TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Environmental Manager for Tonawanda Coke is in trouble withthe Feds. Mark Kamholz is charged with violating the Clean Air Actand other federal environmental laws.
It's been the target of state and federal environmentalinvestigations and now the government has finally taken some actionregarding violations at the Tonawanda Coke plant.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Mark Kamholz, theenvironmental manager at Tonwanda Coke, has been charged withviolating hazardous waste laws and the Clean Air Act.
Erin Heaney of the Clean Air Coalition of WNY said, "Thisdoesn't come as a shock to us this is pretty indicative of howTonawanda Coke runs business."
Heaney says the issue is tar sludge.
"Tar sludge is a dark, sticky material that can spread outquickly if water gets on top of it or if it's hot out. If peopleare exposed to it for long periods of time it can be cancerous,"explained Heaney.
The U.S. attorney states that Mark Kamholz "failed to notifyimmediately the appropriate agency of the government as soon as hehad knowledge of a release of coal tar sludge."
This all stems from a federal raid at the plant last week, aftercompany officials neglected to send the Environmental ProtectionAgency samples after requested to do so.
For months now, nearby residents have been speaking out againstthe plant. Many people who have health issues blame the plant fortheir ailments.
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