By  | July 5, 2017 | 4 Comments | Filed under: About Trichloroethylene (TCE)

I renewed acquaintance with Tracy Hipel two days ago. Tracy has been an outspoken advocate, along with Debbie Vitez and others, in regards to the health and safety of the Bishop St. community residents. They have been victimized initially by Northstar and G.E.-Rozell via vapour intrusion into their homes that resulted from negligent handling and or disposal of Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Trichloroethane (TCA) as well as Chromium VI. In my opinion they have been further victimized at every opportunity by self-serving politicians and governments from the municipal, regional and provincial levels. Tracy dropped by and left me with three recent reports dated February, March and April 2017, written by Dillon Consulting on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

To date I’ve read the first one titled “Remedial Options Screening”. It is excellent in that it lists fairly clearly and concisely seven inherently different remedial possibilities namely 1) continued Groundwater Extraction 2) In Situ Chemical Oxidation 3) Thermally Enhanced Extraction 4) Permeable Reactive Barriers 5) In Situ Reductive Dechlorination 6) Containment by Solidification, Encapsulation and 7) Excavation (and Disposal or Ex Situ Treatment).

All of these technologies are proven however depending upon the geological and geophysical conditions present at a contaminated site, some are better suited than others. The other major difference is of course whether the remedial option is designed for mitigation of the adverse health effects/containment of contamination preventing it from spreading or whether it’s actually designed for remediation ie. physical removal and or destruction on site of the toxic compounds.

Of the seven options there are four which potentially can be construed as either physically or chemically removing or destroying the toxic compounds mentioned in the first paragraph. Unfortunately (albeit honestly) Dillon have advised us that In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) and In Situ Reductive Declorination (ISRD), under the Bishop St. conditions and circumstances are unlikely to succeed in destroying the sources of contamination. Yes they will greatly assist in breaking down dissolved TCE and TCA in the groundwater but the likelihood of free phase DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquid) present in both the Shallow Aquifer as well as the Bedrock Aquifer means that after ISCO or ISRD are used these undissolved TCE and TCA “blobs” for a better word will continue to slowly dissolve into the groundwater over decades if not centuries, hence recontaminating the groundwater all over again.

The other two true remedial technologies are Thermal Enhanced Recovery and the old, expensive but tried and true Excavation and Disposal. This is where the gamesmanship begins in regards to “ranking” of the options. There is an old saying that it’s O.K. to stay within the lines as long as you are the one who has drawn the lines. Well it is not the local residents who have “drawn the lines”. It is Dillon, possibly/probably in conjunction with their client, the Ontario M.O.E. who have set the criteria and rationale for ranking. They have severely under ranked the Remediation/Mitigation criteria as well as the Applicability criteria in favour of two of the six Criteria given. The two overrated criteria both relate to costs namely “Relative Capitol Cost” and “Operations and Maintenance Costs”. Fully 1/3 of the criteria are about money when the biggest criteria should be about both long and short term health.

Until I’ve read all three reports I will withhold further comments and detailed specifics.

Suffice to say to date I am not impressed with Dillon’s ranking of options via their (& the M.O.E.’s) self-serving weighting and ranking of the options.

Alan Marshall


Debbie here.. On a personal note.. this makes me sick..

Let me tell you about DILLON..

My late husband and I initially hired Dillon back in 2006 when we first discovered the contamination in our home

Only to be informed by Dillon after they did the final testing on our property that they would no longer be able to test

our home or represent us.. We were told by our Lawyer that Dillon was told by { someone}? that if they continued to work with the Vitez family

they would not receive any further contracts from the city of Cambridge..


Proof of my claims… here is a link to one of several reports I have in my possession prepared by Dillon when they worked for us..

It was Dillion who contacted us on a Friday evening at 7pm on the  Labour day long weekend in 2006  after testing our home earlier in the day,

telling us to get out of that house…. we did… and ended up losing everything over that phone call…

And if memory serves me correctly their bill to us was APPROX..$38,000.00 . yes that’s Thirty Eight Thousand Dollars!!!


dillion October 2 2006 Results




    Maggie July 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Wow Deb – you sure are a mountain of information. This is certainly dreadful what has happened to yourself & the other people. This is shameful. And here again is the idiot Mayor spending Millions on a dumb old post office & Millions on the Bridge to no where while these people in Preston have had their lives and livelihood ruined. Cannot believe how much you & the others have suffered by the hands of a corrupt company and our City Mayor and Councillors.
    We are sure with Tracey Hipel & his fight to right this disastrous situation.
    Good luck.

    alan marshall July 6, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Maggie: I too support Tracy, Debbie and all the rest of the Bishop St. community past and present. Not trying to be picky here but the fact is there is virtually no way now to right the situation. People have died and others will have life long health effects. Money can help health issues and punish the guilty but not bring back life or good health. That said yes we all should step up and do whatever we can to demand more for the Bishop St. community and to once and for all clean up this grotesque and ongoing contamination.

  3. Debbie Duff Vitez July 6, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Alan Marshall.. yes Tracy and I were heavily involved in the Preston mess..
    but.. it was you dear man from up in Elmira who contacted us and took us under your wing, educating us on how this system works..( or doesn’t work)

    It was also you, who supported the 3 woman from Cambridge back in 1992 when they first discovered the toxic drinking water in Cambridge.. From Ciba-Giegy and Canadian General Tower to name just 2 sources…


    alan marshall July 8, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Thanks Deb. Unlike a book three years ago produced by Bob Burtt, the reality is that it takes multiple citizens fighting an environmental battle to get anywhere. Your and others pressure including the Cambridge Advocate have resulted in these latest offerings of more cleanup for the Bishop St. community. Keep the pressure on where ever and whenever possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *