The NY Department of Environmental Conservation sent a cease and desist order to the Tonawanda Coke Corporation this past July after the company continued to ignore warnings about air pollution and safety. Now owners say they'll shutter the plant unable to meet standards.

The plant began operations in 1917 taking coal and turning into a purer form, coke that is most often used in high-temperature furnaces for melting iron. Company officials cite their financial inability to legally operate the plant to DEC standards as the reason for the closure. An exact closing date hasn't been announced.

State officials are dispatching crews to oversee the shutdown and assist employees next week. Environmental specialists will ensure the plant is properly closed and once completed will start an investigation into any possible contamination. Department of Labor staff will be on site to assist workers with filing unemployment claims and seeking future jobs.

You can read the state's plan for the shutdown at the DEC website.


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