CSCR Position Statement Regarding Tonawanda Coke Site Remediation and Redevelopment

After careful consideration and consultation with community members, environmental experts, and our technical advisor Dr. Shaun Crawford, whose statement follows, the CSCR board of directors supports a Brownfield option as the best path forward for remediation and redevelopment of the Tonawanda Coke Site. We will continue to work with Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joe Emminger, other elected officials, and our community members regarding these efforts. We will also advocate for former Tonawanda Coke employees to be given priority consideration when and if new job opportunities become available as a result of these efforts.

Statement from Dr. Shaun Crawford, "Brownfield cleanup doesn't typically clean up all the contamination, but to a level that doesn't create a direct exposure hazard to the public. It can be accomplished in less time, and usually is redeveloped for use within a decade. My issue with Superfund is that there is not enough money to clean up all Superfund sites, only high priority ones. Because of that, government policy and the stigma, Superfund sites generally get a chain link fence around them and covered up with plastic, then comes the neglect. Weeds degrade the plastic, making toxins more likely to be exposed as blown dust or washes off site during rains. I've seen Superfund sites with homeless people living there, and evidence of children playing. Brownfields have to be done well, with community input on what happens, but they are more likely to be productive areas rather than a sore that festers for decades."

Shaun Crawford, PhD, CIH has been CSCR’s technical advisor since 2016. He is an environmental and health consultant with advanced degrees in Environmental Engineering and Industrial Hygiene. For more info on Dr. Crawford’s bio, click here.

CSCR 2019 Board of Directors