It took more than 30 years for the citizens of Tonawanda to be heard. Finally, the Tonawanda Coke industrial plant is being held responsible for poisoning the people. In my opinion, they couldn’t pay enough, and they wont.
Not surprisingly, it took a group of sick citizens to test the air themselves, finding high levels of benzene which can lead to Leukemia, infertility and other cancers and illnesses. Unfortunately, the toxic air did lead to illness, a lot of illness. The coalition of residents of Tonawanda is composed of over 200 people. After these citizens tested the air quality and found theses extremely high levels of benzene, it still took 5 years for the state regulators to act, despite the diligence of Tonawanda’s citizen’s efforts.
The judge of this case was quoted as saying the crime was, ‘Singularly inexcusable.’ The retired head of environmental controls was sentenced to jail for a year- a small price to pay for the pain and suffering and early death’s of the local people affected by the poison. The company will also pay out $24,000,000 towards additional research and fines .