Judge extends deadline for Tonawanda Coke to disclose financial records

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U.S. District Judge William Skretny refused to give Tonawanda Coke a deadline xtension to pay its final community service payment.

But he did give the company more time to disclose its financial records to federal prosecutors. 

On Friday, Skretny ordered Tonawanda Coke to immediately pay the $2 million community service payment once he learned that the company planned to close. State environmental regulators said that the last of 30 coke ovens at the Tonawanda facility shut down Monday, “marking the end of coke production at the facility.” 

Skretny also ordered Tonawanda Coke to provide federal prosecutors with all of its financial records by Wednesday.

But on Tuesday, Skretny said that in light of Tonawanda Coke’s bankruptcy filing, he’d extend the deadline by one week to Oct. 24.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mango objected to the delay. In a motion he filed Tuesday, Mango argued that Tonawanda Coke in a previous motion “explicitly offered to provide its financial records to the Court if so requested.”

Meanwhile, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials stated that it continues “rigorous monitoring” at the facility after the the shut down of the coke battery and some 30 ovens. About 129 employees will be let go by Oct. 27, according to a Department of Labor notice. 

“With the shutdown of the last 30 coke ovens at Tonawanda Coke, we are moving this community one step closer to being free of this facility’s billowing smokestacks,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a prepared statement.

“DEC will continue to oversee operations until the job is complete, monitoring every step of the shutdown of Tonawanda Coke, and advancing the cleanup of any contamination this facility leaves behind.”    

The DEC said the next steps include purging the gas lines and cooling the battery ovens, which will continue through this week.

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