Tonawanda News

The Town

June 23, 2013



Tonawanda News — “There were cracks in many of the ovens, which were very old,” Guth said. “That led to incomplete combustion ... and a lot of emissions.”

The agreement also contained a $4 million fine, with an additional $2 million in to be put in escrow for the DEP if the improvements were not made. With the three-year deadline for finishing the improvements looming, Guth said the company has “more than met” the standards outlined in the agreement.

Local residents can only speculate why negotiations with Erie Coke were more successful than similar efforts in Tonawanda. But the Erie agreement came only after the Tonawanda plant was raided by federal investigators and Kamholz personally was named in the resulting 19-count federal indictment.

And although complaints in Erie have decreased since the repairs have begun, the effects of the pollution are still unknown. The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are in the process of completing a health-effects study similar to the New York Department of Health study in Tonawanda, which found statistically significant elevated rates of cancer among those living near the plant.

Detroit Coke meets abrupt end

In a courtroom in 2010, while defending Erie Coke’s right to stay open, Crane said he’s perfectly capable of closing a plant in one day. 

He knows because he’s done it before.

Crane purchased Detroit Coke in 1980. Although the Environmental Protection Agency was unable to confirm the reports, the Detroit Metro Times wrote that the agency made repeated failed attempts throughout the decade to get the plant to comply with the Clean Air Act and other federal regulations.

In 1991, the EPA threatened to shut down the plant for failing to obey air quality standards, the Metro Times reported. 

Then, just a month later on Sept. 12, 1991, Crane locked the doors. Employees said they were given two hours notice or less of the plant’s closing.

Text Only
The Town
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety 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