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The History of the Former Superfund Site. Love Canal is an area located in Niagara Falls, New York named after William T. Love. (Beck) It was Loves idea.

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Presentation on theme: "The History of the Former Superfund Site. Love Canal is an area located in Niagara Falls, New York named after William T. Love. (Beck) It was Loves idea."— Presentation transcript:

1 The History of the Former Superfund Site

2 Love Canal is an area located in Niagara Falls, New York named after William T. Love. (Beck) It was Loves idea in the early 1890s to construct a canal which would connect the two levels of the Niagara River separated by Niagara Falls. (Beck) Map of Love Canal (Boston University)

3 After a loss of financial backing, the canal project was halted in the mid 1800s. (Danis) This is what followed…

4 In the 1940s Hooker Chemical, now known as Occidental Chemical Corporation, was granted permission by the Niagara Power and Development Company to dump its wastes into the abandoned canal. (Wikipedia) The dumpsite was in operation until 1952. (Townsend 9) During this time over 21,000 tons of toxic chemicals were deposited at the Love Canal site. (Danis) Chemicals included: chlorinated solvents, benzenes, toluene, pesticides, and dioxin. (Townsend 9)

5 After the waste dumping ceased, the land was covered with clay and sold to the city and the Niagara Falls Board of Education for one dollar. (Danis) By the late 1950s, approximately 100 homes and a school were built on the site. (Beck) By the 1970s, over 950 families occupied the area. (Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]) This area remained relatively problem-free until the mid 1970s. (Danis)

6 Two years of high precipitation resulted in record rainfall in 1976-77. (Townsend 10) Chemicals began seeping from the dumpsite into the backyards, basements, and sump pumps of homes adjacent to the Love Canal site. (Townsend 10) Disposed chemical barrels on Love Canal site (I Am Green)

7 Corroding waste-disposal drums could be seen breaking through the grounds of backyards. (Beck) Trees, grasses, and gardens were turning black and dying; lawns were shrubby. (Beck) Swimming pools were uprooted from their foundations. (Beck) The air was ridden with a strong toxic odor. (Danis) Dying vegetation at the Love Canal site. (Arctic Compass)

8 Unusually high rates of miscarriage (Beck) Babies were born with birth defects including, but not limited to: Mental Retardation Low birth weight Stunted growth Missing kidneys Other external bodily deformities. (Townsend 9) Children and pets got chemical burns from playing outdoors. (Beck) Individuals were reported with high white blood cell counts, a possible warning-sign of leukemia. (Beck) Others had extensive chromosomal damage. (Townsend 11)

9 Other miscellaneous health problems included: Recurring headaches Nosebleeds Rashes – on both humans and animals Reproductive, respiratory, and gastrointestinal disorders (Townsend 10)

10 The New York State Department of Health and Environment Conservation began investigating the site in early spring 1978. (Townsend 10) After testing of soil and groundwater, the New York State Department of Health declared a health emergency on August 2, 1978. (Townsend 10) After it had been made clear that the Love Canal was a serious threat to public health, the government developed a plan of action. (Danis) Protester at Love Canal (Michigan State University)

11 President Jimmy Carter described the situation as being one of the grimmest discoveries of the modern era. (Beck) On August 7, 1978, President Carter approved emergency financial aid funding for the Love Canal area. This was the first time emergency funds were ever approved for something other than a natural disaster. (Beck) An 8-foot-high chain link fence was installed around the 65 acre site, and a 40-acre clay cap covered the contaminated area to prevent the rainwater from getting in. (Townsend 11) Wells, pumps, treatment filters, and monitoring equipment were installed to transport the waste to sewers. (Townsend 11)

12 In response to the problems at Love Canal, bill H.R. 7020 was introduced to the house on April 2, 1980. (Wikipedia) In late 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, was passed. (EPA) Superfund is a federal government program to locate, investigate, and clean up the worst uncontrolled and abandoned toxic waste sites in the United States. (Courtesy of

13 The May 1980 Presidential Emergency Declaration permitted the relocation of 710 families, in addition to the 337 homes that were evacuated since 1979. (Townsend 10,11) The 93 rd Street Elementary School was closed and demolished in 1980 due to contamination concerns. (Associated Press [A.P.]) Residents of a 250 unit public housing complex found it difficult to rent acceptable housing and therefore remained in the Love Canal neighborhood. (Townsend 11) By September 1981, 189 of the 250 units were vacant and boarded up. (Townsend 11) The complex was demolished in 1988 due to the great deterioration of the building and the high cost of repairs. (Townsend 11)

14 The EPA discovered sediments in the sewers and creeks that flowed from the site were chemically contaminated. They decided to have the sediments incinerated. (Townsend 12) In 1989 Occidental Chemical Corporation was permitted to move the 15,496 double- lined plastic bags to its plant site in Niagara Falls for storage. Each bag contained about 3 tons of waste. (Townsend 12) The waste remained in storage until Occidental acquired its own incinerator. (Townsend 12) In 1998, Occidental was able to send less-contaminated materials to a landfill in Utah. (Townsend 12) In 1999, the remaining bags were sent to four other states with waste facilities affiliated with Occidental. (Townsend 12) The most toxic bags were incinerated at Deer Park, Texas and Argonite, Utah. (Townsend 12)

15 The final act of the cleanup was focused on containing the remaining waste under a thick clay cap and high-density synthetic liner and surrounding it with a barrier drainage system. (A.P.) Additional site contamination is controlled by a facility that collects and treats run-off from landfills. (EPA) Occidental Chemical Corporation has paid more than $233 million since 1995 to cover the costs of the clean-up and medical expenses. They continue to pay for the sites monitoring. (A.P.)

16 The former Love Canal site was transformed into what is now referred to as Black Root Village. It has been a functioning neighborhood since 1996. (Townsend 13) Neighborhoods west and north of the former canal have been restored. (EPA) The area east of the canal was sold for light industrial and commercial use. (EPA) Apartment buildings have been constructed and more than 200 of the previously condemned homes have been fixed up and sold to new owners. (EPA) The EPA removed the Love Canal site from the Superfund National Priorities List in September 2004. (EPA) The area continues to be monitored and will remain eligible for any necessary cleanup in the future. (A.P.)

17 Associated Press. "Love Canal Cleanup Called Finished." MSNBC - Environment., 18 Mar. 2004. Web. 08 June 2010.. Beck, Eckardt C. "The Love Canal Tragedy | EPA History | US EPA." US Environmental Protection Agency Journal (1979). The Love Canal Tragedy. US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2, 12 Aug. 2009. Web. 08 June 2010.. Danis, Karen. "The History of Superfund: Love Canal." Department of Biology. Kenyon College, 01 Dec. 2001. Web. 07 June 2010.. Farlex, Inc. "Superfund Program - Definition of Superfund Program by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia." The Free Dictionary. 2003. Web. 09 June 2010.. Love Canal. Photograph. I Am Green. 01 Oct. 2009. Web. 08 June 2010.. Love Canal 5. Photograph. Niagara Falls, New York. Arctic Compass. By Mark Johnson. 01 Oct. 2009. Web. 09 June 2010.. Love Canal Protest. Photograph. Niagara Falls, New York. Michigan State University. 24 Apr. 2007. Web. 09 June 2010.. "Love Canal." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 2 June 2010. Web. 07 June 2010.. Map of Love Canal 1. Photograph. Niagara Falls, New York. Love Canal: Start of a Movement. By Lois Boston University School of Public Health. Boston University, 2008. Web. 08 June 2010.. Townsend. "Love Canal." Editorial. The Society for Applied Anthropology Mar. 2001: 6+. The Society for Applied Anthropology, Mar. 2001. Web. 05 June 2010.. United States. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Removes Love Canal From Superfund List. US Environmental Protection Agency, 30 Sept. 2004. Web. 08 June 2010..

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