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Lois Gibbs (www.chej.org)

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Lois Gibbs is an American environmental activist. Her involvement in environmental causes began in 1978 when she discovered that her 7-year-old son’s elementary school in Niagara Falls, New York was built on a toxic waste dump. Subsequent investigation revealed that her entire neighborhood, Love Canal, had been built on top of this dump. With no prior experience in community activism, she organized her neighbors and formed the Love Canal Homeowners Association. She led her community in a battle against the local, state, and federal governments. After years of struggle, 833 families were eventually evacuated, and cleanup of Love Canal began. National press coverage made Lois Gibbs a household name. Her efforts also led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund, which is used to locate and clean up toxic waste sites throughout the United States. In 1980, Gibbs formed the Citizens’ Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste, later renamed the Center for Health, Environment and Justice(CHEJ), where she currently serves as Executive Director.

Want to know more about Lois? Check out her website here.

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