As This Blog Now Appears Dedicated To Publishing My New Book (as titled above), Readers May Find That I Will Be Posting More Articles Relevant To This Blog On My Other Blog known As The Elmira Advocate. It Can Either Be Googled Or Found At www.elmiraadvocate.blogspot.com
TABLE OF CONTENTS
49 ....The New UPAC
52 ....Old Problems Not Resolved
55 ....Nutrite and Ammonia
55 ....More on the Stench
57 ....DNAPLS, Optimization, Spills and Ammonia Treatment
The New UPAC
There were other reasons besides trusting Susan Bryant, that caused me to accept Art Fletcher’s invitation to return to the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee after a six year absence. Keep in mind the absence was not physical, it was simply as a voting member of UPAC. As of right now, I am and have been a member for the last few years of what is now known as the Citizens Public Advisory Committee [CPAC] and am thrilled. I am even more thrilled that I am not a member of a committee of a corrupt, incompetent, and biased Woolwich Council. Never again.
I had just finished a nasty four week long civil trial in the early summer of 1999 with the decision handed down in late August. The civil trial was instigated by a teacher who freely admitted to suffering from either emotional or mental difficulties. During the trial and afterwards, I had been abandoned by the Record. Abandoned in order for them to save their own skins. Abandoned to the point that while reporter Diane Wood was present in court each day, she was not having her stories published as the trial progressed. Or perhaps she wasn’t filing stories every day or at all. I don’t know. What I do know is that the dishonourable Robert Reilly felt confident in flatly stating in his eighty-six page decision that he had rejected the testimony of my seven or eight witnesses outright. I am extremely doubtful that he would have or could have done so if the Record had published accounts of the honest and strong evidence from these mothers and fathers who testified against the Plaintiff in this civil trial. If the Record had published accounts especially during the trial, his decision would have been a laughingstock . The judge knew that the Record had rolled over. These defence witnesses were all cross-examined to no avail by the Plaintiff’s lawyer. He was spectacularly unsuccessful in either shaking their testimony or in establishing any improper motives or reasons for their testifying against his client. This did not shake either the bias or unsound thinking of the judge.
From this background I was asked to rejoin UPAC as a voting member. I should have flatly refused based upon their recent asinine decision to become a committee of council. In March, my daughter, Katie, was invited to sit at UPAC as a student representative from Elmira District Secondary School. While this did not affect my decision to rejoin UPAC, it certainly made it more palatable after the fact.
UPAC members were embroiled in another controversy by early February 2000 as they were trying to understand how Uniroyal could spill thousands of gallons of toluene, which flooded the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). This spill into Uniroyal’s waste water going to the Elmira STP killed the bacteria used to break down the municipal sewage, resulting in the release of thousands of gallons of partially treated sewage and toluene into the Canagagigue Creek. Uniroyal failed to promptly notify STP personnel or anyone else that they had had a major spill of toluene resulting in damage to the STP as well as to the Mannheim Water Treatment Centre in Kitchener, causing it to be shut down for at least two weeks. Basements in nearby homes in Elmira were flooded with sewage courtesy of this Uniroyal mess.
By February 25, 2000, Julie Sawyer reporter for the Elmira Independent stated that UPAC were pushing Uniroyal and the MOE hard for answers. Ron Ormson, in the same article, suggested charges be laid against the company. Dr. Henry Regier was quoted as saying “This is a crisis .…due diligence went right down the drain on this one."75 In it Esther Thur stated, “It’s our health. What about our drinking water?"76 Unsurprisingly considering the heat he was under, David Ash again stated in the Woolwich Observer that “the company has no intention of ever attending another meeting of the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee.” This decision was absurd both in hindsight and even at the time. Uniroyal Chemical was simply heaping coals on their already burning public image. Was Mr. Ash
deflecting concerns or comments that Uniroyal managers were behind UPAC’s recent conversion to being a committee of Woolwich Council?
At a CPAC meeting in late March 2000, the new owners of Uniroyal, namely Crompton Co., were having a difficult time over their spill of toluene. Based on the colour of the liquid it was being referred to as the “pink spill.” Pat McLean, David Ireland of the MOE, Henry Regier of APT and myself representing the (EH-Team) discussed who was responsible this time for the damage to the Elmira Sewage Plant. I asked David Ireland: “Is there any other possible candidate in Elmira that has those volumes of toluene?"77 This question, of course, meant any other candidate other than Uniroyal/Crompton. David Ireland’s response was “I’m not aware of any other company."78 Keep in mind that this was months prior to Uniroyal finally admitting that they did it. For me this situation begs the
question, why would any supposedly reasonably informed individual ever think that there was any point whatsoever in either privately discussing or negotiating anything with someone from Uniroyal? The words of those who speak through the filter of public relations experts are not worth the paper they are not written on.
The year 2000 may have started splendidly for Uniroyal/Crompton with UPAC becoming a committee of Woolwich Council but the rest of the year held mostly bad news. Even the chemical industries cheerleaders, the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA), couldn’t hold their noses and give Uniroyal verification under the *Responsible Care program. Uniroyal had appropriately been
unsuccessful in 1997 and honest, knowledgeable citizens knew that any company who could blatantly lie about an eight hundred gallon release of toluene should never achieve the *Responsible Care designation.
On March 22, 2000, Bob Burtt of the Record wrote a story outlining Uniroyal’s current tribulations. These included facing twenty odour-related charges for their fumigations of Duke Street and Elmira. Second, they were facing an Environmental Appeal Board hearing regarding the MOE Contol Order, which they had appealed. The control order mandated public meetings on air emissions as well as greater work on-site to reduce those air emissions. Third, was the ongoing uproar over Uniroyal’s “pink spill” by local authorities including the Region of Waterloo and the MOE, CPAC, and the public.
The March 24, 2000 Elmira Independent had an article by reporter Julie Sawyer regarding the “pink spill.” Kieran Kelly, the Woolwich Township Fire Chief, suggested that approximately eight hundred gallons had been released. Tim Boose, Project Engineering Staff of Uniroyal advised that he had phoned the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant at about 9:30 a.m. on the day of the spill to advise them of a
possible problem.The STP staff was already facing it. Ron Ormson of CPAC suggested that charges under the Federal Fisheries Act were possible because of the toluene spilled into the creek.
In the April 18, 2000 Record, Henry Regier suggested that Uniroyal’s proposed upcoming open house on the matter was inadequate. Sylvia Berg was also quoted on the matter. I stated “An open house will be a dog and pony show."79 Two days later in the Elmira Independent I was quoted by Julie Sawyer again as saying “I’m not going to sit through another CPAC dog and pony show. I will come out for a public meeting."80 Clearly, Uniroyal preferred a much more controlled format so that they would not be confronted by hard questions from the public.
On April 27, 2000 in the Record, it was announced that one of Uniroyal’s allies on UPAC/CPAC namely the Chamber of Commerce, had resigned from CPAC. Sylvia Berg responded critically in the Record and quite frankly, in my opinion, made asses out of the Chamber and their decision to support Uniroyal in this fashion. Once again strong, public statements in support of the long suffering public by Sylvia Berg and Susan Bryant made it difficult for me to believe that their ongoing mistakes were anything but exactly that. I really wanted to believe in them.
Finally Uniroyal held its open house and as described in the April 28, 2000 Record, David Ash and Uniroyal were confronted by the “Lawn Chair Brigade.” This meeting was the first time in fourteen months that David Ash faced the advisory Crompton Public Advisory Committee. Quoting Bob Burtt: “ Ash made it clear Thursday he still regards the advisory committee as a waste of time for the company."81 David Ash stated, “They (UPAC) aren’t regarded well in the community."82 Present at this meeting were CPAC members as well as Shannon Purves-Smith of APT and concerned citizen Barb Zupko of Elmira.
On May 27, 2000, the Woolwich Observer published their Editorial in which they dumped all over Uniroyal’s recent citizen “survey”, the behaviour of their managers with their verbal diarrhea, and taking credit for their own initiative about work ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment. This strong position against the Crompton Co. behaviour and attitudes became increasingly rare over the next eighteen years plus. While I do not believe that the Observer`s understanding and position ever wavered, it slowly became clear that something was affecting their ability to speak out plainly in regards to Crompton and their numerous corporate reincarnations. I have suspicions as to what happened.
All in all, these were very difficult times for Crompton and their supporters in Elmira. We of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team [EH-Team] were front and centre and working well with CPAC , APT Environment representatives and everyone else in the fight to restore the local environment. I routinely shared information, data, conclusions, and strategy with Susan Bryant of APT. This sharing was by phone, fax, and in person over coffee at her Elmira home on Park Street. Indeed many years later, Councillor Ruby Weber said it plainly when she stated that she understood that we were friends. While I had been suspicious of Sylvia Berg for good cause after her behaviour in December 1993 and January 1994, my confidence in Ms. Bryant’s inherent honesty and integrity never wavered no matter what. What an incredibly huge mistake.
Reporter Stacy Ash, stated in the Record in early June 2000 that an announcement was made at the most recent CPAC public meeting concerning Crompton Co. Crompton after sixteen months had allegedly decided all on its own that it was time to come back. Not a word to [CPAC] voting members for the last sixteen months supposedly and now they were coming back. What a serious crock. Henry Regier suggested in the Record article that Crompton’s return should be treated no differently than the return of the two environmental groups to the committee. Pat McLean, however, once again, stated that “returning to the type of meetings that used to be held with Uniroyal at the table is not an option."83 What was that supposed to mean? Pat was the Chair of UPAC before and the Chair now. She ran the meetings. Who did she think she was, giving orders to CPAC when there had been exactly zero discussion with all of us about this matter? On the other hand, was she warning Crompton to stop lying, delaying, and working behind closed doors when the public consultation body was ready, willing, and eager to work on these matters? Meanwhile, why had Crompton supposedly had a change of heart? Two months earlier, David Ash publicly trashed the whole idea of the current public consultation. It was no wonder that Henry Regier began asking Susan and Pat if there was some sort of CPAC Executive Committee that the rest of us didn’t know about. I assured Dr. Regier that I had virtually zero knowledge of any such thing and I would go ballistic if I ever found out that that kind of behind- the- back crap, was going on. As usual Dr. Regier was right although he and I didn`t find out for a while. In the Elmira Independent, I was quoted in regards to Pat McLean’s comments as saying that at the next CPAC meeting “I don`t want to have a large meeting and find out that three members have somewhat committed us to a set of conditions."84 Well that didn`t happen. Pat McLean and friends merely kept any privately negotiated deal with Crompton to themselves.
In the June 24, 2000 Woolwich Observer, we learned that allegedly Crompton was forced to return to CPAC by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA). The CCPA apparently advised Crompton that if they did not return to public consultation with CPAC there would never be a *Responsible Care verification. Whether truthful partly, fully, or not at all, it is apparent to me that Crompton only was attending CPAC as a public relations gesture. Same thing with the Ontario MOE. Neither party then or now has ever been serious about doing the right things to properly remediate the natural environment in and around Elmira, Ontario. At the time, I believed the CCPA explanation as it explained Crompton`s and David Ash`s about face. In the fullness of time I now believe it was all about concessions made to Crompton, the new owners of Uniroyal. These most likely included CPAC being defanged and put under direct Woolwich Council control. While Pat McLean had been a councillor for some time I had seen only the sporadic attempt by her to control me either inside or outside CPAC meetings. I treated any attempt whatsoever as being beyond ridiculous and totally inappropriate. I, like all CPAC and former UPAC members, was independent of anything but the legal laws of the land. Quite frankly, Woolwich Council or the entire Woolwich Township could kiss my butt as far as giving orders about anything. That was what independent public consultation was all about. Clearly, this fact was terrifying to all the guilty parties and their followers.
Maybe the CCPA issued that condition of *Responsible Care verification and maybe they didn’t. If they did, it could have been a face-saving way for Uniroyal to return after their asinine hissy fit back in February 1999, which had them storm out. Perhaps right from the beginning it was all about Uniroyal getting concessions from UPAC/CPAC and perhaps even the MOE. The biggest concession likely was UPAC along with Woolwich Council agreeing to have UPAC become a committee of council.
Then, on June 21, 2000, the Ontario MOE passed a ridiculous Amended Control Order allowing Uniroyal to relax the stipulation for complete on-site hydraulic containment particularly in the municipal aquifer. There was significant deception and manipulation involved in this June 21, 2000 Amending Order signed by Kal Haniff of the Ontario MOE. It was a part of the later years-long ”Optimization” process which really only started about the same time. As late as April 2008, there was a discussion at CPAC involving Pat McLean, Steve Martindale and me. Pat McLean, the Chair of CPAC, either honestly or dishonestly claimed to have no knowledge of this amending order from eight years prior. Oh boy but that’s a tough one to know the truth of. This discussion was in the April 4, 2008 Elmira Independent coverage of the most recent CPAC meeting. Therefore, in hindsight, one only has to look at the major inappropriate concessions given to Uniroyal between January 2000 and the end of June 2000. ”Optimization`” appeared to die a natural death after the discovery of a make believe hydrogeological anomaly in 2004. This anomaly was referred to as the “Phantom Mound.” In fact, “Optimization” had succeeded as the June 21, 2000 Amending Order is basically what Uniroyal/Crompton wanted. Once again, in hindsight, citizens can see that there were private dealings going on between members of the MOE, Uniroyal and CPAC behind the backs of many voting CPAC members, as the amending order occurred before the issue ever came to CPAC.
Perhaps the whole idea behind the Observer’s story regarding the CCPA’s ultimatum was simply to provide a smokescreen. The smokescreen could have been from someone other than the Observer ownership such as from the CCPA themselves. By dangling this less than noble reason for Uniroyal’s return it could deflect CPAC members from realizing that Uniroyal`s return was all about concessions they had gained. Particularly irksome critics such as me could now be dealt with by Woolwich Council. Instead of Uniroyal representatives leaving, in future, they could get council to do their dirty work directly for them. Indeed, Woolwich Council did exactly that on two future occasions in 2008 and 2015. Second, the June 21, 2000 Amended Control Order took Uniroyal off the MOE control order hook as well as weakened CPAC’s strong criticism for Uniroyal’s poor on-site pumping of Uniroyal’s municipal aquifer.
Sylvia Berg re-entered the fray with very strong anti-Uniroyal comments. How much was for real and how much for show is anybody’s guess. In the August 12, 2000 Record, Sylvia Berg said the following in regards to Uniroyal`s rejoining CPAC: ”If it is going to be the same high-handed approach that we have seen before, I think the committee will have to assess the situation and see if it is appropriate to have them there or not."85 What was that all about? Go Sylvia. In the same article the Record reporter wrote `”While David Ash said he is enthusiastic about the return, Berg said the company agreed to return only after it had its “knuckles rapped by the CCPA."86 Sylvia Berg then continued her attack on Ash and Uniroyal`s credibility in a Letter To The Editor with “If you were more concerned about the aggravation you are causing your neighbours then you might stand a chance of being verified by the *Responsible Care program of the CCPA instead of being rejected, yet again."87 Those kinds of honest but scathing comments from Sylvia Berg were exactly what were needed both then and now.
In the August 12, 2000 Woolwich Observer, I am quoted as dumping all over private meetings between CPAC and Uniroyal. There was a suggestion that three representatives from CPAC sit down with Uniroyal ahead of their return to CPAC. Both Henry Regier and I felt that that was unnecessary and indeed foolish. I spoke about long-term ongoing gamesmanship between Uniroyal, the Ministry of Environment, and Woolwich Township. To this day that is still a constant. The one possible exception was the 2010 -2014 Woolwich Council. While indeed that Council had its own issues, nevertheless council did some very good things in regards to Uniroyal and their corporate successors. Councillor Mark Bauman is not included in that comment.
Old Problems Not Resolved
Air emissions released from Uniroyal Chemical into Elmira’s air continued to cause health damage to citizens. Whether the damage was going to exacerbate current cancers or start new ones cannot be proven. What could be proven was that citizens of Duke Street and further afield were losing precious sleep and having their respiratory tracts irritated. The “pink” spill was also still front and centre
By September 2000, Elmira and area residents still had more questions than answers in regards to the “pink spill” of toluene. The Record carried an article on September 12, 2000 written by Bob Burtt. Dr. Regier was all over this problem when he stated at CPAC “ I saw different agencies who looked like they were scurrying for cover and controlling information…I’d like to know what happened, when, what the response was and if we can confidently say there was no impact on health or the environment.”88
In the September 15, 2000 Elmira Independent article by Julie Sawyer, it was reported that both the Region of Waterloo and the Ontario MOE were still chasing Uniroyal for compensation. The Region’s staff felt that their costs were $90,000 in regards to work needed at the Elmira STP. Later, in the fall Crompton decided to share with the community and CPAC their “Worst Case Scenario.” This was to ensure that emergency plans were in place to deal with any such disaster.
In the October 6, 2000 Elmira Independent there was discussion around Crompton’s “Worst Case Scenario.” David Ash of Crompton Co. advised that “A few years ago ammonia would not have been on the top of the list… Chemicals we used to use but no longer do would have had a much worse impact."89 These comments were all made at the most recent Crompton Public Advisory Committee [CPAC] public meeting. At that meeting I asked David Ash about chlorine usage. His response was “There is no chlorine on the site anymore. It would have been the worst case if it were still in use."90 Odd but only six years earlier (March 12, 1994) the very same David Ash assured the community that there was absolutely no health concerns from the chlorine gas cloud that was released from their site and came down into a residential area in Elmira.
In the October 6, 2000 Elmira Independent, Brian and Helen Post had their Letter to the Editor published. There had been yet another Saturday night fumigation of Duke Street courtesy of Uniroyal now known as Crompton. This fumigation took place on September 30, 2000, the day of their son’s wedding. The Posts stated in their letter that Uniroyal/Crompton owed Elmira residents an apology. They further stated that they were subjected to embarrassment and horror that such an awful fumigation could happen on their son’s big day. Apparently, they had twenty-five of the wedding guests who stayed overnight and further experienced the full disgusting effects of Uniroyal/Crompton’s air discharges.
In the October 13, 2000 Independent, Gail Martin wrote about Ken Chalmers giving Woolwich Councillors hell for not charging Uniroyal under municipal odour by-laws. Ms. Martin also wrote about Shannon Purves-Smith describing headaches, nausea, and sore eyes from diacetyl discharges from Crompton’s Building #19. Shannon stated in the article that diacetyl was a big problem. Keep in mind that was before the public knew that it, on its own, was also a major health problem. It took lawsuits in the U.S. over “popcorn lung” before we knew here that fumes from diacetyl [artificial butter flavour] damaged lungs.
Julie Sawyer, reporter for the Independent, covered David Chadder of Rowan William Davies & Irwin [RWDI] out of Guelph and his comments at a CPAC meeting. Mr. Chadder advised that doors and windows of Building #19 were still being left open, thus sharing the odours and health problems with Elmira residents. Hence, the building’s vacuum system to collect fumes could not work properly. David Chadder also described a huge release of toluene into the air. The concentration was 151,427 micrograms (ug) per cubic metre (m3) of air whereas the odour threshold is only 6,210 ug/m3. At the CPAC meeting I asked Mr. Chadder if his equipment had perhaps captured a spill and his answer was possibly.91
The Woolwich Observer was still covering Uniroyal/Crompton issues in those days and Richard Vivian on their behalf wrote on October 28, 2000 that Mr. Chadder of RWDI had stated that Uniroyal needed to pick up the pace. He felt that a thermal oxidizer was needed in Building #19 in order to treat the fumes from diacetyl. He stated, “In my opinion they are taking a much slower route than is necessary…What they need are new control measures to contain the diacetyl and destroy it."92
Looking back over the newspaper clippings, I can see why I was such a strong supporter of Susan Bryant and other UPAC/CPAC members. Even Sylvia Berg knew to say the right things at the right time in those days. In the Elmira Independent of December 1, 2000, Julie Sawyer wrote about Sylvia Berg and me expressing concerns with allegedly cleaning the Creek before cleaning up the site. Hindsight may again be proving us right about that. In the December 22, 2000 edition of the Independent, David Ash was again on the defensive over odours while under the attacks of Henry Regier, Shannon Purves-Smith, and Sylvia Berg.
Dwight Este, of Crompton, discussed Crompton’s “Worst Case Scenario” at CPAC which was reported in the December 15, 2000 Elmira Independent. Essentially, a major spill of anhydrous ammonia would result in a human kill zone of approximately seven hundred metres whereas from seven hundred to thirteen hundred metres would only result in serious health effects. This kill zone still is relevant today not only for long-time residents but for all the new ones planned for the Hawk Ridge subdivision on Union Street, across the road from Sulco Chemical and Crompton Co.
In the December 23, 2000 edition of the Woolwich Observer, Henry Regier took aim at the practice of Elmira volunteers taking air samples on behalf of the MOE and Crompton Co. Henry felt that the volunteers should be paid for “…going out at all hours of the day and night, usually bad weather to do this."93 I was quoted in this article suggesting that “at $100 a pop, I’ll come in from West Montrose and take samples. For free, in the middle of the night, I’m not interested."94 Apparently, Shannon Purves-Smith and Sylvia Berg were still willing to do it for free so they got the business, so to speak.
On January 19, 2001, the Independent reported on a presentation to Woolwich Council by the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services. It was in regards to air emissions by Crompton Co. and had links to them with adverse health effects. The presentation also included factors such as a loss of enjoyment of one’s property due to air and odour emissions from local polluters.
Both Elmira local papers in December 2000 published the fact that Crompton Co. had agreed to pay the Regional Municipality $90,000 towards their costs caused by Uniroyal’s “pink spill” the previous spring. Part of the deal included quarterly inspections of Crompton Co.’s site by the Region of Waterloo. The Record also reported on this agreement. Frankly, this was all a stunning turnaround by Crompton Co. Could they have been more amenable to do the right thing when it was their predecessor who had messed up so severely? Crompton Co. even did this prior to any public decision from the MOE regarding charges or not for the spill. Or had Crompton Co. been tipped off in advance and decided to mitigate their culpability and bad press ahead of time?
By 2001, the stench coming from Uniroyal/Crompton, especially in the summer months, was lessening. After three horrible summers, residents were beginning to think that there was hope. Crompton Co. had been slowly upgrading their facilities with more air scrubbers as well as thermal oxidizers for specific processes. It was still too little, years and years too late, but it was at least going in the right direction. The February 14, 2001 Record reported on the public meeting held by Crompton Co. regarding their Worst Case Scenario. This meeting about a potential release of anhydrous ammonia quickly turned into a debate about their odours. Unfortunately, one very uninformed Elmira resident whose house was bypassed by the worst of the stench publicly stated “I don’t think they are telling the truth…I don’t get the smell."95 Mr. Robert Bolender while living nearby did not live on Duke Street. Nevertheless, his rude comment about one of the Duke Street residents flew in the face of all the evidence and testimony of many who did get the smell as well as some who responded to complaints from Duke Street residents during “fumigations”.
In the February 27, 2000 Record, it was announced that Uniroyal/Crompton had been charged the previous day with four counts of violating the Ontario Environmental Protection Act (EPA) in regards to the “pink spill” of toluene a year earlier. On top of these charges, Uniroyal/Crompton was also scheduled to be in court on March 26, 2001 to answer to twenty charges relating to the Duke Street air emissions in 1989 and 1990. They advised that they would plead guilty to five of these charges.
On March 2, 2001, Julie Sawyer of the Independent reported that Crompton Co. were charged under the EPA and could face fines as high as $1.3 million. They were charged under Section 14(1) causing an adverse effect, Section 92(1) for failing to notify the Ministry and the municipality of the spill (“pink spill”) and Section 93(1) failing to do everything to prevent, eliminate and ameliorate the adverse effect. All this behaviour by Uniroyal and their corporate successors over the last few decades explains my overall contempt for them, their consultants, and even their so- called regulator, the MOE.
The Record carried an opinion piece by Susan Bryant in her role on its Community Editorial Board that same month. She addressed the Region of Waterloo’s proposed Groundwater Protection Plan. She also honestly identified the lobbying of Regional Councillors by certain businesses and developers who were in opposition to this necessary and common sense proposal to further protect our proven vulnerable groundwater resources throughout the Region. Of course, pro -business councillors rolled over and appeased the likes of David Ash [Crompton Co.] and Gord Chaplin [Canadian General Tower-Cambridge]. These two companies alone were responsible for major groundwater contamination in Elmira and Cambridge, respectively.
As described earlier, Susan Bryant had participated directly and indirectly in far too many major concessions to Uniroyal/Crompton. These concessions had included the DNAPL cover up in 1993-94, making CPAC a committee of Woolwich Council in 2000, and possibly the June 21, 2000 Amended Control Order and its accompanying “Optimization.” She and Sylvia Berg also rid APT eventually of five strong and excellent citizen members by a number of foul means. It is possible there were more after Dr. Henry Regier left APT in 2005 although I am not certain. At the time of the January 1994 loss of three APT members (Richard Clausi, Esther Thur and me) I had assumed that Susan Bryant’s absence, due to her husband’s sabbatical in India, meant that she was not involved. Decades later, I learned otherwise.
Despite these bizarre and counter-productive behaviours, Ms. Bryant continued to do good environmental work both at CPAC and with the news media. I have often wondered how others saw through Sylvia Berg, Pat McLean and Susan Bryant so quickly and I took so long. Ms. Bryant’s efforts regarding air emissions were excellent. Her comments are another example of how in the newsprint media she could hit the nail on the head when she wanted, as in the Woolwich Observer on March 31, 2001, quoted by reporter Richard Vivian, “Odour is really a misnomer for it because it’s not so much the nuisance of a bad odour that bothers you, but the knowledge that they’re toxic chemicals."96
Both Julie Sawyer and Gail Martin of the Elmira Independent covered the sentencing of Crompton Co. on March 26, 2001. Crompton Co. was ordered to pay $168,000 for multiple odour emissions in August 1998. Two and a half years to get them fined for just a few offences that carried on for years after the charges were laid. The Independent in its March 30, 2001 edition carried Gail Martin’s Editorial titled, “Is $ 168,000 enough?” Gail also called for a health study for Elmira. To this day that still hasn’t happened. That would be way too embarrassing for Regional Chair Ken Seiling and all the local politicians, as well as business and industry supporters of the status quo.
Christian Agaard, reporter for the Record, made a strong comment on March 28, 2001 about Crompton Co.’s sentencing and fines for illegal air emissions. He said that the $168,000 fine and slap on the wrists was grossly inadequate: “It’s enough to make you gag. It must be a devastating experience."97 This comment referred to Crompton Co.’s lawyers and staff having to sully themselves by attending Provincial Offences Court for serious offences to the health of Elmira residents, offences that weren’t even criminal by our judicial system’s definition. Less than a month after Crompton Co.’s sentencing and fine, they stunk up Elmira, yet again. The April 20, 2001 Elmira Independent story was written as usual by Julie Sawyer and titled, “High winds blow off cover, releasing odour.” The cover over the Building #8 major process sump was blown off. Susan Bryant and Shannon Purves-Smith responded and took air samples. Shannon was quoted in this April 20th article as saying, “It was just horrendous…I was gagging, the smell was so horrible."98
Nutrite and Ammonia
The June 1, 2001 edition of the Elmira Independent was especially interesting. First CPAC was advised that, lo and behold, despite all the statements that had been fed to the public and to UPAC/CPAC for over a decade, suddenly Elmira residents indeed had a second polluter of our municipal drinking water aquifers. It seems that Nutrite Fertilizer, located right beside Crompton Co., had been careless with the stewardship of its property as well as of the natural environment. Crompton Co. admitted to some responsibility for ammonia in the groundwater and belatedly its consultants, CRA, recognized that the ammonia was adversely affecting both the Canagagigue Creek as well as the deeper municipal aquifers. In fact, they had to reduce the pumping and treating of groundwater in the summer months because fish in the Creek were more sensitive to the ammonia in warmer water. Uniroyal had its own ammonia treatment system on site but it couldn’t handle either the volume or the concentrations allegedly coming from Nutrite. This revelation was astounding news for the complications it posed for Creek cleanup, off-site drinking water aquifers clean up, and for the revelation that all parties had been lying and deceiving the public since 1989. There was not an ounce of shame, remorse, or even sheepishness shown by the parties to the EAB hearings who had had many private talks with each other during the hearings. This included Woolwich Township, the MOE, Uniroyal, APT, the Region of Waterloo, and yes, Nutrite! For the last ten years, I had wondered why on earth they were a party at the hearings. Of course, with the hearings aborted in mid- stride by Uniroyal and the MOE, the public never learned about Nutrite’s contribution to the destruction of the Elmira aquifers. In fact, Uniroyal and CRA had been intentionally deceiving the public and UPAC/CPAC with horse manure about the ammonia being a little stronger than they had understood, and thus, they would temporarily be borrowing the Elmira STP’s services for ammonia removal. Eventually, the Region of Waterloo said enough is enough and told Uniroyal to build their own enhanced treatment system.
I repeat that all the parties to the EAB hearings in Elmira in the early 1990s had to have had knowledge of Nutrite’s contributions to the groundwater and they said nothing publicly for years. That is called collusion and APT was a part of it. Let me clarify. Senior APT personnel, Sylvia Berg and Susan Bryant were a part of it. This behaviour is exactly what the three original APT founders were against. Esther Thur, Sandra Bray, and Susan Rupert believed in full disclosure and full transparency. Recall they would have nothing to do with the mandated secrecy imposed upon CEAC by the Woolwich Council of the day. What obviously occurred at the Environmental Appeal Board hearings were private discussions between the parties. Likely, the various lawyers had insisted upon “without prejudice” discussions. For Nutrite to be willing to share hydrogeological information, for example, that could put them in a poor light, they needed assurances that all parties to the discussions would not release the information to the public. After all self- serving deals could be made privately to everybody’s satisfaction without the public necessarily needing to know all the details. It is likely private deals and agreements that made Ms. Berg and Ms. Bryant feel as if they belonged with the Big Boys. Exactly how long did it take them to lose sight of the fact that they were representing local citizens? How many “secrets” that could have helped APT, the EH-Team, and the public did they sit on?
The MOE laid a control order on Nutrite in late 2002 because Nutrite was reluctant to admit its culpability regarding ammonia contamination. Nutrite probably felt that Uniroyal had stepped up for everything else and that the ammonia contribution was minor in comparison. Crompton managers were displeased and, as they were constantly pushed to spend more and more on environmental remediation, they must have decided it was time to get some financial contribution from Nutrite. Crompton managers had been taking a public relations beating with the fines for their air emissions as well as the November 4, 2002 $125,000 fine for the “pink spill.” They had also had two small spills into the Creek in August 2001 that they knew were going to get them in further environmental and legal trouble. Maybe if things had been going better for Crompton Co. overall, they might have continued their accommodating stance with Nutrite. Furthermore, the Region of Waterloo was clearly and completely out of patience with Crompton Co. and the MOE. They, the Region, had been a part of all the deals and various other secrets keeping guilty parties clear of public blame. It was time to face the music. “Optimization” was also facing far more resistance than either Uniroyal/Crompton or the MOE had ever expected. In their overconfidence those two parties had actually finalized the deal privately between them with the June 21, 2000 Amending Order. Was it embarrassing not having CPAC on board as well?
More on the Stench
The June 1, 2001 Elmira Independent article also added further citizen comments regarding Elmira’s toxic air emissions coming from Crompton Co.. Ron Ormson of CPAC stated that the Ministry of Environment and Crompton Co. should be doing the off-site air monitoring, not volunteers. Shannon Purves-Smith advised in that same article that the air sampling she was doing “…is not an endless, free process."99 Henry Regier and Susan Bryant both discussed the proposed Risk Assessment for the Crompton Co. site. Dr. Regier used a metaphor regarding foxes having their tails cut off with Crompton Co. presumably being the foxes and the consequences of their actions being very minor.
The Woolwich Observer had initially advised UPAC/CPAC and the public that Uniroyal/Crompton only returned to the public consultation process because the Canadian Chemical Producers Association [CCPA] advised them that they would not get the *Responsible Care verification without it. The article advised CPAC and the public of this fact in its June 2, 2001 edition. If Uniroyal, now Crompton, continued not to attend monthly meetings with CPAC, their *Responsible Care designation would never occur. This is all moot presently because not only does Chemtura/Lanxess ( two later reincarnations if you will of Uniroyal) have their *Responsible Care designations but they only attend an earth shattering four meetings a year all due to their successful huffing, puffing, and bluffing of Woolwich’s pretend mayor between 2014 and 2018, one Sandy Shantz.
At the June 2001 CPAC meeting, Henry Regier inquired whether the volunteer air cartridge sampling was serving any purpose. Ron Ormson reiterated his concerns that volunteer air sampling was due to the lack of long-term off-site air monitoring. He, of course, was correct but as long as Crompton Co. maintained their local and provincial political support through Woolwich Council and the MOE, then why on earth would they agree to measures that would further expose its disregard for the health of the community in which they were operating? Off-site air monitoring, just like a formal health study, was the last thing Uniroyal and their follow-up corporate ownership ever wanted to see. Shannon suggested that the most recent Uniroyal/Crompton odours were similar to what she had smelled the previous month in Cuba at a petroleum plant. I’m sure that comment upset Uniroyal managers because among the litany of falsehoods emanating from the Uniroyal plant over the decades was Jeff Merriman’s statement that Uniroyal did not have petroleum hydrocarbons on its site. Please!
In the August 24, 2001 Record, Bob Burtt quoted Sylvia Berg of APT regarding Crompton “I think they are forward thinking when it comes to relations with their clients, but I don’t think they show the same level of concern with the community and the environment."
100 These were the days when both APT and the Environmental Hazards Team were taking turns shellacking Uniroyal/Crompton managers for their negligence and ongoing technical, fictional fantasies. I thought we were an excellent combination of resources and expertise and unfortunately, unknown to the EH-Team, the APT leadership of Ms. Berg and Ms. Bryant was chafing at not having a monopoly on environmentalism in Elmira, Ontario. Only after Esther Thur passed on and Henry Regier stopped attending CPAC due to hearing difficulties and more, did the APT leadership take aim at my back.
On September 1, 2001, Susan Bryant had an excellent guest column in the Woolwich Observer. Major kudos to the Woolwich Observer for having published it because they sure wouldn’t go near an Editorial or Letter to the Editor like this any time in the last decade. Susan described a CPAC meeting held at Crompton Co. with a plant tour included. We of CPAC were supposed to be seeing some of the changes made to reduce air emissions. To the shock of CPAC, they saw an open concrete pit where sludge from Crompton Co.’s waste water treatment system was sitting, stewing in the sun. There was also a large, open vat where the sludge was being dewatered. These outdoor processes were completely unenclosed with zero air emission controls. Frankly, these processes sound awfully similar to the stuff that I saw Severin Argenton, owner of Varnicolor Chemical Inc., doing further down the street at 62 Union Street, south of Crompton. He went to jail for these and other environmental offences. No employee or owner has ever gone to jail from Uniroyal Chemical or Crompton Co.
The smell was the same awful stench that occasionally, yet persistently, engulfs Duke Street. Keep in mind that this event was occurring three years after the initial 1998 summertime “fumigations” that had netted Uniroyal Chemical a $168,000 fine. Clearly for them it was merely a cost of doing business. On August 31, 2001, Julie Sawyer of the Elmira Independent reported on the same matter. The on-site water treatment is located at the southern end of the Crompton site, fairly close to the worst areas of odours on Duke Street. Shannon Purves-Smith of APT identified the stench as the smell that residents on Duke Street had long been complaining about. She described it as the smell of 100 full outhouses. “It should be enclosed, covered up."101
The October 27, 2001 Woolwich Observer published an article titled, “Elmira fertilizer firm faces MOE Control Order.” Nutrite also known as Hydro Agri and later called Yara, was ordered to clean up ammonia that they had introduced into the groundwater from their site immediately west of Crompton Co. Bill Dunbar, the manager at the time of Nutrite, wasn’t admitting anything.
In regards to air sampling, the Independent in October 2001 somewhat incorrectly suggested that Ron Campbell of Acute Environmental would be taking the lead on air sampling off-site. Presumably, his involvement was to lessen the load on the volunteers who had been doing it for some time. Both managers at Crompton and Shannon Purves-Smith expressed their agreement with the plan. Unfortunately, it fell through although no news media reports followed with the reasons why. Mr. Campbell was then and is now an excellent, environmentally experienced member of CPAC from 2010 till 2015. His technical experience and his personal integrity were and are a major boost to CPAC.
In the Record there was a report on a CPAC meeting dealing in part with lindane, a chemical used by Uniroyal in its pesticide products. Ron Ormson of CPAC stated “Lindane is a big issue in this community and there is a lot of evidence to suggest it is very dangerous."102 Esther Thur of the Elmira Environmental Hazards Team (EH-Team) had done considerable research on lindane and was in complete agreement with Mr. Ormson’s position. Yours truly commented on Uniroyal/Crompton’s lawsuit against the Canadian government by suggesting that in light of the government review of lindane ending in the spring, Crompton’s recent $100 million lawsuit was ridiculous. Plans were underway for a new ammonia treatment system by December 2001. The building costs were to be split as one third from the Province of Ontario and two thirds from Crompton Co. and Nutrite. Combined operating costs would be split 50:50 between the Ontario government and the two companies. A pretty good deal, for two polluters, don’t you think in having the taxpayers subsidize their cleanup costs… yet again?
The December 1, 2001 Record had a story about four Elmira families, (the Machens, Posts, Fulchers, and the Chalmers) living on Duke Street who had had enough of Uniroyal/Crompton lies and intransigence. They were suing for $7.4 million in relation to the previous three years of fumigations from the company. The December 21, 2001 Elmira Independent also covered this story. The money was asked for as well as an injunction from the courts restraining the defendants from conducting activities that constitute a nuisance to the plaintiffs. A total of nineteen claims were put forward including that Crompton Co. acted with “wanton disregard to the plaintiff’s rights.” Crompton’s statement of defence specifically denied the claim of wanton disregard. The Woolwich Observer also published a story on the lawsuit in its December 22, 2001 edition. Crompton’s defence included that they had a legal right to continue manufacturing at that location as they had been doing since 1941. They also claimed that Terry Machen had attempted to intimidate both their employees and management. The poor babies. Imagine that. Uniroyal/Crompton managers crap all over this man’s rights, property, family, and health and he yells harsh things at them. So sad for Crompton Co. employees, management, and shareholders not to be operating in a third world dictatorship where they only have to pay off one individual rather than an entire political and judicial system that had been running interference for them for decades here in Canada. Seems to me, money talks and always has, and the only faint hope for justice lies in having large sums of money plus an airtight case in order to defend my rights. Most of us do not have that luxury despite allegedly living in a democratic society and having the rule of law.
Crompton Co. of course, had much more to say in their statement of defence. Representatives claimed that the plaintiffs had an abnormal sensitivity to odours, which wouldn’t have had the same effect on an individual with normal sensitivity. I thought that laws and regulations were to protect all citizens from infringement of their rights including the right to breathe reasonably clean air. Anyone who had in the previous three years been exposed to the Uniroyal/Crompton fumigations knew that this statement was pure Uniroyal horse manure. Keep in mind that there is a wide gamut of physical tolerances to toxins. Some people are adversely affected immediately and acutely, others chronically over a longer time period of exposure. Uniroyal/Crompton had covered their corporate butts courtesy of the political authorities at both the regional and provincial levels as they refused to conduct health studies of Elmira residents. Shame on the pack of them.
In February 2003, the four Elmira families received an out-of-court settlement from Crompton Co. It included their houses being bought by Crompton Co. at fair market value, thus allowing them to move away from the disgusting and ongoing behaviour by Uniroyal and Crompton Co. This behaviour had quite suddenly ended, according to Susan Bryant, immediately after the lawsuit was filed against Crompton. I was advised by Ms. Bryant that there was a specific and unusual confidentiality clause in the settlement. I believed her at the time but am skeptical now.
DNAPLS, Optimization, Spills and Ammonia Treatment
In the December 21, 2001 Independent, Julie Sawyer wrote that CPAC and APT were cost-sharing a review of Conestoga Rover’s (CRA) proposed ammonia treatment system. Yes, that’s the same ammonia treatment system that hadn’t been built in 2007 and that allegedly was partly the cause of my split with CPAC. Susan Bryant made the motion, I seconded it. Art Fletcher opposed it and Fred Hager abstained. The motion passed with additional votes in favour. While at the time I suspected that opposition votes were simply votes in support of Crompton Co., I’m less sure now. Several years later, I reviewed the entire ammonia treatment plans, as was par for the course, and I realized the plans had deficiencies. Despite those obvious and glaring deficiencies, Susan Bryant and Wilf Ruland rolled over in the fall of 2007 in favour of Crompton Co. (later Chemtura) in their desperation to get the Nutrite ammonia treatment underway.
The year 2001 was not a great one for Crompton managers. Still too many foul and toxic air emissions and they managed a number of chemical spills into the Canagagigue Creek as well. They had at least two in the month of August alone. Nalclean 68 was the name of the product spilled in early August that allegedly did no environmental harm. This, of course, was the usual claim by Uniroyal and Crompton managers when they had misadventures. The later spill that month of Naugard 445 resulted in the deaths of approximately 100 minnows. It’s difficult to claim no adverse environmental effects when fish end up floating belly up in the Creek.
DNAPL was again discussed at length in 2002 at CPAC. After all, the 1991-1993 attempted cover-ups of this most serious soil and groundwater contamination at Uniroyal had been well and truly publicly exposed. Crompton, of course, just like Uniroyal, wanted to bull their way through this issue as they had others in the past and would do so in the future. The Ontario Ministry of Environment was still making excuses for not moving on and accepting or rejecting Crompton Co.’s efforts to date regarding on-site DNAPL cleanup. I was quoted in the March 1, 2002 Independent: “Here we are nine years later and the remediation cleanup is still not done to satisfaction…The whole point is that this has dragged on for nine years. I’m sick of reading control orders that are reinterpreted years later."103 Can you imagine if I had known that now in 2018 when I am writing this book that as of this 2002 date the MOE still have not made a commitment to either Crompton Co. (now Lanxess) nor to the public in regards to on-site DNAPL cleanup? I’ve just read the June 2018 Lanxess Monthly Progress Report and GHD, successors to CRA, have stated that “There are no new activities to report in regards to the Remediation of the Operating Ponds.” This statement is the basic message for the last few years. Before that, the words were a little different as the MOE made it clear that they had not accepted that the DNAPL remediation from December 1993 that saw a small part of RPW-5 and TPW-2 put into the Envirodome, was adequate. To me, it seems obvious that the MOE and Uniroyal/Lanxess hope that the honest citizens who witnessed these early day cover ups continue to die off or move away and any remaining honest citizens have no memory of the matter.
Wilf Ruland (Wilf), a supposed independent hydrogeologist, was hired by CPAC to review CRA’s Optimization plans. He advised that, at least for now, CPAC should resist any plans to allow contaminated on-site groundwater to flow off-site. He stated that that idea was a major shift and that serious community discussion was required before that could or should happen. Wilf advised that CRA had made many “interesting” assumptions in its study all of which could be problematic. Finally, Wilf stated that the definition of CRA’s Optimization “… seemed to be consistent with optimizing the amount of money spent."104 In other words, in minimizing it.
That was huge and that was the kind of technical and factual straightforward advice that I expected from a consultant hired to do a review on CPAC’s behalf. Wilf at his best, without fear or favour of Crompton Co. and CRA, was a real help to Woolwich citizens. The problems started as he began representing more of Pat McLean and Susan Bryant and Woolwich Council and less of the citizens at large actually paying for his expertise. The problems also started as CRA and Crompton Co. began flexing their combined financial muscles. Wilf eventually came to be in a conflict of interest position. It was his interests versus Woolwich citizens’ interests. If Wilf ever wanted another gig either via MOE appointment (eg.Walkerton Inquiry, Taro Landfill ) or even sitting with CRA on landfill committees around the province, he had to be very careful with his criticism of CRA’s work.
At the late February 2002 CPAC meeting, Wilf was very blunt and it was certainly a pleasure. I wonder if he got a talking-to from Crompton or the MOE a little later on about that. It almost seems that it would have been necessary when you realize how critical he got of me down the road. Wilf was working for me again nearly five years later as I was a CPAC member, yet he seemed to think he could tell me how I should conduct my business with Crompton and CRA. The only way the tail wags the dog is if the tail has been assured that he’ll be looked after if he gets out of line with the dog. Or as an alternative if a couple of other female dogs have a close relationship with the mayor of the day. Committees of council are generally for show. Council makes the decisions and then expects the citizens on the committee to do its bidding.
Wilf`s two other points were that the on-site contamination at Crompton Co. was likely far worse than the contaminant plumes were showing. He also stated that he believed that the Ministry of Environment had treated this [on-site containment] as more of a goal rather than as an absolute requirement. Wilf, Susan Bryant and I all publicly stated at CPAC that the Crompton Co. site was not contained in spite of the 1991 Control Order. In fact, at a much later date, we learned that the corrupt MOE had amended that control order on June 21, 2000 (Kal Hannif,MOE director, signed it), allowing a relaxing of the on-site containment requirements if the Optimization plan was accepted. Talk about quietly putting the cart before the horse. Not only was Optimization never formally accepted at CPAC but none of the corrupt parties even corrected CPAC members for years afterwards when they quoted the 1991 Control Order as requiring full on-site hydraulic containment. The other interesting point is that I often asked Pat McLean why as Chair she didn’t have more votes taken at CPAC on issues when there were disagreements. Her response was that votes were not necessary to understand CPAC’s position. I now interpret that response more along the line that votes might inhibit Pat McLean’s and Susan Bryant`s willingness and ability to make compromises and decisions with the MOE and Crompton behind CPAC’s back. Better not to have a formal motion saying no and then if caught one can plead a misunderstanding. Additionally note the cooperation necessary between Crompton, the MOE, and Susan Bryant and Pat McLean acting as a self-appointed CPAC Executive Committee. The MOE and Crompton Co. had to be very careful at CPAC meetings not to let private and behind-CPAC’s back-decisions out of the bag.
It had been my understanding for years that Optimization had been quietly dropped as it was no longer discussed or referred to at CPAC meetings. The reason it had to have been dropped in my opinion was because of the “phantom mound”. I discovered the disappearance of this hydrogeologic anomaly whereas it was Susan Bryant who gave it the name of “phantom mound.” CPAC with Pat, Susan and Wilf pushing hard eventually came up with a bunch of so-called “CPAC Principles”, which were allegedly the rationale and conditions under which CPAC would go along with Optimization. The fact that Optimization had actually been approved by the MOE back on June 21, 2000 seemed lost on everyone, me included. In reality, I doubt that that was so. The so-called hydraulic mound was an area just off Crompton’s west side, and actually located on the Nutrite property. It appeared from groundwater elevation readings to have some sort of artificially high groundwater levels in the municipal aquifer. In reality, it was simply a façade most likely used by CRA as junk science to show that off-site groundwater levels were higher than on-site, thus allegedly proving that contaminated groundwater was not leaving the Crompton Co. site. It was simply a disgusting sham and was eventually admitted to in a monthly Crompton Progress Report which I found and read. No one else at CPAC had.
The pattern I had long noticed at CPAC was that bad ideas would get shot down only to reappear in slightly different forms. It was like trying to kill a zombie that wouldn’t die. You could eviscerate the rationale. You could eviscerate the semi- completed plan. You could eviscerate the completed plan and proposed implementation, yet the same basic plan just kept coming back again and again. Optimization was a perfect example. The March 30, 2002 Woolwich Observer reported Wilf Ruland’s comments that CRA refused to look at the option of greater on-site pumping in their Optimization study. By the June 29, 2002 Woolwich Observer article CPAC were advised that the MOE had turned down Crompton Co. and CRA’s Optimization Plan. Wilf agreed with this.
As late as the spring of 2003 (in the Woolwich Observer) Wilf had advised CPAC that Optimization was unlikely to make a significant difference to the groundwater cleanup. Therefore, the June 21, 2000 Amended Control Order was not justified either when it was passed in 2000 or after almost three years of debate and discussion at UPAC/CPAC.
A year later in the March 27, 2004 Woolwich Observer both Susan Bryant and Shannon Purves-Smith lit into Crompton over the “phantom mound.” Crompton had positively known since 2002 that it did not really exist and had not verbally advised CPAC. The company had suspected it was a sham since 1998 and again had not advised us. As mentioned previously, this “phantom mound” had been relied on to suggest that contaminated groundwater from the site was not discharging off-site to the south-west when in fact it was.
Despite these revelations Ms. McLean, Ms. Bryant, and Wilf yet again made a major turnaround exactly as they had on DNAPLS. This whole plan had been soundly rejected by all parties and all commonsense at CPAC, yet with the assistance of the Three Mouseketeers it would not die. Was their reward in heaven or perhaps a little sooner?
The MOE served the control order on Nutrite (aka Yara) in early August 2002 and by August 24, 2002 Nutrite had filed an appeal with the EAB. They appealed claiming that the ammonia in the municipal aquifer was coming from the former landfill. My first guess was that Nutrite were referring to the former landfill (M2) on Uniroyal’s south-west corner. Or, it could also been referring to the Bolender Landfill just north of Uniroyal as well as of Church St. Now, if only this matter had gone to the EAB hearing as originally planned. CPAC and the public would have had a serious examination of these concerns into the ammonia issues at these public meetings. This information also would have been helpful to have learned exactly which industries and which chemicals from Nutrite and Crompton had actually been buried at each landfill site. The first day of the Nutrite EAB hearings was scheduled for January 13, 2003.
The really damaging spill of February 10, 2000 finally was resolved in court on November 4, 2002 with Uniroyal/Crompton fined $125,000. Recall that this spill of toluene knocked out the Elmira Sewage Treatment Plant causing half treated sewage to flow into the Canagagigue Creek. It caused sewage backups into nearby Elmira homes. It also affected the Mannheim intake of raw water from the Grand River for several weeks. Finally, the spill was not reported to regional, municipal, nor provincial authorities in a timely manner. One item which seems to get lost over time is the immediate health effects upon two nearby families in their homes as well as the health of two STP workers. They all got sick from the fumes reported in the Record edition of November 5, 2002. Hence this court decision was a $125,000 fine to a multi-national, multi-billion dollar repeat offender, who had by the way destroyed Elmira’s drinking water aquifers. Apparently, our country and province of Ontario do not highly value our environmental and health security.
In the next chapter, Henry Regier speaks loudly, honestly and professionally against Site Specific Risk Assessments (SSRA). Unfortunately our environmental problems and challenges, here in Ontario at least, are not resolved via informed and honest public discussion. They are “resolved” via money, power, politics, and back room deals.
ENDNOTES for Chapter 6
75 Julie Sawyer, “UPAC members concerned over upset at Uniroyal”, Elmira Independent, February 25, 2000
77 Julie Sawyer, “Routine maintenance kept plant down”, Elmira Independent, March 24, 2000
79 Bob Burtt, “Residents doubtful of odour resolution”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, April 18, 2000
80 Julie Sawyer, “UPAC against open-house format”, Elmira Independent, April 20, 2000
81 Bob Burtt, “Lawn-chair brigade grills Uniroyal Chemical chief at firm’s first open house”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, April 28,
83 Stacey Ash, “Uniroyal Chemical may rejoin group”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, June 20, 2000
84 Julie Sawyer, “Uniroyal Chemical agrees to return to CPAC”, Elmira Independent, June 23, 2000
85 Bob Burtt, “Uniroyal’s return to table sparks skepticism”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, August 12,2000
87 Letter to the Editor, “Uniroyal Chemical should be concerned about upset neighbours”, Woolwich Observer, August 12, 2000
88 Bob Burtt, “Residents want to know more about toluene spill”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, September 12, 2000
89 Julie Sawyer, “Worst-case scenario”, Elmira Independent, October 6, 2000
91 Julie Sawyer, “Uniroyal building 19 a concern for peer reviewer”, Elmira Independent, October 27, 2000
92 Richard Vivian, “Uniroyal needs to pick up the pace, says peer reviewer”, Woolwich Observer, December 23, 2000
93 Richard Vivian, “Volunteer time warrants remuneration”, Woolwich Observer, December 23, 2000
95 Cherri Greeno, “Bad smell hangs over safety meeting called to discuss toxic spills”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, February 14,
96 Richard Vivian, “Guilty plea costs Crompton $168K”, Woolwich Observer, March 31, 2001, p.2.
97 Christian Aagaard, “Its enough to make you gag”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, March 28, 2001
98 Julie Sawyer, “High winds blow off cover, releasing odour”, Elmira Independent, April 20, 2001
99 Julie Sawyer, “Not all contamination attributed to Crompton”, Elmira Independent, June 1, 2001,p.4.
100 Bob Burtt, “Environment Ministry to probe Crompton spill”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, August 24, 2001
101 Julie Sawyer, “Plant tour reveals odour source”, Elmira Independent, August 31, 2001
102 Bob Burtt, “Push to use suspect pesticide concerns Elmira residents”, Kitchener-Waterloo Record,December 18, 2001
103 Julie Sawyer, “Questions raised about agreement”, Elmira Independent, March 1, 2002
104 Gail Martin, “Crompton plan called into question”, Elmira Independent, March 28, 2002
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