Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The evidence of M.O.E. corruption is overwhelming. There is even circumstantial evidence that indicates that NDMA was not suddenly "discovered" in November 1989 via sampling (for the first time) of our south wellfield drinking wells. It's presence at Uniroyal Chemical had been known since the 1970s. Other solvents had been found in Elmira's drinking wells prior to the "discovery" of NDMA.
Currently the Ontario M.O.E. have been sitting on gross contamination in Canagagigue Creek for over two decades. They participated in limited cleanups of creekbanks on the Uniroyal/Crompton/Chemtura property in the mid 2000s but did not follow up a few years later to see if there had been significant improvement in the creek. There has not been. In fact many of the sampling results since 2012 are worse. Clearly the amount of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the natural environment, courtesy of Uniroyal Chemical, is greater than we the public have ever been advised. Yes Dorothy lying to the public is one form of corruption.
Some of the Dioxins/Furans and DDT are undoubtedly still coming from the creekbanks that run through the Chemtura property. This would include both the east and the west side creekbanks. PCBs and Mercury may or may not be directly attributed to Uniroyal Chemical. Decades of dealing directly with professional liars makes it impossible anymore to know when they are telling the truth and when they are up to their old tricks. Extremely limited evidence exists to suspect PCBs may indeed be from the Uniroyal/Chemtura site. Indirect evidence exists that Uniroyal PCBs may have been transferred off-site and then introduced into the natural environment via our other very well known local polluter, Varnicolor Chemical. Again even if Chemtura were willing to once again sit down with local citizens and the public and answer questions is of limited value. See my earlier comments referring to professional liars.
The east side of the Canagagigue Creek running through the Uniroyal/Chemtura property was never hydraulically contained. APT Environment, primarily but not likely totally, resigned from UPAC in June 1994 over the issue of the lack of complete Upper Aquifer hydraulic containment as had been initially promised. We were dumbfounded by the reversal and blatant broken promises in the Control Order of complete containment of all aquifers on the Uniroyal site.
Starting in 2014 I discovered the reason why the Ontario Ministry of Environment went along with this betrayal of the public. They knew that a significant amount of the gross east side contamination was not running due west down the steep slope into the Canagagigue Creek on-site, either via overland surface water travel or sub-surface groundwater. They knew as I discovered in 2014 that firstly there was a contaminant pathway both southwards and eastwards. It was the Stroh Drain probably built around 1985-86 when there was already massive cleanup and removal of buried pits and ponds underway, just prior to ostensibly "discovering" NDMA in the south wellfield. Secondly they knew the basic topography was not as Uniroyal Chemical had stated and implied. In other words everything did not flow from the high ground on the east side of their site either due west directly to the creek or due south into GP1 & 2 in their south-east corner. That high ground on the east side is indeed high ground in all directions including from further east. Uniroyal's toxic compounds had been flowing eastwards from the RPE (Retention Pit East) pits directly onto the Stroh fields and farmland almost from the first day of their operations.
Then there was likely a third reason the Ontario M.O.E. went along with the plan not to hydraulically contain the east side of the creek in 1994. There is visual evidence (Google Earth & Waterloo GIS) of manmade structures running from the north end of Chemtura (Church St.) southwards and eastwards across their property line with the Stroh farm just below (south) of RPE5. These structures or lines do not appear in any aerial photographs or satellite images (if even possible then) I have going back to the 50s, 60s or 70s. I believe that some form of Interceptor Trench was most likely built in the late 80s or very early 90s to intercept toxic groundwater discharging from the east pits and running westwards towards the creek. While there is a Surficial Aquifer in the north-east corner, the Upper Aquifer does exist further south in the area of RPE 4 & 5. This visual manmade structure could be something other than an Interceptor Trench such as the "Waterloo Barrier" invented by the University of Waterloo although I am doubtful.
To date the most we've received from direct questions to Chemtura on this matter are ridiculous comments such as a cattle fence, wildlife fence etc.. It is obvious that the Ontario M.O.E. could have investigated and put this matter to rest. Instead they and Chemtura with support from two idiot (or corrupt?) Woolwich Councillors instead chose to shut CPAC down after the October 2014 municipal election. That this matter has not remotely been addressed by the M.O.E., considering the impact and ramifications, is an abomination. This is one guilty party (M.O.E.) pretending to investigate another (Chemtura). This is what happens when a corrupt organization have a monopoly on access, data, facts, and the entire process of investigation, clean up and remediation.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
I wonder when the conflict of interest queens will get it. They have sold out Woolwich volunteers and friends and for what? To be preeminent? To be the top dog as far as representing Woolwich residents at Chemtura public meetings? Wow! Guess what? You're right back at zero. You are sitting on a committee with no power and little influence. You no longer have access to Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. You did sit as TAG representatives to RAC for a grand total of what, six meetings? Oooh! I mean that is if you both attended all six which is unlikely given your attendance records over the last six years. The new TAG reps are Sebastian and Dave Hofbauer. They will do a good job and more importantly they'll do it honestly and transparently. No backroom secret meetings and no backroom scheming for their own aggrandizement. Will Susan and Pat beg Chemtura to again sit with them privately as they did during the CPAC of 2011 to 2015? They called their private meetings with Chemtura the ACC or APTE-Chemtura Committee.
The RAC group consisting of the Region of Waterloo, Grand River Conservation Authority, Woolwich Township, Ministry of Environment and Chemtura, meet on Tuesday March 14/17 at 5 pm. in Woolwich Council Chambers. Mark and Sandy are the co-chairs. When Dr. Richard Jackson was TAG Chair and one of the three TAG reps, things were always exciting. He took delight in telling the blunt and straightforward truth. Chemtura and the M.O.E. squirmed. Nobody on RAC contradicted him effectively albeit Chemtura and the M.O.E. tried. The problem was that Dr. Jackson had both truth, credentials and vast experience on his side.
Overall I have been thrilled with RAC and TAG compared to my expectations of both in the summer of 2015. Dr. Dick (Richard) Jackson was amazing. He took a bunch of newbies and showed them the truth. He showed them what deceivers and manipulators Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E. were. It took him apparently all of five minutes to grasp the big picture and to hone in on the reality of the decades long pretend public consultation and alleged cleanup of the creek and aquifers.
I have to wonder as to whether TAG will continue their strong and aggressive stance. While all of Dr. Jackson's positions and recommendations to RAC were technically sound and sensible; he resigned due to public policy issues blocking progress, not due to technical issues. The public policy issues translates into M.O.E. intransigence, incompetence and my words not Dr. Jackson's :corruption.
I have also been pleasantly surprised that the conflict of interest queens have to date made zero public attempts to undermine Dr. Jackson or heaven help them disagree with him technically. Susan did criticize publicly on one occasion his harsh words for Terri Buhlman (M.O.E.). Despite my first paragraph I also have noticed some serious attempts at TAG and past RAC meetings by them to get improvements in Chemtura's and the M.O.E.'s downstream creek testing as well as their east side off-site (Stroh farm) sampling. Apparently when certain topics aren't on Chemtura's Do Not Talk list (eg. DNAPLS, Interceptor Trenches, phony GP1 excavation) then Pat and Susan can do good work.
RAC on their own without TAG are hopeless. The GRCA and Woolwich have little or no understanding of the contamination issues. The Region of Waterloo do although they have made their share of private deals as well; not always in the publics' best interests. TAG under Dick Jackson was making huge inroads into RAC. RAC could have some small influence on the M.O.E. and the province of Ontario if they step up and speak as one voice. The public desperately need TAG to resume their strong and aggressive stance. Anything less and they will be steamrolled by bureaucratic inertia, lethargy and corruption.
Monday, February 20, 2017
First off there is indeed Dioxin contamination at Grassy Narrows. Not surprising when one understands the pulp and paper processes used combined with the "disposal" of wastes generated by it. This was determined via fish and meat testing done in 2004 which indicated both Dioxins/Furans and Mercury in various species of wildlife including jackfish, whitefish, pickerel, lynx, fox, beaver, muskrat, mink ducks, geese and more.
As recently as last year further studies have indicated that there appears to be on-going low level Mercury contamination into the river. This may be from the upriver point source, the former Reed paper mill, or from upstream contaminated sediments still being flushed downstream. A Dr. Rudd has proposed two different forms of remediation namely Enhanced Natural Recovery (ENR) as well as
nitrate injection to prevent bacteria from producing methyl mercury.
To date our provincial Liberal government are, like all their predecessors, long on talk and study and short on remediation money. Does this ring any bells here in Elmira?
The suffering, pain and health damage in and throughout the English-Wabigoon river system is acute. It includes human and wildlife suffering and is the direct result of human and corporate greed and incompetence combined with little or no government oversight. We in Canada pay taxes through the nose and primarily instead of oversight and necessary control we receive puffery, false assurances and non-enforcement of laws allegedly designed to protect the public. Funny isn't it how the ones usually "protected" are the powerful, the wealthy, the guilty and the politically connected.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
There is Mercury contamination in the local river/creek. The Ontario government through their Ministry of Environment are ultimately responsible. The closest inhabitants to the contamination are primarily viewed by the province and senior politicians as having very little influence or public support. Monitoring, testing, polite words are used by the government while prevaricating to the local citizens. Cleanup is often talked about but rarely occurs. Local politicians have run interference between the upset citizens and those responsible for the contamination.
There are differences. Here in Elmira we also have Dioxins/Furans, P.C.B.s and DDT above federal criteria in our creek sediments, benthic organisms and fish; all in the Canagagigue Creek. While pulp and paper mills have a reputation for discharging chlorinated dioxins as part of their bleaching process I am not aware as to this having occurred in the English-Wabigoon River system of which Grassy Narrows is a part. Here we have had pretend "public consultation" for the last couple of decades plus. I'm doubtful that the residents of Grassy Narrows would waste their time talking forever to the professional liars running the Ontario Ministry of Environment. Our local polluter Uniroyal/Chemtura have spent big sums of money on consultants and studies that were not necessary in order to clean up their discharges. Here the responsible (ie. guilty) party has played the game very well. They and their partners in pollution, the M.O.E., have worked together to accomplish what my friend Richard Clausi loves to quote: "When all is said and done, more was said than was done.".
The latest article in the Waterloo Region Record is titled "More mercury testing at Grassy Narrows" and was published last Tuesday.
Friday, February 17, 2017
It was difficult to watch. It could even have been called a little bit painful. There was no one present sitting at the Council Table last evening to blame for the situation. Any blame assigned would fall on the shoulders of the four TAG members not present plus Sandy Shantz sitting in the last row of the gallery. She and Councillor Mark Bauman presented a "manufactured" crisis two years ago as the basis for removing dedicated, experienced, competent and professional Woolwich citizens from the Council appointed Chemtura Public Advisory Committee. The "crisis" was Chemtura and the M.O.E. failing to attend public CPAC meetings after the new Council was elected and the irony now is incredible. CPAC continues on as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee. It is not a committee of Woolwich Council. Chemtura and the M.O.E. still aren't attending CPAC's replacement, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). They attend a total of four RAC (Remediation Advisory Committee) meetings a year namely September, December, March and June.
TAG did not have a quorum last night. Three formally appointed TAG members showed up namely Joe Kelly, Linda Dickson and Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach. Of the four who did not attend it is the second meeting in a row that both Pat Mclean and Susan Bryant were not present. Such blatant hypocrites. Is it that their wee noses are out of joint? They were replaced, as per Dr. Jackson's promise, by Sebastian and David Hofbauer as the two TAG representatives to RAC for the next year. Or is it just too delicious for them to have once again back doored Woolwich volunteers with the new Council in 2014 in order to get themselves reappointed to the Council appointed public consultation body dealing with Chemtura's contamination? They accomplished their goal but now attending TAG meetings is awfully time consuming and onerous don't you know. Disgusting and disgraceful behaviour.
Chemtura and the M.O.E. attended a few TAG meetings in late 2015 and in 2016. Dr. Jackson the TAG Chair (then), absolutely eviscerated Terri Buhlman (M.O.E.) for her deception, double talk and overall bullshit. Now Chemtura and the M.O.E. are again not attending Woolwich Council appointed citizens (TAG) dealing with the Uniroyal/Chemtura contamination.
Sandy Shantz should be down on her knees begging forgiveness of CPAC for removing and defaming them. Is she so thick that she still hasn't figured out how badly she got played by Susan and Pat? And by Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment? Or in the alternative does she know full well exactly what she's done and is pleased to have let Chemtura off the hook?
None of this is to blame the new TAG members. Or the newest Chair, Tiffany Svensson. They are in an impossible situation. While Pat and Susan have, mostly but not completely behind the scenes, vociferously attacked and vilified the CPAC members who replaced them in early 2011; CPAC have showed much more class. We have embraced the new TAG members as citizen volunteers educating themselves and doing their civic duty on these serious local matters.
Tiffany Svensson has extraordinarily big shoes to fill in replacing Dr. Richard Jackson as TAG Chair. He is a giant in his field with a working lifetime of first hand environmental experience dealing with many grossly contaminated sites. He also has a strong personality and cuts right through the heavy duty bullshit that magnifies and flourishes here in Woolwich Township. Do I believe after such a short introduction and time that Tiffany Svensson is up to the job? I do although the next few TAG and RAC meetings are crucial. She will attend the March 14th RAC meeting along with the two new TAG reps. Dr. Dan Holt should almost be proud of the fact that it has taken two highly, technically qualified persons to assume the Chairperson's position after himself. Dr. Dan did a great job and continues as Chair of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC).
Last evening TAG consisted of a brand new Chair plus two of three members with but sixteen months experience on the Chemtura file. As much as I don't want to flatter Susan Bryant, the reality is that if present she could have gotten the meeting on to the really current and urgent business. Even Pat Mclean while technically incompetent could have pushed discussion onto contamination in the fish in the creek or onto the blatantly biased sampling locations proposed for the Stroh farm. If either Chemtura or the M.O.E. had been present, TAG members and Chair could have asked them pointed questions regarding those matters.
These folks were not present. Viv, Graham, myself and Sebastian from CPAC were all present last evening. CPAC members faithfully attended CPAC meetings from early 2011 until August 2015. I hope Mark and Sandy that you are well satisfied with your efforts.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
DDT & Metabolites concentrations are much higher Downstream of Elmira in Carp in the Canagagigue than they are Upstream of Elmira. The same thing does not go for either P.C.B.s or Mercury in Carp found Downstream and Upstream of Elmira. The Dioxin data is inadequate Upstream to be certain although Downstream concentrations of total TEQ (PCB & Dioxin/Furan) exceed the CCME (Cnd. Council of Ministers of the Environment) criteria by a large stretch. Dioxins consistently contribute far more to the Total TEQ in fish than P.C.B.s although they (P.C.B.s) are a significant contributor just as consistently.
White Suckers also had their TEQ calculated much more often Downstream than Upstream. That said the Upstream TEQ was very close to the Downstream multiple TEQ values in Suckers. Both P.C.B.s and Mercury had amazingly similar concentrations in fish tissues Upstream and Downstream of Elmira in the Canagagigue Creek. Again DDT & Metabolites are the exception. Their Downstream values are much higher than their Upstream values. While these fish are certainly mobile there are constraints by the Woolwich Dam perhaps a mile or two upstream and the small dam (for firefighting purposes) on the Uniroyal/Chemtura property. Fish can go over these dams once only as they certainly can't travel back above them. Therefore is the M.O.E.'s definition of Downstream and Upstream perhaps a little deceiving here? How is this possible that some chemicals are found in fish at similar concentrations "Upstream" and "Downstream" and others are not? Are there other sources than Umiroyal/Chemtura for P.C.B.s and Mercury upstream ?
These previous fish are referred to as "Sport Fish" by the M.O.E.. "Forage Fish" are the shiners, creek chubb and bluntnose minnows. Their sampling was totally ridiculous to come to any overall conclusions regarding "forage fish" in general however we can see some patterns with shiners. From downstream of the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant (right at the bottom or south end of Chemtura) the Toxic Equivalency Quotient (TEQ) is much higher all the way down the creek to the Grand River than it is both upstream of Elmira and upstream of the Woolwich Dam. P.C.B.s alone are higher from the New Jerusalem Rd. all the way as well down to the Grand River. Interestingly they are higher at the New Jerusalem Rd. not just below the Elmira STP. Is it possible that we have another source here as well? A source that enters the Canagagigue Creek just below Chemtura Canada's property? Two or three come to mind however all three were recipients of Uniroyal's (& others toxic wastes).
Mercury is simply at Traces levels in all three Forage fish unlike in Carp and Suckers.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
First off the broad picture. Common Carp and White suckers were only assigned two locations namely Upstream of Elmira and Downstream of Elmira. In comparison Shiners, Chubb, and Bluntnose Minnows were assigned six different locations, sort of. These were Upstream of the Woolwich Reservoir, Downstream of the Woolwich Reservoir, Downstream of the STP (Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant), New Jerusalem Rd., Northfield Dr. (#22), and Jigs Hollow Rd. (#46).
Sport Fish (allegedly) namely White Suckers and Carp were tested more or less equally regarding sampling for DDT & Metabolites, Dioxins/Furans, P.C.Bs and Mercury. The exception would be the lack of testing for Total TEQ or Toxic Equivalency Quotient for Dioxins/Furans and P.C.B.s combined, Upstream of Elmira. The one test done did have a significant TEQ for both fish. Significant in that it exceeded the fish tissue residue Guidelines.
Forage Fish namely Shiners, Chubb and bluntnose Minnows on the other hand were not tested more or less equally for the four previously mentioned parameters. Shiners were tested for all of them in five of the six possible locations. The exception was Upstream of the Woolwich Reservoir where they were not tested. Chubb were only tested in one location namely Downstream of the Woolwich Reservoir and not for total or combined TEQ of Dioxins/Furans and P.C.B.s. . Bluntnose Minnows were tested for all four parameters in only one location namely Upstream of the Woolwich Reservoir. Obviously detailed comparing of toxic contaminants by either species or location is impossible under these circumstances. It appears to me that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment have done it again ie. intentionally producing a psuedo scientific document that they can and will interpret any way that they want.
Some comparisons are possible. Carp are the prizewinners for both size of fish and size of toxic contaminant load. No surprise there. I am a little surprised with the distribution of Mercury. It is high both upstream and downstream of Elmira. Both these locations however are presumably defined as below the Woolwich Dam. While the highest TEQ was in Carp Downstream of Elmira, Shiners were a surprise. While having only one reading for five locations they were extremely high beating most of the Carp TEQs.
Carp had extremely high DDT & Metabolites concentrations in their residues Downstream of Elmira. That said again Shiners were a surprise, tieing and then exceeding the highest Carp concentrations of DDT & Metabolites at Northfield Dr. (tied) and at New Jerusalem Rd. (exceeded).
P.C.B.s are also a surprise. Shiners had their highest concentrations at New Jerusalem Rd. (96-110 ppb.). Carp were the prizewinners however UPSTREAM of Elmira with readings between 46 and 210 parts per billion (ppb.).
Also of a surprise are a TEQ in Bluntnose Minnows Upstream of Elmira of 1.2843. I find this strange and wonder where it's coming from. Keep in mind it's essentially impossible for fish living below the Woolwich Dam to get upstream past the Dam. Further analysis will continue.