshit Shoveled Faster Act." But hey I'm old and crotchety and really just have no tolerance left for professional manipulators, liars and their friends. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023


 The Waterloo Region Record's Editorial was titled "Make Elmira's water safe again". Now it is more than a decade after that call to action and still nothing further has been done. It's like the movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray. Wells are pumping, water is allegedly being cleaned and discharged into the still polluted Canagagigue Creek and the Elmira Aquifers are not only still unsafe to drink but we don't even have a new projected date as to if and when they will be. The Record have even suggested that based upon experts they've listened to a child born in 1989, the year of the start of the Elmira Crisis, that "...it's doubtful this child would live long enough to ever be able to drink the water that lies in the ground beneath this town." I too have heard "experts" suggest that 2050, 2060 or even later may be the end date of this cleanup. We the citizens of Elmira and Woolwich have allowed our municipal authorities, our corporate apologists and our provincial Ministry of Environment to mismanage, lie and bullsh.t us for the last thirty-three years. The belated deadline we were finally given was 2028, a mere five years away. Good luck with that!

Of great interest is the Record's accurate understanding that Woolwich Council "...has now lost faith in that deal and broken ranks with the company and provincial Ministry of Environment (MOE)." That of course is part of the multi-lateral "sweetheart" deals signed between Uniroyal Chemical, Woolwich Township, the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario government (via the MOE). Our incompetent and pro business biased governments sold the farm and allowed Uniroyal Chemical to dictate the cleanup in exchange for a few million dollars in compensation to restore drinking water to Elmira via a pipeline from Waterloo. Since then MOE Control Orders have been "amended", rewritten and essentially either ignored or tossed on the garbage heap. "Cleanup" has been a sham of psuedo scientific bullsh.t written by bought and paid for consultants on behalf of Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura and Lanxess Canada. Our authorities sold us out for nickels on the dollar while both human beings and the environment have paid  the health price.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023


 First of all kudos to Luisa for so doing in her Opinion piece in today's Waterloo Region Record titled "Cambridge residents cheated by their own council".  While she has hit the nail on the head as the past Cambridge Council under Mayor Kathrynn McGarry  played fast and loose with the rules for the clear purpose of fooling their own voters I would suggest that this was no anomaly. In fact based upon the gamesmanship I've seen up here in Dogpatch (Woolwich Township) I believe that it's all in a day's deception. 

Here over the years I've seen repeated "amendments" to the Procedural Bylaws and none of them have ever been for the benefit of voters or the public rather for the benefit of councillors, mayor and or Woolwich staff. I mean come on people let's be clear here. Politicians make the rules/bylaws and legislation and despite fancy self-serving titles they rarely if ever actually contain the essence of what the title states. Provincial legislation allegedly supporting more and faster housing being built (in the title at least) actually reflects less environmental and planning oversight, everything developers and their political friends prefer. And on and on. 

What you will never see is any politician passing a law against politicians out and out lying to their constituents. Our federal Liberals are allegedly all about reducing crime and greater gun safety, fairly noble causes on the face of it. The problem yet again is that their latest legislation is all about getting more votes versus actually reducing gun crime, stopping the flow of illegal guns across the U.S. border or slowing down organized crime. Removing legally purchased and registered firearms from mentally stable  citizens without criminal records seems a tad obtuse to me. It seems even shall I say a tad too convenient. I mean you really don't have to go looking for criminals or actually do anything significant. It's like shooting fish in a barrel as all these people (target shooters, hunters, competitors etc.) have in good faith already complied with all laws and regulations and demonstrated their good citizenship and good faith. Any bad apples whether by behaviour or heaven forbid mental health issues have hopefully already been legally separated from their firearms. 

In Cambridge the past Council intentionally deceived their own citizens and most unusually both got caught and paid the price (voted out of office). I would suggest that that wonderful scenario is the exception for politicians not the rule.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2023


 The article in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Feds eye "variety of options" for gun buyback". It was written by James Bronskill of the Canadian Press. I'm more than a little gobsmacked regarding the whole thing. As I understand it this is our federal government essentially admitting that they have mismanaged the "gun file" for decades and now want to fix both their errors as well as past Conservative governments errors when they were in power. Oh and they want to use taxpayers money (i.e. everybody's money) to do this fix. Now on one hand they claim that there are approximately 1500 makes and models of rifles that are naughty, nasty and open to abuse. Hmm? On the other hand they claim that they the government of Canada recognizes the legitimacy of both hunting and sport shooting. Hmm again. 

I wonder how many Region of Waterloo citizens know how many clubs and organizations have firearms ranges whether indoor or outdoor or both? Hmm St. Jacobs, Elmira, Bridgeport, Kitchener (2), Waterloo. That's six that I know about and I expect there are more. Retail stores would include Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge with lots more not far off. So just out of curiousity I wonder how many of those members and customers, all presumably with legitimate firearms licenses are currently facing firearms or firearms related criminal charges? How big is this problem exactly?

We all know for our safety and health that our governments have managed driving cars and trucks as well as driving licences for many, many decades. How well has that worked? Anybody you know personally, including yourself ever had a serious car accident? How about a minor car accident? I would suggest that enforcement of sober (versus drunk) driving is much better than it used to be. The infraction of speeding seems to be the focus after alcohol abuse behind the wheel. Just about everything else I find is mostly ignored. Tailgating, lack of turn signals, driving slowly in the fast lane, driving below the speed limit in ideal conditions, lack of snow tires in winter, rolling stops etc. etc. rarely result in tickets or enforcement unless there has been an accident. Are there any enforceable rules mandating regular maintenance and check ups of tires, brakes, suspension or steering? Not that I've seen. 

1500 naughty makes and models of rifles are either to be bought by the federal government or rendered inoperable at federal expense. That's an awful lot of federal money going out the door. Now of course it's not all bad for the feds. They are after all actually buying some votes with that money. How may lives if any will be saved? If the feds claim any lives or injuries will be saved then how many per make and model? Sure just like a car slowly rolling down a driveway can kill a child or senior so to can a mishandled single shot .22 calibre rifle do the same. Any incompetence or negligence of almost anything can result in a serious accident. Just look at our on the job injuries and fatalities in Canada. It's not a pretty picture. So by all means lets chase after 1500 makes and models of rifles that if either by negligence, mental sickness or criminal activity can cause harm. After that we can go after... let's see:  knives, baseball bats, hockey sticks, pickup trucks for sure, fast cars with aggressive styling you name it. It's a dangerous world out there and taxpayers and voters need to be constantly reminded of it.