The Environmental Magazine: Love Canal “clean-up”?

Love Canal “clean-up”?

Roddy Scheer

While the Bush administration considers the recent completion of toxic waste clean-up efforts in Niagara, New York’s Love Canal neighborhood to be an environmental success story, Lois Gibbs (see “Be Safe! Lois Gibbs’ New Campaign Urges Caution on Toxic Chemicals,” Currents, July/August 2003) begs to differ.

Gibbs, the mom-turned-activist who unearthed the pollution at Love Canal back in 1980, contends that the decision to remove the site from Superfund is motivated more by politics than facts. “This is a way for them to talk about Love Canal as a turning point in the ongoing cleanup, when in fact there’s no money to clean up these sites,” says Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice in Virginia.

The revelation that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffers have been routinely pressured by Bush administration officials to ease off pollution enforcement efforts lends credence to Gibbs’ point of view. CONTACT: Center for Health, Environment and Justice, (703)237-2249, www.chej.org.

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