Presentation on theme: "Jen Webb Wesly Menard Robert Bookman"— Presentation transcript:
1 Jen Webb Wesly Menard Robert Bookman Love Canal DisasterJen WebbWesly MenardRobert Bookman
2 Learning ObjectivesGive a brief explanation of the Love Canal Disaster.Pick two (2) toxins that were released from the landfill and list their health effects.What are the difference between our landfills today and the way the landfill was constructed/maintained in the Love Canal Disaster.Explain CERCLA.How long after a landfill is finished can you build on it?
3 It started out as a bid for hydroelectricity… Back in the 1890’s…William T. LoveVery ambitious entrepreneurNiagara Falls, NYRapidly growing cityHarness water’s power!Model City/shipping laneLots of expectations!Arrow on the left = Niagara FallsCircle/Arrow = Love Canal
4 Project abandonedOnly a few houses and streets built and a small section of the canal dug before Love ran out of $$1 mile long50 ft wide, ft deepBecame local recreationareaArrow = the canal
5 Sold, sold, & sold again! Sold to the city in 1920’s City dump siteHooker Chemicals & Plastics in 1942Granted permission to use the canalDumped over 21,000 tons of chemical wastes over 10 years.Niagara Falls Board of Education in 1953Needed land, like BAD.
6 Hooker Chemicals & Plastics Needed a place to dump their trash.Drained the canal, lined it with clay.Filled it with 55gal barrelsHalogenated organics, pesticides, chlorobenzenes and dioxin, etc…Buried ft.Bought the land in 1947Once full, “covered” with clay and soil and grass grew.Wanted to sell the land.
7 Niagara Falls BOE Rapidly growing district Sought the land next to the canalHooker Co. wouldn’t sell the landBOE got dirty (eminent domain)Bought 70+ acres of land for $1Hooker Corp. made sure to protect themselves in the deed negotiatedBuilt school over the canal and homes on adjacent land
9 Left image: Love canal in 1940 Right image: 99th School District 1977
10 Elementary school, homes, expressway... Found barrels during excavation at original school siteMoved location ~85ft to the NorthDuring first year, 25ft area of land crumbled revealing buried barrelsBroke thru the clay barrier when constructing residential sewersLaSalle Expressway cut off groundwater from reaching Niagara RiverBoth good and bad
11 The results…Chronology In 1976, two reporters for the Niagara Gazette, David Pollak and David Russell, tested several sump-pumps near Love Canal and found toxic chemicals in themThe matter went quiet for more than a year and was resurrected by reporter Michael Brown, who then investigated potential health effects by carrying forth an informal door-to-door survey in the early summer of 1978, finding birth defects and many anomalies. The New York State Health Department followed suit and found an abnormal incidence of miscarriages.Government official show little interest in the matter. Love Canal Homeowners' Association was founded
13 The results…Chronology The lack of public interest in Love Canal made matters worse for the homeowners' association, which now battled two organizations who were spending vast amounts of money to disprove negligence.Following survey of multiple hideous birth defects and reports of cancer, New York State Health Commissioner, Robert Whalen declares a state of emergency exists at the Love Canal and orders closing of 99th Street School and evacuation of pregnant women and children under the age of two. (1978)President Jimmy Carter approves emergency financial aid for the area
14 Jimmy CarterNiagara Falls Mayor Michael O'Laughlin, President Jimmy Carter and New York Governor Hugh Carey
15 The results…Chronology November 10, 1978 200 tons of dioxin, a lethal chemical are reported buried in the canal and over 200 chemical compounds are identified as being buried in the canal. Residents fears heighten.Report of this find and refusal to continue evacuation lead to fierce protest
16 The results…Chronology At first, scientific studies did not conclusively prove that the chemicals were responsible for the residents' illnesses, and scientists were divided on the issue, even though eleven known or suspected carcinogens had been identified, one of the most prevalent being benzene. There was also dioxin (polychlorinated dibenzodioxins) in the water, a very hazardous substance. Dioxin pollution is usually measured in parts per trillion; at Love Canal, water samples showed dioxin levels of 53 parts per billion
18 The results…Chronology After a long hard battle, in April 1979 EPA approves $4 million for remedial work at the Love Canal. City receives $1 million in Federal Disaster Assistance Administration fundsEPA announces creation of a special task force to aid in identification and clean-up of toxic waste sitesThe government relocated more than 800 families and reimbursed them for their homes,
19 Abandoned Love Canal home with EPA monitoring unit work, FINALLYAbandoned Love Canal home with EPA monitoring unitEPA truck in the foreground cleaning the playground of the 99th street school. School can be seen in background
20 The results…Chronology Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or the Superfund Act in 1980, that holds polluters accountable for their damages.Hooker Chemical was found negligent, but not reckless, in its handling of the waste and sale of the land to the Niagara Falls School Board.
21 So, What happened? The dumpsite was not properly covered. Lots of rain. No leachate poolLeachate seep through the soil into people’s yard, groundwater, basementsFirst chemical seepage into basement reported in Evacuation in YEARS LATER????
23 So, What happened?Despite the disclaimer by Hooker Chemical (not very surprising name), the 99th St. School was builtUpon discovery of the waste during excavation, the site was moved ONLY 80ft North1955, school completed, playground collapsed, exposing chemicals. Mixed with rainwater, puddle created. Children play in “puddle”.
24 So, What happened?City tries to build underground sewage system for rainwater. Construction broke the clay coverMore waste chemical seepResident unaware of canal history. Not included in contract.Therefore, no monitoring and further evaluationClay crackLaSalle Expressway construction cut off groundwater from reaching Niagara River. Dump site floodedPuddle of chemical emerge in yardEverything goes amiss from there
25 Why It happened? Signs were, for the most part, ignored. Low income, lower class families. Government ignored their pleaOf course, disregard to human life and future generationTrees were dying, leaves turning blackSwimming pool floating awayPuddles of chemicals found in people’s yard. They did little about itThe choking smellIt wasn’t until 20yrs after the first signs that the town was evacuated
27 So, what are the chemicals found Over 80 compounds in total we isolated, among themCompoundAcute EffectsChronic EffectsbenzeneNarcosis Skin irritantAcute leukemia Aplastic anemia Pancytopenia Chronic lymphatic leukemia Lymphomas (probable)tolueneNarcosis (more powerful than benzene)Anemia (possible) Leukopenia (possible)benzoic acidSkin irritantlindaneConvulsions High white cell countstrichloroethyleneCentral nervous depression Skin irritant Liver damageParalysis of fingers Respiratory and cardiac arrest Visual defects DeafnessdibromoethanebenzaldehydesAllergenmethylene chlorideAnesthesia (increased carboxy hemoglobin)Respiratory distress Deathcarbon tetrachlorideNarcosis Hepatitis Renal damageLiver tumors (possible)chloroformCentral nervous narcosis Skin irritant Respiratory irritant Gastrointestinal symptoms
28 Impact of the Chemicals Table II Maternal Age and Number of Miscarriages (Observed and Expected*) Among Residents of the Love CanalTABLE IV Documented Congenital Malformations Among Children From the Love CanalImpact of the ChemicalsEven though 17 miscarriages don’t seem too much, remember this is a small community. That’s 22% miscarriages in a very short time.Maternal AgeNumber of PregnanciesNumber of MiscarriagesObserved<20220-241325-2928330-3419635-39158All Ages7717Type of MalformationSexDate of BirthMedication, Radiation during pregnancyCleft palate, deformed ears and teeth, hearing defect, mental retardation, heart defectF11/68NoAbnormalities of renal pelvis and reflux ureters4/75Mental retardation (autistic)1/66Congenital deafnessM2/66Club foot1/58Some of the major birth defects documented at Love Canal
29 AFTERMATH EPA addressed the Site in 6 stages: Landfill Containment w/ leachate collection, treatment, and disposalExcavation & Interim storage of the sewer & creek sedimentsFinal treatment and disposal of the sewer and creek sediments and other Love Canal wasteRemediation of the 93rd Street School soilsEDA home maintenance and technical assistance by the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency (LCARA)Buyout of homes and other properties in the EDA by LCARA
30 DioxinsPolychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), or simply dioxins, are a group of polyhalogenated compounds which are significant because they act as environmental pollutants. They are known mutagens, and suspected human carcinogens
31 INITIAL ACTIONS1978System installed to collect leachate from the siteLandfill area was covered and fencedLeachate treatment plant was constructed1981EPA conducted environmental studies
32 LANDFILL CONTAINMENT1982Barrier drain and a leachate collection system constructed by EPAThe temporary clay cap was covered with synthetic material to prevent rainwater from entering landfillHouses adjacent to landfill and school were demolished
33 LANDFILL CONTAINMENT 1985 NYSDEC installed 40 acre cap on landfill Improvements made on the leachate collection and treatment systemNew leachate treatment facility constructed
34 SEWERS & CREEKSSewers and the Black Creek culverts were hydraulically cleanedRemoval and dispersal of contaminated sediments from Black Creek and Bergholtz Creek (Dredging)14,000 cubic yards of sediments removedSewers inspected for defects that could allow contaminants to migrate68,200 linear feet of storm and sanitary sewers were cleaned
35 THERMAL TREATMENT OF SEWER AND CREEK SEDIMENTS 1987 – EPA addressed the destruction and disposal of the dioxin-contaminated soilOn-site facility to dewater and contain sedimentsSeparate facility to treat the dewatered contaminants and leachate treatment facility residuals by high-temperature thermal destructionAll contaminated soil was removed from 93rd Street School property; building was demolished
36 HOME MAINTENANCEFederal government and State of New York purchased affected properties in the EDAEPA provided funds for the rehabilitation of the siteSince rehabilitation program began:Approximately 260 homes soldSenior citizen housing development
37 CLEANUP PROGRESS 1988 EPA issued Love Canal EDA Habitability Study Study conclusions:Areas 1-3 of the EDA, not suitable for habitation without remediation, but may be used for commercial and/or industrial purposesAreas 4-7 of the EDA may be used for residential purposes
38 CLEANUP PROGRESS Quantities of Love Canal waste materials (2008) Total sewer and creek sediment wastes38,900 cubic yards at 1.6 tons/cubic yard = 62,240 tonsOther debris and waste21,167 poundsSpent Carbon Filter Wastes30,080 pounds
39 CLEANUP PROGRESS Numerous Cleanup Activities Landfill containment Lechate collection and treatmentRemoval and disposition of contaminated sewer and creek sedimentsSite is deemed safe for surrounding residents and the environment
40 CLEANUP PROGRESS Revitalization New homeowners have repopulated areas of the site deemed habitable260+ formerly-abandoned homes have been rehabilitated and sold to new residentsSeptember 20085-year review report issued by EPA2004Love Canal removed from National Priorities list
41 PROPER LANDFILL CLOSURE Plan for eventual site use before landfill is constructed and operatedCritical factors to plan for:SettlementApprox. 90% occurs in first 5 yearsMay continue for 25 or more years at a slower rateFoundation characteristicsControl of leachate and gasVegetationFinal grade
42 SITE CLOSURE CHECKLIST Pre-planningPrepare site drainage planIdentify final site topographic plan3 months before closureSchedule closing dateNotify regulatory agencies and site usersClosurePlace cover over exposed wastePost signs indicating site closure and alt. disposal sites
43 3 months after closure Complete needed drainage control features Complete gas collection or venting system, leachate containment facilities, and gas or groundwater monitoring devicesPlace earth cover over landfillEstablish vegetative cover
44 BUILDING ON LANDFILL Major design considerations: Consolidation-time-settlement relationshipsLoad-bearing capacityPlacement of sewer, water, electric, and gas utilitiesGas-venting techniques
45 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? HOOKER CHEMICAL’S & PLASTICS RENAMED - OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION