Forty years ago this week, President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal a national health emergency when the small community near Niagara Falls, New York, learned that their homes and school were built on 22,000 tons of chemicals. Today, many residents in the area, which was deemed safe by authorities, claim to be facing health problems. Megan Thompson reports.
In 1980, three frustrated mothers made American history by taking federal officials hostage in the community built on the site of New York’s toxic Love Canal. In this riveting exposé, the three activists—Lois Gibbs, Barbara Quimby, and Patti Grenzy—and research scientist Dr. Beverly Paigen, who staunchly stood by the residents, discuss their volatile four-year political battle to have the entire community evacuated. Archival footage of President Jimmy Carter, Jane Fonda, government officials, and residents who were on the scene convey the urgency of America’s first headline eco-disaster. Films on Demand (48 minutes)