Love Canal: Should The Inhabitants Be Evacuated?

Love Canal was a small community in Niagra Falls, New York. It boasted about 100 houses and an elementary school. However, it was built on a chemical waste ground. Today, major regions of Love Canal are repopulated, while some of it is still off limits due to the health hazards (except for enviornmental photographers on occasion). But the question is: Should the inhabitants on the current Love Canal area be evacuated fropm their hones? Is Love Canal really safe for people to live on? You'll get my answer in this blog post.

First, I'll explain the entire history of Love Canal. In the early 1890s, a man by the name of William T. Love had major ambitions. He planned to build a prosperous society on a canal called Love Canal, which would boast one million people and multiple jobs. The dam nearby would supply hydroelectric energy. However, his plan fell flat. Investors turned away from the idea due to the dam being unnecessary (new means of transporting energy were invented) and the economy fluctuating. After just a little bit of development, Love did manage to create a pit about a kilometer wide which would have been part of the canal described above. The put filled up with water and was used for swimming and skating until Niagra Falls, which was developing rapidly, bought the pit in 1920. They decided to use the pit for chemical waste. In the 1940s, Hooker Chemical (Yes, that is the real name) bought the pit and used it for, you guessed it, chemical waste. In 1953, the pit was nearly full, containing 22,000 tons of chemical waste. When the pit was full, Hooker Chemical put clay and dirt over the waste to "seal" it. However, that didn't prevent one of the biggest enviornmental tragedies in US history...

Hooker Chemical came up with the INGENIOUS idea to sell the land for about a dollar to a school district. There, Niagra Falls' school district built an elementary school on top of what was basically a toxic waste pit. Around the school, a neighborhood started to develop, no surprise. These people had no idea they lived right on top of a chemical dumping site. The community was very middle-class, and started to thrive. However, the waste began to kick in. Studies showed that Love Canal citizens had alarmingly high rates of birth defects, cancer, and many other diseases. Students who went to the school felt sick, and this was a problem for Lois Gibbs and her son Michael. Michael attended the nearby school ans started to suffer from epilepsy, a low white blood cell count, urinary tract infections, and asthma. Gibbs realized she wasn't the only one: in one case, a child was born being deaf, had a cleft palate, an extra row of teeth, and a little bit of mental retardation. She started to assemble a group of people to protest against the people who said nothing was wrong with Love Canal, including Niagra Falls' mayor. Gibbs successfully got the region to be the center attention, as it made national and possibly even international news. It was later stated to be a health emergency. At first, families with babies were the first evacuated due to them being the most vital to get out of the region. As time passed, Gibbs became the poster girl for enviormental causes, and eventually, Love Canal became the first Superfund site in America. The Superfund, in case you don't know, block up regions of the country that are enviornmentally unsafe and they clean them up to become inhabitable.

However, this isn't the end of the story. Recently, Love Canal was taken off the Superfund list (but the area where the chemical pit was is still blocked) and people are starting to move in. A middle class subdivision was developed which is doing fairly well. But the controversy due to its past is still there and people are still getting upset over the fact that people are living there. In 2013, a family said there was chemical waste leftover from the dumping in the yard. Their yard was checked and the waste was cleaned out, but this was the only spot it was found. Some people think that there will be birth defects later as time passes by, but only time will tell.

What do you think? Should these people be evacuated from the region? Should the entire area be closed off for nobody to visit? Or, should the region be considered safe to live in now? Comment below, please.


I personally think the inhabitants should be evacuated, but it still seems illogical that a school district would build a school on a chemical waste pit for the sake of saving money. - Turkeyasylum

The school built it over the chemical waste so they can make Super Mutants... They want Fallout to be real... The children are mining in the chemical waste to make nukes and when they do, they'll nuke themselves and the world for the sake of Fallout... - SirSkeletorThe3rd

I think it should be evacuated, it should be clear that this place is not safe for living. - Martinglez

Evacuate - CityGuru

Awesome post. I think the people should have choice, not be decided for - EvilAngel

I agree with Evilangel - 2storm

No... I don't say that it should not be a living place for who should be evacuated but I say that the Love Canal itself should not be closed and I think that there is no problem for me - kontrahinsunu