Allowing families to move back into the neighborhood near the notorious Love Canal toxic waste dump is like prying open a sealed coffin, a former resident of the neighborhood said.

The state health commissioner announced Tuesday that parts of the city's Love Canal neighborhood nearest the toxic waste dump that forced out nearly 1,000 families are once again fit for habitation.Commissioner David Axelrod said the results of a five-year, $14 million study showed people could live in areas a few blocks north and west of the dump site, but not in sections just east and south of it.

"At the present time, those areas are not habitable," Axelrod said of the southern and eastern portions of the land around the dump.