The Love Canal Case Study

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In 1836 the U.S. Government looked for a possible site for a ship canal to connect Lake Erie and Lake Ontario [9]. After surveying was done, it was decided that Lewiston, New York would be a great place for the canal and even a good source of inexpensive water power [9]. It was not until 1892 that William T. Love came into the picture. William T. Love had a dream of building a dream community in Niagara Falls, New York. The Love Canal was intended to bring cheap power to the upper and lower parts of the Niagara Rivers. The short canal was built to help do this. However, in 1910, the project failed because of the economy and advancements in the electrical field by Louis Tesla. The economic depression caused the financial backers of the canal…show more content…
Hooker Chemical & Plastics Corporation, now Occidental Chemical Corporation, used the canal to dump their chemical waste during that period. The company placed the chemicals in 55 US gallon drums when disposing of the chemicals [10]. According to the USEPA Hooker Chemical & Plastics Corporation dumped over 21,000 tonnes of hazardous chemicals in the canal [10]. Hooker Chemical covered the dumpsite with clay in attempts to prevent the chemicals from leaching. By 1953, they covered the dumpsite with soil and sold the land back to the city for $1 [11]. Finally, in the late 1950s, homes, and schools were built near the canal and the community that William T. Love envisioned was starting to be…show more content…
The Love Canal is a perfect example of the importance of the proper disposal of hazardous waste. If the hazardous waste was disposed of using today’s standards then this would have never happened and countless lives would have not been negativity affected. There was a large amount of politics involved in this situation with failures and blame on both public and private parties. Some of the incidents that happened were due to unintentional actions because of ignorance of the subject of hazardous waste. The remediation process of this also shows how long it takes to clean up hazardous waste. The site was even placed on the Superfund National Priority List; it took serval years and multiple different types of clean up. It also proved how sick people can become and how much damage these hazardous chemicals can do to the environment. It showed how important it is for people to be aware of what is going on in their community. The complaints from the homeowners of the odors from the chemicals and being aware of the changes happening because of the chemicals is what drove the investigation. Residents have the power to be heard and to make a change. It is their job as residents to take action for change and that is exactly what the residents of the Love Canal did. This serious incident that affected a large group of people physically, mentally and environmentally lead to the creation of CERCLA. It brought to

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