Government Conspiracy to Minimize perceived Health Damage in Cambridge

After twenty-two years involvement with contaminated sites, both with hands on experience and with the reading of hundreds of groundwater reports I consider myself extremely knowledgeable regarding the transport and fate of toxic compounds in the subsurface via groundwater.

 I do not consider myself an expert in regards to air transport of contaminants.

 This also includes the subsurface transport of toxins via soil gases.

 Nevertheless I have recently received information which indicates that we the public are being seriously misled in regards to the health risks and damage experienced by the Bishop St. community in Cambridge, Ontario.

My experience at other contaminated sites in Waterloo Region has indicated to me a strong penchant by both our Regional government and our Provincial government to always attempt to minimize the crisis.

In Elmira for example both the company and the Ontario M.O.E. have focused for decades on 2 or 3 contaminants while conveniently not mentioning hundreds of others. They have also sold an impossible (but inexpensive) remediation plan to allegedly restore the drinking water aquifer by 2028.

Dated May 2011 is a report by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP). This report purports to advise its’ readers as to the mathematical health risks the Bishop St. community have been subjected to due to vapour intrusion into their homes. This report is a crock of crap.

It is based on data and assumptions which can only charitably be called optimistic.

 Dissolved toxins in water do not magically disperse instantaneously throughout underground aquifers.

The same is true for volatolized (gaseous) toxins in regard to them instantaneously dispersing throughout either subsurface pores in the non saturated (vadose) zones or even in the above ground air. Within peoples’ homes in Cambridge are large differences in TCE concentrations from their upstairs rooms to their basements.

OAHPP appear to have based their entire report on one chemical, namely TCE (trichloroethylene). TCE may be the most volatile but it is not the most toxic. Some of its’ breakdown products are more toxic and they are in the groundwater as well as the air inside homes.

Furthermore when tested for, benzene has been found in indoor air.

Many more toxic chemicals albeit at lower concentrations have been found in indoor air.

 Absolutely no one can mathematically or otherwise calculate additive or synergistic health effects of multiple toxins on human beings.

Hence the OHAPP report is bogus simply due to its’ basic false assumptions of only one chemical present.

The entire OHAPP report is based upon the “knowledge”/ assumption that the TCE indoor concentrations while between .2 to 2100 ug/m3 , average out to 52.3 ug/m3.

One these readings only start AFTER 2005.

Claims that these numbers accurately represent the indoor air concentrations in peoples’ homes for the prior thirty-five years isn’t science.

It doesn’t even rate being called guesswork.

Were all the basements finished with concrete floors thirty-five years ago?

Did they all have finished recreation rooms?

 Did any of them ever leak?

 What were the original capabilities of the air circulation systems and furnaces ?

What was the exact history of spills, leaks and dumping of toxic chemicals at Northstar and Rozell (GE) decades ago?

Now we come to the actual TCE readings in these houses.

There is one house which has readings in its’ basement twice as high, five times as high and even fifty times as high as the maximum relied upon by the OAHPP.

Clearly these higher readings taken by professionals accredited in the field, were taken differently than the ones done by the consultants paid for by Northstar etc..

 How is it honestly possible to have such dramatic differences found by experts for the polluter versus independent experts?

How many other homes if sampled differently, more accurately (?), or by different professionals would also have dramatically higher indoor air readings?

How many of these other citizens could have been able to afford thousands of dollars of costs to have their own professionals do this work?

Are our governments (Provincial & or Regional) blatantly deceiving citizens knowing that usually they can’t afford their own experts?

Sadly as stated earlier it has been my experience that both Regional government and Provincial (M.O.E.) routinely minimize environmental crises for their own benefit, both political and financial.



13 Responses to Government Conspiracy to Minimize perceived Health Damage in Cambridge

    Thomas Vann July 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    So agm, are you surprised? l wonder how many of these government officials live in or near contaminated areas? How many allow their children to do so? Everything can be corrected but will the almighty dollar allow them to do so. Pay offs and butt patting go a long way in making people turn a blind eye. Can you imagine how proud some mom’s and dad’s are of their kids for pulling off lies and conning the public so they can get ahead or impress their boss. There is a price to pay for being a crook, just look in the mirror. Are you proud of yourself?

    agm July 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    The justification politicians may use is that they are trying to avoid panicking the public. Hear in Elmira, for many years the senior management of Chemtura have all lived in Guelph or Waterloo. What worries me is that all the technicians and environmental studies grads , hydrogeologists etc. are hired by consulting firms who in turn are hired by the biggest polluters. There are a few so called independent hydrogeologists but most of them know where their bread is buttered as well. Basically professionals in the environmental field have to be very careful not to criticize either other consultants’ opinions or the M.O.E. . What comes around goes around and they could be jeopardizing future income.

    Thomas Vann July 13, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Just tell the truth agm. lt can not be any clearer. Respect is gained through honesty job or no job. A coward dies many deaths. Hey how about a BBQ soon? l want to invite Sherrie and her brother as well. The mayor may show up as well. l think Gary would show up if l said free food. Are you in?

    les kadar July 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

    AGM the entire professional field is corrupt in one way or another as a result of the need to earn a living.
    When your work involves the government or any other customer for that matter, there is only one direction you are allowed to go and that is the one they require at the time. We have also experienced some very shady to say the least results put out by so called professionals in the planning and environmental fields. The key usually is the good ole, terms of reference put out by the government which of course limit all aspects of any investigation to what they want to see and hear. Anything else stays out even if it is the truth and seriously detrimental to the surrounding area and the people that live there. At the very least, our government should be leading the way to doing the ” right thing ” even if private enterprise does not.
    What is always strange to me, is that the very people that write these rules, regulations and terms of reference are just that… people. Regardless of whom they work for, they breath, eat and put on their shorts just like we do yet they see nothing wrong in destroying other peoples lives and livelihoods, but as you state, not usually where they have just allowed a mess to be made. It’s a little like the dog. It won’t crap in his bed either even though it is only a dog. We are a lot smarter, yet we see fit to crap in other peoples beds and then try to convince them that it doesn’t stink and will be warm at least for a little while so you’ll save on heating bills. The funny part is, people buy it.
    For this reason, I have no mercy for such people who have the power to fix things but chose not to do so.
    For what reason they have chosen to do so I no longer care. The end result is always the same though.
    Here in Cambridge our council just passed up on cleaning up a contaminated site that they are proposing to put the new theatre building on. They received and “A ok ” from the MOE not to do so, sort of.
    The end result will only show itself down the road to the community.
    Residents and investors around this site have been waiting with baited breath for this project to go ahead under the misconception that ” their property values” will go up and their ” taxes will go down”???? once Drayton is up and running.
    Somehow the math as basic as it is, doesn’t add up but has the vailed support of councillors.
    Now that they will be living across the street from a contaminated site that has NOT been fully cleaned up, my first thought is on how it will be registered on their deed and when comes time to sell, what will be stated in the real estate contract with regards to the contamination issue.
    City staff Monday night confirmed the presence of contamination in several areas with unknown levels as it has not been tested. So the huge excitement about the development will now possibly take a turn these folks were not expecting. Too bad, cause all they have to do is read.

    m. clairmont July 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    SO… after reading the last comment, I see that the customer is NOT always correct, and big business will find a way to always convince you that they have given you the best they can offer, no matter what the situation is at hand……Holy F !!! Is there really that many people out there, taking care of our well-being, that are all blind ? Apparently so…………………………..

  6. Debbie Vitez July 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    not …”apparently so!”…
    “Definitely so”…… and it’s getting worse..
    Glad I’m on the back side of this journey, I hate to think what hell our children are in for..
    We need more walking like an Egyptian

    Thomas Vann July 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Things will get worse Deb. Look for the okay to develope on any polluted land coming to a theater near you. lt’s open season on the public.

    agm July 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Thomas: Give me a call when you get the chance. Thanks agm.

  9. Debbie Duff Vitez June 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    worth bringing forward..

    agm June 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Holy crap did I write that a year ago? See a year later, I’m a year older and wiser. Therefore region of waterloo & Ontario M.O.E. just send me a $1,000,000 bill and I’ll recant. Honest I will and I promise not to spend that million dollar bill all in one place.

  11. Debbie Duff Vitez June 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm


    People like you and a few others don’t get the pay offs.. they know we’re decent and dedicated and wouldn’t stoop to their level

    t.hipel June 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Another question to ponder is this.
    The great health office of Waterloo region and others have consistently said that there are no health affects associated with tce in these small numbers because the area is too small to study.

    My question I have been asking for lets over 6 years is, get ready for this.



    Thomas Vann June 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Tracy. You know that the 1st thing most people in government at all levels learn is how to lie to the people in such a way it sounds like they care or are willing to help. The government is right up there with most lawyers, used car salesmen, con men, and ex wives.

    Even in our city they tell ya ” l do what l’m told”.

    Right and wrong means nothing to most of them. Money! Money Tracy!

    That is the idol they fall down to. Then they look into the mirror and say “l did a good job”. Tracy, they don’t care. Have you noticed how our local politicians are making sure they get into the media on a regular basis. Set up for 2014 my man. The ducks will all flow downstream together and pat each other on the back. So sad.

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