Love Canal - a city at a chemical waste dump

Love Canal is a real ghost town, the fate of which will seem very unenviable even for modern residents of the Russian hinterland. Initially, the settlement was conceived as a city of the future, where magnificent buildings made of environmentally friendly materials will be present. However, the plans of the creator were not given to be fulfilled.

Initially, the idea to create a unique city came to the mind of an American businessman and environmentalist named William Love. The talented entrepreneur planned to place his brainchild on the shores of Niagara Falls, but this was the first reason for the future failure.

1863 marked the beginning of the collapse of a promising project: the American government banned the construction of residential buildings near Niagara, so investors refused to further finance Love Canal. By this time, several hundred meters of the canal had already been laid, but all work stopped at that.

With the onset of the 1920s, the uninvolved Love Canal began to be used as a dump for chemical waste. Non-degradable materials began to be brought here in huge machines by employees of the Hooker Chemical Company. For six whole years, waste accumulated here, which, according to various sources (at that time), already totaled 20 thousand tons. By that time, HCC had completely bought the land, but in 1953 the company stopped dumping production waste here, burying the landfill. On the ground, construction began on one of the areas of the future Niagarfalls, although the owners refused to sell even an inch of private land to please the state.

After some time, however, the management of the Hooker Chemical Company agreed to sell the land, indicating in the documents the potential danger to those who will live in the houses built on the territory of the “chemical cemetery”. But the state government decided not to disclose this information, but to sell housing at a standard cost.

When construction was in full swing (it was 1957), the first school for local children appeared in Niagarfalls. But the parents who bought real estate in new buildings began to notice that various oddities are happening on their land. After the rains, the puddles were painted in multi-colored tones, there was a musty smell in the basements of houses, and all the vegetation on the plots quickly died for unknown reasons. Babies born at the Niagarfalls Health Center were often born with birth defects, and pets and birds died in colossal numbers. And the death rate in the city reached record levels - most of the local residents did not live to be 50 years old!

Important information about critical pollution reached the public only in 1976, when environmentalists took soil and water samples in the canal. It turned out that they contain benzene and dioxin in quantities that are fatal to any living organism. Less than a day after the release of the data, a wave of public protests swept through the streets of Niagarfalls.

The local authorities were unable to hush up the case, and most of the local population was relocated to safer areas. The town was partially destroyed and, after a few years, not a trace of its former prosperity remained. Now the former Love Canal is more reminiscent of the Ukrainian Pripyat, where houses are surveyed by "eye sockets" with broken glass, and the streets are empty and ruin. Such was the price of ignoring the potential threat posed by the uncontrolled dumping of chemical waste - they are known to make even the most fertile land dead in a couple of years.