Statement from Grand Island, Town and City of Tonawanda and Citizen Science Community Resource regarding Tonawanda Coke Community Projects and Future Action
The Supervisor of the Town of Grand Island, Nathan McMurray, the Supervisor of the Town of Tonawanda, Joseph Emminger and the Mayor of the City of Tonawanda, Rick Davis along with Phil Haberstro and other members from Citizen Science Community Resources are raising public awareness regarding the management of the Tonawanda Coke community service projects and monies today.
Sixteen years ago, several citizens now calling themselves Citizen Science Community Resources with the support of a grass roots effort, started a movement that led to ground-breaking criminal actions and community service projects totally $12.2 million against Tonawanda Coke. Those projects (funds), however, have not gone back to Citizen Science Community Resources or directly to the community. To this point, nearly all of the funds have been used for University at Buffalo led studies, leaving out all other stakeholders.
Mayor Davis says, “For years, before sentencing, this was a community collaboration. Since the judge has ruled, we seem to have lost the community collaboration with this project. That needs to change ASAP.”
Supervisor McMurray says, “We can’t leave out the folks that started this. When no one else was paying attention, Citizens Science Community Resources was out there with buckets measuring air quality. They were first line of defense. We can’t leave them out. This is important. Last year Erie County ranked near the bottom among all counties according to of the Robert Woods Johnson study on health. We need more.
Phil Haberstro adds, “This is not a new news story, in fact it is about the oldest civic story in American history. We the people are requesting Judge Skretny to return control of the community service projects and fine money to the communities that fought this fight for 16 years.”
We are asking residents to write to Judge Skretny and make their voices heard regarding this injustice.
Hon. William M. Skretny
United States District Judge for the Western District of New York
c/o Andrew W. Moeller, Esq.
2 Niagara Square
Buffalo, New York 14202