Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Clean Air Coalition Rally

Rally for Clean Air
at the
J.D. Crane Coke Plant in Tonawanda, NY.

Members of the Clean Air Coalition, local residents, and supporters gathered near the J.D. Crane coke plant today to protest air pollution that is harmful to human health. The plant emits high levels of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer.

Satellite photo of the dirty coke plant

Slide show of the rally

For more information, contact Erin Heaney, Executive Director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York.

UPDATES: Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009
Benzene pollution is certainly bad enough, but the coke emissions also include soot, a.k.a. black carbon. Black carbon air pollution is a leading cause of respiratory illness and premature death. Controlling emissions will save lives and improve health.

The satellite photo above shows the accumulation of extensive black carbon deposits at the J.D. Crane Coke Plant. Soot particulate emissions contribute to the fact that our region's unhealthy air remains among the worst in the state. Nearby residents of the Coke Plant have experienced black carbon fallout at their homes in addition to benzene pollution, as shown in the video, below:
Senator Charles Schumer Demands Coke CEO Make More Concerted Effort to Decrease Emissions of Benzene - June 22, 2009

What's That Smell?
- ArtVoice

In September, J.D. Crane's Erie Coke Corp. in Pennsylvania was sued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the PA Department of Environmental Protection in federal court to force the corporation to update or replace aging equipment.Regulators say the work could cost as much as $20 million. The report is here.

UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009

The Buffalo News -- Front page report
Danger in the air
State study finds Tonawanda Coke emits benzene up to 75 times higher than recommended guidlines, stirring calls for action
By Mark Sommer
See for a Video entitled: Residents Upset With Tonawanda Coke


Anonymous said...

More studies, more studies, more studies. Blah,blah, blah. More double speak from our government agencies. Do something about JD Crane now! At least Pennslyvania has the guts to fine him six million dollars. Funny how Crane contributed to the Town of Tonawanda's supervisor's campaign fund. I don't recall seeing him at the rally. Schumer writes a big letter to Crane. Big deal. Action, not words. NOW!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ALL those people at the rally & they all drove their own vehicles... Whats one of the emissions produced from a combustion engine?... Benzene... Interesting...

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Joseph said...

Quoting Comment 2:
"ALL those people at the rally & they all drove their own vehicles... Whats one of the emissions produced from a combustion engine?... Benzene... Interesting..."

The DEC studies and EPA studies showed CLEARLY that the contribution to benzene emissions by traffic in this area was below recommended standards, and that the Tonawanda Coke plant was the most significant source of the very high benzene levels 75% higher than recommended standards. Read the data before you pontificate about benzene levels, get the facts. Your statements are wrong. The TCC plant emits, by it's own reporting, over 9700 lbs of benzene into the air each year.

While some of us carpooled to save gas and many biked and walked to the rally, it's fair to say that automotive emissions in our area are a significant contributor to pollution, and our tendency towards sprawl hurts our air quality. But as far as claiming that the participants in the rally are somehow not credible because some of them drove is not based on the data.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Mr. Joseph! While we're talking about the facts... I would like to update yours... In recent information from the DEC they said; 1: They cannot exactly pinpoint that their 75 number is directly associated only with TCC... 2: And by the way it's not 75%, It is a number out of a million... 75 out of a million, which is actually .0075%... which is people out of a million that have cancer... 3: the state limit of benzene is 10k lbs/yr... 9700lbs/yr is under the state guidlines... 4: They stated that the 75x number is an aggragate of the region, directly corrilated to everything in the area including the 51 other places that pollute... i.e. vehicle traffic, gas pumps, factories ect...