Tainted Love: Love Canal and the Fight for Environmental Rights

Welcome to this year’s issue of Tainted Love, our annual installment of unusual love stories just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Today, we’re headed just up the road from Buffalo to Love Canal, New York, a small suburban development that made big headlines when toxic chemicals started to appear in residents’ yards. After a damning health study was released in the summer of 1978, the residents there became arguably the most influential environmental advocates of the late twentieth century. Join Katie and Tommy as they talk environmental justice from then until now with their guest, Dr. Richard S. Newman. It’s a Valentine’s Day special, History Buffs style!

As mentioned in the podcast, Dr. Newman will be giving a talk at the Buffalo History Museum on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. His talk is entitled “Love Canal: A Toxic History,” and comes from his new book, Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present. The book is published by Oxford University press and will be released in April 2016.

Show Notes and Further Reading

Edkardt C. Beck, “The Love Canal Tragedy,” EPA Journal 5.1, 1979, 17-20

Elizabeth Blum, Love Canal Revisited: Race, Class, and Gender in Environmental Activism, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008

Nicol Bryan, Love Canal: Pollution Crisis, Milwaukee: The World Almanac Library, 2004

Craig E. Colton and Peter N. Skinner, The Road to Love Canal: Managing Industrial Waste before the EPA, Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1996

Kate Davies, The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2013

Nicholas Freudenerg, Not in Our Backyards! Community Action for Health and the Environment, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984

Lois Gibbs, Love Canal: The Story Continues…., Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 1998

Adeline Levine, Love Canal: The Issues and Controversies. Produced through the Educational Communications Center, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 2013

Love Canal Emergency Declaration Area Remediation of EDA 2 and 3: Final Study Report, New York State Department of Health and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, May 1991

Ellen Griffith Spears, Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014