Erie County lawmakers vote yes to giving residents a louder voice at two of county’s worst pollution sites

Erie County

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)–Erie County lawmakers said yes today to giving residents a louder voice at two of the county’s worst pollution sites.

We were at County Hall when legislators approved advisory groups for the former Tonawanda Coke and American Axle properties.

Those two former industrial sites have been closed for years but their toxic legacies could live on for many more.

They are designated Brownfield sites, and county lawmakers want folks in their respective communities to have a role in their cleanup and redevelopment.

During its years of operation, Tonawanda Coke had been cited for contaminating the air and soil for miles into neighboring Buffalo and Grand Island but now the massive property is under new ownership, and neighbors want to be part of the clean up effort.

Likewise, the former American Axle plant has been closed since 2007, but site on East Delavan Avenue is still a source of contamination.

County lawmakers want to ensure that the communities where they are located have some say in their cleanup and redevelopment plans, and credited the Tonawanda Coke site’s new owner.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved community advisory boards for both sites.

The two resolutions passed by the County Legislature have no actual weight in law, but they were designed to send a message to the State DEC to include citizen input in its decision-making.

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