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Love Canal was the countrys most notorious waste dump Colten 4 The Love Canal became the first man-made disaster to receive such a designation based on a variety of environmental and health related studies As a result of grass roots interest and media attention the Love Canal provided an drive for dramatic interest in and changes to environmental concerns worldwide and business practices in the United States The Love Canal a neighborhood in the southeast LaSalle district of the City of Niagara Falls New York takes its name from the failed plan of nineteenth century entrepreneur William T Love Approximately four miles upstream of Niagara Falls Love saw an ideal location to harness water to generate power to the growing industries developing along the seven mile stretch of the River to the mouth of Lake Ontario In 1892the canal was his solution to provide ships a route to bypass the Falls A few years later Loves dream of the navigable waterway evaporated A nationwide economic depression loss of financial backing and the invention of alternating electrical current forced Love to abandoned his project Only one mile of the canal had been dug US Geological Aerial Photographs taken in 1927 clearly show an open body of water sixty feet wide and three thousand feet long at the otherwise undeveloped edge of the City The Love Canal remained as a recreational area for swimming and boating well into the early 20th century By 1920 Loves land was sold at public auction and quickly became a municipal and chemical disposal site From 1942 through 1953 the Love Canal Landfill was used principally by Hooker Chemical one of the many chemical plants located along the Niagara River Nearly 21000 tons 42 million pounds of what would later be identified by independent scientists as toxic chemicals were dumped at the site In 1953 with the landfill at maximum capacity Hooker filled the site with layers of dirt
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