From Love Canal to Superfund: Four Decades Later

Date: Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Public lecture by Lois Gibbs and Stephen Lester

Forty years have passed since the crisis at Love Canal, where environmental activist Lois Gibbs led the charge to have over 800 families relocated from a toxic waste dump posing as a suburban haven. Her most notable headline dubbed her transition as that of homemaker to hell-raiser. Gibbs’ actions led to the recognition of President Jimmy Carter and the creation of the EPA’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, better known as Superfund. There are currently some 40,000 Superfund sites across the United States. While EPA may be charged to employ Superfund to clean up toxic sites, there are lingering questions regarding the cancer clusters, elevated cases of asthma, and other adverse health impacts related to the life of these sites from discovery to cleanup. Gibbs has dedicated her own life to eliminating the threat of toxic waste and has extensive experience with the evolution and application of government and corporate policies and practices garnered through her work with communities today. Joined by her colleague, Dr. Stephen Lester, who first worked with her at Love Canal, she will discuss the challenge of providing the protections and remedies essential to American families at risk. This environmental challenge is all the more critical in the face of a global pandemic when preexisting conditions exacerbate anyone’s vulnerability to COVID-19.

Attendees will receive a link to the lecture 24-48 hours prior to the event.

This event is co-sponsored by the URI Coastal Institute and the URI Academic Health Collaborative in recognition of the inextricable bond between environmental and human health