By Jerry Zremski
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, today asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to make sure that $440,000 in fines to be paid by DuPont Co. will be staying in Western New York.
The Department of Justice and DuPont settled on a consent decree last week in which the company will pay a civil penalty of $440,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of the Clean Air Act, as well as a law requiring industry to report its chemical emissions, at DuPont's facility in the Town of Tonawanda.
“I write today to advocate that this sum be instead allocated to environmental remediation efforts in the immediate vicinity of the plant, rather than being sent to the Treasury, where its impact will be diluted," HIggins said in his letter to Holder.
"While some gains have been made in remediating the environmental damage caused by industrialization in the Town of Tonawanda and the nearby communities, much important work remains to be done. This settlement could be an important resource in advancing that effort.”
Higgins, who is also fighting to keep Tonawanda Coke fines in the region, said that in similar cases elsewhere in the country, the Justice Department has allowed fines to remain in local communities to be used for environmental cleanups.