Jan 19, 2022, 7:33 am


EPA Identifier: 110009302227
CERCLIS ID: 110009302227
43.07971, -78.94945


Create Date: 01-MAR-00
Update Date: 01-JUL-09
Final Date: 20040930

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Programs: {CERCLIS}
Program Interests:

Site Summary:
Federal Register Notice:  September 08, 1983

Conditions at listing (October 1981): Love Canal is a 16-acre landfill in the southeast corner of the City of Niagara Falls, New York, about 0.3 mile north of the Niagara River. In the 1890s, a canal was excavated to provide hydroelectric power. Instead, it was later used by Hooker Electrochemical for disposal of over 21,000 tons of various chemical wastes. Dumping ceased in 1952, and in 1953 the disposal area was covered and deeded to the Niagara Falls Board of Education. Extensive development occurred near the site, including construction of an elementary school and numerous homes.

Problems with odors and residues, first reported at the site during the 1960s, increased in the 1970s as the water table rose, bringing contaminated ground water to the surface. Studies indicate that numerous toxic chemicals have migrated into surrounding areas. Run-off drains into the Niagara River at a point 2.8 miles upstream of the intake tunnels for Niagara Falls' water treatment plant, which serves about 77,000 people. At this discharge point, the river sediment has also become contaminated.

Between 1977 and 1980, New York State and the Federal government spent about $45 million at the site: $30 million for relocation of residents and health testing, $11 million for environmental studies, and $4 million for a demonstration grant (under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) to build a leachate collection and treatment system.

Status (July 1983): A study completed in 1982 recommended construction of a slurry wall and cap to contain ground water in the site as the long-term solution.

In July 1982, EPA awarded a $6,995,000 Cooperative Agreement to New York for (1) construction of a slurry wall and cap, (2) four feasibility studies, and (3) a long-term monitoring study to determine seasonal variations in ground water levels and leaching. In September 1982, $892,800 was added to (1) demolish the school, (2) install a synthetic membrane over a temporary clay cap, and (3) erect a fence. Construction of the slurry wall and cap is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 1983, and the feasibility studies in the third quarter of 1983.

The Department of Justice, on behalf of EPA, has brought a Federal civil action seeking injunctive relief against parties potentially responsible for wastes associated with the site.

Institutional Controls:
Media Where IC Applies
(Multiple entries where more than one pathway is impacted)
In July 1982, The EPA Region 2 Administrator issued a Decision Memorandum: Cooperative Agreement with the State of New York (NYS) for Love Canal, this document was a precursor to the Superfund Record of Decision. It did not address institutional controls. However, the RPM and Site Attorney noted that the fenced site includes ICs in the form of an Easement issued to the State of New York by the property owner, the City of Niagara Falls Board of Education, as well as other easements presently held by the State of New York. The State's Consent Decree (CD) transfers the exclusive use and occupancy to the Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC) for the purpose of providing continued operation and maintenance of the Site remedy until OCC's O&M responsibilities are terminated. OCC retains exclsive use and occupancy, as long as it retains O&M responsibilities under the CD. NYS retains a right of access to the Site pursuant to its CD and the United States also retains a right of access to the Site pursuant to a separate federal CD. The Objective selected above can be found in Section 312 of CERCLA. Section 312 of CERCLA required that EPA conduct a Habitability Study of the Emergency Declaration Area (EDA) and also provided for funding of the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency. As a result of these actions, ICs are in place for the Areas 1, 2 and 3 of the EDA. EDA Areas 4,5,6,7 meet residential standards for unrestricted use and do not require institutional controls. The deeds for the parcels in the EDA Areas 1-3 require that New York State Department of Environemental Conservation (NYSDEC) be notified both when these properties are sold and when these properties are being considered for any other use than commercial and/or light industrial. The deeds also state that all identified use limitations and restrictions of the property shall run with the land and bind the current owner and any successors in perpetuity or until such time and NYSDEC shall determine that such institutional controls are no longer necessary for the protection of public health and the environment. The deed also identifies that some soil remediation is required prior to any potential residential use. The City of Niagraga Falls has local requirements that all property owners utilize public water supplied by the City and not withdraw groundwater for any purposes.
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Document Issuance, Implementation  July 08, 2003