Tonawanda Coke's request for a delay in the company's probation violation hearing was rejected in federal court in Buffalo on Monday.
The government hauled Tonawanda Coke into court last week for violating its probation requirements by allegedly exceeding federal clean air standards. In court Monday, attorneys for Tonawanda Coke told Judge William Skretny that repairs are underway and they requested more than a month's delay in the company's probation hearing.
But Skretny rejected any delay, saying he is looking to safeguard the community's well-being and residents' concerns need to be addressed immediately. Afterward Tonawanda Coke attorney Jeff Stravino said he is looking forward to being in court Friday.
"The company's been making commitments to address the opacity as aggressively and safely as possible. We're committed to the community. And as you heard me say, I'm a resident of Grand Island, and I don't believe there's any proof in the record showing that there's an imminent and substantial endangerment to the community," Stravino said.
Judge Skretny said the probation hearing will follow the rules of a criminal trial. Jackie James-Creedon, Director of Citizen Science Community Resources says, she is "ecstatic" with Skretny's decision.
"If they do indeed show that they are in violation of Tonawanda Coke's probation that there possibly could be a resentencing of the company. So we weren't aware of that and that is awesome news," James-Creedon said.
Federal prosecutors are seeking to shut Tonawanda Coke down. The company's probation hearing is set to begin Friday at 9 a.m.