Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 17, 2014

Tonawanda Coke appeals conviction and sentence

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “There’s no way of knowing exactly how long it will take,” Hochul said. “Once the oral argument is completed, it’s up to the judges on how long they need to render the decision on the issues.”

The plant’s payment of the fines and community service funds should not be affected by the appeal. 

“Our preliminary indication is that the payments are still due,” Hochul said. “It will not delay the fine payments or the community service projects ordered by the court.” 

The community service projects include an $11.4 million health study and a $700,000 soil study. Residents, environmental activists and local politicians pushed for a portion of the fine money to go back to residents, and Skretny granted those requests when he ordered the plant to fund the projects over the course of five years. 

The appeal marks another step in a lengthy fight against the plant. Ten years ago, residents began organizing after years of experiencing acrid smells, soot on their homes and unusual illnesses. 

Locals publicly campaigned for air monitoring to determine the cause and nature of the pollution problem. State and federal regulators responded and found benzene, a known carcinogen and byproduct of the coke-making process, at levels 10 times higher than what’s considered safe in the air around the plant.

Their years of work eventually led to a federal indictment, 30-day trial and the guilty verdicts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results