Monday, May 15, 2023


 I believe that this may be the beginning of the end of the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Protection (MECP).  Or is it Ministry of Enhanced Corporate Protection? Or is it Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Public Relations?  Regardless they are a long corrupt body whose focus is on avoiding both corporate confrontation as well as avoiding embarrassing the government of the day. With that raisin d'etre they have succeeded admirably to the point of being useless as guardians of the environment and of the public health.

Some form of HONEST and transparent public inquiry is desperately needed in Elmira, Ontario. I have long believed that the MOE/MECP may have fudged the numbers! The mechanics, the chemistry, the individuals are not known to me but the motivation is clear. Just as they did their best in minimizing the two highest concentrations of NDMA found on site (9 parts per billion & 14 ppb) by surrounding them with much lower groundwater concentrations likely many years after Varnicolor ended their illegal discharges of dimethylamine into the natural environment; the MECP probably in conjunction with Varnicolor Chemical and maybe even with Uniroyal Chemical's blessing (?) removed or reduced chlorobenzene shallow groundwater concentrations on site. The 9 ppb NDMA concentration was found in subsurface soil and the 14 ppb was found in a sump on the Varnicolor site.

Varnicolor's business was recycling used paint solvents. Chlorobenzene is an extremely common solvent used with paints. It should have been found along with 100 other solvents on the Varnicolor site but allegedly was not. Similarly Borg Textiles across Howard Ave. from Varnicolor Chemical used massive amount of dyes from Hoest (Germany) among other suppliers. Dyes, solvents and chlorobenzene should have all been common and ubiquitous at this property a mere road width away from Varnicolor. Also Borg was publicly called out by the GRCA in a report on the Grand River watershed in the early 1980s for their discharges of high strength liquid wastes to the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant. Why were soil samples either not taken at the Borg site or if they were the results not published for public consumption? I believe it was a coverup. Similarly soil and shallow groundwater testing should have been done at numerous other industrial sites in Elmira in the early 1990s such as Sanyo Canada, McKee Harvestor, Resurfice etc. It was not and the reason is obvious.

One the MOE/MECP did not want the public to know that they didn't simply fail in supervising and enforcing environmental protection at Uniroyal Chemical. They failed at Nutrite, Varnicolor, Uniroyal, multiple gas stations and other local industries in town. Secondly by buying Uniroyal's agreement that they were the sole contributor of NDMA to the town's water supply they further reinforced this falsehood. Uniroyal's price was that they would not be forced to clean up their own property plus Pump & Treat technology would be approved as O.K. when all parties knew then and since that it was not adequate on its' own to do the job by 2028. Also the MOE agreed to wait decades before Uniroyal had to look at cleaning the Canagagigue Creek of DDT and Dioxins etc. in the hope that annual spring floods would wash everything downstream into the Grand River leaving a much smaller mess behind.

The Ministry of Environment have both failed Elmira and Ontario and as well they have colluded with Uniroyal and corporate successors behind closed doors. They have also actively colluded with the polluter to give the impression of public consultation while actually harming it. Many of our local politicians also share blame for their deference to and support of the inadequate environmental cleanup here. 

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