Rejected in Sarnia, Love Canal waste to go to Nebraska

KIMBALL, Neb. (AP- modified) — About 1,000 tons of contaminated soil from the Love Canal environmental disaster in New York is being shipped to a town in the Nebraska Panhandle after backlash over a disposal plan in Canada.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Glenn Springs Holdings, which is under contract to dispose of the waste, dropped its plans to move 1,600 cubic yards of waste by truck to an incinerator in Sarnia, Ontario. Residents and politicians in Sarnia protested the disposal at the site owned by Clean Harbors Inc. Glenn Springs will now send the waste to sites owned by Clean Harbors in Kimball, Nebraska, and Utah.

Brian McManus, a spokesman for Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality, said that the waste is expected to arrive at the incineration site this month.

In the 1970s, it was discovered that that 22,000 tons of toxic waste had been buried in Love Canal, a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, by Hooker Chemical Co. and then ignored by authorities for decades. Weather, property development and the removal of a heavy clay cap released the waste, which began to leach underneath the town.

Birth defects, miscarriages and other health issues led to the revelation by the local media of the mishandling of the toxic waste. The revelation started a litigation battle that ended with the passing of the Superfund law, which places a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and allows federal authority to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials that may endanger public health or the environment.

 

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