Lisa Jackson became a chemical engineer after seeing health problems at Love Canal — What health problems at Love Canal?

No one’s was health was harmed by the improper waste disposal at Love Canal. Health claims are all junk science-fueled hype, myth, hysteria.

Greenwire reports on a podcast by ex-EPA chief Lisa Jackson’s (aka Richard Windsor):

It took tales of the hazardous waste at New York’s Love Canal and the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina to cement Lisa Jackson’s interest in environmental engineering, but her desire for public service stretched back to watching her father deliver the mail, she revealed recently.

“I remember that feeling of real responsibility, of really having a role in that community … and that feeling of community service really stuck with me,” the former U.S. EPA administrator recalled in an appearance as part of The Moth storytelling series.

The story was recorded in New York City last year before Jackson resigned as head of the agency and was released on a roughly 12-minute podcast this week.

In her story, Jackson — now vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple Inc. — details her rise from a childhood in New Orleans to the top spot at EPA. Jackson attended Tulane University to focus on engineering and pre-medical studies because of her family’s desire for her to be a doctor but soon focused on chemical engineering after seeing the health problems at the Love Canal hazardous waste site.

“If a chemical engineer … can make the processes that make all this goop, then it’s going to be a chemical engineer that figures out a way to clean it up,” she recalled.

Read more ($subscription required).

12 thoughts on “Lisa Jackson became a chemical engineer after seeing health problems at Love Canal — What health problems at Love Canal?”

  1. My father was a scientist (a physicist, to be exact), but he made a living as an aerospace engineer. He taught me that you can turn a scientist into an engineer with a few words, but you can never turn an engineer into a scientist. Ms. Jackson proves he was right.

  2. “…her desire for public service stretched back to watching her father deliver the mail…” H’m. If she’s interested in public service, she should try doing something for the public instead of working against us. And she could use her real name instead of a nom de web that she shares with a purveyor of BDSM pornography.

  3. To b fair, there definitely were environmental hazards in the Love Canal area homes, at least if you count the public officials who overrode Hooker Chemical’s warnings about building housing (and a school!) on the clay encased dumpsite (then state-of-the-art). Politicians can be far more deadly than any chemical.

  4. The original fill of the Love Canal was radioactive waste from a government operation during the war, Linde as I recall. UCC bought Linde after the war. Later Hooker Chemical used it for PCB waste and when the EPA made a big deal of the waste, it only blamed Hooker Chemical and made no mention of the real source of problems, its own radioactive waste. It was the beginning of the almost finished US government war against our private chemical industry.

  5. “The original fill of the Love Canal was radioactive waste from a government operation during the war, Linde as I recall. ” —

    Someone has been reading too many left wing sites. All sorts of claims were made by New York and Niagara officials. None of them true.

  6. The Love Canal was the most mis-reported story in the 20th century. It was indeed a mess; a massive toxic mess in a nieghborhood were children played and babies were born and yet no one got sick from it. Yes it had to be cleaned up and homeowners compensated for the loss of their homes, that was the right thing to do. But the important part of the story is no one got sick from it.

  7. All this happened while the EPA was cutting its teeth and learning how to control information and spin the truth to protect government mismanagement. Hooker fought the accusations but the government’s goal was to hide its numerous mistakes. The government bought the property with a guarantee they would not cut into the seal which in fact they did and that caused the problems. However, EPA won, Hooker lost and was history. Government mismanagement covered over, a practice continued to this day

  8. Taking and understanding are two entirely different things. There are a lot of “I is a college graduate” types out there. Even with engineering degrees.

  9. Yup. The chemical disposal at the Love Canal site was perfectly proper and safe until the local government took over the site, removed much of the top cover, then allowed building on top of the damaged containment system. Our tax dollars at work.

  10. It’s been a while but as I recall, about three houses were judged to be uninhabitable. These three had been built with their foundations inside the containment area! I don’t recall that the site was ever cleaned up. Cleanup would have been nothing more than moving the contents from Love Canal to somewhere else.

Comments are closed.