Updated: Thursday, 24 Dec 2009, 8:22 AM EST
Published : Wednesday, 23 Dec 2009, 10:17 PM EST
TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Environmental Manager for Tonawanda Coke is in trouble with the Feds. Mark Kamholz is charged with violating the Clean Air Act and other federal environmental laws.
It's been the target of state and federal environmental investigations and now the government has finally taken some action regarding violations at the Tonawanda Coke plant.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Mark Kamholz, the environmental manager at Tonwanda Coke, has been charged with violating hazardous waste laws and the Clean Air Act.
Erin Heaney of the Clean Air Coalition of WNY said, "This doesn't come as a shock to us this is pretty indicative of how Tonawanda Coke runs business."
Heaney says the issue is tar sludge.
"Tar sludge is a dark, sticky material that can spread out quickly if water gets on top of it or if it's hot out. If people are exposed to it for long periods of time it can be cancerous," explained Heaney.
The U.S. attorney states that Mark Kamholz "failed to notify immediately the appropriate agency of the government as soon as he had knowledge of a release of coal tar sludge."
This all stems from a federal raid at the plant last week, after company officials neglected to send the Environmental Protection Agency samples after requested to do so.
For months now, nearby residents have been speaking out against the plant. Many people who have health issues blame the plant for their ailments.