City waives soil contaminatioin rule at new Drayton theatre site

This ran in the KW Record…  comments invited below

Please click on this link for the full story

no enviro testing for drayton land

No link available to the site…. they didn’t post this very important piece of information on line..(?) Freedom of the press you say! Not anymore Canada

My Letter to Phil Shewan. Ministry of Environment inquiring as too how Cambridge can get away with this.

—– Original Message —–

From: Debbie Vitez

To: Phil Shewen

Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 12:33 PM

Subject: Drayton building lot


Hi Phil 


Can you please tell me how the city of Cambridge can get away with building without the required ” Record of Site Condition?”


This is the second time that I am aware of ,that this city has gotten away with this.


 The Bundy Tubing site in Hespeler, where they put up a Shoppers Drug Mart and a Liquor Store..


Why are there rules, when this city doesn’t have to follow them?.


I am posting this letter on the Cambridge Advocate and will also be posting your response..


 I think it only right that the citizens of Cambridge know how this is allowed to continue..


What is the job of the Ministry of Environment again..?


yours truly

 Debbie Vitez



15 Responses to City waives soil contaminatioin rule at new Drayton theatre site

    agm June 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    “…one of the most studied sites in the community”. O.K. now what exactly were the results of those studies? Is the City of Cambridge willing to make those extensive hydrogeological studies available to members of the public with the time, motivation and or knowledge to read them?

    m. clairmont June 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    For years there was that gas station on the corner of Grand Ave. and St. Andrews, and the old Goldies factory, that I am aware of… amazing how someones pockets are getting fuller from the giant payoffs from somewhere…and blind eyes turn away yet again…DISGUSTING!!!!

    Debbie Vitez June 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    On Thu, 6/16/11, Shewen, Phil (ENE) wrote:

    From: Shewen, Phil (ENE) Subject: RE: Drayton building lot
    To: “Debbie Vitez”
    Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 4:45 PM

    Hi Debbie,

    I received your email and will follow-up with you early next week.


    Phil Shewen
    Environmental Officer
    West Central Region
    Ministry of the Environment

    Thomas Vann June 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    So if someone were to purchase an old contaminated site studies are now waived. So will that go for all the apts. that they want by the river in Hespeler, by the the river in Galt, and by the river in Preston. Then we have all the old gas stations all over this city. This is great news we can put all our leaders on these sites to live with their families. Really, this is another bit of proof that there is something not right here at city hall. Who cares about rules, we’ll do it anyways we are the boss? Are you starting to see the big picture yet Cambridge? This Drayton story is getting bigger and better all the time. Hey, l can’t wait till we get to the parking issues and who is going to end up paying for that. Has the Feds. or Province tossed any cash in yet? Hang on to your wallets folks next up double figures increase in our taxes. Attention K-Mart shoppers, in isle 6 we have a vast number of seniors homes on the block as well as some laid off people that can’t afford to pay the taxes on their homes so we will be taking them over and selling them at discount prices. ln isle number 3 we have several contaminated sites selling (with a free pass of an inspection) for next to nothing just drop off your contribution at the door. Thank-you for shopping at K-Mart. l will bet anybody more sites will be waived in this town soon enough so a new corner store or whatever can pop up. Ah, what’s a little pollution in our town so long as it aint in my backyard or water.

    Bev McDowell June 17, 2011 at 6:51 am


    Perhaps Mr. King was referring to the environmental study that was done in 2008, when I believe the site was turned into a parking lot.

    It can be found at

    under the heading “Background” number 11 Environmental Assessment.

    agm June 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Thanks Bev: I’ll look it up.

    agm June 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    O.K. It’s a twelve page report which isn’t much of a report in the scheme of things. There is free phase LNAPL (light non aqueous phase liquid) which is solvents lighter than water, floating on the surface of the water table. What it means with either LNAPL or DNAPL is that there was more solvents released than the groundwater is able to readily dissolve. LNAPL chemicals include Benzene, Toluene, Etyhylbenzene and Xylenes. These are typical of servise station releases of gasoline or diesel. There is also DNAPL (dense non aqueous phase liquid), specificly Trichloroethylene (TCE). From what was mentioned in post # 2 I would guess that the TCE came from Goldies rather than the service station. Also interestingly there is vapour intrusion of Benzene and TCE into 42 Grand Ave.and 14 St. Andrews St. respectively. I have a question for Debbie. Did I recently read here in the Cambridge Advocate that the 2.3 ug/m3 indoor air standard has been reduced? The reason I ask is because the 2.3 number is the one this report is using.

    Debbie Vitez June 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    On Wed, 6/22/11, Shewen, Phil (ENE) wrote:

    From: Shewen, Phil (ENE) Subject: RE: Drayton building lot
    To: “Debbie Vitez”
    Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 12:07 PM

    Hi Debbie,

    Please be advised that the ministry legislation pertaining to a Record of Site Condition is Ontario Regulation 153/04. A Record of Site Condition (RSC) is a mandatory requirement of Regulation 153/04 under specific circumstances. More information on the regulation and when a RSC is required can be found at:

    Basically, a RSC is required when there is a change in land use from a less sensitive to a more sensitive use. A change of use from a parking lot to a performing arts theater is not the type of change that would typically require a RSC under Ontario Regulation 153/04.

    In addition to the requirements of the ministry’s legislation some municipalities have developed their own policies and requirements for completing a RSC. For more information on the City of Cambridge policies I suggest you contact Steve Matheson, City of Cambridge at 519-740-4683 x4624.

    Phil Shewen
    Environmental Officer
    West Central Region
    Ministry of the Environment
    Guelph District Office

    Debbie Vitez June 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Agm..
    Yes the levels have been reduced to 0.05 if they are still using those old levels, someone needs to be told about this. People are dying from this crap and no one seems to care.. WTF

    les kadar June 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Mr. Shewen’s letter in my view, states the city has to do the RSC. No exceptions !
    However, if you harken back to Moffat Creek, there were all kinds of Ministry objections to that sewer going beneath the drinking water stream too that oddly, were ” waived” or mitigated and the project moved forward and completed. The old story is coming back again. When government wants something, it always seems to find a way to get it done, unlike the private sector who can’t cut through the red tape with a chain saw.

    The material listed in the 2008 study as agm has stated is nasty stuff.
    This may well add yet another million or two to that ” max 6 million ” expenditure we the tax payer are ” investing ” in this ” good deal ” which is now at approx 4.9 plus the loan of 5.1 million dollars.
    If that’s not crafty accounting I don’t know what is.
    Either way, Gary Goodyear is just waiting for the HST dollars to start rolling in and the heck with the tax payers of Cambridge carrying a 610,000 dollar per year mortgage with no ROI. Hell ROI, we still don’t even have a lease agreement with the exlusive tennant !!!!

    les kadar June 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

    It seems I neglected to read down to the bottom of his letter.
    The issue has already been mitigated.
    Someone needs to tell Mr. Shewen this is not just a preforming arts center as it is being billed.

    This centre is inteneded to be the Head Office for Drayton Theatre Enterprises, which will house their staff on a full time basis.
    It is also the equivalent of a ” dorm” or ” hotel ” of sorts where the actors will be staying/living overnight for months or weeks on end.
    I have to think that the classification for a supposedly empty building, that would only hold the public for a few hours a day versus a partime hotel/office complex are quite a different story.

    However, I not the caveat that he has placed on the involvement and responsibility of the MOE by stating that some Municipalities have developed their own RSC. Love it. No ombudsman, No environmental oversight either. Welcome to Cambridge.

    G. Griffon June 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Cambridge is quickly becoming known as a place with political problems. l can’t count the number of problems that have come to light in the last five years here. Not too many people l speak with like the old boys club downtown and now we now have a bigger council that does little. Can we not get something done in this City without some hidden problems coming up? Things are not well at City Hall and we feel it. l hope this means we will have this site cleaned or at least checked out before they build. Nothing to worry about right? So do a test to prove it to us.

    W. Clarke June 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    G. Griffon l think you should call you councillor whoever he is and demand a test be done or call for your taxes to be lowered due to the house price dropping. Better yet call Doug Craig to set up a meeting of the minds and ask him to show you the last test results. Don’t go to a lawyer or sit there and bitch. Call them and tell the residents to as well to call. Make them earn their millions.

    les kadar June 26, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Griffon, join forces with Southworks, John Wright in demanding the test results or be included in his request for the letter to indemnify you and your neighbours from future harm.
    You have to act now as a group or forever hold your breath as once they dig , it’s too late to complain.
    As Clarke said, Craig needs a call/visit and fast. Take as many folks with you as possible and don’t let the city conquer and divide opinions when they find out there is more than one unhappy resident. Now is about your last chance to get something done.

    G. Griffon June 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    This weekend l talked to neighbours about this polluted site and nobody wants to get sued or involved with the City. Most are worried that they will become a lightening rod by City Hall and don’t want trouble. This John Wright should have more money than us so it’s up to him to talk to the City. He can afford a lawyer we can’t. lt was a good idea and we still are concerned about property values but we are not wealthy and we just hope the City will do the right thing for us.

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