Love Canal


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Love Canal,

section of Niagara Falls, N.Y., that formerly contained a canal that was used as chemical disposal site. In the 1940s and 50s the empty canal was used by a chemical and plastics company to dump nearly 20,000 tons (c.18,000 metric tons) of toxic waste; the waste was sealed in metal drums in a manner that has since been declared illegal. The canal was then filled in and the land given to the expanding city of Niagara Falls by the chemical company. Housing and an elementary school were built on the site. By the late 1970s several hazardous chemicals had leaked through their drums and risen to the surface. Investigations confirmed the existence of toxins in the soil and determined that they were responsible for the area's unusually high rates of birth defectsbirth defects,
abnormalities in physical or mental structure or function that are present at birth. They range from minor to seriously deforming or life-threatening. A major defect of some type occurs in approximately 3% of all births.
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, miscarriages, cancercancer,
in medicine, common term for neoplasms, or tumors, that are malignant. Like benign tumors, malignant tumors do not respond to body mechanisms that limit cell growth.
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, illness, and chromosome damage. Families were evacuated from the area in 1978, and in 1980 the Love Canal area was declared a national emergency.

The disaster led to the creation of the Environmental Protection AgencyEnvironmental Protection Agency
(EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and disposal of toxic
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's "Superfund," which makes responsible parties liable for the cleanup of environmental hazards. More than $20,000,000 in settlement damages was paid by the chemical company and the city of Niagara Falls to a group of former residents. The company also agreed in 1994 to pay New York state $98 million and in 1995 to pay the federal government $129 million toward the costs incurred during the cleanup of the area. The evacuated neighborhood was repopulated in the 1990s after the cleanup was completed.

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Few environmental disasters are as devastating as Love Canal, Bhopal or Exxon Valdez.
The Love Canal saga was called a "warning signal" for other communities that could be experiencing the same types of exposures and similar effects on children's health.
Like Lois Gibbs, a mother from Love Canal, New York, who inspired millions with her crusade against toxics, the fourth wave germinates within communities facing environmental degradation, rather than the divine intervention model which the national groups often try.
In some parts of the Love Canal parcel, the cover layer was only six inches deep.
To make abstract technical decisions more concrete, science writers often examine the personal choices of their technical in formants ("Would you live at Love Canal?"), undermining the idea that technical decisions are based on depersonalized evidence.
He holds stock in major polluters like Occidental Petroleum, still in court over its liability for Love Canal. He favors chemical and pharmaceutical companies, which Moody's Investors Service calls "among the highest risks" for Superfund liability.
Albond was the man tapped to handle the single largest crisis in the city's history: Love Canal.
Though The New York Times had jettisoned the Love Canal canard, The Washington Times continued to misrepresent the key quote, although with a new twist.
** The Youngstown dump now being considered for expansion has been taking in toxic and radioactive waste since 2001, when the Love Canal cleanup was in full swing.
Essays from the colonial era through the present day examine themes ranging from resource conservation and environmental law to grass-roots environmental activism at Love Canal. The selections are drawn from various fields and are accompanied by an introduction relating background information and explaining how each work influenced the course of American environmental thought and policy.
He was the Department of Health and Human Services' principal representative in the response to the national disaster at Love Canal where he coordinated health studies and recommendations in support of the eventual relocation and restoration of a major portion of the community.