Our last visit of the trip was Love Canal. Love Canal is named for William T. Love. In the 1890s he wanted to build a canal connecting the two levels of the Niagara River separated by Niagara Falls. He thought it would provide hydroelectricity to the area's growing industries. As you know, this is an historically significant site for the environmental and hazardous waste industry. Love Canal was a dump site/landfill for chemicals disposed of by Hooker Chemical Corporation. They sold the site to the Niagara Board of Education in 1953. By 1955, construction on the site initiated for a school and homes. In the 1970s, chemicals bubbled up into some of the homes, and the residents wanted to know why there seemed to be higher levels of disease in the area. By 1978, Love Canal had become a national media event with articles referring to the neighborhood as "a public health time bomb," and "one of the most appalling environmental tragedies in American history."
The management firm provided an exceptional history of the site, and the engineering to control the contamination. They also described the monitoring in place and hsowed us the water treatment facility. We walked across the "Canal" to get a scope of the size (relatively small) and think back to how terrible this place was. Love Canal was the site that lead to the creation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly known as the Superfund.