Endorsed Democratic nominee Carima El-Behairy (NY-60) stands with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in its issuance Friday of an immediate cease-and-desist order against Tonawanda Coke Corporation (TCC). The longtime local activist applauds the work of community organizations such as Citizen Science and the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York for their continued efforts to raise awareness of the violations and the health consequences of the pollutants released by Tonawanda Coke over many years.

“For too long, Tonawanda Coke has been putting profits over people,” El-Behairy said. “It is heartening to see the New York State DEC working to protect the health and well-being of Western New Yorkers—particularly that of TCC workers and those affected residents of Grand Island and the Tonawandas.”

After observing that black plumes were still pouring out of a TCC smokestack Sunday, El-Behairy said that this round of the fight has only just begun.

“Our environmental protections are being eroded at the Federal level and Republicans are either actively participating in or turning a blind eye to the devastation habitual polluters like TCC have been inflicting upon our communities for decades,” El-Behairy said. “The people have demanded that GOP lawmakers and regulators protect the public health and the planet. Since they will not do their jobs, we are going to replace them.”

El-Behairy encourages all concerned citizens to join her in attending a community meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, July 23, at the Brounshidle American Legion Post, located at 3354 Delaware Avenue in Kenmore. The event, hosted by the Clean Air Coalition, starts at 6 p.m.

El-Behairy is a small business owner with a record of service to the region’s arts, education, and health organizations. She is running on a platform of healthcare access and affordability, quality education, particularly universal pre-K, election reform, and economic preservation with sensible development.

El-Behairy is the endorsed Democratic candidate for New York State Senate, District 60.