Love Canal The Love Canal was a project envisioned by William T. Love at the end of the nineteenth century. Love dreamed of creating a canal that could connect the Niagara River to Lake Ontario in the LaSalle region of the city of Niagara Falls, New York. With the money and man-power to begin the project, it turned out to be short-lived, and the dream canal was never completed. The canal, after being filled with water, danced between different companies for a few years, all while keeping its purpose consistent; a dumpsite.
Finally in 1942, the Hooker Electrochemical Company discovered and gained access to the site. Chemical wastes from their work as well as from the war efforts of World War II was planned to be contained by the canal. Wasting no time, the canal was lined with a thick clay wall, and the chemical disposal ran up to twenty-one thousand tons until the year 1953. With the population expansion of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Falls School District needed more and more schoolhouses to host the increasing amount of schoolchildren.
The school district became fixed on the dumpsite still owned by the Hooker Electrochemical Company, who repeatedly warned the district of the toxins buried deep underground the site. Refusing to pass, the Niagara Falls School District bought the property for a total of one dollar and proper knowledge of the chemical wastes. Two schoolhouses were built atop the former toxic dumpsite along with housing communities the district had sold out to land developers.
Throughout all of the construction, holes were punched hrough the protective clay walls of the canals, and cracks grew deeper allowing the wastes to seep into the water and along the ground. Soon it was discovered that the residents in the canal region had been consuming the toxins, causing numerous birth defects among its inhabitants. David Pollack and David Russell initiated investigation of the affected community, but were further investigated by Michael Brown who took the story mainstream. Members of the neighborhood also formed a protest group lead by Lois Gibbs.
Towards the end of the 1970s, both of the onstructed schools were torn down, and women and children were urged to evacuate the area. It wasn’t until August 7, 1978, that Love Canal was declared in critical state by President Carter, and was issued emergency funds to help “remedy the neighborhood. Today, the Love Canal holds relevance as it continues to remind us of the importance of correct chemical disposal as well as reduction of chemical disposal. One generation of defected people due to chemical waste is more than enough for the rest of time. By goldengir192