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EF Classwork 10/1/18
4 months ago
The start of the buyout of around 900 homes; years of legal battles and disputed health studies; the formation of the Superfund cleanup program; and a new awareness of the dangers of living with chemical waste.
Hooker Chemical decided to use Love Canal for waste disposal of chemicals. They dumped thousands of tons of chemical waste.
Hooker Chemical sold the canal to the Niagara Falls school board. It was decided that a school and a playground would be built.
People who moved away from the Canal in the 50s and 60s might have inadvertently harmed their children. There are unusually high rates of birth defects in children born to mothers who lived at Love Canal.
Michael Brown wrote a couple of stories about the wastes buried at Love Canal.
Unusually heavy snow and rain in 1976 and 1977 raised the water table and flushed more chemicals out of the canal.
About a hundred residents attended an emotional public meeting at the 99th Street School. State and local health officials openly disagreed about the severity of the health risks posed by the chemicals, and the meeting devolved into chaos.
State health commissioner Robert Whalen announced a state of emergency at Love Canal and recommended that pregnant women and children under the age of two temporarily move, as soon as possible, but did not offer any financial help.
The governor announced that the state would buy the 239 houses closest to the canal.
A decision was made to purchase the remaining homes after sources leaked the results of an EPA pilot study.
The remaining houses in the inner rings were bulldozed in 1982.
The NY state health commissioner declared the area north of the canal to be safe for for habitation based on an interagency review overseen by EPA.
The Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency refurbished the empty homes north of the canal in the 1990s and sold them for 20% below market value, with waivers of liability for contamination.
The EPA added a synthetic barrier layer to the site and improved and expanded the treatment system.
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