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Love Canal (Kelsey Kenrick)
Between 1942 through 1953 the Hooker Chemical Company dumped 21,800 tons of waste into an abandoned canal in New York. Eventually, the land was covered with clay and the dumping stopped. Unfortunately, the land was slowly developed into a small town in Niagara Falls called, Love Canal. The tight clay walls of the canal were weakened with the building of streets and plumbing. The start of the problems began back in 1953 when the Niagara Falls Board of Education bought the land at the dumping site for one dollar and built an elementary school on top of it. The rest of the town was built around the school and all the buried toxic chemicals. The architect who was hired to build the school questioned the safety of building on the land but the Board of Education ignored this and continued to build. As early as the 1950's strong odors were a problem in the area but they were attributed to the chemical companies in town. It wasn't until the mid 1970's that strange problems occurring in the area started to be reported.Other problems also occurred including children and dogs developing skin irritation after spending time in the field around the school as well as rocks that would explode when dropped. Finally, an investigator from the Niagara Gazette took some sludge from a neighbor's sump pump and had it analyzed. The results showed that the sludge was definitely from what the Hooker Chemical Company had disposed of in the ground. After this first bit of concrete evidence, the Department of Environmental Conservation of New York (DEC) got involved. It had been made clear that Love Canal was a serious health threat and actions were taken to create a program that would fund the cleanup of this and similar sites.


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Resources:
http://www.sfaa.net/eap/lovecanel.pdf
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/cercla.htm
http://biology.kenyon.edu/slonc/bio3/2001projects/Superfundkdanis/historylovecanal.html