DEC Responds to Complaints of Leaks at Love Canal

August 23, 2012 Updated Aug 23, 2012 at 7:27 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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August 23, 2012 Updated Aug 23, 2012 at 7:27 PM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) Several residents who live in the Black Creek Village area near the Love Canal are now working with an attorney to investigate claims that chemicals may be leaking from the former hazardous material landfill.

"I think there is enough information that we are very concerned and we are moving forward with our investigation," said attorney Christen Civiletto Morris.

The latest concerns were revealed at a community meeting where former Love Canal students at the 93rd Street school had gathered to talk about high-incidences of illness among their classmates.

Eyewitness News contacted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation about the residents concerns.

1) Are there new leaks from the Love Canal?

DEC routinely inspects the property and monitors the on-going long-term operation and maintenance of the site and there have been no releases of any type from the site and the collection and treatment system is performing as designed. DEC staff visited the site earlier this week and did not identify anything of concern.

2) Did high precipitation levels in 2011 cause buried chemicals to be brought to the surface?

Actually, NOAA data complied for the Niagara Falls area show precipitation for 2011 to be slightly below normal. The Love Canal remedial system would not be influenced by high precipitation levels since it has an impermeable cap system designed to isolate the waste disposal area from the impacts of precipitation.

3) Is the Love Canal still being contained properly? (The EPA 2nd 5-year study is not due out until 2013)

In June 2011 Glen Springs Holding Inc., the entity responsible for the operation, maintenance and monitoring of the Love Canal Site, evaluated the Love Canal remedial system which has three main components, including the landfill cap and barrier drain, leachate treatment, and long-term groundwater monitoring. All systems were found to be operating properly and effectively.

Here is a website with additional information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/72562.html