Ecumenical Task Force of the Niagara Frontier records, 1946-1995 bulk [1978-1990]


188 manuscript boxes, 7 card boxes, and 2 maps boxes (approximately 241 linear ft.)..
Arranged into nine series: I. Administration; II. Pat Brown as Executive Director; III. ETF Activities; IV. Resource Files; V. Related Love Canal Organizations; VI. Love Canal: Environmental, Health (Habitability), and Cleanup Studies; VII. Environmental Organizations and Issues; VIII. Hazardous Waste Management Facilities; Chemical Companies and Other Toxic Waste Sites; and IX. Litigation.
Contains the records and papers of the ETF including: minutes, organizational files, Executive Director Pat Brown's files, correspondence, clippings, records on ETF functions, subject and resource files, records regarding other Love Canal organizations, reports on habitability and remediation, subject files of other environmental organizations, records of other WNY hazardous waste sites, subject files of companies dealing with hazardous waste, litigation file resulting from hazardous waste disposal.
The Ecumenical Task Force of the Niagara Frontier, Inc. (ETF) was founded on March 13, 1979 by the interfaith community of Western New York in response to the hazardous waste crisis of the Love Canal. It was created to provide direct aid to the Love Canal residents, provide an advocacy voice for the religious community on behalf of the residents, to inform religious communities of the issues, and to work towards long-range solutions to the chemical waste problems locally and throughout the country.
Organizationally, the ETF was made up of approximately 75 voting members and a 25-person Scientific and Technical Advisory Board, selected annually. The Executive Board was elected from ten Western New York denominational institutions. From 1979-1988 Sister Margeen Hoffmann served as Executive Director of ETF and later Pat Brown took over the position from 1989-1991. To promote its mission of educating the public on the hazards of chemicals and toxic waste dump sites, the ETF expanded resources in its public education programs. They participated in many local and national environmental conferences and presented informational talks to several religious, governmental, and educational organizations.
Often it was necessary for ETF to pursue legal action. The ETF became involved in civil court cases against chemical polluters. When able, the ETF represented Western New York residents affected by toxic waste in litigation as an amicus curiae. For this, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Board was called to present testimony and scientific analysis for alternative remediation and technology. A large part of the ETF's work was dedicated to providing direct relief for victims of hazardous waste exposure in the Love Canal area. Prior to the relocation of remaining Love Canal residents in 1980, they provided counseling, temporary shelter, and other services to affected residents. Later they also served as intermediaries with state and local officials to facilitate the relocation process. Retained by the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency, the ETF coordinated the review of all technical data on Love Canal issues and made impartial recommendations with respect to the habitability of the Love Canal area.
Although the Love Canal disaster was the ETF's main focus, it was not the only one. They also worked for the betterment of the community after various chemical corporations including CECOS International, Inc. and Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corporation were responsible for the contamination of other local area sites such as the Hyde Park Landfill, the S-Area Landfill, and Forrest Glenn. The ETF dissolved in the early 1990's.
Patricia A. Brown was a resident of the Love Canal area in Niagara Falls, New York. After toxic chemicals from the nearby chemical dump site were discovered seeping into residents homes, Brown took action and volunteered with the newly formed Ecumenical Task Force. Soon she was employed as the executive secretary for the organization and later became the ETF Resource Center manager, developing and operating the organization's library. In 1989 Brown took over as Executive Director and continued to expand the ETF's programs in research, activism and education. She gave speeches, and participated in government hearings and committees. Personally she continued to develop her activism beyond the ETF by becoming involved in the Niagara Falls Hazardous Materials Advisory Committee, the Environmental Liaison Committee, the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Toxics in Your Community Coalition (based in Albany, NY), and the Niagara County Legislature Citizens Advisory Committee. Pat Brown died in February 1999.
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