By  | June 5, 2017 | 9 Comments | Filed under: About Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Well done Anam Latiff and the Waterloo Region Record.

Today’s story on the front page of the Local Section is titled “Ministry looks at new options for Northstar site”. The description of the planned new remediation methods is clear and straightforward and educational for the public. The focus on the health issues caused by vapour intrusion from Trichloroethylene (TCE) in the groundwater is excellent as this is the primary exposure route causing major health damage and eventual death in some residents of the area.

A couple of additional points need to be made including that Northstar filed for bankruptcy hence I don’t believe that any money ended up going to the residents of the Bishop St. community whether for pain and suffering or for their direct health costs. Secondly the neighbouring company also responsible for groundwater pollution was at one point General Electric but it was also known as Borg-Warner and perhaps initially as Rozell.

This second location put both TCE and TCA (1,1,1 Trichloroethane) into the groundwater. My notes from several years back indicate that Northstar was responsible for 3/4 of the TCE in the groundwater whereas Rozell/GE was responsible for all of the TCA.

Another significant point is that both TCE and TCA are DNAPL chemicals. This means that they can gravity flow away from the initial discharge to the ground and slowly sink through the earth until they come to a lower permeabilty zone. Here they can sit literally for decades and longer, very slowly dissolving into the groundwater as it flows by.

The concentrations eight years ago certainly indicated the presence of DNAPL TCA and TCE around the Rozell/GE site. In that case I have to ask exactly where the proposed two new remediation methods are going to take place. If done immediately downgradient of the Northstar site it will reduce but never eliminate the overall TCE plumes and it won’t do anything for the TCA plume from Rozell unless it is downgradient of that site. Maps of these proposed strategies, if they haven’t already been made availble to the nearby residents, need to be released immediately for their study. Similar to Elmira we have two (or more) sources very close together.

It is far too easy to blame one and underestimate the effects of the other(s).




    Les June 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Allan, I feel these chemicals are second only to something as dangerous as radiation.
    What is so incredibly wrong is the complete avoidance and continuous denial by the only people that can
    enforce compensation and whatever cleanup is possible. That being government.
    Corporations scream and complain about too much legislation. I would call this no legislation at all. The
    victims here are the totally innocent public. Many levels and stripes of government have passed thru the many years gone by without a firm and expedient solution to the problem while the people who live in the area and
    drink the water that is unacknowledged as being contaminated downstream are getting sick and dying.
    In fact denial of cancer from the chemicals is the biggest insult of all. If the chemicals are non toxic then why the lame effort to clean them up?
    I am actually shocked no one has opened up a class action law suit that is having to live with the machines on their property that continue to remind them of the danger beneath their feet. Simply disgusting.

  2. Debbie Duff Vitez June 6, 2017 at 8:29 am

    We won a 5 Million Dollar class action and the company was allowed to file bankruptcy without paying out..

    We did receive some compensation,( for our inconvenience) the amount owed to my family was approx $30,000 and we received $3,000… [ YES THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS..pennies on the dollar…}

    They are still in business, probably under a new name!! Meanwhile the victims are still suffering..

    Did I mention that I was hit with a $118,000 dollar legal bill..???

    Widowed and forced into Bankruptcy at age 60.. after losing everything..

    Things only appear to be better in Canada.. Trust me they are not.. It’s just that nice Canadians continue to be run over and accept it quietly..

      Les June 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      Deb, Allan’s response below is where I was going.

    alan marshall June 6, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Lord knows I’m no fan of the courts. It’s called the “Just Us” system for a reason. It’s all for the benefit of lawyers and judges.

    That said I’m thinking about a class action suit against the Ministry of Environment primarily although the Region and City don’t exactly have pristine hands either. Nowadays have the contingency fee rules been relaxed in Ontario whereby law firms can charge a percentage of the winnings AFTER a court decision is rendered? Keep in mind that Cambridge law firm who are part of the class action suit against the Waterloo Regional Police Service that was written up in last Saturday’s K-W Record.

  4. Debbie Duff Vitez June 6, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Are you reading this Tracy Hipel?

    You’re the only one left with the backbone and strength to take this on..
    God knows, I’m tired.. but.. I have lots of data to contribute, as I fully know, you do as well…

    alan marshall June 6, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Tracy/Deb or whomever. I’m not a credentialed expert but I will offer free technical analysis of hydrogeology, groundwater and contaminant flow to lawyers or anyone else who needs briefing. My knowledge is much stronger on the groundwater side than on the vapour intrusion issues and indoor air quality matters.

  6. Debbie Duff Vitez June 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Thank you Alan..
    Your continued support and knowledge is greatly appreciated..

    Tom Vann June 6, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Al. Can you analyze the effects of my years of drinking and how it has effected my mind and body? Seriously. This is shameful and I must state that Anam does do a fine job of honest reporting.

    Then I see Mike Mann come up for air from wherever the heck he has been hiding all these years.

    Jan has been involved more than Mann. Oh yeah….an election is coming.

    I don’t trust this guy with my pet Gerbil. Just another puppet like 4 others in my books.

    Then again “Who’s the Cop” still shows me how “Just Us” works.

    In closing..I’m gonna let my grass grow to 2 feet like Pam’s Ward allows at the old Dixon School.

    People sick from this pollution is just wrong Deb. I kinda wish I was still drinking like I used to some days.

    Then you would see shit git done in the dark. Doug looks like shit these days.

    Maybe being too close to another council member all day. Did I leave anything out?

  8. Debbie Duff Vitez June 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve heard about had bad he looks… Karma is a funny thing..

    I also heard from friends who recently attended a public event.. and she was shocked at how many people hated him..

    They wondered out loud, how he continues to be voted back in..

    I only wish I had been in attendance.. I wouldda told em loud and clear.. lol

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