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Tonawanda Coke requests hearing to remain open

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has received a request from Tonawanda Coke for a hearing on the revocation of its license to operate.

In late July, the DEC said it was revoking permits from Tonawanda Coke because the company has repeatedly violated air pollution regulations. The state sent the company a cease and desist letter, telling it to stop any operations that release materials into the air.

Operating permits were to be revoked Aug. 4, but the DEC says it is scheduling the requested hearing.

"Make no mistake, this action does not relieve the company from our rigorous oversight of all plant operations and we will continue to use all legal tools to pursue the company for any violation of law, such as the recent demand letter for payment of $736,250 in penalties for air violations under the consent decree," Assistant DEC Commissioner Sean Mahar told WBFO.

Tonawanda Coke turns coal into foundry coke at its plant on the Niagara River in the Town of Tonawanda. State regulations require the hearing to be held within 60 days of the company's request.

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