Tonawanda News

Local News

March 14, 2013

Group seeks soil testing

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — "I thought to myself — hmm," Creedon, who has openly criticized Tonawanda Coke for years, said. "I wonder if we have some of those same chemicals here in Tonawanda."

Creedon was inspired and worried by the results, and decided to begin her own soil testing in the town. She, along with other fund members, Andrew Baumgartner and Charles Matteliano, took samples from a playground and five homes near the factories on River Road as part of preliminary, small study. They also completed a control test in Beaver Island State Park, a mile away from the industrial area and upwind from the plant’s emissions.

In Birmingham, the EPA is cleaning up soil that has 1.5 parts per million of benzo(a)pyrene or greater, according to Creedon. In Tonawanda, three out of the five yards that were tested met that criteria.

Then, two weeks after Creedon released the study results, the state Department of Health released their own data. 

The DOH study found “statistically significant elevations” of lung cancer and bladder cancer in both males and females, esophageal cancer in males and uterine cancer in females, as well as oral-cavity/pharynx cancer in males and leukemia among women.

The DOH also found evidence of elevated preterm births and heart defects in newborns.

But the DOH study was not able to prove what caused the many illnesses, and the agency's silence on factories' culpability frustrated many locals. 

But Creedon is hoping the EPA and DEC can connect the dots and lay the blame on Tonawanda Coke for polluting the air, soil and water and making residents sick. 

"They are the only plant that has not installed emissions controls ... they don't have the required baffles in quench towers — so guess where the soot goes," Creedon said. 

Creedon said she is writing to the EPA and DEC, asking them to complete more soil testing, make Tonawanda Coke install emissions controls and meet with Tonawanda community members by June 1. 

Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage