The US Environmental Projection Agency and New York State reached a $12 million settlement with Tonawanda Coke Corporation.
"Tonawanda Coke has been an environmental outlaw for too long," EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck said. "Today's legal settlement will provide greater public health protections for the people of Western New York.
HOW THE PAYMENTS BREAK DOWN:
- $7.9 million will be used for equipment upgrades for their facility to reduce emissions.
- $2.75 million will go to the Federal Gov't and State of New York for civil penalties
- $1.3 million will be managed by the State of New York to be used for local environmental projects.
"We applaud the hard work and leadership of the US EPA . For years Clean Air has organized Tonawanda residents to demand justice.
We understand that $1 million will be set-aside for "Environmental Benefit Projects.
We urge the Attorney General's office to use a participatory budgeting process where residents can generate ideas and vote on what projects this money should fund.
Local residents need to have direct control over where that money is spent," said Rebecca Newberry, Clean Air organizer.
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives ordinary people real power over real money, letting them work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.