Days after an explosion at Tonawanda Coke rocked a large western portion of the Town of Tonawanda, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, said Monday there are still many unanswered questions about the incident.
In letters to the heads of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Higgins called for a federal investigation into the explosion Friday at the River Road plant.
“The company’s past reckless practices have led to a real and justifiable mistrust by neighbors and the community as a whole,” Higgins wrote.
An industrial pollution case resulted in convictions in March for Tonawanda Coke and an executive, with fines that could reach $200 million. In conflicting statements, the company described the explosion as “minor” but the state Department of Environmental Conservation called it “significant.”
The local environmental group Clean Air Coalition on Friday also called for an investigation by the agencies.