Woolwich Township’s inaugural chair of the Technical Advisory Group has passed on his torch after retiring from the position as of Dec. 31.
Tiffany Svensson, of BluMetric, will replace Dick Jackson to head up the citizen body tasked with reviewing technical advice regarding the remediation process with Chemtura. TAG and the Remediation Advisory Committee replaced the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee in 2015. RAC reports to council and includes Chemtura and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Chemtura.
Jackson says he originally took on the chair role out of a sense he owed it to the community.
He believes the problem with the groundwater contamination is that it wasn’t until 1998 before the pump-and-treat regimen began, long after the chemical spill happened, which allowed the problem to worsen.
He’s also proud that during his time as chair they convinced Chemtura to retain the services of Neil Thomson, a distinguished expert in groundwater remediation from the University of Waterloo who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, according to Jackson.
Tiffany Svensson is a hydrogeologist at BluMetric Environmental Inc. in Kitchener.She’s scheduled to be the chair until 2018 and then six months beyond the municipal election that year. She says she has an interest in the protection and management of groundwater resources and particularly in the Region of Waterloo.
She’s been following along with the contamination issue in Woolwich since the 1980s.
“I would have been very familiar with the early stages of when this started back in 1989 because it really did rock the hydrogeology community, certainly at the University of Waterloo, where I was working at the time because it was right here in our own backyard. There’s always been that bit of interest there just because it’s right here in Waterloo Region,” Svensson said.
Her professional experience has primarily been focused on the management and protection of groundwater resources. Over the past 20 years she’s worked closely with a variety of stakeholders who were interested in the management and protection of groundwater resources in Ontario.
She says she wants to help move the process forward in her new role and build on what her predecessor and the group have done the past year, by accomplishing the goals set out in the 2016 work plan created by TAG.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully making a positive contribution and really empowering the committee members who have worked really hard in their volunteer capacities to really make a difference and contribute. I want to be there to facilitate that and really make sure that the community feels that their interests are covered off well,” Svensson said.
Posted on 13 January 2017
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