Coke plant in Tonawanda, NY hit with one of biggest air pollution fines ($12M), a prison sentence, and community service (for epidemiological, air, and soil study). A plant upgrade was also required.
Authorities initially were alerted to problems by the plant's neighbors, who in 2005 used buckets and plastic bags to collect air samples after becoming concerned that the ever-present dusting of black soot on their houses, cars and patio furniture was connected to their seemingly high rates of cancer and other illnesses. "In our complaint, we alleged that Tonawanda failed to install air pollution controls. They failed to properly monitor for gas leaks," Assistant U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said on Monday's call. "We alleged they failed to conduct inspections that they should have. We believe that they failed to adequately train their employees and we alleged that they failed to file correct reports about harmful pollutants."
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