BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Scientists hosted a community meeting on Thursday to update the public on how pollution from the Tonawanda Coke plant may have impacted soil in nearby communities. A federal judge ordered Tonawanda Coke Corp. to fund the $711,000 study after the company was convicted of violating the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
During the public meeting scientists shared maps modeling the estimated distributions of various pollutants at 6 inches below the surface of the ground. The maps were completed as part of the study. "The maps are useful because they guide us in understanding what region of the study area may have been impacted by pollution," Joseph Gardella Jr, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo, who is leading the study, said before the meeting.
Below are maps that show the Tonawanda Coke Soil Study area. The Tonawanda Coke Plant is marked with a star. The second shows a map of Benzo[a]pyrene (BAP) equivalents in mg/kg.
Soil analysis is being conducted by a team of scientists from the University at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia. Findings from research will benefit residents from Grand Island, the City of Tonawanda, the Town of Tonawanda and North Buffalo by providing them with information about what chemicals are in their soil, how widespread any pollution may be, and whether these pollutants may have originated at the Tonawanda Coke Plant.