Neighbors discuss Tonawanda Coke cease and desist

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 23:30:30-04

The American Legion in Kenmore, a packed house Monday night.  The hot topic: "This is my community, this is where I live and we have great people," Maria Tisby, Clean Air Coalition of WNY, said.

Concerns about what's next, when it comes to the Tonawanda Coke facility on River Road.  Last Friday, the State Department of Environmental Conservation sent Tonawanda Coke a cease and desist letter, demanding it immediately half all operations that could harm workers, the community, and the environment.

The D.E.C. said the letter was in response to repeated violations and ongoing concerns about air pollutions--concerns echoed by neighbors.

"Nineteen and a half years and we've never had a clean year since we've been there," Town of Tonawanda resident, Rich Fontana said.  He continued, "We've been working on this for several years and it just seems to keep going on and on and on and nothing's being done."

But there's hope now, that the D.E.C.'s action, could signal a coming change.

"I think we are entitled to a live in a clean environment because what can be more important than our health?"  Tisby said.

Tonawanda Coke said Friday that it's been cooperating and working closely with the D.E.C., but if it fails to comply with the D.E.C.'s order, it faces stricter punishment and the revocation of it's air permits.

"You hate to see a business go out of business, but they gotta do something.  It's affecting the health of the neighborhood," Fontana said.

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