Lois Gibbs, born June 25, 1951, is an American environmental activist.
Lois Gibbs, founder and executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), has been at the forefront of the environmental movement in the United States for several decades.
In 1978, a mother of two young children, she became concerned about reports of chemical waste in her Niagara Falls neighborhood in New York and the possible link to unusual health problems in her children and neighbours.
Gibbs later discovered that her neighborhood had over 21,000 tons of chemical waste buried, the now infamous Love Canal.
With no previous experience in community activism, Gibbs mobilized his neighbours and created the Love Canal Homeowners Association. He led her community in a battle against local, state and federal governments.
After years of struggle, over 800 families were finally evacuated, and the cleanup of Love Canal began.
Their efforts also led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Superfund" which is used to locate and clean up toxic sites throughout the United States.
After her successful fight, Gibbs received over 3,000 letters from people around the country asking for information on how they could solve the toxic waste problems in their area.
In response to their requests, in 1980 she established the Hazardous Waste Information Clearinghouse (later renamed the Center for Health, Environment and Justice), an environmental crisis centre that provided resources and technical assistance to thousands of community groups across the country.
Lois Gibbs has been widely recognized for her vital role in the grassroots movement for health and environmental justice. She was nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and has received numerous awards, including the first-ever Goldman Environmental Prize.