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Love Canal - An Introduction

Added04/07/2006

Updated01/11/2016

Author(s) Mark A. Zaremba
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Year 1998
Publisher provided Keywords ENGINEERING ENVIRONMENTAL ethics
Publisher National Academy of Engineering, Online Ethics Center

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Later Developments at Love Canal

The EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in September 2004

2004 Developments

Love Canal Removal from Superfund List 2004: Though Love Canal has been relatively clean for a few years, the former toxic waste site was only recently, in March of 2004, recommended by the EPA for removal from the Superfund list. This proposal opened the door to a 30 day period of public comment. If taken off of the list, Love Canal will be watched closely for any signs that the area needs further cleanup. Love Canal is fast being repopulated; about 250 of the surrounding homes have been sold. Many residents feel that Love Canal is now a clean, safe place; however to some people such as environmental crusader Lois Gibbs, Love Canal is still as much of a toxic waste dump as ever. Gibbs is quoted in the Buffalo Newsas saying "It's obviously not cleaned up, because there are still 20,000 tons of chemicals buried there and it's only a matter of time before it leaks."

Still others find the Love Canal cleanup to be conveniently timed by President Bush to coincide with an election year. Luella Kenny, a former Love Canal resident who believes her 7 year old son died as a result of the contamination, suggests in the Buffalo News that "it's (President) Bush's way of trying to correct a dreadful environmental issue by claiming his govenment cleaned up Love Canal." Environmental cleanup has decreased dramatically during the Bush administration, and it has been suggested that the removal of Love Canal from the Superfund list was facilitated to demonstrate how the Bush administration cares for the environment.

References

  • DePalma, Anthony and David Staba. "Love Canal Declared Clean, Ending Toxic Horror" New York Times, March 18 2004. Section A pg 1.
  • Michelmore, Bill. "Love Canal Edges Toward Normalcy/As Love Canal is Taken off the Federal Superfund List, Disputes Still Rage Over Whether the Area is Fully Detoxified." Buffalo News, March 20 2004. Section A pg 1.
  • Thompson, Carolyn. "EPA Proposes Removing Love Canal from Superfund List." Associated Press, March 17 2004.

1998 Developments

Occidental Corporation settles with the final 900 families who were seeking damages from their time at Love Canal. The final total for Occidental: 2,300 families, each receiving payments of $83,00 and $400,000.

Families continue to flock to the Love Canal area, now known as Black Creek Village. Of the 239 homes allocated to the Love Canal Revitalization Agency, 232 have been renovated and sold at 15 to 20 percent below market value. A waiting list exists for those homes not yet renovated.

August 10, 1998

The federal government agrees to pay $6.1 million to the State of New York as reimbursement for Love Canal cleanup. According to New York officials, the money had been sought for nearly 20 years. The money, in the form of a USEPA credit, will now be used for other environmental efforts within the state.

The decision was delayed by disagreement over the possibility of applying funds from the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or "Superfund") retroactively to a state's expenditures. This settlement indicates that it can be done; the $6.1 million was money spent by New York to clean up Love Canal before CERCLA had been enacted.

Cite this page: "Later Developments at Love Canal" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 5/31/2006 OEC Accessed: Sunday, July 14, 2019 <www.onlineethics.org/Resources/lcanal/7482.aspx>