Activists to reveal soil test results

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Many neighbors are looking for more answers about pollution surrounding the Tonawanda Coke plant.

The company was found guilty of violating the Federal Clean Air Act last year.

Now an activist, Jackie James Creedon says contaminants could also be in the soil. She took samples of soil last July and Monday night she’ll explain the findings.

“We will be presenting results from four neighborhoods, a neighborhood on Grand Island, two neighborhoods in the Town of Tonawanda and one in the City of Tonawanda” said Creedon, the Director of Citizen Science Community Resources.

Creedon didn’t want to reveal all of her findings before Monday’s forum, but said she found chemicals in the surface soil above EPA levels.

In the past, Creedon made similar tests with the air. Those tests revealed high levels of benzene and helped put into motion events which eventually led to the landmark environmental case against Tonawanda Coke.

Creedon thinks the soil could also be contaminated and she hopes these test results will get the Environmental Protection Agency to do a wide-spread soil study.

“Generally speaking if these contaminants are in people’s soil above EPA thresholds guidelines there may be an issue. There may not be an issue,” said Creedon, “Knowledge is powerful. Let’s collect all the information we can and move forward together as a community.”

The community meeting will take place Monday night at the Sheridan Parkside Community Center in Tonawanda. It runs from 6:30p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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