TAKEN FROM THE JULY 12 ISLAND DISPATCH
New York State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-Buffalo, submitted a letter to the chief district judge of the United States District Court, asking for the maximum fine that is allowed by law to be handed to Tonawanda Coke Corporation for the illegal actions and willful violation of environmental law that resulted in health-related problems and illnesses for some residents who live near the Tonawanda Coke facility.
As chairman of the New York State Senate's Environmental Conservation Commission, Grisanti believes his request to Chief District Judge William M. Skretny for the maximum monetary penalties be levied against Tonawanda Coke, for the environmental health and safe harm done to residents of Western New York, calls for accountability to be taken upon the corporation.
"My letter to Judge Skretny was written on behalf of my constituents who live in the City of Tonawanda, Town of Tonawanda, Town of Grand Island, City of Buffalo and surrounding areas who are now dealing with serious health problems because of Tonawanda Coke's blatant criminal actions," said Grisanti. "I strongly urged him to impose a fine for their direct violation of environmental laws that were put on the books to keep our communities clean and safe."
Grisanti also requested in his letter to Skretny that the fines levied be earmarked for a specific purpose.
"I feel very strongly that all fines imposed on Tonawanda Coke stay right in this community and he held until an assessment of the full damage can be conducted," said Grisanti. "That money should go toward funding future projects that will enhance the health, welfare and environment that was directly impacted by the corporation's illegal actions."