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Federal & State Governments Reach Legal Agreement with Tonawanda Coke

May 11, 2015
Press Release
Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) released the following statement in response to today’s announcement of a settlement agreement with Tonawanda Coke:

“Today’s announcement of an agreement between the federal government and Tonawanda Coke would not have been possible without a vocal community that compellingly stood up for itself, that fought against clear and deliberate wrongdoing on the part of a major corporation, and persisted in the pursuit of justice.

“We are pleased to see progress in the continued effort to hold Tonawanda Coke accountable but will keep up the pressure to see that the company’s commitments are fulfilled and lasting.  The community is encouraged to do the same by participating in the public process before us.

“While this is a step in the right direction, it is clear that a great deal of harm imposed by Tonawanda Coke is irreversible and residents have paid an immeasurable price for the company’s negligence.  We continue to maintain the position that any fines imposed on Tonawanda Coke and polluters like them should not be returned to “general funds” but should remain in the immediate surrounding community which has been seriously and directly impacted by the polluter that has violated the law and the trust of its neighbors.”

Congressman Higgins joined residents to champion efforts to hold Tonawanda Coke responsible for negligence and harm to community:

April 2, 2013: Higgins Calls for Tonawanda Coke Fines to Stay in Western New York

February 3, 2014:  Higgins Wants Answers on Tonawanda Coke Explosion

March 19, 2014:  Higgins Credits Community with Tonawanda Coke Verdict

July 31, 2014: Statement by Congressman Higgins in Response to OSHA Fines Following Tonawanda Coke Explosion