What happened at the Love Canal?

By: James JihanUpdated: October 16, 2020


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Love Canal. In 1978, Love Canal, located near Niagara Falls in upstate New York, was a nice little working-class enclave with hundreds of houses and a school. It just happened to sit atop 21,000 tons of toxic industrial waste that had been buried underground in the 1940s and '50s by a local company.

In respect to this, how was the Love Canal disaster resolved?

Industrial chemicals dumped into the partly completed canal by the Hooker Chemical Company from 1947 to 1952 have been removed or contained in one area that was lined with impermeable materials and capped by clay. A drainage system collects water runoff and treats it.

Subsequently, question is, is the Love Canal safe today?

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency decided today that much of the Love Canal neighborhood in Niagara Falls, N.Y., is safe enough from chemical contamination to permit people to move back in. On the basis of a joint New York State-E.P.A.

Who was responsible for the Love Canal tragedy?

By the end of the 1940s, Hooker Chemical Company was searching for a place to dispose its large quantity of chemical waste. The Niagara Power and Development Company granted permission to Hooker during 1942 to dump wastes into the canal.

Who cleaned up Love Canal?

Occidental Chemical Corp., formerly Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corp., used the abandoned canal for its waste in the 1940s and 1950s. The company has paid more than $233 million since 1995 to cover cleanup costs and medical expenses for victims of the contamination and continues to pay for the site's monitoring.


How did the Love Canal affect people?

At first the EPA estimated that people living along Love Canal stood a 1 in 10 chance of getting cancer during their lives just from breathing the polluted air. But several days later the agency admitted to a mathematical error: The increased risk was actually 1 in 100 and far less for people just a few blocks away.

How did they clean the Love Canal?

The cleanup at Love Canal has centered on containing the waste under a thick clay cap and high-density polyethylene liner and surrounding it with a barrier drainage system. Areas deemed safe again have since been resettled as “Black Creek Village.”

Why are they called Superfunds?

Superfund is the common name given to the law called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA. That means that the government can't spend Superfund money on anything except cleaning up hazardous-waste sites.)

Why is it called Love Canal?

242,200) on the western frontier of New York State. The landfill takes its name from William T. Love, whose plan it was in the 1890s to dig a power canal between the upper and lower Niagara Rivers to provide cheap hydroelectric power for a proposed model industrial city.

How many people died at Love Canal?

Of these, 706 were deceased, 5,221 were alive through 1996, and 47 were lost to follow-up some time after their interview and before 31 December 1996.

What chemicals are in Love Canal?

At the end of this period, the contents of the canal consisted of around 21,000 tons of toxic chemicals, including at least twelve that are known carcinogens (halogenated organics, chlorobenzenes, and dioxin among them).

How did the Love Canal toxicology begin?

As it turns out, consecutive wet winters in the late 1970s raised the water table and caused the chemicals to leach (via underground swales and a sewer system that drained into nearby creeks) into the basements and yards of neighborhood residents, as well as into the playground of the elementary school built directly

How much did the Love Canal clean up cost?

The removal of Love Canal from the Superfund list will be mostly symbolic. The cleanup at the toxic waste site, the nation's most notorious, took 21 years and cost close to $400 million, but most of the work was completed a few years ago.