officials in Buffalo and Albany.
Exactly when work will start depends on state approval of the plans, a determina-
tion of how many residents will be evacuated and from how wide a distance, and
working out details such as safety of workmen and inspectors. He said a meeting
with potential contractors was held Tuesday.
Contracts will be awarded on a cost-plus-profit basis, without bidding.
While the focus continues on serving the 100 or more residents being moved from
the Love Canal site, federal, state and local officials continued to scramble today on
an everwidening set of remedial measures, including:
An engineering plan for containing toxic chemicals at the canal site is scheduled
for completion Friday, and officials hope actual work can start in a week to 10 days.
Area communities are calling on the state to hold public hearings before allowing
Chem-Trol Pollution Services Inc. in Porter to divert treated wastes into Twelve
The Love Canal emergency has focused new attention on the fact that while
Congress in 1976 passed sweeping legislation for control and safe disposal of toxic
chemicals, none of the machinery for carrying out the program is yet in place.
Regional Director Friedman of the DEC said today "as we bring the Love Canal
situation under control, and as resources permit, DEC will look at each and every
one of the abandoned dump sites in Niagara County.
"Were stuck now on the Love Canal an remedial work here, but we'll expand our
work taking them in order of priority."
Raymond P. Griffin, chairman of the Erie and Niagara Counties Regional Plan-
ning Board Utilities committee, said the unit has asked Niagara County communi-
ties to join with the board in asking a public hearing on proposals by Chem-Trol to
divert part of its flow of wastes from Six Mile Swail into Twelve Mile Creek.
[Aug. 27, 1978]
1954 Alarm Ignored on Canal Site
(By Agnes Palazzetti)
Niagara Falls. — Records uncovered by The Buffalo News show the Niagara Falls
School Board was advised against continuing construction of the 99th Street School
early in 1954.
The problem below the surface of the Love Canal came to light some 24 years ago,
when contractors building the school had to stop work and pour a new foundation
away from the soggy chemical dump site.
The school site was moved 85 feet and the building constructed. The school was
closed this summer in the wake of the Love Canal contamination crisis.
The land where the work started was so full of soft spots and holes that one
workman actually had to be rescued from the site with a crane.
And in January 1954, when construction of the school first got under way,
workmen discovered strong chemical fumes sifting out of the ground.
School records show the Albert Elia Construction Co. made contact with a pit
"filled with chemicals" early that month.
The records show the Falls School Board was aware of the existence of a chemical
dump on the site they had chosen for their elementary school designed by the
architectural firm of Cannon, Thiele, Betz and Cannon.
They also show the School Board was advised against continuing construction at
"We believe it is poor policy to attempt to build over this soil, as it will be a
continuous source of odors, and until more information is available regarding the
materials dumped in this area, we must assume that it might be a detriment to the
concrete foundations," Charles I. Thiele, architect for the school, told Wesley L.
Kester, chairman of the board's education committee.
The board responded by ordering the building moved 85 feet north.
As it turned out, the school was built with a crawl space instead of a basement.
The chemicals beneath the surface presented school officials with problems even
after the school site was shifted and the foundation pillars were sunk into the
Niagara Frontier rockbed.
Mr. Thiele said at the time that the chemical dumps "present an unattractive
nuisance with a number of definite hazards to adjacent property owners and neigh-
Mr. Thiele, who today believes the school board was primarily concerned with
saving taxpayers' money, recommended that the contractor "clean up and bury as
much of the debris as possible.
"Fill up the two open chemical pits toward the north end of the southerly section
of the property but it should be pointed out that when fill is placed in these pits, the
liquid is then likely to overflow and cover adjacent areas . . ." he warned at the
Mr. Thiele called his proposal a "relatively minor effort" that would help limit
the hazardous conditions at the site but would fall short of placing it "in satisfac-
The building records for the school indicate the school board subsequently ordered
drain tiles for any runoff to channel into city storm sewers.
[Oct. 1, 1978]
Air Samples Find Hazardous Toxins Beyond Canal Area
(By David Shribman)
Elevated levels of benzene, which is known to cause leukemia in humans, have
been found in basements as far as three blocks outside the Love Canal hazard zone.
Results of air samples obtained by The Baffalo News confirm that benzene and six
other chemicals suspected of causing cancer are present in basements within a
seven-block area, posing a possible health threat to families whose homes are not
covered by the state's relocation and purchase program.
The chemicals also are known to cause a wide range of liver and blood diseases as
well as nervous system and gastro-intestinal disorders, skin and respiratory irrita-
The air samples suggest that the toxic chemicals leaking out of the old Hooker
Chemical and Plastic Corp., dump may have drained farther than earlier believed,
or possibly that the homes are being contaminated by another toxic source.
The chemical readings turned up in a survey of the basements of 40 homes
beyond the fences of the Love Canal hazard zone.
Although state health officals have maintained that the presence of more than
three toxic chemicals is confined to 97th and 99th Streets, the air sample results
demonstrate for the first time that four toxins — and, in some cases, more — are
present as far east as 102nd Street.
The amount of benzene found in the homes ranges from none to 82 micrograms
per cubic meter, more than 400 times the suggested limit for 24-hour exposure over
the course of a lifetime.
State scientists minimize the danger of exposure to the levels of benzene found in
the homes, but independent environmental health scientists and a spokesman for
the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health have expressed alarm at
"It's an absolute health hazard," said one scientist involved in advanced research
in human responses to toxic chemicals.
"I'd advise pregnant women and children to stay away from that," said Robert
Delmage, a technical information specialist with the National Institute of Occupa-
tional Safety and Health in Cincinnati. "There could be real problems."
The air samples also showed high readings of toluene, which is not regarded as a
major threat to health but which is nearly always contaminated with benzene, one
of the first compounds scientists linked to cancer.
Benzene posed a particularly strong threat to pregnant women because the com-
pound is known to travel across the placenta and into the bloodstream of growing
infants, possibly affecting the infant's bone marrow.
It is also known to cause aplastic anemia, the failure to produce bone marrow, in
humans. Aplastic anemia has been reported to precede luekemia in humans by as
many as 15 years.
Hazard levels of toxic chemicals such as benezene, chloroform, trichloroethene
and the other toxins found in the air samples are a matter of considerable contro-
versy within the scientific community.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set hazard levels of
30,000 micrograms per cubic meter for benzene and 535,000 micrograms per cubic
meter for trichloroethene but these are workplace standards based on males work-
ing only eight hours per day.
Dr. Stephen Kim, a research scientist with the state laboratories in Albany, set
0.2 micrograms per cubic meter as the suggested lifetime exposure limit based on
The amounts found in the Niagara Falls homes fall well below thresholds estab-
lished by OSHA, but above those set by Dr. Kim and well above limits recommend-
ed by other scientists in the environmental health sciences field.
Most of the studies on toxin chemical exposure have focused on the workplace
conditions, but it is known that health risks rise with exposure inside homes
particularly when pregnant women, young children and the elderly are involved.
[Feb. 20, 1979]
Researcher Warns State on Health Risks
(By Paul MacClennan)
Citing abormally high health risks, a medical researcher at Roswell Park Memori-
al Institute today called for evacuation of 236 more families from contaminated
areas near the Love Canal.
Dr. Beverly Paigen, who based her evaluation on interviews with 1,140 resi-
dents— 75 percent of those still living near the canal— said families face these risks;
A 3y2 times greater chance of women having miscarriages during pregnancy.
A 20 to 50 percent chance of birth defects in children born to parents living in the
most seriously chemically polluted areas.
A 27-fold increase in the prospect of nervous breakdowns including suicide at-
tempts and admission to mental hospitals.
A fourfold increase in the chance of epilepsy.
A 3 V2 times greater risk of asthma.
A 2.9 times greater chance of contracting urinary disorders, including kidney and
A 15 times greater chance of experiencing hyperactivity in children.
Dr. Paigen said she plans to detail the risks at a community meeting this evening
in the 99th Street School that lies within the boundaries of the old Hooker Chemi-
cals and Plastics Corp. dump site.
The researcher said the state Health Department's decision to move only preg-
nant women and children under two years old is "scientifically not acceptable.
"I will stress to families that until they leave the canal they should avoid
pregnancies," she said.
Given the high risk, she argues against a proposal of some canal area residents
that wives become pregnant so the state will relocate the families.
Dr. Paigen attacked another state contention that the risks of birth defects among
mothers living in the contaminated areas are no greater than those among mothers
who smoke or take drugs during pregnancy.
She said that is based on minimized risk evaluations and not on evidence she
developed that shows risk levels ranging from 20 to 50 percent.
Asked about the long-range state plan to dry up the flow of chemicals out of the
Hooker dump, Dr. Paigen said she thinks the present construction wont do the job.
Dr. Paigen contends that the present trench — 10 to 12 feet deep — is too shallow
and that the chemicals may continue to flow out of the area under the state's
trench system and into homes along underground streambeds believed far deeper.
Dr. Paigen said any woman of child-bearing age who intends to become pregnant
should be moved out of the area at least six months in advance to enable the
individual's body to rid itself of harmful chemicals.
"To wait until a woman is pregnant to have the family move is wrong because the
first weeks of pregnancy are the time when the fetus must be protected, and it is
often past the time of greatest risk when the persons becomes aware of the pregnan-
cy," she said.
Dr. Paigen said health data released thus far by the state "tends to minimize the
risks" and ignores some of the data.
She said, for example, that four children have been born with birth defects since
the state Health Department began its studies in the canal area, and the state data
upon which its evaluates health risks does not include a dozen children who have
Dr. Paigen said the state estimates that the families in the canal area face twice
the risk of miscarriage, but her evidence supports a risk rate of 3 ¥2 times.
In the area of birth defects, she said the state projects a rate of 5 percent among
those living in non-contaminated areas and a rate of 12.5 percent in wet or contami-
Dr. Paigen said the rates based on her interviews set rate of 6.8 percent for those
in dry or non-contaminated areas and 20 percent in the wet or contaminated areas.
Examining the data in five-year blocks on the assumption that chemical leaking
has increased in the past few years. Dr. Paigen said the risk rises dramatically — one
out of two sufferend from birth defects in recent years.
She said the evidence for those familes living on or along underground stream
beds where chemicals are believed to flow that nine out of 16 children born in the
last five years have suffered from birth defects.
Dr. Paigen said she has asked Dr. Axelrod, the state health commissioner, to
reexamine the state date in terms of five-year blocks.
Dr. Paigen — the first person to call for evaculation of canal residents in August
said the state should relocate immediately 136 more families and offer relocation to
100 other families who live in an area bounded by 100th and 103rd streets from
Frontier to Colvin, plus those living north of Colvin from 96th Street to 101 Street
south of Bergholz Creek.
Her proposal would double the present relocation program that has seen the state
offer to evacuate and buy homes of 239 residents along 7th and 99th streets.
"There are some residents on portions of some blocks in the southern area where
there has not been much disease who might perfer to stay, but I think everyone who
lives along a streambed or wet area or who wishes to move should be given the
opportunity to get out," she said.
Dr. Paigen said residents of Griffon Manor, a housing project, currently are being
interviewed, and results of those findings could lead to a futher call for evacuation.
The state has offered relocation to about 100 families in the apartment areas, plus
She said she intends to hand out a list of homes with addresses of those residents
she feels should be evaculated immediately.
"There is enough evidence of disease in other homes and enough uncertainties
about the flow of chemicals in soils ... so the entire south area should be evacuat-
ed," she said.
Dr. Paigen said the homes may not be livable again until the state constructs
another trench system along a major east-west stream bed leading from the canal to
the home area.
That trench is necessary, she said, to collect contaminated groundwater leaking
from the canal and entering area basements.
State University of New York at Buflalo
ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES CENTER FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND ADMINISTRATION
March 21, 1979
To Whom It May Concern:
The tragedy of Love Canal with all of its attendant personal, health
and social costs has dramatized the necessity for finding some other way of
disposing of toxic wastes than placing them in landfills. Preferably, as
many of these chemicals as possible should be recovered at the manufacturing
site and recycled to become a raw material in appropriate production processes.
That still will leave some wastes that must be disposed of and we urge that
further research be conducted to find a completely safe method for disposal.
While that search continues, we should neve quickly to study and
adopt a high temperature incineration method which already is in operation,
or under construction at six major sites in Europe. The best known of these
sites is at Nyborg in Denmark. That plant is called Kommunekemia and it is
jointly owned by the National Association of Municipalities in Denmark, the
City of Copenhagen, the Borough of Frederiksberg, and the Danish Gasworks Tar
Company at Nyborg. These plants generate electricity and provide district
heating from the heat value in the toxics as well as provide a reasonably
secure method for disposal of residue.
This technology has been known in the United States for some time but
has not been widely adopted because it is more costly than disposal in landfills.
The tragedy of leaching landfills has demonstrated graphically that it would
have been much better to dispose of the toxics properly and safely in the first
place even if the initial cost had been higher than placement in landfills.
Experience in Europe has shown that these plants must be fairly large
to achieve adequate economy of scale and also to derive the benefits of district
heating. In order to receive a sufficient load of toxic materials, countries
such as Denmark and Sweden have passed laws requiring that all toxics generated
in the country be disposed of through the plant in that country. Similar laws
must be passed in the United States. It would make sense for example that all
of the toxics generated in the State of New York be disposed of through some
central high temperature incinerating plant. Such a plant could be owned
jointly by relevant industries and state and local governments.
123 WILKESON QUADRANGLE ELLICOTT COMPLEX BUFFALO. NEW YORK 14261 TEL. (716)636-2595
March 21, 1979
The undersigned concerned faculty members at the State University of
New York at Buffalo strongly urge speedy and thorough investigation looking
to the establishment in the United States as soon as possible of district
high temperature incineration toxic disposal plants. We believe that this
will require enabling and supporting legislation by federal, state and local
governments and urge speedy action in that respect. We believe it also will
require disposal of all appropriate toxins through such a plant once it is in
operation and this should be enforced through law. Since it will take some
time to get this new infrastructure in place, we urge that initiating steps
be taken with all due haste.
Charles K.V. Ebert
Prof, of Geography
Prof, of Bio-physics
Lester W. Milbrath
Paul H. Reitan
Prof, of Geology
Prof, of Biology
Rachel Carson College
State University of New York at Buffalo
OFFICE OF THE DEAN
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCES
March 27, 1979
TO: Mr. James Clark
FROM: George C. Lee (_\.^._j- .
With respect to the questions on toxic waste disposal in your
recent letter, I am happy to supply you with the following information,
1. Regarding the feasibility of constructing toxic waste
facilities, a prospectus on this issue has been prepared by our
environmental engineering faculty members, 1 believe it summarizes
the fundamental issues of dealing with the various types of toxic
wastes, and for each different type a different approach and different
consideration must be given. In general, it may be stated that such a
development is an extremely costly project but the possibility exists
for developing some of these special types of waste treatment facilities.
It would be difficult to assess the problems that may arise if such a
facility is in operation because the state-of-the-art of knowledge is
such that there are definitely many unknown factors associated with
such a development.
2. You have requested a map which identifies the potential
landfill sites containing hazardous wastes. As you know, publication
of the New York State Task Force Report has been delayed. Therefore,
I could not receive a copy of the map in advance. On the other hand,
based on the presentation of the Task Force Chairman, Mr. Peter Millock,
at our recent seminar, he has clearly stated that there are many
additional dumping sites in Western New York which have been uncovered
and of these, several can be as severe or more severe than the Love Canal
problems. I believe we can take that statement seriously. For details,
we will have to wait until the Task Force officially releases the report.
3. A set of cnssettes recordinRs from the toxic waste seminar
are enclosed nt your request. I'Icose iinLe tliat a purtioii of the recordinRS
was missing because the original tape did not function at the seminar.
1 hope this material can provide some assistance to your
efforts. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help generate
additional information for you.
PARKER ENGINEERING BUFFALO. NEW YORK 14il4 TEL (716)831-1624
NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL
Republic Insurance Company
INSURANCE . 129 Fulton Street
COMPANY New York, New York 10038
Edmund A„ Se Marie A. Pozniak
NAME AND . 10002 Colvin Blvd.
MAILING .Niagara Falls, New York 14304
(Anplicabte Item marked 0^1-
KIND OF POLICY;
245 30 33
DATE OF MAILING 11/17/78
ISSUED THROUGH AGENCY OR OFFICE AT:
P T Carella Agency
529 Cayauga Drive
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n Effect iv
_, at 1 I noon/ I i 12:01 AM (Standard Time), we hereby cancel the above mentioned policy issued to
Edmund A. & Marie A.
Re3Son(s) for cancellation otber than statutory reasonts):.
^ at 1 I noon-' IxJ 12.01 AM, (Standard Time), we hereby cancel the above mentioned policy issued to
Pozniak on 12/15/78
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agent, or indirectly under any premium finance plan or extension of credit The law further provides that payment to the insurer, or to an agent or
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at date of cancellation
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at LJnoon/LJ 12:01 A.M. (Standard Time) at the location of the property. involved, and the policy will NOT be renewed.
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^EE REVERSE SIDE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION
C 35g (Ed, 1-78).
of information con-
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Cujj ,- ,-. ■ •
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5 physical changes in the property insured occurring after issuance or last annual anniversary dale of ttie policy which <esult in the property
becoming uninsurable in accordance with the msurer's objective, uniformly applied underwriting standards in effec;t at the time the policy was
issued Of last voluntarily renewed; or
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