Erie County Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick has submitted a victim impact statement to Judge William M. Skretny on behalf of thousands of his constituents in Grand Island and the Tonawandas who have been negatively affected by emissions from the Tonawanda Coke Corporation. Hardwick’s statement is designed to aid the judge in imposing a just sentence in the criminal case against the corporation.
In his letter to Judge Skretny, Hardwick discusses his encounters with victims as he went door-to-door in neighborhoods downwind of the facility. CLICK HERE TO READ LEGISLATOR HARDWICK'S LETTER TO JUDGE SKRETNY
“Many residents I visited would point to the houses on their street and tick off the causes of death or current diseases in each one,” Legislator Hardwick wrote.
“Tonawanda Coke polluted the air in the Tonawandas and parts of Grand Island and we are now learning just how devastating the impact has been for local residents. One homeowner I met was dealing with his own diagnosis of COPD and had the added burden of caring for his son who is recovering from a sixth operation to remove tumors from his head. There were so many similar stories shared with me that I found the experience overwhelming at times,” said Legislator Hardwick. “Not only was I infuriated by the situation, I found myself dealing with thoughts of disbelief that a company could be capable of such actions.”
Legislator Hardwick joined local, state and federal officials, as well as community groups, to assist residents and businesses wishing to file an impact statement, detailing how Tonawanda Coke impacted their lives and wellbeing.
“I want to thank and acknowledge the Clean Air Coalition, community activist Jackie James-Creedon and others who have worked to expose Tonawanda Coke’s impact on the health of residents. A sentence is expected Sept. 20 and I believe that we, as a community, have taken great strides to help the affected areas begin to recover,” said Legislator Hardwick.
To contact Legislator Hardwick, please call his Legislative Office at 858-8672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.