Tonawanda News

Local News

March 22, 2013

Tonawanda Coke's expert contradicts EPA, DEC

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Williams then confirmed that her firm, Gnarus Advisors LLC, receives $475 per hour for her work on the case, which she began in April 2010. She also admitted that she has never visited Tonawanda Coke or another coke plant, and has also never testified for the U.S. government. 

But shortly after that line of questioning, Piaggione began to struggle with delivering clear questions amid numerous objections from the defense team. After Williams answered one question, Piaggione responded saying he and Williams have a “difference of opinion.”

The misstep earned him a scolding from the usually amiable Judge William Skretny, and a few minutes later, the jury took a break while Piaggione worked to revise his questions. 

After Piaggione finished his cross examination, the jury was able to ask Williams questions of their own, many of which dealt with the plant’s handling of abandoned waste in tanks on the property. 

The trial will resume Monday with one remaining defense witness on the docket. The government will then offer a brief rebuttal case, and will recall Philip Flax of the Environmental Protection Agency to again testify in contradiction with Williams’ opinion. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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