A federal court Judge has ruled that Tonawanda Coke does not need to shut down despite exceeding the amount of emissions allowed in their probation agreement.
Judge William Skretny ruled that prosecutors representing the government did not provide enough evidence that emissions were harmful, but ruled that Tonawanda Coke must follow an enlarged probation.
U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny also required the appointment of a third party monitor to keep tabs on the company’s environmental compliance.
Skretny, in making his ruling, criticized the government for not providing concrete proof that emissions from the plant pose a public health risk.
“I no longer want this community to wonder what is coming out of that stack,” Skretny said of the new tests he ordered.
The judge noted the government’s request for a shut down of the plant, a request echoed by members of the community, but made it clear its evidence fell far short of what he felt was necessary to prove a risk to the community.