Forty years ago this week, federal officials declared a western New York neighborhood to be a disaster area. That action in Niagara Falls -- in an area that came to be known as Love Canal -- highlighted the threat of industrial pollution across America.
The government's action followed loud, angry protests from residents, who were worried about a stew of underground toxins. That remarkable showing of activism became a model for other communities battling pollutors.
Great Lakes Today will be highlighting the Love Canal anniversary this week with a series of stories. And why not -- the area is a short distance from the Niagara To kick it off, here's an interview with Mike Desmond, a WBFO reporter who covered the story for the now defunct Courier-Express newspaper.
The Love Canal story prompted the newspaper's editors to send the young reporter to explore environmental hot spots all over the country, and that reporting was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.