Monday, April 15, 2024

IS THE REGION'S PUBLIC DISHONESTY ABOUT OUR GROUNDWATER GOING TO CHANGE ?

 "Source water protection" has a nice ring to it. As does "Country side line".  Also "aquifer recharge areas" and the provincially mandated, several years old now, long term planning to protect the Region of Waterloo's groundwater. I suggest that just as the "Country side line" has been exposed as a fraud in Wilmot Township, the other terms are also mostly smoke and mirrors.

The Region of Waterloo have been playing musical chairs with our drinking water wells for decades now. Cambridge in particular has a number of  industrially contaminated sites that have adversely affected their groundwater. Hence drinking water wells when pumping draw in groundwater from great distances away including changing the natural groundwater flow direction. This "management practice" of operating pumping wells for short periods of time (eg. six months) and then shutting them down and restarting another well has even been admitted to at public CPAC meetings in the past.

  In other words our regional authorities have been knowingly pumping from industrially contaminated aquifers for decades. Early on (late 70s & early 1980s) there was concern in Elmira when it was admitted that yes the regional aquifer supplying drinking water from the north and south wellfields was located directly under the Uniroyal Chemical plant. Now of course all our politicians and fellow travellors jumped in to Uniroyal's defence  with a myriad of lies and falsehoods such as there is an impenetrable clay layer between the aquifer and the ground surface as well as well the south wellfield is far too distant from Uniroyal for any contaminants to travel that far.

Thirty-four years ago there was a public scandal regarding liquid chemical wastes as well as semi solid wastes being sent to the regional landfill in K-W from Varnicolor Chemical via fraudulent lab reports showing that they were non-hazardous. Yours truly had tipped off both the Region as well as the media. So embarrassing  for the Region. That is the reality likely of all our former landfills as industries paid both above and below the table including bottles of whiskey to MOE officers as well as landfill supervisors. 

Right now as we speak the Erb St. Landfill is leaking leachate into the regional aquifer right beneath them that supplies drinking water to the St. Agatha wells as well as to downgradient wells in Waterloo and Kitchener at various wellfields. The Region of Waterloo are also using "management" practices to attempt to mitigate the extent of contamination in our drinking water wells caused by the Erb St. Landfill. Claims that nobody knew better than to locate that landfill directly above the regional aquifer in 1972 are ludicrous. Further claims that nobody knew anything about leachate collection in 1972 are also ludicrous.  Our municipal and regional politicians have always cheaped out on the important stuff such as sewage treatment and clean drinking water in favour of grandiose projects to attach their names and reputations to such as the LRT.  

Saturday, April 13, 2024

WHAT COSTS DO TAXPAYERS FACE BECAUSE OF POOR ENVIRONMENTAL, POLITICAL DECISION MAKING?

 Hmm let's see. Canada Mortgage & Housing on the hook for millions of dollars in abandoned townhouses due to methane intrusion beside the Ottawa St. Landfill in Kitchener. How about the private wells on Sandy Hills Dr. contaminated with solvents courtesy of the Woolwich Landfill (Seiling Dr. in Woolwich Twn.). A new water pipeline plus never ending aquifer pump & treat costs in Elmira, Ontario. The Middleton Wellfield in Cambridge has the second highest per unit  water treatments costs (only behind the Grand River & Hidden Valley) due to Trichloroethylene (TCE) throughout the groundwater. Oh and of course the Erb St. Landfill in Waterloo has cost millions of dollars in consulting fees alone I expect. Then there are the trucking and treatment costs sending the leachate to the Sewage Treatment Plant. There are also hydro costs pumping groundwater either to waste or to a treatment centre if they even bother to do that. What is the cost of destroying our drinking water wellfields? What is the cost of building a water pipeline to Lake Erie for Waterloo Region? 

Rest easy, the only costs we don't know are for the Lake Erie Pipeline but we will very soon know those costs only too well. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

HAS THE BIAS IN FAVOUR OF POLICE SWUNG WAY TOO FAR?

 George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are two well known American citizens who paid the ultimate price for police misbehaviour and violence.  One was murder by a police officer and the other criminal negligence in my opinion. Here in Waterloo Region a few years back we had a burglary suspect fired at multiple times by Officer Darling while running AWAY from the officer. Running away not attacking! The suspect was hit by one or two of seven bullets fired and the officer was later cleared of any criminal wrong doing.  Any ordinary citizen "defending" their home by shooting a suspect running away would have been convicted and incarcerated.

Today's Waterloo Region Record ("I just wish it didn't happen") advises us that a brown skinned citizen (relevant??) ran over and killed an undercover Toronto police officer three years ago.  The officer and his partner were both undercover i.e. in civilian clothing as they attempted to stop and remove him from his car in an underground parking garage beneath Toronto City Hall. Here's the kicker. The man was with his eight month pregnant wife AND his two year old son. Oddly (?) he was not cooperative in the attempt by two unknown and unidentified aggressive individuals to stop him and remove him from his car. 

The two undercover police officers were allegedly investigating a stabbing at the time and clearly felt that that permitted them to behave aggressively with the unarmed man and his family. They had the wrong person and one of them paid for their aggression with his life. As bad as that is, now the innocent individual protecting himself and his family is charged with causing the officer's death in his attempt to escape the confrontation and the area. 

Police make mistakes just like we all do. Honest citizens should not be punished for resisting illegal or mistaken aggression aimed at them, regardless of the other parties state of mind. Our idiot politicians need to stop backing police carte blanche and pretending that citizens do not have the absolute right to defend themselves and loved ones from ALL threats and hostilities including government sanctioned ones.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FINALLY TAKES SOME CRITICISM REGARDING ELMIRA CLEANUP

 May 2, 2016 the Waterloo Region Record published a story titled  "Town pushes feds on creek water". Way back in 2004 Dr. Henry Regier also tried to get the federal government involved. They were not interested . This time both TAG Chair Dr. Richard Jackson as well as mayor Sandy Shantz were trying to get some action (i.e. help) from our federal government but they are again playing hard to get. Keep in mind the feds were involved both in studying the grossly contaminated Uniroyal site around 1988 as well as in decisions around supplying war material to the U.S. military for use in Vietnam. I'm speaking of course about the use of defoliant Agent Orange which was produced here and elsewhere during the late 1960s. The unwanted by-product was dioxin which has done serious damage around the world. 

For Dr. Jackson and others the shocking aspect is Canada's help in assisting the Vietnamese people who have suffered greatly from exposure to products produced by Uniroyal Chemical (& others) that were sold to the U.S. military. While that help is appropriate the Canadian government's see no evil, hear no evil attitude to Elmira's related problems are reprehensible. 

It is very clear that our governments cherry pick the issues that they will address. Apparently a group of pacifist Mennonites in Elmira, Ontario are not worthy of protection much less even basic assistance from our federal government. Also to their shame our local councils have joined hands with our provincial government in coddling Uniroyal Chemical and their corporate successors. Neither laws nor morality have been able to budge the dirty, corporate polluters in our midst. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

MAYBE MORE THAN WIMPS CAN ASPIRE TO PUBLIC OFFICE

 The old joke goes like this: "It isn't fair that 95% of lawyers or politicians give all the rest a bad name." Be that true or not that still leaves 5% who are good people. Yes some have good motives and good intentions. Going back to the 95% or whatever the percentage might actually be however they aren't all wimps. There are likely true believers who honestly believe that all the rest of us are sheep who desperately need to be led by the nose. Then there are some who are inherently bad, greedy and dishonest (too many). Finally there are likely a number of sociopaths. 

I recently watched a Documentary on television describing a mass murderer in the U.S.  He was interviewed after he was caught and his own words were chilling. He was bragging to the police about his one set of murders of four people in a motorcycle shop (there were other murders as well). It was all about him and his feelings, well being etc. Allegedly the four had either insulted or teased him about his difficulty in riding a new, expensive motorcycle that he had bought there. If true then the four certainly weren't terribly smart in being rude to a paying customer. That said the murderer entered the establishment with a handgun and calmly walked through the building shooting and killing all four, unarmed and defenseless individuals. Months later after being caught and then interviewed by police he actually bragged to them about his talent, speed and smoothness in nuetralizing the opposition and "clearing" the building of hostiles. Good God has this individual watched too many police shows on television? Had he been a soldier in another life and he thought he was in a combat zone? Or was he an absolute sociopath who literally had zero compassion, empathy or care for any other human being in the world other than himself? To me that scenario is the most scary.

How many of our political leaders are sociopaths who know how to act, speak and behave while in the public eye while having absolutely zero conscience or concern about any of their fellow human beings? Yes the simply greedy and dishonest politicians will do bad things not in the public interest for their own gain.  They will however generally avoid direct physical harm to their fellow humans unless they have an iron clad excuse such as war and formal hostilities. Even then they will attempt to justify their harsh actions.  Hopefully sociopaths in politics are a very small minority. Otherwise we are all in grave danger as they will not hesitate to sacrifice us and others for their own perceived benefit. Perhaps  policies ignoring Climate Change are such an example???       

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

SO WHY BOTHER GIVING WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP COUNCILLORS WELL DESERVED GRIEF?

 Firstly lets define the "grief". Generally speaking it is specific criticism of some of their blatant, not in the public interest, behaviours.  Sometimes that "grief" is simply posts here on the Elmira Advocate. Other times these same posts get sent to the local media such as the Woolwich Observer and the K-W Record.  Usually they also get sent to CPAC members albeit recently I've not been sending them to all CPAC members. Most of the "grief" albeit not 100% is in regards to the long coverup of the facts surrounding the 1989 Elmira Water Crisis. Town councils were long in bed with and in fact included Uniroyal employees back in the day i.e. prior to 1989. 

 Hence recently they got hell for the pathetic and unreliable pump & treat system, the self-serving Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek and the intentional coverup and refusal to properly test the soils on the Stroh and Martin farms for Uniroyal's dioxins and DDT etc. Yesterday they got hell for their Wilmot Township like behaviour in that they rolled over decades ago to the province's wishes. In Woolwich's case they rolled over to the MECP's (Min. of Environment) phony toxic cleanup of Elmira and area.  

Woolwich are not fully in control (ha!) of this cleanup so what do I expect of them? I expect strong  representation all in the public interest of Elmira and Woolwich citizens. I do not expect them to fawn over Uniroyal (Lanxess) . I do not expect them to pick and choose deferential wimps to sit on their alleged public consultation body (TAG/TRAC) . I do not expect them to pick "friendly" citizens who neither are Canadian citizens nor live in Woolwich Township to sit on these committees.  I expect Woolwich to stand strong and firm and insist upon honest data and reports versus client driven, bought and paid for junk science all favouring the polluting company. I expect them to yell long and hard at the province when they refuse to push Uniroyal/Lanxess to clean up the mess they either made or purchased. 

Woolwich Township are beyond complicit and some day that will be common knowledge.

Monday, April 8, 2024

WIMPS ONLY NEED APPLY - THE REALITY OF MUNICIPAL "GOVERNANCE"

 Wow does Luisa D'Amato ever give it to municipal and regional councillors in her article in today's Waterloo Region Record titled "The Region has lots of land. Why is it looking for more?" .  She makes it clear that there is lots of land available and preplanned for on the east side of Kitchener and Cambridge. It's actually referred to as the "East Side Lands Employment Area ". She also spells out that this whole planning and democracy disgrace is controlled by Doug Ford and the province of Ontario. Lest we forget that Doug Ford likes to throw his ample weight around and the only difference between him and a schoolyard bully is that he is an elected bully.

Not only have our local municipal and regional politicians rolled over to Non-Disclosure threats but Luisa suggests that the ultimate threat from the provincial government is well within Doug Ford's wheelhouse namely "Do as I say or I'll remove your regional government in it's entirety." Cowards and self-serving politicians will never buck the provincial (or federal?) government. Tell me what exactly are we paying our municipal councillors and mayors for when they roll over every time the provincial government says "Boo"?  Where is the leadership to push back against outside threats to our environment, our planning processes and the protection of our farmland? Simple, it's in the hands of private citizens who are pushing back hard in Wilmot. 

Woolwich Township also abdicated their moral authority decades ago and continue to do so as they coddle Uniroyal Chemical (Lanxess) and cower to the Ontario government (MECP-Min. of Environment).  Nothing new for them at all.    

Saturday, April 6, 2024

MORE 2023 ANNUAL MONITORING REPORT NONSENSE

 Wow.. allegedly 97% of the NDMA has been removed from one aquifer or another in the off-site Elmira Aquifers. But... the concentration of NDMA still exceeds the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWS) in all aquifers. That's the first problem. 

The second problem is that the entire former Uniroyal Chemical site is still a hazardous waste site. A semi-contained only, hazardous waste site.  Why do you think that dioxins ,DDT and so much more are still being found year after year downstream despite annual spring floods flushing and often scouring the creekbanks and creek bottom ? Again it is because they are being constantly renewed from the former Uniroyal site via erosion, groundwater flow and other migration processes. 

So knowing how much mass has been removed from off-site isn't even half of what is needed. How much mass is still left on the Uniroyal site awaiting its' turn to be mobilized? When will it be mobilized and how long will it be before the site has mostly stopped discharging contaminants? 100 years, 200 or more? That would be very good to know as well as strategies to clean it up. 

Sweetheart deals and Non-Disclosure Agreements are the bread and butter of dishonest and corrupt organizations. Just ask the RMOW and Wilmot Township as well as Woolwich Township.

Friday, April 5, 2024

BETS ARE THAT WOOLWICH READY TO FOLLOW WILMOT'S LEAD

 Today's Waterloo Region Record has another front page  story about Wilmot Township rolling over and being willing to sacrifice prime farmland for industrial development. What is interesting to me is which cities and townships are so pro growth and pro development that they are willing to circumvent planning processes, protected greenspace and their own commitments. Indeed this includes Cambridge, Kitchener, North Dumfries and Woolwich Township. No surprise there for me.

Woolwich have always played fast and loose with the rules. All rules. Look at the east side of Elmira. A few years back they switched the proposed Elmira By-Pass from the west side of town to the east side. The west side was cheaper and easier to build on as the ground is higher and requires fewer and smaller bridges than the east side.  The east side has to cross over the Canagagigue Creek and it's extensive low lying floodplain requiring extensive and expensive bridges and higher elevated roadways.  More importantly while they will be burying current farmland they will also be burying decades of Uniroyal Chemical contaminated lands and waters that have never been remediated.  This includes parts of both the Stroh and Martin farms. 

Our powers that be care not a whit for you or I. It's all about self-serving actions that will benefit them and theirs down the road and the public interest be damned.  This will include more farmland being sacrificed on the alter of development, growth, greed and helping the rich get richer at the expense of the public interest. Yet again. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

WOOLWICH HAVE NO INTELLIGENT ANSWERS - LIKELY NEITHER DOES LANXESS/GHD/MECP

 

Public consultation my butkus. I sent three serious and reasonably detailed critiques to Woolwich, the Observer and a number of dedicated environmentalists. So far exactly zero response from Woolwich Township. Now the unfortunate fact is that there isn't a single councillor with a clue as to what is going on remediation and cleanup wise. Hence councillor Cadeau had been leaning on most likely Woolwich CAO Dave Brenneman who may have more knowledge but in my opinion less of other necessary attributes.

The three critiques were regarding the on and off-site pump & treat system, the pretend cleanup (Risk Assessment) of the Canagagigue Creek and finally the nonsensical, intentionally myopic refusal to do proper soil testing on the Stroh property next door. All of these involve intentional ignorance and stupidity by our politicians, bureaucrats and authority figures. Self-serving deals were made by the guilty parties decades ago and those privately negotiated deals included massive deception and lying to the public. They will continue to lie and deceive until or unless the public loudly say enough of your bullsh*t. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

GLASS HALF EMPTY...OUR POLICE & JUSTICE SYSTEM STINKS VS. GLASS HALF FULL...THE COURT OF APPEAL CAUGHT THE MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE


The victim who had no previous criminal record or history served a year in jail after his entrapment by the RCMP and a career criminal/paid RCMP informant. Incredibly the RCMP paid this professional, convicted career criminal $300,000 prior to the trial of his selected "accomplice" and then another $100,000 after the informant testified and the victim was convicted. Oh and less we understate, the career criminal was also on a monthly "maintenance" schedule which paid him $3,000 per month. Hmm just a wee bit more (HA!) than my monthly C.P.P. and O.A.S. retirement benefits 

News flash folks. Several of our social benefits such as prisons, courts, schools, hospitals, police have all been monetized to the benefit of those working in them versus for the benefit of the public. In other words management and unions have used the public need to both entrench themselves and to enrich themselves. In fact I think it's obvious that any lessening of demand for these services would reflect negatively upon the status, income and authority of those in charge. This actually gives an incentive for these various services to drum up more business including apparently through the use of illegal entrapment by the police.

This front page article in today's Waterloo Region Record is both a shocking example of the administration of justice being put into disrepute as well as the eventual "save" by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Kudos to the latter and shame on those including the RCMP, prosecutors and  courts who went along with the initial scam. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

ONLY FELLOW TRAVELLORS & RELATIVES SHOULD TRUST LANXESS PLUME MAPS ?

 

I mean my first doubts probably occurred twenty-five years ago or more. Groundwater plume maps looked great but I picked up a few discrepancies that concerned me. For example a groundwater elevation line that was on the wrong side of a specific concentration was a red flag. Basically groundwater flows from higher elevations to lower and contaminant concentrations generally decrease with distance from their source. Therefore if you have a contour line of say 341 metres above sea level then you expect higher concentrations of contaminants upgradient of it and lower downgradient (i.e. farther away) .  

Also I noticed then that some of the groundwater elevation readings were both self-serving and sketchy at the same time. Off-site well CH44 is a good example. Somehow it maintained a higher elevation than several observation wells much closer to the Uniroyal property which was very convenient for CRA and Uniroyal because it "proved" hydraulic containment on site (i.e. lower groundwater elevations on site implied an inward flow versus an outward flow of contaminants). It turned out that well CH44 had a direct connection between the Upper Aquifer and the Municipal Upper Aquifer which artificially raised the groundwater elevation readings thus supposedly showing hydraulic containment. It was all bullsh*t. 

Today's plume maps concern me for a number of reasons including the alleged great containment even when they are pumping significantly less than they have in years and decades past. It is counter intuitive and again awfully self-serving. I believe that their decreased pumping both on and off-site has decreased hydraulic containment AND reduced the number of litres of contaminated groundwater being treated and then discharged to the Canagagigue Creek. Please explain to me how long term less volume of pump & treat  in both shallow and deep aquifers is allegedly maintaining containment on site and supposed to decrease contaminant concentrations off-site to drinking water standards. It isn't working and all parties after decades of lying now so admit that.

Monday, April 1, 2024

ALLEGEDLY CHLOROBENZENE IS NOT IN THE BEDROCK AQUIFER YET CONCENTRATIONS ARE HIGHER IN THE MUNICIPAL LOWER AQUIFER THAN IN THE MUNICIPAL UPPER

 


NDMA concentrations are also higher in the Municipal Lower (ML) aquifer than in the Municipal Upper (MU) aquifer.  And...wait for it indeed NDMA is present above drinking water standards in the Bedrock Aquifer. 

Chlorobenzene is also denser than NDMA and to my mind should have entered the Bedrock Aquifer after going from the surface through the Upper Aquifer, through the Upper Aquitard, through the Municipal Aquifer, through the Municipal Aquitard and then into the Municipal Lower Aquifer. Why stop there? The volumes of chlorobenzene also greatly exceed the volumes of NDMA that entered the subsurface below Uniroyal Chemical and migrated downwards through all the aquifers and aquitards.

They wouldn't lie to us would they?

As mentioned here on Saturday a close examination of the chlorobenzene plumes in the MU and ML (2023 AMR ) sure indicate a second source of chlorobenzene in the Elmira Aquifers. Indeed an examination of the NDMA plumes actually indicate the possibility of two or more other sources within the town of Elmira. 

They wouldn't lie to us would they? These are rhetorical questions.  

Saturday, March 30, 2024

MORE WEIRD ELMIRA AQUIFER RESULTS


Is it mere coincidence when one notices bizarre results that are non-intuitive and non-consistent with the various stories peddled by dishonest brokers here in Elmira, Ontario? For example the following results have been getting stranger over time as surprisingly the last holdout of chlorobenzene contamination, above the provincial criteria,  focuses more and more exactly below the former Varnicolor Chemical site on Union St. between First and Howard Ave. This occurs in both the Municipal Upper and the Municipal Lower Aquifers (Fig. 3.14 - 3.17 in the most recent 2023 Annual Monitoring Report). Why this is very strange is that groundwater testing done by the Ministry of Environment showed zero chlorobenzene on that site which was bizarre in and of itself.   

Varnicolor were a solvent recycler and most of their solvents were from paint and automotive companies. Chlorobenzene is a common solvent associated with all kinds of paints and the lack of chlorobenzene has always bugged me. Yes across Howard Ave. was the former Borg Textiles which had their own paint shop which also should also have had chlorobenzene present.

So why am I skeptical with the stories and data suggesting zero chlorobenzene came from the Varnicolor site or even indirectly from Borg Textiles? It's because the entire history of the Elmira Water Crisis and cleanup has been riddled with half truths, outright lies and severe gilding of the lily when it served the purposes of our various elected and unelected power brokers. I also do not forget the blatant lying associated with the finding of free phase DNAPL (chlorobenzene) at monitoring well OW57-32 beside the Howard St. water tower. 

 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

PROPOSED FIRST AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEW WOOLWICH TRAC COMMITTEE

 

1.  Awards and plaques for all citizen members whether from Woolwich or not

2.  Awards and plaques for Lanxess Canada and the Ontario Min. of Environment (MECP)

3. Awards and plaques for the GRCA, Region of Waterloo, Woolwich Township

4.  Awards and plaques for Conestoga Rovers, GHD and Stantec for their efforts

5.  A special participation award from the federal government to be presented to all by Prime Minister Trudeau

6.  A single group plaque for all those who have died from cancer in and around Elmira

7.  A single group plaque for all adversely affected wildlife in and around the downstream Canagagigue Creek

8.  Purchase of opaque glasses, nose and ear plugs for all TRAC members

9.  A national holiday celebrating the victory of private profits over public health

10.  An individual award each year for the polluter who best represents "The Triumph of Corruption, Deceit and Citizen Betrayal" in Elmira, Ontario 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

HAS THERE EVER BEEN A 100% HONEST & ACCURATE TECHNICAL REPORT PRESENTED TO UPAC, CPAC, RAC/ TAG & THE PUBLIC?

 The answer is that I honestly don't know.  By the way yes I am specifically referring to technical reports presented by CRA, GHD, and a number of other consultants over the decades regarding the Elmira Water Crisis caused primarily albeit not solely by Uniroyal Chemical. Based upon the number of trees turned into paper one would almost assume that sometime in the last 32 years (Jan. 1992- March 2024) there has to be at least one completely honest report. By the way I'm not even counting typographical errors or honest mistakes merely the intentionally dishonest ones. 

The only way for me to be confident that there is one such report out there would be for me to start at the beginning and reread everything. Nope not going to happen. I did a tremendous amount of reading and review prior to writing my book:  " Elmira's Water Woes:  The Triumph of Corruption, Deceit and Citizen Betrayal".  I'm currently not prepared to either do that over again or to update my book right now. 

Certainly there are items about Elmira's grotesque contamination that I read outside of the public advisory committees. Hmm... yes that might be the place to start looking for full transparency.  I am skeptical that anything specifically written for UPAC, CPAC, RAC /TAG would be allowed into the public venue without some "editing".  Without some careful and judicious "softening" of the bad news and less careful and more injudicious beefing up of the good news. Gilding the lily if you will. After all what is the point of being completely in charge of the entire program if you can't make a few self-serving tweaks along the way? We all know that corporations can't lie. You have to be a human being to lie and boy has our species ever gotten "good" at that.   

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

THIRD IN THE RECENT TRILOGY SENT TO WOOLWICH COUNCIL: STROH DRAIN, DITCH & BERM


STROH DRAIN, DITCH & BERM (SDDB)


How many Woolwich councillors know what the Stroh Drain, Ditch & Berm is? What it means? How many of them have ever seen any part of it? The SDDB is a manmade ditch, dug by backhoe or excavator, that joins from further north with the natural spring that comes to the surface as groundwater and becomes what may be known locally as Martin's Creek and which discharges into the Canagagigue Creek very close to the in-ground, dug swimming pond known as Martin's Pond. 

What is/was the purpose of the SDDB? It was designed to drain the chemical swamp on the Stroh property that was the collection point for overflowing toxic waste pits on the Uniroyal side of the property line between Uniroyal and the Stroh farm. It was also possibly designed (i.e. the Berm) to minimize erosion of the soils in the low lying "sink" area of the Stroh farm. These soils were saturated for decades with Uniroyal Chemical dioxins/furans, DDT and so much more.  Prior to the SDDB this "sink" area could be readily flooded and scrubbed by the Canagagigue Creek and the surface soils and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) attached to them mobilized both in the spring floods as well as other large precipitation events. I wouldn't be much surprised if the Region of Waterloo, and the province of Ontario decided the lesser of the evils was to keep as much of the dioxins and more on the Stroh property rather than either remove them ($$$) or to allow them to be eroded into the Canagagigue, the Grand and further downstream through Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Brantford etc. That plan clearly has failed.

Decisions like this of course would take local Council's support and would not have been run by a highly skeptical local Elmira population. Lying and deception are politicians' first recourse when making sketchy environmental and other decisions that likely would not pass the transparency test much less the smell test. To this day the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Lanxess and Woolwich Township have refused proper soil testing in specific areas on the Stroh property. You will never find what you refuse to look for. Or quoting Saul Bellow again "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."


Monday, March 25, 2024

HAVE RAC OR TAG EVER DISCUSSED DOWNSTREAM UNIROYAL CONTAMINATED FISH?

 Maybe just a little early on over the last 8  1/2 years. I mean really no one wants to embarrass anybody. It's all friends gathering together and no one wants to be the bad penny who raises awkward matters. Remember when your young cousin once asked her parents at a family gathering how come she was born only four months after they got married? Nobody wants that. Everyone appointed by Sandy goodie two shoes have to agree to be "nice". No intentionally rubbing a polluter's face for example with pictures of deformed fish much less children deformed by 2,3,7,8 TCDD (dioxin), the same toxin distributed throughout the Grand River watershed by Uniroyal Chemical initially and still leaking and migrating under Lanxess supervision. Fifty-four years since the ending of the blatant chemical discharges to open pits and ponds and despite annual floods and more we still have DDT, dioxins, mercury, PCBs exceeding all criteria in all media (sediments, soils, fish tissues etc.) the length of the downstream Canagagigue Creek all the way to the Grand River and beyond. 

No it's best to let sleeping dogs and dying fish be. Uniroyal/Lanxess have paid the Township enough (taxes, employment??) to demand an amnesty. Just because they haven't yet cleaned up their mess is no reason for Woolwich Township to dig in their heels and beg even for crumbs in the Creek cleanup. Be nice Woolwich residents. Your mayor has ordered it.

  

Saturday, March 23, 2024

SHAMELESS WOOLWICH INVITE CONTEMPT AS WELL AS WILMOT

 Maybe it's a truism that the worst of people are still human beings. Does that mean that despicable behaviour should be tolerated much less rewarded ? I think not. Perhaps gratuitous insults are not necessary each and every time one meets such offensive people including politicians. Fact is it's neither comfortable nor helpful to anyone to have a hate on 100% of the time.  It's probably not even healthy for the accuser no matter how blatant the misbehaviour of the politician, authority figure or other bullying individuals. Make no mistake those behaviours that I'm talking about are indeed bullying behaviours.

Look at the latest crap coming from both Wilmot Council and Region of Waterloo councillors. Oh we can't talk to you about expropriating your property because we've been told not to. Councillors allegedly are not allowed to speak to their own constituents about expropriating their homes and farms. BULLSH*T ! This is extreme bullying behaviour by non-transparent and unaccountable politicians. Lying to one's constituents is insulting, disrespectful and bullying behaviour by people hiding behind the power (including police) and authority of the state. 

Give these ignorant politicians the rest of the weekend to give their own heads a shake. This is neither Russia nor Haiti, it is Canada. After that if they won't talk to you then the rules of a civil, democratic country either apply to both the governed and the governing or to neither. If it's the latter then the aforementioned politicians may just as well pin a "Kick Me" sign on their backs. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

THE "NEW" TRAC IS REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC WHILE DISPLAYING LIPSTICK ON A PIG

 TRAC is also sleight of hand. Woolwich, Lanxess and the MECP (Min. of Environment) are waving TRAC around with their right hand while they are furiously refusing to debate the facade that the pump & treat system has become. 

The on-site municipal aquifer pumping wells (PW4 & 5) have not made their Target pumping rates in over TWO YEARS!

The on-site Upper Aquifer Containment & Treatment System (UACTS) has been decreasing over the last five years. Normal pumping rates were from .9  l/sec to 1.2  l/sec for many years. Starting in July 2019 they began to slowly and consistently decrease with no intelligent explanation being given either to the public or at RAC & TAG. They have since been as low as .2, .3, .4   l/sec. Hence one can expect the leakage that they admit to plus more going from the extremely contaminated south-west corner of the Uniroyal/Lanxess site  into the Canagagigue Creek. 

The off-site containment & treatment system (OSCTS) consisting of W3R, W5A/B, W6A/B, W8, W9, E7 has also been hugely problematic. Their pumping rates are up and down like a toilet seat and have been for decades. 2019 wasn't a bad year for consistent pumping (not perfect) and 2015 - 2017 were very good. Keep in mind these "good" years however were at the Target Rate set prior to 2012 when in November of that year Conestoga Rovers and Chemtura publicly promised to TRIPLE the off-site pumping rates in order to achieve drinking water standards in the Elmira Aquifers by 2028.

They were as good as their word (sort of) in that they never Doubled much less TRIPLED their pumping rates and they have NOT achieved drinking water standards nor will they by 2028, 2050, 2060 ???

Woolwich Council has clearly embraced failure so just like RAC, TAG and now TRAC they won't talk about their failed pump & treat system.  Who knows, without source removal maybe adequate and consistent pump & treat might have worked.  Personally I doubt it but we will never know because we have allowed the polluter to under pump, by their own Target Rates,  for so very long. They will again allow garrulous, deferential bureaucrats, "experts", consultants, councillors and others to set the Agenda and determine who talks about what and when.  Do you actually believe you will accomplish anything in the public interest? Nobody can be that naive for this long . Or as Saul Bellow stated "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

FULL, DIRTY TRUTH OF TRAC REVEALED

 

O.K. I have seriously crapped on councillor Nathan Cadeau for his involvement and dare I say leadership  in the never ending Woolwich Township saga of pretend public consultation.  Seriously Nathan what do you expect when you are playing for the wrong team? Let me be clear ...by wrong team I mean the corrupt team and I don't use that term loosely. Despite the non-clarification Tuesday evening at the Woolwich  Council meeting, all was clarified late yesterday and in fact Nathan assisted in that clarification. At the moment the new TRAC (Totally Rotten & Corrupt) committee consists solely of all the old RAC and TAG apologists, twits, upwardly mobile professional or semi-pro consultants, bureaucrats, butt kissers and highly deferential and even more accomplished butt kissers. Oops I was advised that one of them, Wilson Lau (risk assessment expertise) has said no thank you to the TRAC invitation.

Here's where it gets hilarious. Yes the one CPAC member who has been on TAG for years and who did step up and declare in writing how "deficient" and overly "deferential" his TAG colleagues were to the Lanxess hired "experts" on RAC/TAG, is now back on TRAC. I view that as lipstick on a pig with TRAC being the pig. Meanwhile the other CPAC member who declared his wishes to be on TRAC has been told "no" (by Nathan) because "TRAC is not in a position to recruit beyond former TAG/RAC members at this time, as we are focused on the transition process."  The third CPAC member who had incorrectly been alleged to likely join TRAC responded in writing with "What a surprise! Transition process yah right!" It was clear to me early on that this individual was made of sterner stuff and less easily led down the garden path.

So what is the dirty truth of TRAC? They are NOT a new improved, more honest, less deferential group of individuals.  They are the very same folks over the last many years and they have done nothing but give credibility and support to the intentional poor cleanup, false promises and smooth talkers from Lanxess and the Ministry of Environment (MECP) as well as their client driven consultants. The whole "Review" of RAC & TAG was just one more smokescreen and pack of lies by Woolwich Township. Keep up the good work Nathan, Sandy and David B..  

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP RUSH DOWN THE DARK & DIRTY POLLUTION ROAD

 

ONTARIO POLLUTERS VOTE ELMIRA THE MOST WELCOMING COMMUNITY IN THE PROVINCE


Let's see to date we have a former TAG Chair (Dr. Richard Jackson ) plus a former/current ? TAG member for 8  1/2 years both strongly criticizing Woolwich Township's cleanup attempts in Elmira. Last night I watched on YouTube as Woolwich Council rubber stamped the new TRAC committee. Favourite alternate names are already appearing including CRACK, CROC and my favourite ... Totally Rotten & Corrupt.  Sometimes you just have to laugh at the professional liars and their sycophant's and fellow travelers. 

Last night there was no explanation regarding the In Camera determination of TRAC's "new" membership. Yes we know it is a merger between the hopeless TAG and more hopeless RAC committees but there well could be an addition or subtraction possible. According to one of the highly confused CPAC members there allegedly is a third CPAC member interested in joining TRAC although I am doubtful.

Also the so called Consent Items (12.1.1) from the Committee of the Whole of March 5, 2024 passed last night without discussion or debate. Shameful but par for the course with this Township. It is so much easier to go through the motions than to actually engage a public who are more knowledgeable and honest than themselves in discussion of a difficult issue such as the continued poisoning of downstream Old Order Mennonites and the failure to remediate the Elmira Aquifers by 2028, almost fourty years after the start of the Elmira Water Crisis in November 1989..   

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

MAY COOLER HEADS PREVAIL (INCLUDING MINE)

 Last chance! I've appealed to the two CPAC members to look at CPAC's unity as in "United we stand, divided we fall". This is classic strategy by professional manipulators and obfuscators. Attempt to fracture the opposition via offering them status or influence in decision making. Both CPAC members know better deep down. They know who they are dealing with at the The Township yet they so desperately want to believe that they are better off "inside" than outside the latest and greatest pretend public consultation now known as TRAC.

Tonite at Woolwich Council Dave Brenneman (CAO) and mayor Sandy Shantz will continue their deception. They've gotten the new councillors onside which is unfortunate and now they are poised to break CPAC's unity albeit with help from CPAC. Both CPAC members will regret the wrong decision down the road but the damage will be done both to their credibility and respect from their peers as well as to CPAC's credibility. Wow the cards always available for abusive and inappropriate actions to those in positions of power and authority as in CAO and mayor. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

CPAC BETRAYAL, PERSONAL CHARACTER WEAKNESS, NAIVETE OR SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY?

 How things can change in a day or two. Tomorrow Woolwich Township are somewhat doing 2015 all over again. Back then they took the best citizens public consultation body that Woolwich had ever had and threw it out. Tomorrow they are throwing out two of the worst committees (RAC/TAG) and replacing it with a merger of members from RAC & TAG and calling it TRAC (Technical Remediation Advisory Committee). Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. Meanwhile in fact that is exactly what mayor Sandy Shantz and CAO Dave Brenneman are doing by poaching two CPAC members to sit on TRAC.  TRAC are the pig and the two CPAC members are the lipstick.

Full credit to Sandy and David in the sneaky and scheming department. When it comes to  transparency, accountability and honesty they are number one at the bottom of the list. However when it comes to manipulation, back room deals, offering niceties in exchange for support and or using the resources including taxpayers money of the Township, in less than totally appropriate ways, I rate them as number one. Meanwhile my reference to "poaching" two CPAC members is admittedly a little strong. It is quite possible that the two members actually approached Woolwich Council first.  The reference however to the two CPAC members being the "lipstick" on the pig is dead on. Shame on the pack of them.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

TRAC MEMBERS TO BE APPOINTED IN CAMERA THIS TUESDAY (?)

 I mean it certainly refers to that on Agenda Item 1.a. on the Woolwich Council Agenda already out for this coming Tuesday. But does it explicitly say so? Maybe. Regardless I would be surprised if any CPAC members were appointed to TRAC by Woolwich Township (i.e. David B. & Sandy). That said stranger things have happened. I will say that to my knowledge no CPAC members have been invited to be on TRAC to date. The only reason for any CPAC member to sit on either the former TAG or the new (still unratified) TRAC is to get inside information that actually should be distributed to the public. Insights could be helpful although again are the Township stupid enough to have a less than 100% loyal to the mayor and CAO, versus to the public, individual(s) present? Well yes they are as evidenced by Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach's presence on TAG for the last 8  1/2 years.

Friday, March 15, 2024

WOOLWICH OBSERVER HAMMERS MAYOR SHANTZ & WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP

 The title of the article in yesterday's Woolwich Observer on page 5 is "Woolwich shifts gears again on committee monitoring Elmira chemical plant". I would characterize it as one of the strongest articles criticizing Woolwich Township's behaviour surrounding public consultation and their history of public advisory committees, in many years. By implication if not by name the strong criticism would include CAO David Brenneman and somewhat to a lesser extent former councillor Mark Bauman. 

Quoting the Observer's article written by Steve Kannon "...the 2015 split, which essentially removed both the citizen and the watchdog  function of what was a public advisory group reaching back to the early days 35 years ago...". This references the immoral and unethical behaviour of Sandy Shantz, Mark Bauman, David Brenneman, Pat McLean and Susan Bryant with their sham April 9/15 "stakeholders" meeting in which only one CPAC member was invited while other totally uninvolved with groundwater remediation citizens were invited (eg. Inge Rinne). 

Further quotes include "The goal in splitting up the committee was to entice both the company, then Chemtura, and the Ministry of Environment back to the table by eliminating some of the most vocal critics from the process. The idea was for meetings to be less adversarial." Imagine that, both Chemtura and the Min. of Environment were obfuscating as well as using junk science to back up their do as little as possible cleanup and citizens appointed to hold them accountable became adversarial. Shocking (not). A further point in 2015 is that dissenting councillor Pat Merlihan referred to the alleged "citizen" makeup of RAC & TAG as "cringeworthy".

As I was a Delegate to last week's council meeting, the Observer also quoted some of my comments to councillors such as "This new plan is just the same old don't rock the boat, let Lanxess and the [ministry] do their thing and allow another 35 years of slow leakage into both our aquifers and our creek,".  Furthermore I also stated "I'd rather see Woolwich abandon the field rather than continue to tarnish themselves by being cheerleaders for the two biggest polluters in the province.".  The two biggest polluters being Uniroyal/Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. 

It is being gentle suggesting that Woolwich Township has improperly been in bed with Uniroyal/Lanxess for the last 35 years. Apparently they like and wish to continue that arrangement for the next 35 years. 


Thursday, March 14, 2024

THE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT LIED TO THE DOWNSTREAM ("GIG") OLD ORDER MENNONITE RESIDENTS

 How blatantly did they lie. Well that of course varies with whom you ask. Dr. Richard Jackson and TAG were very unimpressed. Mayor Sandy Shantz to my surprise also appeared to be upset with them. I found the MOE/MECP behaviour to surpass what I feel is a level of corruption. Essentially the MOE sent a letter to all the Old Order families living along the Creek between Uniroyal/Chemtura and the Grand River at least five miles downstream. The letter was to reassure them regarding the health and safety of the Canagagigue Creek,  creek sediments, creekbank soils and even floodplain soils. In order to do so they lied, gilded the lily and stretched the truth. The letter from the province of Ontario (MOE) advised these residents living along the Creek that levels of bio-accumulative and persistent toxic compounds such as DDT, dioxins and furans and more had decreased over time when in fact the data said otherwise.

To my pleasant surprise Mayor Shantz and Woolwich Township ignored the MOE's objections and went ahead and posted warning signs by the Creek at New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr. and Jigs Hollow Rd. (#46) several years ago. They are still present . These signs advised fishermen not to eat anything they caught due to contamination. This is one of the very few instances when the Township did the right thing however the behaviour of the Ontario Ministry of Environment was dishonest, corrupt and true to their character. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION?

O.K. this is a little tricky.  I'm a great believer in "say what you mean and mean what you say". In other words "call a spade a spade" and in fact sometimes I can be a tad pedantic (great word) and will nitpick others vague or ambiguous verbal and written utterances .  So what's my problem here?

CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) are a great source of both strength and inspiration. This is because of the variety of  experiences and  knowledge of the various members. One in particular has an outstanding record and history of accurate, early reads on people whether new to them or not. Personally I'm at the other end of the spectrum and do not trust my own early "reads" on people because I've found that over time as I learn more about them I have often totally misjudged them early on both positively and negatively.

Let's take councillor Nathan Cadeau for an example. I found him difficult to like right from the getgo. He has presumably trained himself to present all information from his mouth as first hand knowledge and as coming from an extremely informed individual.  The problem for him is when the subject matter is groundwater contamination, remediation, local toxic waste disposal, Uniroyal Control Orders etc. all subjects that I have seriously studied for the last 35 years. He on the other hand has not so studied and as expected doesn't  know shi* from shinola yet he babbles on as if he's an expert. That bugs me but over the last fifteen months I can say that my dislike and disrespect for him has only grown. But let's give him another year or two and see how I feel then. 

Conversely early on and for at least several years I thought that Sandy Shantz was the real deal as in honest and straightforward. To my embarrassment now I voted for her against Todd Cowan back in October 2014. What a gross miscalculation regarding her character.

Anyhow the CPAC member with a much better early on track record than mine has noticed something and that is the non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions of Woolwich councillors.  Without being specific I can tell you that she has watched the on-line (Woolwich Township Website) video of Tuesday, March 5/24 Committee of the Whole and has carefully watched the non-verbal cues of three of the councillors in particular. Sandy she felt was angry and upset during my Delegation whereas Nathan was difficult to determine. The other three visually present were totally different and if you are so inclined I leave it to you to go on the Woolwich Township Website and via "Mayor and Council", followed by "Council Calendar" click on the VIDEO for Tuesday, March 5, 2024 Committee of the Whole.  My Delegation starts perhaps fifteen minutes into the start of the video.     

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

ONTARIO'S FORMER (?) RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC & BIASED JUDICIAL SYSTEM

 Today's Waterloo Region Record has an article by Michelle Landsberg, a former Toronto Star columnist. Back in the 1980s and likely much earlier she and the Star had been publishing articles openly and harshly critical of what passed for impartial, unbiased adjudication by racist, homophobic, sexist and clearly biased male judges or as she put it (always men). Now speaking from experience I believe that idiot, biased judges don't have to have all the detriments just described. For example I was oppressed with an idiot, biased judge in 1996 who was sexist in that he was apparently biased in favour of females not against them. This occurred both in my case and in others in which I was advised that he was ordered to apologize to the husband in a marital dispute for how he the judge treated him in court. This particular judge I refer to as the Dishonourable Justice Robert Reilly.

Getting back to the article at hand titled "Ontario's system of naming judges is well-respected" tends to throw one off at first glance. Further reading however clarifies that the author (Ms. Landsberg) is describing the improved system of naming judges since approximately the early 1990s, not in time to help me as I was inflicted with an entrenched judge. Ms. Landsberg is warning citizens not to be complacent as Doug Ford is attempting to turn back the clock even as his Conservative predecessor Mike Harris attempted in 1999. Our former inglorious leader didn't appreciate his crony and Conservative buddy not receiving a judgeship in Mr. Harris's home riding of North Bay and refused to appoint one of the three short listed applicant for the position. Eventually he caved.

Lastly as a warning of what our judicial system used to be I quote Ms. Landsberg's comments in support of the then new JAAC (Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee) when she stated "As we discovered the depth of cronyism and patronage in the Ontario court system, we felt strongly affirmed in our work...".  Isn't it disturbing to realize that without open, transparent and honest decision making how all our man made systems, including judicial systems, descend into anarchy and chaos?    

Monday, March 11, 2024

TRAC - DOES THE WATCHDOG NEED TO BE INSIDE THE HOUSE OR OUTSIDE THE HOUSE?

 That is an age old question and I suspect, depending on the circumstances, to have at least two different answers. A watchdog with full access to both audible and visual stimuli may quite likely be able to pick up potential trouble far sooner outside the house than inside. Slight noises in the night possibly combined with olfactory (smell) stimuli may very well not be noticeable inside the house until it is under attack. Or a contrary opinion might suggest that an outside dog is far too exposed and vulnerable outside to be a reliable warning system. It's a lot easier to silence an outside dog than an inside dog. 

CPAC agreed 8 1/2 years ago that while none of them could further stomach Sandy and Mark's contemptible behaviour and lying nevertheless if Sebastian wanted to REAPPLY as a member of TAG after we had all played by the rules and formally APPLIED prior to the Woolwich imposed deadline, then so be it. The arrogance, hypocrisy and contempt for their own process by Sandy and Mark went way beyond what I could tolerate. I would not sit with such an abomination based upon blatant lying, deceit and political manipulation. The lack of respect for democracy has proven to be a hallmark of our municipal governance for decades.

CPAC are discussing the current situation. My opinion is that this is yet another charade in support of the two biggest polluters in Ontario namely the Ministry of Environment and Lanxess Canada. Both the Stroh Drain and the stinking, putrid Draft Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek speak loudly to Lanxess's dishonesty and lack of credibility.     

Saturday, March 9, 2024

IMMATURE, INEXPERIENCED OR CORRUPT THE RESULTS APPEAR THE SAME


Four of the six Woolwich councillors elected a year ago last October were newbies. Number five Bonnie Bryant had served one term of Council previously. Number six Sandy Shantz has been around for three terms now and literally has no excuse. With friends like Pat McLean, Bill Strauss, Mark Bauman, Susan Bryant, Lanxess etc. she will eventually go down in history as being particularly complicit in the Elmira Water Scandals. 

Woolwich Township are and have been masters of the rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic as well as of expertly putting lipstick on a pig. Clearly long, long ago they were convinced to hold their position, never abandon their lies and maintain their cover as being pro environment and pro green all the while running interference for Uniroyal/Lanxess along with the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Their problem is 1) our local drinking water has not been restored 2) Our downstream Canagagigue Creek is toxic and lethal.  One last name needs to come out of the shadows. That would be CAO David Brenneman. I was recently mildly surprised to hear a local for many years verbally castigate Mr. Brenneman in an unusually hard way.  Apparently David had been particularly unhelpful. Now to be fair I also had a local for many years last fall tell me how seriously Mr. Brenneman tried to help her.  Now that was a major surprise to me. Well!

All in all the new TRAC Committee is garbage like. It is born and bred on a bed of bullsh*t, smothered in deceit and weaned on putrid, rot gut liquor. The twit on Council who was front and centre and led the so called Working Group is biased, unintelligent and driven. Good Lord as if we need any more of those. 

Friday, March 8, 2024

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT=MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT i.e. CORRUPT

 The title in last Wednesday's K-W Record was "Maine questions Canadian study of Agent Orange use at military base" Basically the state of Maine are not fans of Canadian junk and psuedo science no matter how well oiled it is. Among many criticisms they called the study inaccurate and biased. Ouch  . Woolwich Township, Lanxess and the Ont. Min. of Environment also rely upon the use of junk science on a regular basis. For 35 years they have based their least expensive, least effective remediation upon such alleged scientific rigor. The results are failure to achieve groundwater at drinking waqter standards as mandated by the Min. of Environment.

Not to panic however as Woolwich have renamed their alleged citizens committee hence putting lipstick on a pig.  The Min. of Environment will soon simply issue a new order calling for clean groundwater by 2050, 2060 or whenever they feel like it. Problems solved. Thank God for dishonest politicians.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY - GOVERNMENTS CONSPIRE TO SCREW THEIR OWN CITIZENS

 How sad is it when five out of six Woolwich councillors avoid attending Elmira's Environmental Awareness Event two weeks ago? How pathetic is it when the one who did attend (Evan Burgess) presumably told his fellow councillors what the overwhelming mood of the 50-70 attendees was? Now we have a new useless committee called TRAC which Sandy Shantz and David Brenneman in conjunction with Lanxess and the Ont. Ministry of Environment will ensure is packed with "right thinking" individuals. Those "right thinkers" will not push, they will not dig in their heels, they will not cry out "BULLSH*T" no matter how thick, stinky and messy the junk science, psuedo science and wishful thinking from Lanxess and the MECP is. Furthermore they will at best politely express their disappointment if Lanxess and the MECP stick to their guns that the phony and dishonest  Risk Assessment trumps honest facts and common sense and no downstream cleanup is to occur.

The pack of professional liars and manipulators should be tarred and feathered and run out of Woolwich on a rail. Rest assured however our status quo, pro peace, quiet and stability police will always intervene to protect those who are profiting on the backs of the poor, unhealthy and unable or unwilling to fight to protect themselves citizens. This includes both Old Order downstream Mennonites as well as citizens living in Elmira suffering long term health effects from immoral and illegal toxic waste discharges over many decades. Thank you Woolwich Council for once again backing the coverup in conjunction with Lanxess and the MECP.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

(NEW) WOOLWICH COUNCILLORS DETERMINED TO GO DOWN WITH THE SINKING SHIP

 Same old, same old. Other than one peculiar question from Councillor Bryant last night to myself no one else asked me anything. Her question seemed to assume that my only problem with the proposed TRAC committee was one of membership on it. Yes that is a problem but I made it clear the new committee was a crock right out of the starting gate. Tinkering with garbage just like changing the name is like putting lipstick on a pig. It changes nothing fundamentally.

Eventually Woolwich Township's complicity in the pretend cleanup and coverup will become public knowledge. I gave these councillors an escape route and they appear to be uninterested. They are blindly following Dave Brenneman, Sandy Shantz and Lanxess and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. All the while we are still decades away, if ever, from our own drinking water and the downstream Canagagigue Creek continues to poison both wildlife and our downstream Old Order Mennonite neighbours. 

Well if nothing else even Sandy's slim chance to escape has now been sealed. Maybe I should thank the councillors for putting the final nail in her reputation and political coffin. She will be forever known as the Woolwich three term mayor who continued to ignore the obvious and continue sailing towards the abyss.

Ironically today's Waterloo Region Record carries a story about "flawed" Agent Orange studies carried out by our Federal government regarding CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick. As I said last night at Woolwich Council "No politicians, municipal, regional, provincial or federal want to pay to clean up the former Uniroyal Chemical site in Elmira...". Junk science studies are their favourite tool apparently right across Canada.



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

TALKING TRUTH TO POWER THIS EVENING

 It's been my experience that most of the time doing that has been a waste of time because "Power" already knows the truth. They know it and they have worked hard to hide it so that they can present their self-serving version of the truth. In this case all levels of government over the last 35 years have probably known full well that it was more important to communicate the appearance of a successful cleanup than the actual reality of it. Hence why spend hundreds of millions of extra dollars when time eventually (couple of hundred years) will allow most of Uniroyal's crap to migrate downstream and down gradient. Professional lying by client driven experts was the way to go.

So why bother tonite? Well it's an acid test . Will the new councillors stand up for the truth or will they hide behind the status, position and credentials of others? Are the majority of councillors self thinkers and confident in their own decision making or do they always defer to authority and power? We will see how tonite goes and then two weeks from tonite I believe is when the formal vote takes place.

Monday, March 4, 2024

I AM A DELEGATE TOMORROW EVENING AT WOOLWICH COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 The meeting starts at 7 pm. and basically it's the same old crap all over again only this time a little less rude and a lot less ignorant than say in 2015 when Sandy and buddies (Mark) sold a Bill of Goods to their fellow councillors. One of them (Patrick) publicly stated that the so called public consultation suggested in the then new Terms of Reference for RAC & TAG was "cringeworthy".

The new Terms of Reference are not as bad (possibly) as the very worst ones to date that Woolwich have ever come up with. Geez they really are pathetic. I mentioned some of the issues last Friday here as well as basically the whole idea of not only agreeing to Lanxess and the MECP having full control of the alleged "cleanup" but actually endorsing and supporting their amateur, mickey mouse attempts. To date the Township have abandoned the public interest on these issues. 

A few extra bodies tomorrow night in Council Chambers can only help. It's been far too easy for far too long for the guilty parties here in Woolwich. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

WOOLWICH COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE AGENDA CAME OUT YESTERDAY AFTERNOON

I got the Agenda package around 3:30 pm. Nice public consultation there. I now know more about the plans for TRAC than I did before. Hence today after 9 am. I will attempt to get my name in as a Delegate to that Council meeting this Tuesday at 7 pm.. The so called review has been the usual Woolwich bullsh*t. They really have no shame and no imagination. I guess their attitude is as long as we can fool most of the people most of the time then we are golden. 

By the way nothing in the report mentioning the specific criticisms of TAG that Sebastian formally submitted last October, November and finally this February 15/24 at the TAG meeting. Those criticisms are on the Township's website under the October 2023 and February 2024 TAG Minutes. 

SAME PEOPLE IN CHARGE,  SAME HEAVY DUTY PUFFERY AND  HIGH WRITTEN ASPIRATIONS,  SAME CLEANUP METHODOLOGY,  SAME RESULTS...i.e. FAILURE

The definition of insanity is ongoing failure followed by the same attempts over and over again hoping for a different result. This is insanity albeit probably contrived insanity. Woolwich Township have spent the last 35 years enabling the company and the Ministry to talk up a storm while doing very little. Hydraulic containment i.e. pump & treat is doing the very minimum and they haven't been able to consistently succeed even at that. Pumps and other hardware constantly break down and pumping rates are below their own Target Rates year in and year out. Promises are publicly made for increased pumping that are never even close to being achieved. 

Then there is the Canagagigue Creek. What a joke that POLLUTER PAYS. The Ministry of Environment have publicly stated that the cleanup of the Creek is voluntary. WHY!!! Uniroyal Chemical destroyed it and have only partially restored it by reducing their ongoing off-site discharges and leakage. Tha company (Lanxess) need to clean up the dioxins, DDT, mercury, PCBs, PAHs, Lindane etc.

    

Thursday, February 29, 2024

TRAC IS ON ITS' WAY TO COUNCIL

 I've been advised that some (all?) of the reforms of RAC & TAG will be introduced this Tuesday at the Committee of the Whole meeting (7 pm.) in Woolwich Council Chambers.  TRAC or the so called Technical & Remediation Advisory Committee is supposed to replace it. I expect some pretty heavy duty bullsh*t will be required in order to gracefully throw out Sandy's baby (RAC & TAG) and replace it with TRAC. Two weeks later it would be likely that Woolwich Council will then give the go ahead for this latest public relations foray.

Earlier this week in writing (e-mail) I did advise all Woolwich councillors that I had not been fully briefed on the changes. In fact it was a case of one councillor (Nathan) showing up at my door uninvited and giving me only a partial glimpse into the new committee. No mention of who will be on the committee only that there will be improved interactions with the public. This upon questioning was advised to be members of the public will be allowed during meetings to ask questions as well as make comments. Of course the proof is in the pudding as promises in Elmira are like the wind. They blow hot and cold and often reverse direction.

Knowing so very little as to what is being proposed ahead of time it's difficult to know what to be a Delegate about. Perhaps after I hear some more substantive information I will decide to be a Delegate at the March 19/24 Council meeting. We shall see as obviously after 35 years of ongoing deception, manipulation and lying why exactly should I expect anything else from Woolwich Township? I expect that this is the primary way that they get rid of opposition i.e. just keep on lying and ignoring facts and truth.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

THE BEAT GOES ON - DISHONEST MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE IS INEVITABLE

 The simplest definition of "dishonest governance" in the title above is either staff or councillors lying to their residents and citizens. Unfortunately no politicians yet have had the courage or stupidity to attempt to make lying to the electorate illegal. If they did we'd have the Russian equivalent of jailed politicians. 

Nathan Cadeau stated that I called him slimy and a polluter apologist somewhere recently. Hmm must have been an off day for me going so easy on him. Now again as per the title above why do I feel that dishonest governance is inevitable? Easy! If a municipality has made the decision to participate in a coverup of almost any kind then bingo it's full speed ahead with the lying. Now there is lying by both omission and commission. My long held opinion is that Woolwich Township are up to their necks in both.

Poor old Nathan I believe has been appointed the dedicated whipping boy. Now he does have unusual skills in that his confidence to knowledge ratio is so very high. He also has a very thick skin which is good. Finally he has the knack of reading an e-mail sent to him and totally ignoring and not even acknowledging its' contents in his response. O.K. I'll admit that I don't like that . It's really quite ignorant but may be helpful to him when he has no honest response. 

I am gaining confidence that Sandy has also been chosen many years ago to be the political sacrificial lamb. When the rats start leaving the ship somebody is always left holding the bag and my prediction is that Sandy and Nathan are the designated duo. They are silly enough.to think that the power base behind them will support them to the end as long as they don't lose faith. Ha ! We will see.    

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

MY SPEECH AT LAST WEDNESDAY'S ELMIRA ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS EVENT

 

Following is the speech I presented publicly last week at the Rural Roots venue following the showing of the Documentary "Toxic Time Bomb" by Sheba Films. Again kudos to the owner Roger Jutzi, organizer Sadi Goertz, Master of Ceremonies Rich Clausi.



                                                                                                       FEB. 21/24


Elmira's Environmental Awareness Event


One company has been in full charge and full control of the failed Elmira cleanup. That is the polluters themselves namely Uniroyal Chemical and then their corporate successors which currently is Lanxess Canada. The Ontario Ministry of Environment are the alleged regulators. They have proven to be pathetic and wholly incapable of protecting Elmira's environment and citizens.


Since 2012 local residents known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) have advised both Woolwich Township and the public that the 2028 mandated deadline for clean groundwater in Elmira was not going to happen. Uniroyal/Chemtura, at the time, along with the Ministry of Environment denied that. Chemtura six months later advised that in order to meet the deadline they would have to TRIPLE the amount of groundwater pumping and treatment in Elmira. This of course never happened, or even close. Somewhere around 2017 the new owners Lanxess began to suggest that the 2028 deadline could not be met.


Multi national, multi billion dollar corporations do not like to admit failure, especially publicly. Currently they along with other parties such as the Ministry of Environment and Woolwich Township are in CYA mode. This Cover Your Astuteness includes suggestions for a new source of drinking water as well as a new Order from the Ministry of Environment. It's not as if any of the old Orders have done much good to date.


The parties have recently been trotting out various excuses for trial runs. One of these is to blame a chemical process known as Diffusion. Essentially as the groundwater concentrations of at least 100 different chemicals such as NDMA, chlorobenzene, ammonia, toluene, xylene, styrene, benzene got higher and higher in the groundwater some of the chemicals began to “diffuse” i.e. move into the clay and silt aquitards and bond with the soils. Decades later after 26 years of up and down, erratic groundwater pumping as groundwater concentrations of contaminants began to decrease those bonded chemicals in the soils are starting to be released back into the groundwater. Sometimes this process is also referred to as “rebound”. All of this is common knowledge among hydrogeologists yet the guilty parties pretend it's a surprise to them.


Another excuse being used today is that NDMA is so toxic that its' health criteria is measured in parts per trillion. The majority of toxic chemicals have criteria in the parts per billion which is a thousand times larger than parts per trillion. Hence 35 years after NDMA was allegedly discovered in Elmira's groundwater the parties are now advising that contrary to what they told us back in the 1990s up until recently, that gosh nobody can successfully remediate groundwater via pumping & treating down to that tiny concentration. Again a complete reversal of what they told us for 25 years plus.


Here are a few specific examples of “adjusting the science according to your needs”. In order to pretend that contaminated groundwater is hydraulically contained, a polluter requires an observation well or two that have their well screens able to draw in water from two different aquifers simultaneously. This is best accomplished by having your observation well located very close to a “window” between the two aquifers. This “window” is actually an area where the clay or silt aquitard, which slows groundwater flow vertically between aquifers, is thin or even totally absent allowing the higher and lower aquifer to be in direct contact. Then an alleged lower water elevation reading will give a much higher reading based upon the water elevation of the connected upper aquifer. This higher reading can then be intentionally misinterpreted as showing the direction of groundwater flow being the opposite of what it truly is.


More specific to the Canagagigue Creek is the following. Dioxins, DDT compounds and PCBs tend to migrate within living bodies to the fattiest areas. This is true for wildlife as well as human beings. In the case of fish the highest concentrations of these contaminants are found in both the liver (which attempts to filter them) and in the belly or other fatty areas. So guess exactly where the Ontario Ministry of Environment sample fish they have collected for analysis? Skinless, lean dorsal fillets are preferred.. Absolutely no fatty areas or livers.


Next we have one of my favourites. Normally core samplers, which are hollow tubes, are pushed into the bottom of creeks and the sediment samples are then held inside the core sampler as it is lifted clear of the water and set down on a table. The core sampler is opened up and there is the sediment sample in one long piece representing various depths below the bottom of the creek bed. Not so here in Elmira. It appears that Lanxess Canada and their consultants have again “adjusted the science according to their needs.” They have replaced core samplers with ordinary shovels. According to the Ministry of Environment's recent December critiques of the Draft Risk Assessment, this has occurred with most of the sediment samples taken in the Canagagigue Creek and presented in their Soil & Sediment Investigations. Therefore keep in mind that outside of living bodies DDT and dioxins tend to bond with soil fines. Hence fine sediments are the normal location to find these chemicals. Shovels however are used allegedly to break through “armouring” on the bottom of the Creek. Certain areas have stones and cobble on the bottom versus fine sediments. Regardless when you draw a shovel up from the bottom of the Creek through the water column the fines are washed away and only the stones, cobbles and coarse sediments are left. A polluter's paradise yet again.


Finally we have the use and misuse of Method Detection Limits (MDL). Basically laboratories have a lower limit concentration that they are able to consistently and accurately measure with the equipment at their disposal as well as other factors. The key is to always be able to measure at least as low as the health criteria of a contaminant. For example if benzene in water has a MDL of 4 parts per billion (ppb) and the Ontario health criteria is 5 ppb then any and all exceedances in water samples of the 5 ppb criteria will be detected. However if the MDL at the lab for whatever reason is 7 ppb. then any exceedances in the water sample of the health criteria from 5 to 7 ppb. will be shown as Non-Detect @7 ppb. Therefore what a wonderful method to both decrease the number of exceedances as well as of detections of a contaminant. I mentioned that the lowest limit that a lab can accurately and consistently measure is a factor of the equipment they are using as well as other factors. Those other factors can be “matrix interference” which simply means that the more other contaminants are mixed in the sample the more difficult it is for the lab to measure at it's lowest possible concentration. Or another factor is simply cost. The lab will charge a higher fee per sample if the customer wants to measure the absolute smallest concentrations possible. Think about that. If Lanxess want to save money they simply ask the lab for a higher number MDL . This costs them less plus produces more Non-detects and less exceedances of criteria.


These higher than necessary MDLs are enormously detrimental as they distort the data presented in the report. The MDL issues effect Sediments much more than they effect Soil samples. Basically Sediment criteria are much smaller than Soil criteria and hence detections and exceedances can be covered up much easier when the Method Detection Limits are for example .02 parts per million (ppm) which is considerably higher than the criteria for Lindane, DDD, DDE, DDT. In other words those contaminants in Sediments are the ones whose detections are most negatively affected by much too large MDLs.


There are two more significant matters which I would like to bring to your attention. The first is the fact that despite numerous requests decades ago there has never been any health studies done of either Elmira residents or of downstream Canagagigue Creek residents. My understanding is that there are 22 families living along the downstream Creek from Uniroyal/Lanxess as far as the Grand River over five miles away. I am shocked that a third party can produce an alleged scientific document assessing health risks to these residents while studiously ignoring health data that exists and is in the possession of our medical authorities. Our Old Order Mennonite neighbours also use the same health system that we do involving doctors, nurses and hospitals and I do not believe that their opting out of OHIP and paying cash instead, somehow makes their health records invisible to the appropriate authorities especially in light of the risks to their health from exposure to dioxins, DDT, mercury and PCBs.


The second significant matter is in regards to the fact that even honest science versus the quite frankly junk science, that Lanxess and their consultants have passed off on us, is unable to give us all the answers we would like. To date science has not been able to determine health criteria for either multiple contaminants simultaneously or for multiple routes of exposure simultaneously.


The multiple contaminants simultaneously refers to not just the four contaminants I listed in the previous paragraph but also literally the hundreds of others that Uniroyal/Lanxess have discharged over the decades. The multiple routes of exposure means exposure by breathing and inhalation combined with skin exposure to soils and sediments as well as ingestion of contaminants whether through milk or beef consumption from cattle grazing on contaminated Floodplain soils.


Now to get really serious think carefully about what our local downstream residents have lived through for the last 75 years and longer. They and their children and grandchildren have been exposed to the prevailing winds bringing solvents, dioxins, DDT and much more to them from Uniroyal/Lanxess as well as being exposed to more than 75 years of eating contaminated food from their own chickens and cattle combined with skin contact with chemicals attached to soils that end up in their gardens and childrens' sandboxes. I repeat there is absolutely no way for science to be able to determine health criteria for multiple simultaneous chemical exposures nor is there any way for science to determine health criteria for multiple simultaneous routes of exposure such as dioxin fumes in the air combined with handling dioxin contaminated soils combined with eating dioxin contaminated beef, chickens or fish. Then add in breathing benzene fumes, handling dioxin contaminated soils and eating DDT contaminated beef, chicken, eggs, milk and fish. And now for the final insult to our downstream neighbours, some non-medical, very well paid by Lanxess, folks in three piece suits are telling them that there are no unacceptable risks to their health.


Prior to giving you some “Where do we go from here?” suggestions I would like to briefly summarize. Uniroyal Chemical's on-site cleanup did not follow the Ministry of Environment's Control Order. DNAPLS or Dense Non Aqueous Phase Liquids in particular were covered up using grotesque manipulation and deception by the company with the Ministry enabling the coverup. On -site pumping and treating has generally failed over the years to achieve the company and their consultants Target pumping rates although they've now changed their story and state that gosh they were only suggestions and actually pumping at those Target Rates is optional.


So where do we go from here and what needs to be done? Dishonest brokers can no longer be in charge of the cleanup of Elmira and the Creek. This includes Lanxess Canada, the Ministry of Environment and Woolwich Township. The RAC & TAG committees are being shut down in favour of a committee called TRAC. Unfortunately while a rose by any other name can smell as sweet, nevertheless a horse apple by any other name still stinks. Changing names is the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Other cleanup technologies in particular those involving source removal need to be seriously considered versus the usual lip service they get..Take the current biased and dishonest Risk Assessment of the Creek and throw it in the garbage. That's all it is worth. Real cleanup of the Creek needs to be done. Finally citizens be skeptical. You've been lied to for decades regarding the Elmira Water Crisis and that won't change over night. Ask for evidence and independent proof from Council and others. If our local media write stories about this meeting, TRAC or cleanup, please read those stories carefully!


Thank You for your attention.

Alan Marshall





.


Monday, February 26, 2024

THE ELMIRA CLEAN UP IS STILL A SCAM

 Way, way back in the 1990s I put a large sign on the roof of my car and parked outside the municipal arena on Snyder Ave. The sign read "The Cleanup Is A Scam".  At the time I was referring to the current scam that was ongoing at the public UPAC (Uniroyal Public Advisory Committees) meetings. Most likely that would have been what eventually ended up being a decades long coverup of DNAPLS (dense non aqueous phase liquids) on the Uniroyal Chemical site. From time to time over the years I wondered if anybody thought that I was actually calling out the entire process and extensive, complicated coverup as no more than a public relations campaign.

Flash forward thirty years and here we are today. The groundwater is decades or more away from cleanup and the company are spending a small fortune however it's still on public relations, scamming the public, obfuscating everybody and pretending to actually care about the environment and all its' inhabitants. Last month's Monthly Progress Report is out and it's more of the same crap. Both on and off site pumping are way down from even the normal off-site 53 litres/second (all off-site wells) back in 2012. On-site wells (mostly PW5) is also way down and has been for TWO YEARS now! Upper Aquifer on-site wells continue to have very low pumping rates although I believe after years of this they have rebuilt a few of them. Hence January 2024's off-site pumping from all wells is an alarming 37 litres per second. That was grossly inadequate back in 2012 and at that time Chemtura publicly promised to TRIPLE the off-site pumping. Later they lowered that to DOUBLING the pumping rates. It's never happened. Don't hold your breathe expecting RAC, TAG or TRAC to raise a peep about this. Nobody wants to rock the boat and or embarrass the guilty parties. That's un Canadian don't you know!

It seems pretty clear to me that they were simply buying time. The polluter and all their fellow travellors whether governmental or not have enabled this gross deception and environmental failures. It is way past time to kick all the lying bastards out. 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

WHAT WILL BE THE NEXT BIG LIE INFLICTED UPON ELMIREANS?

 I mean really it's time. Will they back Susan's slip about no cleanup of the groundwater and of the Creek? Or will they flat out "clarify" it by saying "Of course we will cleanup the groundwater and maybe the Creek if we are feeling good, given proper respect and encouragement and overall have our expensive butts placed on pedestals. Oh and we also require an award or two for our diligence in cleaning up this mess in due course. Maybe the next Big Lie will simply be more innovative excuses such as "The damn contaminants are hiding from us." or my favorite "We are doing the environment a favour by not disturbing the contaminants in the sediments and creekbank soils."

The good news for the liars is that they will have lots of support from their fellow travellors. Woolwich Township, the GRCA and the Region of Waterloo are highly unlikely to discover their backbones and put their feet down. After all they can and have hidden behind the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MECP) for decades and will wish to continue. It's one thing screwing the public who have relatively short memories but screwing each other, namely fellow government groups also most likely guilty of perfidious behaviour and obfuscation from time to time, is something altogether dangerous.

The last thing politicians and bureaucrats ever want is widespread disbelief and contempt towards the status quo, which maintaining is their raison d' etre. When citizens wake up and realize the extent of the misdirection and lying that goes on they will rebel. Let me say that currently the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) have so expertly shot themselves in the foot (Caroline Burjoski/Mike Ramsay) that it is unlikely they will even be asked to publicly join our local polluter apologists.     

Friday, February 23, 2024

COULD SUSAN"S BIZARRE WORDS HAVE BEEN A SLIP OF THE TONGUE???

I believe that a total of three people (including me) to date have confirmed that Susan Bryant stated that the Elmira Aquifers and the Canagagigue Creek will never be remediated or cleaned up. This is in reference to yesterday's post as well as to the Wednesday evening "Elmira Environmental Awareness Event".  But... it was suggested to me this morning that maybe Susan was actually trying to say that they'd never be cleaned up to the point of either being pristine or restored to their former glory. Well I don't know. Anything's possible I guess including that an old person like Susan made a verbal slip. I'd like to suggest that she's really old and over the hill except I think that she's the same age as myself! Oops!

I had forgotten how strong and powerful the Documentary (Sheba Films) was. Between Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Susan Rupert, Susan Bryant and myself we really put it to Uniroyal/Chemtura.  It is ironic that five Lanxess employees walked out of the evening early on in the Documentary showing, which was first. If they stayed they would have heard my harsh criticisms of what passes for "scientific" evidence and protocols by Lanxess and their consultants. Susan's comments would not have offended anybody. Interpret that as you wish.

Only one councillor attended the event namely Evan Burgess. I shook his hand both at the start and at the end and I give him credit for appearing.  I believe that he is trying very hard. There was also a former local Conservative candidate who  attended and I give her credit as well. My apologies for forgetting her name (Carline, Caroline ???). Thank goodness the local M.P.P. Mike Harris wasn't there. I'd have been hard pressed not to make a snotty comment. There I just made it!

 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

SUSAN BRYANT PUBLICLY STATES THAT ELMIRA AQUIFERS & CANAGAGIGUE CREEK WILL NEVER BE CLEANED UP

 After the showing of the Documentary "Toxic Time Bomb" and after speeches from myself and Susan Bryant a question from the audience was sent my way namely "What is your gauge for success regarding the remediation in Elmira?" My response was NDMA and all chemicals in the Elmira Aquifers be reduced to below the drinking water criteria and the chemicals in the fish in the Creek also be reduced to below the Tissue Residue Guidelines. At that point Susan asked for the microphone and advised both myself and the audience that "The Elmira Aquifers will never be restored to drinking water standards nor will the Creek ever be properly remediated."  My response was that proper cleanup of both was possible and necessary but simply had not been seriously attempted to date.

The Rural Roots restaurant & beer hall (?) was packed last night! Congratulations to owner Roger Lichti as he and staff did a wonderful job in setting up the facilities and assisting in the success of the meeting. Further congratulations to Sadi Goertz for organizing the event and to Richard Clausi for working as the Master of Ceremonies (MC). I would be remiss not to also thank Ms. Bryant for her anecdotes and historical references to various attempts to inform downstream residents along the Canagagigue Creek.

I did not see any reporters or media present to all their shame. The Woolwich Observer happily took our money to advertise the event but then couldn't seem able to cover the public event. About five employees of Lanxess walked out during the early part of the showing of the Documentary "Toxic Time Bomb". Obviously the portrayal of their employer Lanxess Canada was not satisfactory to them. MC Rich Clausi I felt was extremely balanced and unbiased as he early on advised that Lanxess Canada were not directly guilty of the past dumping and spilling of toxic wastes into the ground and the Creek however they were liable and responsible for the cleanup as the current owners.

The public awareness event was a success and I personally enjoyed it all with the greatest enjoyment coming during the question and answer session at the end. Citizens were attentive and keen to learn and have their questions answered. 

 


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

TODAY IS THE DAY - ELMIRA'S ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS EVENT

 I believe that the organizer Sadi will make a brief Introduction and thanks to the venue host Rural Roots followed by the Master of Ceremonies Rich Clausi stepping up with his Introductions of the two guest speakers of which I am one of them. My understanding is that the first guest speaker to speak will talk about the Risk Assessment of the Canagagigue Creek. As per the most recent public TAG meeting of six days ago there has not been any breakthrough on discussions with Lanxess however promises are like wind so be prepared for anything at all tonite. Delivery on promises is always much more difficult and Uniroyal and successors have a history of broken promises as does the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

I will be speaking about both the failure to achieve the cleanup of Elmira's groundwater by 2028 which I point out is actually 39 years after the "alleged" discovery of NDMA in our drinking wells here in Elmira. Also I will be commenting on the junk science and worse practiced by Lanxess and GHD regarding their investigations of the Canagagigue Creek. All of this occurs after the showing of the environmental film that was produced a few short years ago.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

ARE TAG TRAINED LAPDOGS OR ARE THEY TRUE CORPORATE BELIEVERS?

 Two reasons for the above title:  

1) Zero discussion or even mention of the January 2024 Monthly Progress Report. While the Target Pumping Rates for all off-site wells are about 63 litres per second they managed a paltry 37 litres per second. This nonsense is part of the reason that we have not achieved drinking water standards 35 years after the shutdown of our drinking wells in November 1989.

2) Sebastian's two paragraph comments on the gross failures of TAG and public consultation were formally submitted to TAG on February 15/24 as well as being put into the Minutes for both February 2024 and October 2023 on the Township's website (calendar of events along with Agendas & Minutes). Absolutely zero discussion and zero comments at last Thursday's TAG meeting. Good God do they think that closing their eyes and covering their ears means that everybody else does the same?

3)  O.K. maybe a third reason. I'm stumped what it is but somewhere down the road a TAG member  is going to speak about it. Should be interesting.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

TAG MEETING WAS DULL...........& BORING BUT NOT TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT

 Last Thursday evening's TAG meeting sure made it obvious why the public aren't out in droves to watch and learn. There were exactly three of us in the gallery which actually is two more than usual. Discussions centered on contaminated eggs from free range chickens along the Creek. Councillor Schwindt suggested that so called free range chickens really are no such thing even on Old Order Mennonite farms. Sebastian was surprised and said so as he and his family having been buying eggs from the downstream Martin farm for decades. 

There was further discussion from Susan and Wilson regarding the three documents (Dec.7. Dec.20 & Dec. 20) produced by the MECP. I found it dull and not terribly provocative which it should have been. This is the crap of TAG in that only one or two members are assigned to read different reports hence all kinds of important stuff gets missed. I have posted here last month about some of the excellent (albeit years belated) criticisms the Ministry of Environment made. For example neither Susan nor Wilson talked about shovels versus real core samplers being used or about the disgrace of Method Detection Limits being so much higher than health criteria hence reducing both detections and exceedances of those health criteria.

Eventually the RAC & TAG Terms of Reference were reviewed by Nathan. What a pile of pus! Those two intentionally useless bodies are being merged. Gee instead of say seven  nincompoops on RAC and say about ten historically and hydrogeologicaly weak TAG members now we will have twelve of the very same combined on TRAC. Yes the math sucks just about like everything else. Now Sebastian asked and Nathan and company answered that the public will be allowed to speak and ask questions at TRAC. I'm sure that if TRAC pays about ten times as much attention as RAC did in the past (3-4 times/year) and ten times as much attention, comments and questions as TAG did to written comments in the past that TRAC, Lanxess and Woolwich Township will have absolutely zero difficulties in continuing to totally ignore the informed public, the uninformed public and the unwashed masses overall hence ensuring that no effective action whatsoever disturbs the complacency, tranquility and wallets of the guilty parties. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

WOOLWICH REARRANGES THE DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC

 Well it 's at least as bad as it appears. Mayor Sandy and all Lanxess's friends have yet again made changes trying to get ahead of their ongoing environmental failures. Officially last night at the TAG meeting, polluter apologist Nathan Cadeau showed his true colours. He is indeed a piece of work and I predict that his sliminess and worse will make him mayor material down the road. TRAC is the new name for a merging of RAC and TAG both of which have been useless in advancing the public interest over the last 8  1/2 years. Oh and by the way Sebastian's damning two paragraph written comments regarding TAG were also formally submitted to TAG and as they do best were totally ignored. Zero discussion. This is what Sandy and other corrupt politicians call public consultation. It is reprehensible.

We will not have our drinking water aquifers restored to drinking water standards by 2028, the belated, alleged thirty year date after remediation started. No surprise there. When you repeatedly fail to pump and treat the volumes your own consultants tell you are necessary to achieve your goals then how do you expect to succeed? Secondly at this point in time another deadline has passed as Lanxess were supposed to have an answer from their U.S. corporate masters by now as to whether financing is available to remediate at least a couple of the downstream "hotspots" in the Canagagigue Creek.

Perhaps we should start a contest to rename TRAC. I kind of favour "Totally Rotten and Corrupt" although "Teach Residents About Corruption" has a nice ring to it. Also "Teaching Rot And Corruption" also has some merit. Well done Sandy and fellow travellors.   

 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

BRICKS OR ROSES: WHO AT THE TOWNSHIP GETS WHICH?

 Hallelujah! A mere FOUR MONTHS after the fact we the public have the verbatim words of Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, an 8  1/2 year member of TAG, on-line in the Minutes of both last October's PUBLIC!!!  TAG meeting as well as on-line on the Township (Woolwich) website for this month's (i.e. today) TAG meeting. That delay is way beyond unacceptable. It is contemptible and a perfect example of the sham and farce that passes for public consultation/citizen review. Is it mere coincidence that Sebastian's strong words are highly critical of TAG and the entire citizen review process? Here are his words and you the readers can decide for yourselves.  

FIRST OF ALL I'D LIKE TO THANK ROGERS CABLE FOR YOUR CRAPPY PERFORMANCE



"Being on TAG and it's predecessor, CPAC, for over 12 years now, I have experienced first-hand what transpires in terms of the citizens review process. It is deficient, in large measure because of the imbalance between the company, the MECP, and the citizen representatives. This is partly because of the capital the company has at its disposal and, related, the technical expertise it can command. The sad reality is for third parties (eg. GHD) to be unduly influenced by the company's interest; "he who pays the piper calls the tune". The reports and presentations over the years have been favourable to the company. All of these are placed in a format of irrefutable and wholly "objective" science. There is rarely a critical word. Against this, a committee of laypersons- most of whom are not technically proficient in hydrogeology- are overwhelmed with detail and outmanoeuvred. Not surprisingly, they become deferential to appearance rather than really expose the substantive. And what is that? We are just five years away from when the remediation of our groundwater was to be completed. We are at least several decades away from coming even  close to achieving that.

To decrease that timeline, TAG or equivalent need to have more means to challenge the company's performance. Getting more specialists who are not beholden to give truly independent reports would be a start. If that is too much, then at least allow TAG to have whatever report comes from a company-funded consulting group subject to a third-party peer review. These could come from academe or they could come from genuinely autonomous environmental consultants, i.e. out of province. What should also be considered is allowing the silenced to be heard. There are individuals who have first-hand knowledge about the company's activities who have a non-disclosure covenant. They should be allowed to speak publicly. The closer the scrutiny, the more likely that some of the self-serving assumptions and hypotheses cab ne exposed. Only then will a degree of balance return in our relationship and some genuine progress be possible."

Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach