Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 22, 2013

Fight rages on as Lois Gibbs returns to Love Canal

Thirty-five years is a long time. Generations of people come and go in less time. But for Lois Gibbs, her fight rages on.

It's been that long since Gibbs and her neighbors were granted evacuation from the portion of Niagara Falls known as Love Canal, a community she led the charge to save.

Now, she said, the same problems she warned the political elite of the day and the executives of Occidental Petroleum Corp. about have reared their ugly heads as current residents, unaware there could be issues when they made investments in a "cleaned up" community, are dealing with major health concerns once again.

"We fought very hard to stop the resettlement of Love Canal," Gibbs said. "We lost that battle. Today, every single thing we said was going to happen has happened. Love Canal cannot be contained. It's impossible. Families from 92nd (Street), 93rd (Street) on up are getting sick from chemicals we said 35 years ago is a problem. Today there are victims all over this neighborhood."

Residents like Keith Boos, who declined to specify what has caused his family much stress over the past 15 years, said there's been a lot of difficulty since they've moved into the neighborhood.

He said his wife has had two brain surgeries to remove cysts, while he's been saddled with his own issues. His daughter, he said, has trouble remembering things and is constantly fatigued living in their house with her 2-year-old daughter.

Then there's the family pet, a dog Boos said was rescued with the help of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals eight years ago. Named Nico, the four-legged family member quickly got sick after being in good health, he said, and died earlier this month after developing a tumor on his heart.

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