Tonawanda News

June 29, 2013

Grisanti wants max for Tonawanda Coke

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — State Sen. Mark Grisanti has written a request to Judge William Skretny asking him to impose the maximum sentence upon Tonawanda Coke, the River Road facility that was found guilty of violating federal environmental laws. 

“My letter to Judge Skretny was written on behalf of my constituents ... who are now dealing with serious health problems because of Tonawanda Coke’s blatant criminal actions,” Grisanti said. “I strongly urged him to impose a fine for their direct violation of environmental laws that were put on the books to keep our communities clean and safe.”

Skretny will sentence the corporation, and its environmental manager, Mark Kamholz, July 15. The two defendants face a maximum sentence of $200 million and 75 years in prison for violating the Clean Air Act and the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act. 

Activists and politicians have lobbied Skretny’s office and other governmental agencies in hopes that the fines can be put back into the community. 

Grisanti, the chairman of the New York State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Commission, supported that cause in his letter to Skretny. 

“I feel very strongly that all fines imposed on Tonawanda Coke stay right in this community and he held until an assessment of the full damage can be conducted,” Grisanti said. “That money should go towards funding future projects that will enhance the health, welfare and environment that was directly impacted by the corporation’s illegal actions.”