MINDEN, WV (NEWS RELEASE) – Lois Gibbs assisted in the relocation of many, and is best known for her work in her own community of Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York. She is coming to meet the media and the residents of Minden as well as to share skills she has acquired in her many years of environmental health advocacy.
“These results are outrageous,” Gibbs said in a news release. “It’s time for the state of West Virginia and the Environmental Protection Agency to take action to protect the people of Minden, who have been living with this contamination for decades. The EPA should relocate the people who wish to leave and, finally, clean up the contamination from this highly toxic chemical.”
The EPA admits that four out of 98 samples taken in Minden showed PCB contamination above the level of the threshold – one part per million (1 ppm.) That level requires EPA action.
Note: Location address was changed very recently. The previous address was 104 Minden Rd.
The tour will take place following the press conference.
Meet and greet will take place November 10th from 5:00-8:00PM at the Minden Community Center:
New Beginning Apostolic Church
In the spring of 1978, Lois Gibbs discovered that her child was attending an elementary school built next to a 20,000 ton, toxic-chemical dump in Niagara Falls, New York. Desperate to do something about it, she organized her neighbors into the Love Canal Homeowners Association, struggling for more than two years for relocation for the families of Love Canal. In October 1980, President Jimmy Carter delivered an Emergency Declaration which moved 900 families from this hazardous area and signified victory for the grassroots community. As a result of her work at Love Canal in December 1980 President Carter sign new federal legislation called the Superfund to address the thousands of other toxic sites across the nation.
After relocation at Love Canal, she founded the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) a national non-profit organization. CHEJ has worked in the field for 35 years with fence line communities faced with environmental chemical and health impacts. Since its beginning CHEJ has worked with more than 10,000 community organizations faced with environmental health threats. The vast majority of these groups are low-wealth, communities of color and disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals in air, water and soils. CHEJ has been involved in over a dozen toxic community relocations.
Gibbs has received numerous awards including the 1990 letter Goldman Environmental Prize;1998 Heinz Award; the 1999 John Gardner Leadership Award from the Independent Sector, and in 2003 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition has five Ph.D.s from the State University of New York, Cortland College (1992), Haverford College (2006) and Green Mountain College, (2009), Medaille College (2011) and Tufts University (2013).