If you have a moment, read all the way down to the last paragraphs. Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition provided the “Young Lungs At Play” signs mentioned in the story.
BY: Donn Esmonde
Power to the people. Technically, it was the U.S. Attorney’s Office that brought the case and federal and state regulators who gathered the evidence that ultimately brought down Tonawanda Coke. But make no mistake: None of that would have happened, had not the people living downwind of the toxin-spewing plant learned to stand up and fight.
A lot of folks deserve credit. But it was so-called ordinary people – with help from an organizer fresh out of college – whose outcry paved the path to victory. The company was convicted Thursday of 14 counts of polluting the air and ground of the surrounding neighborhood. Plant official Mark Kamholz faces up to 75 years in jail. He and the company are looking at upward of $200 million in fines.