Residents, lawmaker to confront Tonawanda Coke

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Concerns have been rumbling for years about the Tonawanda Coke Plant, which is awaiting its punishment for air pollution. Monday, residents are joining forces with a lawmaker to confront the infamous facility again.

The meeting is two-fold. Tonawanda Coke has already been convicted of violating the federal Clean Air Act and Monday night is an opportunity for those who have been affected or think they may have been affected by the pollution to learn more about the federal case.

There will also be new data released from a series of soil test done to determine whether the pollution went deeper.

The federal case against Tonawanda Coke is now in the sentencing phase. Congressman Brian Higgins believes Tonawanda Coke could end up paying a substantial fine.

Higgins said, “Hopefully it will be tens of millions of dollars in fines that will be retained by Community for Mitigation, cleaning up the environment they polluted but also addressing the concerns the folks will address tonight.”

Anyone who lives in the Town of Tonawanda, the City of Tonawanda, Grand Island, North Buffalo or Kenmore who have been affected is invited to Monday night’s meeting.

“Our government officials, our federal prosecutors will be here listening to my neighbors and to my friend about their stories of illnesses and cancers and death in this community,” said Jackie James Creedon, founder of Citizen Science Community Resources.

Creedon started the battle 12 years ago and says she is proof that speaking out can make a difference.

Creedon said, “Oh I’m just one person and there’s big corporations backed by political money and so on and so forth and we’ll never win this, my story is not important. Well I’m here to tell you that that’s not the truth here.”

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