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Green Glossary: Love Canal

"Quite simply, Love Canal is one of the most appalling environmental tragedies in American history," writes Eckardt C. Beck of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But that's not the most disturbing fact. What is worse is that it cannot be regarded as an isolated event. It could happen again—anywhere in this country."

Love Canal, says Wiki, is "a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, which became the subject of national and international attention and controversy following the discovery of 21,000 tons of toxic waste buried beneath the neighborhood."

Lois Marie Gibbs, perhaps the Love Canal resident most responsible for exposing the health dangers, recently wrote: "In 1978, I was living there with my husband and two children when I began to wonder whether the kids' recurring illnesses were connected to the chemical waste. Research conducted by myself and several of my neighbors, coupled with our complaints, eventually led the New York State health commissioner to declare a state of emergency."