Modified: September 13, 2018 9:43am

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The Erie County Attorney’s office yesterday submitted a motion to file an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to provide the court with additional information in regards to the actions of Tonawanda Coke, which continues to operate in a manner that harms the citizens of Erie County. The brief expresses county support for the Government’s Petition, brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, which alleges serious and persistent environmental violations at the Tonawanda plant.


“By filing this amicus brief, we are letting the court know that Erie County leadership is very concerned with the environmental problems at Tonawanda Coke, we are vigilant about what is happening there, and we are going to do everything in our power to ensure that our residents are not being harmed by Tonawanda Coke’s activities,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.  “The court is aware of the seriousness of these violations as well as the harm that Tonawanda Coke is doing to our health and our environment, and this brief adds our voices in support of legal actions to force the plant to abide by the law or shut down.”


Erie County Legislature Chairman Peter Savage III (3rd District) added, "Today's action sends a clear message that Erie County speaks with a united and bipartisan voice in the fight to hold Tonawanda Coke accountable. We must protect the health and welfare of our residents, and we urge the court to hear the concerns of our community."


 Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick (10th District) said, "Together with the County Legislature's resolution passed last week, this Amicus brief demonstrates that county government is united in our concern for the health and welfare of our citizenry. I applaud, therefore, the administration's decision to get involved in the fight to hold Tonawanda Coke accountable for its actions."


The amicus curiae brief can be read here.


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