Tuesday, July 29, 2003

"Does this look like a toxic waste dump to you?"

After almost three decades, people have decided to move back into one of America's most notorious ecological disasters, Love Canal. Back in those freewheeling days of the late 70's, the EPA's one clear mission was to make sure that our campgrounds and picnic areas were relatively clean. Then, the mutations began. Children born with three noses, some born with two livers, and at least one child with scapula wings and the ability to transform into a jet fighter(OK, I made that one up). The government was "quick" to evacuate this toxic neighborhood, and about 800 families left Love Canal, never to return. But not everyone chose to leave. Some people decided that leukemia was a long shot and stayed. Now their only neighbors are empty lots and abandoned dreams(not bad, eh?), plus the giant earthen mound that used to be the canal.

Now, new families have moved into the neighborhood, renamed Black Creek Village, and want the rest of the world to just forget that anything bad happened in this little slice of America. A 25th Anniversary tour of the area is scheduled in August, and current residents are up in arms over the outing. What if the children catch wind of this? It's hard for some parents to answer that age-old question, "Daddy, why did we move to a place that will kill me?" Although the area is "cleaned up"(i.e. buried under a mound of dirt), there is still a stigma on this land where rent is surprisingly cheap and the neighborhoods are eerily quiet. Times are tough and land is at a premium. Admittedly, the pictures show an idyllic suburban hamlet. No Batboys or giant ants, not even a ruptured 50 gallon drum poking out of the earth. But looks can be deceiving. Only time will tell if a few hundred tons of soil will prevent the nefarious toxins from seeping into the water supply again and destroying lives. Place your bets, folks. Russian Roulette is just that, a game of chance.

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