During Thursday’s session, the Erie County Legislature passed a resolution calling on the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the DEC to require Tonawanda Coke to submit an emergency shutdown plan.
The resolution was introduced by Legislators Kevin Hardwick (R-City of Tonawanda) and Peter Savage (D-Buffalo), who both represent communities affected by Tonawanda Coke’s River Road Plant in the Town of Tonawanda.
Tonawanda Coke has previously found guilty in Federal Court of criminal violations of the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The DEC also issued a cease and desist order to the facility, stemming from 176 recent alleged violations.
“Tonawanda Coke has had numerous chances to clean up their act and they have failed to do so,” said Legislator Hardwick. “The facility poses threats to human health and the environment and it’s time to take action for the safety of our community.”
“I submitted this resolution in conjunction with Legislator Hardwick because I believe that that is essential for state and federal authorities to act now in order to protect the health and welfare of the residents of Tonawanda,” said Erie County Legislature Chair Peter Savage.
The resolution also supports the following:
- Designating a portion of any future fines against the facility for health monitoring of individuals including former, current and temporary employees exposed to pollution
- Requiring Tonawanda Coke to fund site cleanup and remediation in the event of a shutdown
- Requiring Tonawanda Coke to fund the retraining of employees
A copy of the resolution can be found here.