January 28, 2010

Gillibrand Statement Following EPA Order To Tonawanda Coke To Clean Up

Washington, D.C.Today, U.S. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, commented on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on Tonawanda Coke to comply with the Clean Air Act, fix wastewater leaks, and stop dumping coal tar sludge:

“I am pleased that the EPA is continuing to demand that Tonawanda Coke not only meet New York State air pollution requirements, but also clean up their leaks and sludge. It is clear that Tonawanda Coke violated state and federal law in their improper handling of the coal tar sludge. The residents of Tonawanda deserve safe and clean air and water. I am confident that these developments will yield a favorable outcome and ensure the protection of the health and well-being of the community. As this case moves forward, I will continue to work with the EPA, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the local residents to act against violators and protect public health.”

On July 31, Senator Gillibrand wrote to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson urging quick action to address the environmental health concerns of local residents in regard to Tonawanda Coke, including benzene levels in the area 75 times higher than State guidelines.  In a personal call with the Administrator in October, Senator Gillibrand again relayed the concerns from local residents and reemphad the need for EPA to play a significant role in addressing the concerns in Tonawanda and moving quickly in their investigation of the plant.