Community Speaks Out About Tonawanda Coke Plant

May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM EDT


May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM EDT

Tonawanda, N.Y. (WKBW) - The Tonawanda Coke Plant may have to pay the Town of Tonawanda $200 million in damages. This comes after the company polluted the area for years. First, lawmakers want the community to speak out about how that pollution has affected them.

Elected officials will hold a press conference reminding local residents and companies that they have the opportunity to tell their impact stories to a judge. That judge will ultimately sentence the facility officials.

Sentencing for the plant is set for July 15th but the deadline for residents to submit statements to the United States Attorney General is July 1st.

"It's about time they're finally held accountable for what they've done. I think it's a good thing to keep the money here in Tonawanda where most of the people had to suffer for years," Resident Ron Labuda said.

Meanwhile, last night a community meeting was held to allow residents to share their ideas on how the $200 million will be spent. All ideas were put on the table but the Environmental Protection Agency has put strict guidelines on where the money will go.

The press conference will take place with local lawmakers at 11 a.m. across the street from the plant on River Road in Tonawanda.