Tonawanda Coke Soil Study

Published March 2, 2022

The Tonawanda Coke Soil Study investigated how pollutants emitted from the former Tonawanda Coke Corp. plant may have impacted soil in the surrounding communities.

A federal judge ordered Tonawanda Coke Corp. to fund the study after the company was convicted of violating the Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The soil study involved collecting and analyzing hundreds of soil samples from properties that may have been in the path of emissions from the plant.

The study’s findings will benefit local communities by providing them with information about what chemicals are in their soil, how widespread any pollution may be, and whether these pollutants may have originated at the former Tonawanda Coke plant.

The study team included University at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia researchers, along with community partners. Analysis of the soil was led by Joseph Gardella Jr., PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB Department of Chemistry, who has about 40 years of experience studying the environmental impact of industrial pollutants, with important projects focused on air and soil pollution.

The soil study team shared final findings with the public at a virtual community meeting on Feb. 24, 2022. 

Information on the study's results is available in a summary of findings produced by the soil study team, and in a news release shared with local media outlets. Additional information about the study is available on the soil study website.