Saturday, June 24, 2017


Uniroyal Chemical knew that the very cheap permanent entombment option for the contents of the Envirodome would never fly. Hence after a 1,000 name Petition was initiated by Jan Ebert and Barb Zupko, they decided to get a "concensus". They formed by invitation only the Excavated Wastes Working Group (EWWG) and presented them with only three mediocre options to choose from. 1) Do nothing - ie. permanent entombment 2) landfill the contents of the Envirodome 3) Thermal Desorption which is a sort of incineration. In April 1998 I'm quoted in the Elmira Independent as stating that Uniroyal simply want to be able to share the blame for the final decision with the folks on the committee. I also predicted (correctly) that the final decision for Uniroyal's Chemical wastes would be in a secure landfill.

Ecologic Inc. were never given a proper chance right from the beginning but then in the middle of the EWWG's deliberations something strange happened. Ecologic who had been pushing to be considered, suddenly backed off. They claimed a change in management and stated that they couldn't deal with Uniroyal's wastes at this time. It was bizarre. Was the fix in somehow? Were backroom promises made? We'll probably never know.

On June 7, 1998 the K-W Record wrote an Editorial titled "Don't Wait: Defuse Toxic Time Bomb". They advised on-site Thermal Desorption
because they didn't want to wait longer for Ecologic nor did they want to bury the stuff in someone else's backyard ie. Sarnia/Corunna

On June 17, 1998 there was an Open House in Elmira displaying the various choices , pros and cons. Bob Burtt of the Record wrote up the article and quoted Dr. Henry Regier and Susan Bryant and also had a photo of Glenys McMullen at the Open House.

In the June 15, 1998 Elmira Independent I wrote a Letter To The Editor with the title "Nothing Short Of A Miracle". It was a tongue in cheek article pointing out how according to Uniroyal Chemical the contents of the Envirodome had over time become less toxic waste and more ordinary soil. Uniroyal quoted some ridiculous figure of 95% or so of the contents now being simply soil. I pointed out the past much lower estimates of soil content and suggested that let's leave everything where it is as it is magically decomposing to natural soil right before our eyes.

All in all it was a public relations coup for Uniroyal with only a modest improvement for our local environment. It did nothing good of course for the environment in the Sarnia/Corunna area and will likely have to be dealt with by future generations. They won't thank us for that.

Friday, June 23, 2017


A phone call was made this morning (before 9 am.) by yours truly to Waterloo North Hydro regarding underground horizontal drilling they are doing on High St. in Elmira. This form of trenching for utilities is becoming more common as it is less disruptive and generally safer as there aren't open trenches involved. As I have recently received a notice myself that Waterloo North Hydro will be doing underground drilling on my street, I had a contact name and phone number available in order to ask questions. The questions I asked were whether they were aware of a closed landfill in the near area and or whether they knew that there was and is a longstanding methane problem . They did not. I have been promised a phone call back before the end of the day.

Having done considerable on-line research regarding landfills and methane production and migration, it is obvious that Woolwich Township have been keeping their cards very close to their vests for decades in regards to the Bolender Landfill located on the north side of the current Bolender Park. The town of Elmira contracted with Mr. Bolender way back in 1962 and leased his low lying property for use as a municipal landfill. Unfortunately they also agreed to accept local industrial wastes under certain conditions. Yes this included Uniroyal Chemical and I'd be very surprised if it didn't also include Varnicolor Chemical.

Among a huge litany of potential problems is the fact that methane can and will migrate off-site by following underground utility corridors. Thus my concern with underground drilling in the area. One can also question additions to homes in the area that might include basement excavations. Or one can even wonder about recent excavations in Bolender Park for the children's splashpad. In the U.S. there have been horrific incidents involving former landfills turned into recreation areas, soccer fields, playgrounds etc.. I have good reason to question the competence and or diligence of Woolwich Councils, past and present, in keeping themselves informed as to the potential problems to property owners, citizens and children surrounding the Bolender Landfill. Hence if they are ill informed it's even less likely that they will be taking appropriate action to mitigate these risks.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Ahh the inevitability of it all. A really bad idea needs some push behind it. I wonder who the big player in all this is? Not. How many Woolwich citizens still believe that Council meetings are not simply orchestrated spectacles for the masses? How many understand that the real work namely lobbying, threats if necessary, bribes and quid pro quos go on ahead of time, behind the scenes? Who checks up on Councillors private (& illegal) meetings outside of Council Chambers? All it takes is a quorum of Council to technically have a "meeting". Who exactly do you think polices this? You're right, absolutely nobody. Then of course there are telephones including conference calls, e-mails, faxes, texting etc. all outside the purview of formal Council meetings.

In my opinion all of this was on display Tuesday evening in Council Chambers. The really bad idea is in regards to either the Elmira By-Pass or industrial "Employment" lands being situated on the east side of Elmira through prime, contaminated agricultural lands. Ask yourselves who the really big winners are if development takes place on the east side farms? How about the polluting corporation and their lap dog regulator, the Ontario Ministry of Environment? We've already seen how much the M.O.E. are willing to sell the farm here in Woolwich in order to cover up their gross negligence regarding multiple destroyers of Elmira's drinking water aquifers. How far will they go in order to cover up their willful blindness to the contamination of neighbouring farms (2) as well as further degradation of the downstream Canagagigue Creek?

Then we have the corporation itself. Uniroyal Chemical, Crompton & Knowles, Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess. For nearly thirty years they have played the game in order to constantly minimize their cleanup of their toxic industrial wastes. The Canagagigue was treated worse than a sewer. The groundwater was contaminated with multiple, carcingenic compounds throughout the length of Elmira. The air was poisonous to plant, animal and human life for decades. How many Elmira citizens have been fumigated over the decades bringing on cancers and other diseases? Through all this Uniroyal/Chemtura, aided and abetted by both the provincial government as well as most of our Woolwich Councils, have lied, deceived, misrepresented, minimized and used their muscle to avoid their legal and moral responsibilities. As soon as the going gets tough with Township Council appointed citizen committees (UPAC & CPAC) the company has cut and run. They did this back in 1999 over air issues and they did it again in late 2014 in regards to the east side contamination of the Stroh farm.

Peculiar in hindsight isn't it that the east side boundary changes were just barely getting going in 2014. Could it also be that the new Council ( with old members-Shantz, Martin & Bowman) realized that along with the screams of misery from Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E., that the current Township appointed CPAC were a serious threat to plans to bury these contaminated soils beneath the proposed Elmira By-Pass?

Lastly we have the only remaining Woolwich newspaper. The Woolwich Observer attended Tuesday evening's Council meeting and Public meeting combined. They heard one Delegation in favour of the east side lands route. This was Stantec Consulting on behalf of Mr. Stroh. Another property owner at the south end of Elmira is unhappy with his lands on both sides of the highway not being included in the expansion boundaries, whether there is west or east side development. Both of these Delegations were noted and written up in today's Woolwich Observer.

There were however two other serious and significant Delegations against east side expansion and development. How odd that neither one of those was even mentioned in today's front page article titled "Development potential the top priority in remapping Woolwich communities". Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach is both a TAG member as well as Vice-Chair of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). He warned about the loss of prime agricultural land as well as about the costs of disposal of highly contaminated land on the east side of Elmira, whether from the Stroh or Martin properties again courtesy of Uniroyal Chemical.

Yours truly also spoke Tuesday evening. I gave written copies of both my text as well as a map of the Uniroyal pits and lagoons on Uniroyal's eastern property line to Councillors and to Steve Kannon of the Observer. I described the chemicals discovered to date in the soils as well as five years plus of Ontario M.O.E. studies indicating the contamination of the Canagagigue Creek sediments, creekbanks and floodplain soils. All of this was conveniently ignored by our sole local newspaper. Does half the ownership of the Woolwich Observer being on Woolwich Council enter into this? Or as I've asked the question before, is there some other reason that the Woolwich Observer appear to have a kid glove policy towards Chemtura Canada that we don't know about? It is all very strange and not in the public interest.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


The picture at the bottom of today's posting was actually posted yesterday afternoon. It is however relevant to today's posting and in fact was up on the overhead screen in Council Chambers last evening while I was giving my Delegation. There were several Delegations regarding the St. Jacobs Boundary Rationalization and four for the Elmira Boundary Rationalization. By the way that phrase Boundary Rationalization is a total croc. It is nothing more than a propaganda phrase as far as I am concerned. To date there has been nothing rational whatsoever about Council's plans to run either a highway or industrial/employment lands up the east side of Chemtura.

One of the owner's of the affected east side lands was represented last evening by a spokesperson from Stantec Consulting. This lady essentially assured Council of her client's willingness and cooperation to assist as well as to the availability of his lands for either employment and or the proposed Elmira by-pass road.

A representative also spoke on behalf of Delmar Martin who owns lands at the south end of Elmira on both sides of the highway. His property certainly appears ideally suited for either a by-pass up the east or the west side of Elmira.

Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach spoke regarding the issues on the east side of Elmira in regards to contaminated lands and the potentially prohibitive costs involved to excavate and dispose of contaminated soils.

During my Delegation I went into a bit of detail as to the exact locations of the former toxic waste pits and their proximity to the farm next door (Stroh). Hence the reason for the below situated map of Chemtura's east side property line with the Stroh farm. This original map which I produced three years ago is approximately 2 feet wide by 3 1/2 feet tall. If there is ever a public inquiry into the corrupt behaviour of the Ontario Ministry of Environment here in Elmira, this map will be a part of it. This map indicates how east side contaminated surface and groundwaters were diverted over onto the neighbour's property and then discharged further downstream into the Canagagigue Creek. In not a perfect world but merely a just world, heads would roll over the facts and information encompassed in this map. It is an indictment of both Uniroyal Chemical and the Ontario M.O.E..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


For decades I've been listening and reading the bullshit peddled to citizens by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, risk assessment experts and other assorted shills for polluting industries. They talk about increased risks of 1 in 100,000 or even 1 in 1,000,000 being perfectly acceptable risks. Bullshit. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries this article titled " 1 in 2 Canadians will get cancer, 1 in 4 will die, report predicts". Doing the math that means that 1 in 8 Canadians cause of death will not be normal age related giving up the ghost; it will be because of cancer.

Cancer is essentially the bodies reaction to inflammation or an irritation whether internal or external. Yes this irritation can be from the sun and it can be from a virus. It can also be from smoking or inhaling a myriad of irritating substances from particulate matter including smog or from chemicals such as Trichloroethylene or Benzene. One in eight of us will die because of it and one in two of us will have at least one bout of cancer in our lifetimes.

This disease in all its' nasty forms is way past being an epidemic. Healthier, younger people due to stronger immune systems can generally keep this disease at bay. The older we get the more likely our immune systems will be weakened both by age and by simply being exposed to so many carcinogenic substances over a period of decades. It is a battle no one wins in that sense. If you live long enough your system and organs wind down and are less capable of responding to stresses.

These stresses are from as earlier stated viruses, sunlight and other relatively "normal" causes. Less normal causes affect the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. Air, food and water routinely and ubiquitously are contaminated with industrial pollutants. They can and do include Dioxins, PCBs, DDT, other pesticides and a whole litany of industrial wastes that are and have been discharged into our soils, waterways and air. Our governments in concert with major corporations and their money and influence have developed a system to defend and legalize pollution allegedly up to certain discharge levels. When companies exceed those criteria then they and their regulators play the site specific risk assessment game whereby the criteria are increased due to allegedly lower exposure and hence risks by human receptors. It's all a sham and a con game. 1 in 100,000 increased cancers my ass. 1 in a million increased cancers by a particular toxic discharge, my ass. It's an epidemic and more and we've brought it upon ourselves by deferring to the professional liars running interference for the professional industrial thieves.

Monday, June 19, 2017



I'm the first to admit that sometimes appearances can be deceiving. In that case however it is incumbent upon the party involved to clearly explain, clarify and enlighten those of us who follow the maxim "If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck.". In the specific case involved it very much looks like corruption and both smells and sounds like corruption. Are our elected municipal representatives so far gone that they believe that they can convince the majority of Woolwich citizens that a horribly bad idea really has merit?

So in the ever ongoing challenge to decipher behaviour of politicians we ask the age old question "Is it gross stupidity and incompetence or are they getting paid off and by whom? In one sense we can at least admire the brass and chutzpah involved if politicians are a hundred miles on the wrong side of an issue in order to personally benefit from it. That at least makes sense to us versus them being a hundred miles on the wrong side of an issue because they've been lobbied into it and they've bought into the really stupid rationale for so doing.

To date the argument in favour of both putting the long proposed Elmira by-pass on the east side of Elmira along with adding so called "employment" lands to Elmira's boundaries is well beyond weak. It is essentially to date a case of trust us we know what we are doing whether or not we've explained why the east side is better than the west side. Woolwich's (Council or Staff) argument in this matter is just about as intelligent and persuasive as was their argument to confiscate part of the community's park in Breslau and sell it to the Catholic School Board.

Costs to build a highway will be higher on the east side due to low lying floodplain and wetlands along the Canagagigue Creek. Costs will be higher due to having to build a major bridge across the same Canagagigue Creek. Finally the kicker is the contaminated Stroh (highly probable) lands and the creek throughout its' length. The contaminated creek sediments, creekbanks and floodplain soils are proven. The Stroh lands contamination are within a whisker of being proven. Soil and groundwater tests have been conducted within a foot or two of their property and the results for various Uniroyal/Chemtura/Lanxess toxic compounds are well in exceedance of applicable criteria.

The appearance is that once more Woolwich Council are the white (black) knights swooping in to save Chemtura (Lanxess) from paying the high price for their environmental degradation of our air, soil and water. The onus is on Council to give an honest, clear, concise explanation for what the hell they are trying to do. So far they aren't even close.