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Frequently asked questions

Will LANXESS pursue the remediation work and projects Chemtura has started around its Elmira site?

We are a specialty chemicals company based in Germany and acquired Chemtura Corporation in April 2017. LANXESS therefore also held liable for any contamination at the former Chemtura location in Elmira.

We are committed to pursue the environmental projects going on at Elmira site and to ensuring that work is carried out to the highest possible standards, so that future contamination is avoided.

What is done to mitigate the risk of future releases into the environment?

LANXESS is committed to being a responsible neighbor and community partner. This is reinforced by our commitment to the Principles of Responsible Care and our Corporate HSEQ Policy.

We recognize and acknowledge that historic waste management practices resulted in contamination of soil and groundwater on and off-site. These practices, while permissible in the day, were in a time before there was the understanding of the environment that we have today. However, we have actively been engaged in remediating the contamination from those past practices and preventing future problems.

LANXESS works collaboratively with the Ministry of the Environment, and all other Federal, Provincial and local environmental and safety authorities. We make a significant financial investment each year to mitigate our operation’s risk to the community and our neighbors and to remediate past environmental impacts.

Is the remediation on track to meet the 2028 clean up deadline mandated by the MOECC order? If not, what can be done/changed to meet that date?

We are proud of the progress that was made so far and are continually refining our efforts in order to remediate the off-site aquifers by the 2028 date set by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The progress toward achieving the 2028 cleanup target date is formally evaluated every five years using detailed groundwater computer modeling and data collected from approximately 300 groundwater monitoring wells. 

The last computer modeling conducted in 2012 showed that we could improve our ability to meet the MOECC’s 2028 cleanup deadline by adding several new offsite extraction wells to the South and West of our Elmira property.

The addition of these four new extraction  wells, and a new expanded water treatment system (by end of 2017) will nearly double the groundwater pumping rates and treatment capacity. Although these four wells approximately double the groundwater pumping capacity, the footprint of each well is relatively unobtrusive. A small pump house and driveway is all that will be visible.

There has been confusion over the location and effectiveness of GP1 and GP2. Can those locations be pinpointed? And have they been effective in retaining contaminants in groundwater?

The test pits map shown on the East Side Surficial Soil and Groundwater Investigation Work Plan page shows the exact location of both Gravel Pits 1 and 2 (GP1 and GP2) in the Southeastern corner of the LANXESS property. Although the construction of the pits predated LANXESS start of operations in Elmira, the nature of the soil there and the pits’ location at a low point on the eastern property have made them effective in containing the non-water soluble contaminants present in wastewater that was purposely discharged from up-gradient ponds.

Remediation of GP1 and GP2 was undertaken in 2013-2014 through a combination of soil excavation/disposal and capping with clean fill, and the site was restored with native trees, wetlands and other ecological features.

Has any contamination extended beyond LANXESS’ property to the East or South?

In 2016 the former company Chemtura Canada has released a report of the findings of its East Side Surficial Soil and Groundwater Investigation. This report documents the soil and groundwater investigation completed along the eastern and southern boundaries of the Elmira site. The work was completed at the request of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

The investigation concluded that there are few impacts to groundwater associated with historical activities at this part of the site; however, some variances from the applicable risk criteria for dioxins and furans suggest that additional investigation of shallow soils along the border of the property may be warranted. The access to the adjacent property is currently being awaited.

Address

Elmira Facility

Production site

25 Erb Street

Elmira, ON, N3B 3A3

Phone: 519-669-1671