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About CAC’s Campaign Against Tonawanda Coke…

One of my half dozen readers has called my attention to the following phrase in this item about a forum on the Peace Bridge expansion project:

Erin Heaney of the Clean Air Coalition spoke about high rates of asthma in the vicinity of the existing bridge and plaza, and broke down the components of diesel admissions, which, it turns out, are similar to the pollutants found in the air around the Tonawanda Coke plant against which the CAC has led a somewhat successful campaign.

That “somewhat” was a poor word choice, as it might suggest that I harbor some cynicism about CAC’s campaign to organize the surrounding community and draw attention from the media and regulatory agencies to the egregious activities of Tonawanda Coke and its owner, J. D. Crane. In fact, my cynicism is directed at Tonawanda Coke and the regulatory agencies to which it must report: I’ll believe they’ve made the company clean up its act when I see it.

So I probably should have said “so far successful” or something like that. For what it’s worth.


  • Kate

    It’s the law that has failed the residents of the area when it comes to Tonawanda Coke. This disgusting corporation has been slapped with violation after violation, but the laws have no teeth, so they pay the fines and carry on polluting. When CAC started, they wanted to attempt to work with Tonawanda Coke to reduce emissions, but Tonawanda Coke has no interest in working with the community. It’s why two separate groups of citizens who’ve been plagued by cancers and respiratory ails have decided they have no recourse but to file class-action suits against the company. They didn’t want to do that. They just wanted them to stop, and this company refuses to do so.

  • KeepItSimple

    Speaking of unsuccessful/successful organizational campaigns against pollution and WNY carcinogens, it is time to examine the complacency of some of our venerable, wealthy and respected organizations. Start with Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Roswell needs to hear a loud message, especially from folks giving money: “Focus on the impact of environmental contaminants and the link to cancer.” Roswell can start with a campaign against hydrofracking, a process which is inserting tens of thousands of carcinogen time bombs throughout the Marcellus Shale. “Roswell Park Cancer Institute is directed to conduct investigations of the cause, mortality, treatment, prevention and cure of cancer and allied disease.” So says the mission statement, posted all over the hospital. However their causal research, prevention, and advocacy efforts seem to be limited to the tobacco industry—a safe target. (Even magazines in Roswell waiting rooms have labels “Warning: Tobacco ads in this publication are misleading and deceptive. Tobacco will *not* make anyone glamorous, macho or successful.”) You will see absolutely no signs, pictures or folders about any toxin, anywhere. Why not mention this when you receive requests for donations or participation is the Ride for Roswell? PS: I am primary caregiver for a Roswell Cancer patient.