Love Canal

Timeline created by snogoose
In History
  • William Love's model city

    William Love's model city
    William T. Love plans a model city for the Niagara River area. He convinces the legislature to build a power-generating canal near Lake Ontario to encourage industrial growth. <a href='http://www.wnylegacy.org/u?/BUF004,3' target="_blank" >View larger image</a>
  • Model City abandoned

    Model City abandoned
    William Love abandoned his model city and canal plan. Tesla's discovery of alternating current made industrial locations near water-powered electricity less important to manufacturing. Congress also passed environmental legislation that protected waterfalls, making it more difficult to divert water from the river. View larger image
  • Founding of Hooker Electrochemical

    Elon Hooker starts the Hooker Electrochemical Company in the Niagara Falls area. They employ 75 workers and manufacture chlorine and caustic soda.
  • Love Canal is annexed by Niagara Falls

    Love Canal is annexed by Niagara Falls
    The Love Canal is annexed by the city. The abandoned canal is 500 m from the Niagara River and drains directly into it by means of a trench. Residents fish and swim in the canal. View larger image
  • Hooker begins depositing waste into Love Canal

    Hooker begins depositing waste into Love Canal
    Niagara Power and Development Company, Love Canal's owners, give hooker Electrochemical permission to dispose of wastes in the canal. View larger image
  • Hooker sells Love Canal

    Hooker transfers the Love Canal site to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for $1.
  • School construction begins

    School construction begins
    Construction of the 99th Street Elementary School and playground begin. Drainpipes are sunk for the school and for new homes going up around the area. View larger image
  • Residual chemicals appear

    Residual chemicals appear
    Residual chemicals from the canal seep to the surface. Strange skin rashes appear on pets and children who walk barefoot on the ground. Odors are bad. View larger image
  • Land parcels sold

    Land parcels sold
    Board of education gives 6.6 acres of the site to the city for a park. View larger image
  • First DEC visit

    First DEC visit
    DEC visits Love Canal area while investigating suspected discharges of Mirex by Hooker. Encourage Niagara Falls to develop an environmental abatement plan for the area. View larger image
  • LaFalce tour

    LaFalce tour
    Congressman John LaFalce first tours the Canal & urges the EPA to take action. View larger image
  • DEC asks for air sampling in homes

    DEC asks for air sampling in homes
    The DEC asks the EPA to sample air in basements abutting the Canal. View larger image
  • Complaints to Niagara Falls City Council

    Two homeowners complain to city council about chemical contamination but get no help.
  • Heavy Rain causes more seepage

    Heavy Rain causes more seepage
    Heavy rains in 1976 & 1977 cause significant increases of waste seepage. View larger image
  • EPA results

    EPA results
    epartment of Health first lean of the EPA results showing toxic chemicals in basements. View larger imageD
  • Department of Health tours dumpsite

    Commissioner Robert Whalen & David Axelrod of the NYS Department of Health, along with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner and others, tour the dumpsite.
  • Directive to Niagara County health commissioner on Love Canal

    Directive to Niagara County health commissioner on Love Canal
    Commissioner Whalen directs Niagara County health commissioner to cover exposed chemicals, fence the area, and conduct need studies. View larger image
  • EPA announces serious health threat

    EPA announces serious health threat
    The EPA publicly reports that air sampling in basement homes along the Canal suggest a serious health threat from chemicals. View larger image
  • First public meeting for Love Canal residents

    First public meeting for Love Canal residents
    State officials hold the first of several public meetings, initially to tell residents that health & environmental studies will begin immediately. View larger image
  • Neighbor Organizing begins

    Neighbor Organizing begins
    Homeowner Karen Schroeder begins organizing neighbors. View larger image
  • Lois Gibbs

    Lois Gibbs
    View larger imageLois Gibbs becomes active.
  • Whalen orders fencing & chemicals removal

    Whalen orders fencing & chemicals removal
    Health Commissioner Whalen orders Niagara County health commissioner to remove exposed wastes & fence the site. View larger image
  • Funding for health studies on Love Canal

    Govenor Hugh Carey signs a law giving Health Commissioner Whalen power, in case of an emergrancy, to spend $500,000 on health studies at Love Canal.
  • Emergency declared

    Emergency declared
    View larger imageHealth Commissioner Whalen declares an emergency at Love Canal & recommends temporary relocation from the inner rings of pregnant women & children under two. Govenor Carey appoints Love Canal Task Force to assist families. Residents nearly riot.
  • Love Canal Homeowners Association

    Love Canal Homeowners Association
    View larger imageLove Canal Homeowners Association is formed.
  • Inner ring homes to be purchased

    Inner ring homes to be purchased
    Governor Carey tells residents that the state will buy the inner-ring homes. View larger image
  • Remedial construction begins

    Remedial construction begins
    Remedial construction begins on the southern end of the Canal. View larger image
  • Outer ring relocation begins

    Outer ring relocation begins
    New Health Commissioner Axelrod recommends temporary relocation from the outer rings of pregnant women & children under two, & orders continued health & environmental studies & extension of remedial construction to the central & northern sections of the Canal.
    View larger image
  • "The Killing Ground"

    ABC television features Love Canal in hour-long special on toxic waste.
  • Congress holds hearings

    U.S. House & Senate committees hear testimony on Love Canal.
  • Love Canal residents put up in hotels

    Love Canal residents put up in hotels
    Complaining of fumes from the remedial construction, up to 425 Love Canal residents are temporarily relocated to hotels at state expense. View larger image
  • EPA study results announced

    EPA study results announced
    EPA announces the results of a study that found chromosome damage in 11 of the 36 Love Canal residents tested. Papers pick up the story. View larger image
  • EPA hostages

    EPA hostages
    Two EPA officials are taken "hostage" by Lois Gibbs. View larger image
  • Outer RIng relocation

    Outer RIng relocation
    The EPA announces that President Carter has declared an emergency to permit federal & state governments to temporarily relocate approximately 700 families from the outer rings. View larger image
  • Love Canal Revitalization Agency

    Love Canal Revitalization Agency
    Governor Carey signs a law creating the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency (LCARA), charged with returning the neighborhood to livable status. View larger image
  • Outer Ring homes purchased

    President Carter signs a federal-state agreement that allows for purchase of the outer-ring homes.
  • Superfund Law

    Superfund Law
    President Carter signs the Superfund Law to aid cleanup of toxic waste sites. View larger image
  • Love Canal declared habitable

    Love Canal declared habitable
    An EPA study leads to the decision that the Canal area is habitable. View larger image
  • Houses Razed

    Houses Razed
    Abandoned homes in Rings 1 & 2 are razed. View larger image
  • EPA habitability study criticized

    The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment criticizes the EPA habitability study.
  • Occidental found liable

    Occidental found liable
    View larger imageU.S. District Court Judge John Curtin finds Occidental Petroleum (Hooker's parent company) liable under the Superfund law for the Canal's leaking.
  • Most of the Canal area suitable for living in

    Health Commissioner Axelrod declares most of the Canal area suitable to live in.
  • LCARA resettlement plan

    LCARA resettlement plan
    LCARA adopts a master plan for resettling the neighborhood. View larger image
  • Homes go up for sale

    Homes go up for sale
    View larger imageLCARA puts ten homes up for sale. Protests ensue.
  • Hooker does not pay punitive damages

    Judge Curtin rules that Hooker does not have to pay punitive damages.
  • 234 homes sold

    Virtually all the 234 homes north of Colvin Boulevard in the neighborhood now called Black Creek Village, are refurbished & sold to new occupants.
  • LCARA goes out of business

    LCARA formally goes out of business. Residents of Black Creek Village have a street party to celebrate.
  • Love Canal removed from Superfund list

    Cleanup took 21 years and cost close to $400 million dollars, but Love Canal removed from the Superfund list.