Our Response re: UB Tonawanda Coke Soil Study and Results

The results as reported by University at Buffalo Research Foundation (UB-RF) and Dr. Gardella today mark the first time that our community has been privileged to this information. We’ve expressed a number of concerns to UB-RF and Dr. Gardella in the past regarding the project, one of which is that the soil study does not conform to the original intent ordered by Judge Skretny (the WNY US District Court Judge presiding over the 2014 sentencing of Tonawanda Coke Corp.).  As we understand, the community was to be an equal partner on the project. The truth is, our voices have been stifled and pushed out of the process; a project that the community started, wrote and persisted with for 15 years!


Additionally, we started this project because folks wanted to find out if they can eat vegetables in their garden and if their children are safe to play in their backyard. The UB study does not address these concerns because no testing was performed in these high exposure areas. This needs to happen.


Furthermore, and after consultation with our technical advisor, Dr. Shaun Crawford, PhD., we have a number of concerns on the current and on going work being performed by Dr. Gardella. We are in support of Supervisor’s Emminger and McMurray and Mayor Davis’s May 7th, 2018 letter withdrawing their support for the study until which time the plans and results are reviewed and certified by an independent, and mutually agreed upon, qualified third party person or agency.  It is our understanding that indeed an independent review by an engineering firm, hired by the Town of Tonawanda, found to contain certain deficiencies which give us cause for concern in the UB study. As suggested by Dr. Crawford and until we can resolve the nature of deficiencies identified, we cannot confirm acceptance of the UB soil study results.


Lastly, and most importantly regarding the current work, the community needs to see the raw data. This is our community and we have a right to this information. Without such, we, in consult with Dr. Crawford, are unable to make any logical conclusions. We wish to defer any further comments until such time.


In solidarity,

CSCR 2019 Board of Directors