Love Canal is a neighborhood in N.Y. that gained notoriety when it was discovered that 21,000 tons of toxic waste had been buried beneath it. The area became a dumping ground in the 1920s , and in 1953, the land was sold to the local school board for $1, and the 99th Street School was built. Two years later a 25-foot area crumbled, exposing toxic chemical drums that filled with rainwater and created puddles that children played in. Love Canal residents reported exploding rocks, strange odors and blue goo that bubbled up into basements, but it was the high rates of asthma, miscarriages, mental disabilities and other health problems that brought Love Canal into national headlines. The event started the EPA’s Superfund program.
America’s worst man-made environmental disasters
Man-made environmental catastrophes come in varying degrees of tragic, but none is as awful as when human action renders once-pristine land uninhabitable.
10 places abandoned because of man-made environmental catastrophes
Like nightmarish scenes from Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us,” parks that once filled visitors with happy memories have now been left to rot in various stages of deterioration after being ravaged by flood, nuclear disaster and poor ticket sales. Although there’s something inherently spooky about abandoned amusement parks, there’s also something beautiful and poetic about them, particularly in the curious way Mother Nature reclaims landscapes.
8 eerie, abandoned amusement parks
These seven locations share one unfortunate trend — a signature event with the power to displace people. In each place, a natural or manmade disaster forced an entire population to flee, in some cases never to return. It is estimated that by the year 2050, the number of eco-disaster refugees will reach at least 150 million.
7 places forever changed by eco-disasters
These photos — sent by readers who have lived through dangerous tornadoes — are chilling. See the entire collection.
As the one-year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill approaches, here’s a look back at America’s worst man-made environmental disasters.