Tonawanda Coke Soil Study

Published November 22, 2019

The Tonawanda Coke Soil Study investigates how pollution from the Tonawanda Coke Corp. plant has impacted the soil in surrounding communities.

The study, which started in 2017, was ordered by a federal judge after Tonawanda Coke was convicted of violating the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The soil study involves collecting and analyzing hundreds of soil samples from communities that may be in the path of emissions from the plant. Scientists will test these samples for an array of chemicals and try to determine which pollutants originated from Tonawanda Coke. Results will help the community learn more about how much pollution may have entered the soil in neighborhoods around the plant, and what area has been impacted.

The study is being conducted by a team that includes University at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia researchers, along with community partners. Analysis of the soil will be led by Joseph Gardella Jr., PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB Department of Chemistry.