Tonawanda News

The City

July 31, 2013

Activist and students conduct soil testing in city


Tonawanda News — Former City of Tonawanda Police Chief John Ivancic, the Brookside Terrace resident whose yard was being tested Tuesday, said he hopes this round of tests doesn’t have similar results. 

“I’ve always been a bit of a naysayer about this kind of thing,” Ivancic, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in February, said. “But I have no history of cancer in my family ... where is it coming from? No one can say. It kind of makes you wonder.” 

Ivancic also noted his neighbors’ cancer diagnoses, and said a black substance from the plant is constantly dirtying his home’s roof and windowsills. Many residents around the plant have reported the same circumstances. 

“This area is considered high impact,” James-Creedon said, noting the state Department of Health study that found statistically significant elevations of cancer rates in the neighborhood. 

The two groups of students working with the fund this summer are also completing tests near Dunlop and DuPont, James-Creedon said. The students said they were enjoying the research and the chance to learn more about the town’s industrial sector.

“Any field work is fun to me,” Rob Bennett, a student majoring in chemistry at the University at Buffalo said.

James-Creedon also said she is working with the university and SUNY Fredonia to propose a more comprehensive air and soil study. UB would head the study, and the three parties will be sending in the proposal to Skretny, who could allocate some of the plant’s sentencing fines to local projects. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley

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