Tonawanda News

Local News

April 23, 2012

Activist honored by town board

TOWN OF TONAWANDA — A longtime advocate in the fight against air pollution in the Town of Tonawanda’s industrial corridor was honored Monday night bythe town board.

Town Supervisor Anthony Caruana read a proclamation on behalf of the board, recognizing Jackie James-Creedon for her seven-yearstruggle to expose Tonawanda Coke as a major source of harmful emissions in the area off of River Road.

After founding the C

lean Air Coalition in 2005, efforts to document higher-than-normal levels of benzene and other chemicals in the area culminatedin a 2009 Department of Environmental Conservation report confirming Tonawanda Coke Corp. as a prime culprit.

“This is really nice and it will look great on my wall but it’s really important because of who gave it to me,” she said ofthe proclamation presented at Monday’s Town Board meeting.

Caruana also acknowledged her current role as head of a group called Citizens United for Justice, through which a benefitfund was recently formed to ensure her own independent air monitoring can continue, as well as plans to eventually help compensatethose who have fallen ill as a result of conditions in the area.

James-Creedon, who still conducts her own air monitoring (since DEC monitors in the area only take samples once every sixdays) said she plans to conduct soil tests as well.

She spoke at the meeting to stress that, despite several pending lawsuits and numerous sanctions against the plant for underreportingemissions, conditions in the neighborhoods surrounding the River Road facility still aren’t safe, as residents continue toreport irritation in their eyes, nose and throat consistent with caustic byproducts.

“It is indeed a long, long fight and I will continue to fight for justice,” she said.

Residents who want to help can contact James-Creedon at 873-6191, or email her at jackiejamescreedon@gmail.com.

Also at Monday’s meeting:

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