Saturday, February 17, 2018

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATION FOR THE SPLASH PAD IN BOLENDER PARK



This report is dated September 2016 and was produced by CMT Engineering Inc. from St. Clements, Ontario. Last summer here in the Advocate I had indicated that all six Boreholes had indicated "organics" in the Fill that is located just beneath the topsoil and above the native sands, gravels and clays. "Organics" usually refers to plants, vegetables and other foodstuffs. This would include compostable food items that people throw into their backyard composters. Obviously over time these foodstuffs break down and eventually become soil. Afterall this is the basic purpose of backyard composters.

Hence Fill containing well decomposed municipal garbage including paper and foodstuffs probably isn't a problem. Of course municipal wastes with plastics or other non-decomposable items aren't so great. The other problem is that the actual decomposition of foodstuffs produces methane gas and this is a significant problem in the Bolender Park landfill as it is explosive.

I have just reread the Geotechnical Investigation done by CMT Engineering Inc. Additional information is as follows. Soils intermixed with organics are not good load bearing soils. Thus on page 5 of the report they suggest that soils with Gravels in them "Should be inspected during construction to be free of organics and topsoil". All six Borehole Logs (Appendix A) also refer to decomposed plant fibres as being mixed in with the Fill. This Fill which essentially is non-native soil brought in literally to build up or elevate low lying areas also had pieces of asphalt in it at Borehole 4a. This indicates that municipal garbage has been dumped in Bolender Park in it's low lying areas to build it up out of the floodplain of the Canagagigue Creek.

I find it very unlikely that the Township paid for an outside contractor to bring in "clean fill" to build up the Bolender Park prior to turning it into a Park. It was all private land owned by Cecil Bolender who also owned the adjacent land to the north which he leased to the Township to be used as a municipal/industrial landfill. The clean fill was much more likely to be relatively clean municipal wastes brought from next door to raise the elevation of the future parkland. Mr. Bolender eventually gave the southern part of his property to the Township to be turned into a park and named after him. The northern part encompassing the greatest amount of municipal and industrial garbage he sold to Chris Paleshi who ran a garage and auto wrecking yard on the western part of it.

Friday, February 16, 2018

LANXESS - SAME BEHAVIOUR AS THEIR PREDECESSORS



Yesterday's Woolwich Observer carries the following story titled "Telling the story of Elmira's contaminated water crisis". It is about a new Documentary by Videographers Bonita Wagler and Michael Heitmann. This Documentary has been in process for close to five years and has entailed ongoing interviews and attendance at public CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee) meetings as well as RAC and TAG meetings (Remediation Advisory Committee & Technical Advisory Group). Michael and Bonita have worked very hard to give all stakeholders input into their Documentary unlike Chemtura (Lanxess), the Ministry of Environment and Woolwich Council; all who have made that claim while discriminating against the current CPAC membership including myself.

Allegedly Lanxess are upset with footage from interviews done with their now retired employee, Jeff Merriman. Jeff was the spokesperson for Crompton, Chemtura and Lanxess for decades. As typical he presented in the Documentary a very positive view of his employers over the entire time period. In fact I find it difficult to believe that Jeff is their problem. My suspicion is that they just don't like the fact that all the other stakeholders also get to speak in this Documentary, including those with little love for the company.

This has been the history of this company from day one. They intentionally, wilfully and negligently dumped hazardous wastes into and around the Canagagigue Creek for decades and they did it to save expenses on proper toxic waste treatment. But that wasn't good enough. When the obviously predictable results ensued, then they wanted to be treated with deference and respect because afterall they have money and its' accompanying status and power. Twice they abandoned publicly meeting with CPAC because the Woolwich citizens involved had the temerity to criticize their environmental behaviour or lack thereof.

The history of this company and the harm they have done environmentally can never be fully undone. Unhealthy and in fact lethal air, soil, ground and surface water damage is their legacy. Wildlife and human beings have suffered and died simply to enhance their profits. As far as I'm concerned, Uniroyal and their descendants can go to hell.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

OFFSITE PUMPING INADEQUATE AS IS CONTAINMENT OF EAST SIDE CONTAMINANTS




The amazing thing is these problems were discussed in 2005. It was another seven to nine years before CPAC under Dr. Dan Holt blew both issues wide open. We now know thanks to Dr. Gail Krantzberg, Peter Gray (MTE), myself and the rest of CPAC at that time that the 2028 cleanup deadline for the Elmira Aquifers will not happen and that contaminants have been diverted eastwards and southwards where they eventually flow back into the Canagagigue Creek.

In the June 3, 2005 Elmira Independent issue, Dr. Henry Regier took Crompton and Conestoga Rovers to task for their "North-east Groundwater Surface water Interaction and Assessment Report". Henry stated "My bottom line is, I don't find much useful information in this report...". He further added "It was done in such a way as not to find something". At that time we had no idea of the existence of the Stroh Drain just to the east nor did we know of the possibility of an Interceptor Trench or pipeline carrying contaminated Uniroyal/Crompton groundwater eastwards and southwards. In 2005 we did know however that the gross contamination on the east side had to be going somewhere.

In the July 13, 2005 K-W Record we were advised that "Agent Orange victims launch suit". This was in regards to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. At the moment I expect that this suit is still before the courts based upon their inability to do anything in a timely manner. Orperhaps there has been a settlement.

The October 1, 2005 Woolwich Observer advised us that "Crompton site remediation behind schedule". Wilf Ruland expressed his grave concern with the failure of Crompton to keep the off-asite pumping wells going at their full target rates over the long term. Of course jeff merriman gave the excuse that ammonia in the groundwater was holding their pumping back as it couldn't be treated and was harmful to discharge into the creek. Funny how he "forgot" that their consultants CRA had minimized the ammonia problems and assured everybody that a little polishing in the Region of Waterloo Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant for a couple of years would handle the problem. As usual CRA were talking through their hats.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2005 CREEKBANK CLEANUP & DR. REGIER JOINS THE EH-TEAM



Crompton under the direction of their new General Manager Ron Lackner announced the upcoming removal and excavation of parts of their highly contaminated south-west creek banks as well as part of the island located there. This was intended to reduce erosion of soils contaminated with Dioxins and DDT from moving downstream. These compounds had been deposited along the creekbanks and the island via groundwater grossly contaminated with solvents and hence capable of transporting these hydrophobic compounds.

Dr. Henry Regier departed from APT Environment and joined the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team in 2005. While he was welcomed within the EH-Team by Richard Clausi and myself, I did have concerns regarding "poaching" him from APTE. I phoned Susan Bryant and to my astonishment Susan had absolutely zero concerns with his departure from APTE and in fact welcomed his joining the EH-Team. It took me many years to finally figure that one out.

During this year (2005) we had a meeting of the Soil & Water Sub-Committee of CPAC at Dr. Regier's home. At that time the members were Fred Hager, Henry , myself and Susan Bryant. Somewhat slightly to our surprise Susan showed up with the CPAC Chair Pat McLean. No big deal however unusual as Pat was way out of her league and comfort level. During the discussion I commented in general that we all had to a certain extent been co-opted by the process and were tacitly accepting the snail like "progress" and other bureaucratic behaviours exhibited by both Crompton and the Ontario Ministry of Environment. To the astonishment of Fred, Henry and I, Susan went ballistic! I made it clear that my comments were for everyone, myself included, and that it was almost an inevitable consequence of sitting down with the polluter and regulators on their terms and dealing with them. Susan was not to be mollified and stormed out. Five minutes later, after giving the rest of us a lecture, so did Pat . Fred, Henry and I were astounded for a second time. Again it was to be years later before I figured out exactly what was afoot.

There was a public meeting at Lions Hall on March 23, 2005 to discuss the causes of the June 11, 2004 major fire at Crompton. We were advised that the causes were unknown. Well! Hindsight being 20/20 I wonder if the presence of methane from the on-site, south-west corner, former municipal landfill namely M2 could have been either the cause or an aggravating factor.

On July 19, 2006 there was yet another fire and explosion in the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO).

In August 2006 I wrote an absolutely devastating DNAPL critique which hammered CRA and Crompton for studiously avoiding all the DNAPL evidence and scientific knowledge available while constantly minimizing the presence of either residual or free phase DNAPL on their site. To this day that critique has never been given the attention it deserves. In fact again in hindsight I expect that it was a major cause of the behaviour of Pat and Susan the following year to have me extricated from CPAC. By that time Henry had resigned from CPAC due to hearing issues leaving me with one less trusted supporter on the committee. At that time when it came to politics I was as much out of my depth as Pat was and is with groundwater and or any technical issues surrounding it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WOOLWICH COUNCIL CLOAK THEIR BEHAVIOUR BY CLAIMING PRECEDENTS & CONSULTATION WITH HIGHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT



Tonite's Council meeting will discuss a Council Vacancy Policy produced by the Township Clerk, Val Hummel. Essentially this Council owns Val as they could have and maybe should have fired her three years ago for not doing her legislated duties in regards to the Municipal Elections Act (MEA). Councillor Mark Bauman in particular should have had the riot act read to him by both Val and her predecessor, Christine Broughton. Mark had repeatedly contravened the MEA by not, post election, filing Election Financial Statements with the Clerk and for public display. This of course is one more major weakness in provincial legislation in that it assumes that the Municipal Clerk, who is hired and can be fired by the CAO of the Municipality, is somehow independent and owes a duty to provincial legislation even when it is in direct conflict with her duty of loyalty to her employers, the Municipality.

On the first page of the Council Vacancy Policy we see Val hiding behind the Vacancy Policies of other communities such as Barrie, Vaughn and South-Oxford. Similarly the Ontario Municipal Act 2001 was quoted at the last Council meeting as the authority for Council not simply appointing the first runner-up in Ward 1 to the Council seat vacated by Ward 1 Councillor Scott Hahn. Again this provincial legislation is inadequate in allowing self-serving councils to have complete authority and discretion to literally appoint anybody they want. The legislation is wide open in that runner-ups can be appointed as can citizens applying for the vacancy or believe it or not, Councils supposedly reaching out at random to any citizen they wish, and giving them the nod without any alleged input from them. Essentially this section of the Municipal Act is an inappropriate and undemocratic gift to any Councils who want their friends, buddies or fellow travellors on Council with them. This is a bone and a perk from the higher tier of government to the lower.

Woolwich Council sincerely thank the province of Ontario for this perk. Now they can hide behind other self-serving politicians further up the food chain, in order to avoid the embarrassment of having to appoint the runner-up, Dr. Dan Holt, to Council. Dr. Holt via Council's own stupidity (see last Thursday's Advocate posting) publicly humiliated this Council two years ago when they attempted to stifle democracy and deny citizens right to attend Council and speak to them as Delegates. Sandy Shantz actually went so far as to suggest that Council was not a "soapbox.". Lynne Hare in her Delegation two weeks later assured Sandy that in fact it was a soapbox for citizens to address their concerns and complaints directly to Council.

Monday, February 12, 2018

ASSOCIATION BETWEEN SPECIFIC HEALTH OUTCOMES & EXPOSURE TO HERBICIDES



The herbicides mentioned in the title and in Table 1. refers to the major herbicides used in Vietnam namely 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T and its' contaminant 2,3,7,8-TCDD ie. Dioxin, cacodylic acid and picloram. This Table and the background information came from a good friend and environmental colleague now living in Guelph. The following health outcomes are described as having "Sufficient Evidence of an Association".

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Soft-tissue sarcome

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Hodgkin's disease

Chloracne

We then have "Limited or Suggestive Evidence of an Association" namely:

Respiratory cancer (lung & brochus, larnyx, and trachea)

Prostate cancer

Multiple myeloma

Acute and subacute transient peripheral neuropathy (ie. tingling, numbness etc. in the hands & feet)

Porphyria cutanea tarda (no idea what that is)

Type 2 diabetes

Spina bifida in the children of veterans


There are numerous other suspected health outcomes although they are referred to as "Inadequate or Insufficient Evidence to Determine Whether an Association Exists".

Keep in mind that these health outcomes are in regards to Herbicides used in Vietnam during the war between the U.S. and Vietnam. Currently the U.S. and Canada are involved in remediation efforts along with Hatfield Consultants for the purpose of removing still toxic Agent Orange and Dioxins.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

HANDLING OF METHANE CONCERNS TO DATE HAS BEEN INADEQUATE



Last Monday here in the Advocate I posted that there had been some good news from Woolwich Township regarding efforts and actions in response to my five Delegations to Council last fall. I had immediately responded with a thank you to the individual responsible for sending the news along to me. I also advised that I would receive a copy of a Staff Report which is a response to my list of 40 questions given to Woolwich staff, Council and as well a copy to the ministry of Environment last mid November. This staff report is to be supplied to me a week before Council discusses it at the March 6, 2018 Council meeting.

The good news I received was that work was being undertaken in regards to the Bolender Park landfill. I was concerned because I knew that there was a stalemate going on as far as either monitoring current gas probes on the #86 Auto Recycling property or as far as constructing a new passive gas collection system on the site. My hope was that the work underway might be in regards to putting many new probes off the #86 Auto recycling site but around the approximate perimeter of the Landfill and or either doing test pits again off the #86 Auto Recycling site either southwards into the Bolender Park itself or possibly eastwards in and around the homes on High St..

Well despite my quick thanks for the e-mail I received, a more detailed examination was disturbing. Three of the five items staff are working on essentially stated that staff are continuing to work with 86 Auto to obtain either access or permission to the site. Items four and five start with "We plan to install a probe...". These two probes are 1) just north of the Landfill near Elmira Pet Products and 2) just south of the #86 Auto Recycling property within Bolender Park itself. So in other words no actual physical work in and around the Bolender Park Landfill has started yet. Make no mistake however in that I applaud the decision to look both north and south of the Landfill as I have strongly suggested. My only question is as you don't need any permission from anyone to install these probes, then what have you been waiting for? You literally had months prior to frost getting into the ground last December when this could have been done.

Hence the March 6 Staff report will allegedly be answers to "some" of my questions. After this many months there is no reason except embarrassment and hopefully shame that all of my questions couldn't be answered straightforwardly and honestly.