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U.S District Court, Western, New York

In this contractual action, a coke facility was accused of violating state and federal environmental laws. The suit was resolved with a consent decree.

The defendant, Tonawanda Coke Corporation, operates a coke plant in Tonawanda, New York. The defendant was accused of discharging wastewater and other prohibited pollutants in its stormwater that discharges into the Niagara River, including excessive amounts of cyanide, ammonia, and naphthalene – as well as allowing process water holding tanks to decay, pipe leakage, and spill containment structures to become ineffective. The defendant was also accused of Clean Air Act violations, resulting in releases of coke oven gas, which contains benzene and other harmful chemicals. Finally, they were accused of failing to report manufacturing benzene and ammonia in excess of the ________ pound per year reporting threshold. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), companies that manufacture, process, import, or otherwise use chemicals above a certain amount must annually submit chemical inventory information to local authorities and to the state, giving detailed information about the chemicals they have on location.

The United States and State of New York filed suit against defendant, Tonawanda Coke Corporation in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. The defendant was accused of violating the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), as well as state environmental regulations. The federal and state plaintiffs sought penalties, as well as remedial measures and other relief.The matter was resolved with a settlement, in which the defendant agreed to pay a $________ civil penalty to the United States, as well as a $________ civil penalty to the state of New York. In addition to the state penalty, the defendant will pay another $________ to fund projects to benefit environment and the residents of Tonawanda. Additionally, $________ will be provided to Ducks Unlimited – a nonprofit organization to acquire and preserve wetlands.

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