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Love Canal Environmental Project

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Kaitlin Barakat

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of Love Canal Environmental Project

Love Canal Background Information: The Disaster: By: Daljit Ahulwalia & Kaitlin Barakat In 1910, a man named William T. Love envisioned to make a dream community using a three block track of land on the eastern edge of Niagra Falls, NY. A problem arose when he did not know how to transmit electricity over long distances in an economical way. In 1920, the land turned into a chemical dump site. In 1953, the owners of the property covered the canal with earth and sold it to the town for a dollar, without removing the chemicals. The town did not know what had happened to the land. The families who later bought homes on this land suffered from birth defects, miscarriages and burns from the chemicals. During the 1950's, 21,000 tons of chemicals including alkaline, chlorine, dyes, perfumes and synthetic chemicals were dumped into the area which was supposed to be the canal. This is a prime example of human error because had the chemicals not been dumped by the Hooker Chemical Company, the townspeople would not have fallen ill. This could have been avoided easily with proper chemical disposal sites. Love Canal The Response: The trees and gardens were turning black and a swimming pool had popped out of its foundation. Puddles of chemicals were also found in yards, basements and even school yards. Also, the air had a faint, choking smell. After the incident, there was an increase in birth defects and miscarriages, leading to an evacuation of the town. President Carter approved emergency financial aid. A plan was supposed to be set in motion to detoxify the canal, using a trench system to drain chemicals, but current citizens are still complaining of illnesses relating to the disaster. The Impact: In 1980, the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency (LCARA) was founded in efforts to restore the site. All of the houses in the residential area around the canal have been demolished and high barbed wire fences have been placed around the perimeter. 248 different types of chemicals including 130 pounds of Dioxin have been traced. The Love Canal is important in U.S. environmental history because it led to CERCLA. As a result, people who once lived near the canal still suffer from Leukemia and other types of health issues. Our Thoughts: We think proper planning and cautious disposing of waste chemicals was foolishly overlooked. William T. Love should have been responsible by checking his financial and economical status before planning the project. Also, this disaster could have been prevented if chemicals had not been disposed into the canal. Using the land was not worth the risk and damage it caused to future buyers of homes in the area. Works Cited: Beck, Eckardt C. "The Love Canal Tragedy." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013. <http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/lovecanal/01.html>.

Prohaska, Thomas J. "Love Canal Area Families File Lawsuit against City over Release of Chemicals." Municipal Insider. Buffalo News (New York), 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130209/CITYANDREGION/130209112 Video: http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130209/CITYANDREGION/130209112 Present Day Accounts 3 families who live near Love Canal sued the city for $113.6 million, claiming health problems, including a baby born with severe birth defects, caused by a sewer main break; One couple reported their child to having clubbed feet, and heart defects. The complaint charges that someone used a high-powered water jet to try to wash the chemicals off the street, but the high-pressure hoses only spread the chemicals. http://www.wkbw.com/news/video/Former-Love-Canal-Students-Getting-Sick-166194666.html
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