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Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Statement – Tonawanda Coke Corporation

Tonawanda Coke Corporation (TCC) has been cited for repeated violations to the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. The company has polluted the local water table by illegally releasing polluted wastewater into the Niagara River. Chemicals they released into the air and water include benzene, cyanide, ammonia and naphthalene. In July 2018, the NYSDEC issued a cease and desist order for its operations, due to the violation of terms of its probation. NYSDEC cited a long list of recent air and water violations, including the Niagara River discharges, groundwater contamination from leaking storage tanks, and nearly 200 other violations.

The extent and frequency of TCC’s violations of environmental regulations continually put our community and natural resources at risk. TCC has been given numerous second chances to clean up its operations. Even after a 2013 guilty verdict and heavy fines for RCRA and Clean Air Act violations, TCC has demonstrated a continued and blatant disregard for environmental law as well as the health and safety of its own employees, some of who have been severely injured or killed on the job.

Every community that draws drinking water from the Niagara River or breathes the air in that vicinity has the potential to be affected by TCC’s illegal pollution.

A hearing to revoke TCC’s operating and emissions permits is currently scheduled to begin on October 10, 2018. In order to keep our water, our air, our residents, and our community safe, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper urges the judge to allow NYSDEC to revoke TCC’s operating permits once and for all.