Tonawanda News — New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit Tuesday to permanently prevent the reopening of the Amigone Funeral Home crematory in the Town of Tonawanda.
“The Amigone crematory has cast a shadow over this Tonawanda community for too long,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The crematory’s offensive nuisance emissions have long plagued residents, interfering with such basic pleasures as opening windows and enjoying backyards. This lawsuit will reassure this community that the Amigone crematory will never again pollute their air and disrupt their lives.”
The suit, which cites alleged violations of specific environmental laws for the first time, comes after more than 20 years of residents’ complaints concerning odors, soot and noise from the Sheridan Drive crematory.
The crematory has been closed since July 2012, when the owners signed an agreement with the attorney general’s office agreeing to halt operations for six months. At the time the agreement was signed, Schneiderman said he reserved the right to file a suit if Amigone resumed the crematory’s use without hiring an expert to improve emission controls.
After unsuccessfully attempting to move the crematory to another location, the Amigone family “recently signaled its intention to restart operations,” the statement from the attorney general’s office said.
“Although Amigone has taken public steps to recommence operations at its current site, it has provided no information regarding retaining an expert or developing engineering plans to eliminate the crematory’s objectionable and illegal emissions,” the statement reads.
As a result, the suit was filed Tuesday in Erie County Court. The suit charges that Amigone is unable to operate the crematory without violating state air pollution laws and creating a nuisance for nearby residents. The suit seeks to permanently prevent Amigone from reopening the crematory, and also seeks monetary penalties against the company for repeated violations of pollution regulations.