Tonawanda News

Local News

October 13, 2012

Soil tests set near plant

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — After Creedon receives the results, she will inform the EPA and the Department of Health with the hope that they will follow up with more tests and additional emissions controls. 

“It can be very dirty,” Creedon said. “Part of the process is pushing coal out of the ovens, and particulates just come out into the area. There are no controls on that process. Several other factories have a bag house that captures these particulates, but there is nothing like that at Tonawanda Coke.”

The Coke factories in Birmingham do have the preventive bags, according to Creedon. 

Previous tests on factory property, conducted in 2008, revealed high levels of harmful benzo-a-pyrene, but no testing has been done to see if these chemicals are migrating into the residential neighborhoods. 

Creedon’s testing this year will take place on Kaufman Avenue, James Avenue and Sawyer Avenue, residential streets at the intersection of Sheridan Drive and Kenmore Avenue. 

The Clean Air Coalition is also continuing its efforts to improve Tonawanda Coke’s practices and are holding a rally at the Department of Environmental Conservation Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

The organization will be holding a rally at the DEC on Tuesday to object to the extension of their operating permit.

“Since 2007 Tonawanda Coke has operated with an extended operating permit, which governs how much air pollution they emit, the records they keep and much more,” the organization’s flier for the event states. 

But since the operating permit was put in place, Tonawanda Coke has gotten a lot of flak for the pollution the factory creates, and according to the Clean Air Coalition, their permit does not accurately reflect the new EPA regulations. 

“We’re going to show we are still watching them,” Program Coordinator Rebecca Newberry said. 

To donate: Contact Jackie-James Creedon at jackiejamescreedon@gmail.com.

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

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