Love Canal

Timeline created by snogoose in History
Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
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>
Abandoned factory 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
Timeline 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.
Model city homes 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
Nfmap 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
Timeline Hooker sells Love Canal Hooker transfers the Love Canal site to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for $1.
School 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
Kids in canal 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
Athletic field Land parcels sold Board of education gives 6.6 acres of the site to the city for a park. View larger image
Waste 1976 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 LaFalce tour Congressman John LaFalce first tours the Canal & urges the EPA to take action. View larger image
Basement DEC asks for air sampling in homes The DEC asks the EPA to sample air in basements abutting the Canal. View larger image
Timeline Complaints to Niagara Falls City Council Two homeowners complain to city council about chemical contamination but get no help.
Waste barrel Heavy Rain causes more seepage Heavy rains in 1976 & 1977 cause significant increases of waste seepage. View larger image
Basement pollution EPA results epartment of Health first lean of the EPA results showing toxic chemicals in basements. View larger imageD
Timeline 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.
Fencing 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
Health map 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
Public meeting 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
Karen schroeder Neighbor Organizing begins Homeowner Karen Schroeder begins organizing neighbors. View larger image
Lois gibbs Lois Gibbs View larger imageLois Gibbs becomes active.
Fence Whalen orders fencing & chemicals removal Health Commissioner Whalen orders Niagara County health commissioner to remove exposed wastes & fence the site. View larger image
Timeline 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.
Evacuation 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.
Lc homeowners assoc Love Canal Homeowners Association View larger imageLove Canal Homeowners Association is formed.
Ring 1 Inner ring homes to be purchased Governor Carey tells residents that the state will buy the inner-ring homes. View larger image
Remedial Remedial construction begins Remedial construction begins on the southern end of the Canal. View larger image
Outer ring 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.
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Timeline "The Killing Ground" ABC television features Love Canal in hour-long special on toxic waste.
Timeline Congress holds hearings U.S. House & Senate committees hear testimony on Love Canal.
Temp reloc 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
Chromosome 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
Hostage EPA hostages Two EPA officials are taken "hostage" by Lois Gibbs. View larger image
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
Lcara 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
Timeline Outer Ring homes purchased President Carter signs a federal-state agreement that allows for purchase of the outer-ring homes.
Superfund Superfund Law President Carter signs the Superfund Law to aid cleanup of toxic waste sites. View larger image
Monitoring Love Canal declared habitable An EPA study leads to the decision that the Canal area is habitable. View larger image
Raze Houses Razed Abandoned homes in Rings 1 & 2 are razed. View larger image
Timeline EPA habitability study criticized The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment criticizes the EPA habitability study.
Ad 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.
Timeline Most of the Canal area suitable for living in Health Commissioner Axelrod declares most of the Canal area suitable to live in.
Dev plan LCARA resettlement plan LCARA adopts a master plan for resettling the neighborhood. View larger image
Resettlement protest Homes go up for sale View larger imageLCARA puts ten homes up for sale. Protests ensue.
Timeline Hooker does not pay punitive damages Judge Curtin rules that Hooker does not have to pay punitive damages.
Timeline 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.
Timeline LCARA goes out of business LCARA formally goes out of business. Residents of Black Creek Village have a street party to celebrate.
Timeline 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.