Environmentalists demand removal of Smokes Creek toxins

Dec 6, 2015

A local environmental group rallied in Lackawanna Saturday against plans to cap a toxic waste pit near Smokes Creek.

A 2009 plan called for full removal of buried toxins. But the State Environmental Conservation Department later opted for the cheaper option of capping the site.

John Nowak, a co-founder of Citizens United for a Clean Lackawanna Waterfront, said the toxins could already be posing a threat.

"There's already been a leaching of contaminants into Smokes Creek," Nowak said. "We're very concerned because (the contaminants) are getting close to the (Lake Erie) water intakes."

Nowak and other say a full removal of the toxins is the only way to assure they will never pose a threat to the region's drinking water.