Draft Zoning Now Open to Public Review, and Huntley Eminent Domain

We have lots of updates to share from our Tonawanda Tomorrow Team!

If you are interested in engaging with this work, either as a resident of the Tonawandas who wants to see equitable development, or as an professional or armchair urbanist who enjoys working for equitable development, then please click here to sign up for our team and we will be in contact with you shortly! We also will be canvassing in the Tonawandas this summer – click here to sign up for a canvassing shift!

Town of Tonawanda Draft Zoning Open for Public Review

The Town of Tonawanda has publicly released the draft zoning code and map for review!

We strongly encourage residents of the Town of Tonawanda as well as those in WNY who care about implementing just transition development in the town to take a moment to review the new draft code and map – good zoning, as we have discussed, is crucial for fighting environmental injustices.

If you would like to submit a comment to the town Planning and Development department, then please click here to fill out our comment form, or call their office at (716) 871-8847 or email jhartz@tonawanda.ny.us.

Comments are currently being accepted through August 31, but it is anticipated that this comment period will be extended into the fall.

The town should also be holding a virtual engagement meeting  later this month – as soon as we have more information, we will share it with you. We plan to hold our own neighborhood meetings to engage residents in August and, assuming the comment period is extended as anticipated, in September as well.

Town of Tonawanda Wins it’s Eminent Domain Court Case on Huntley

We were happy to see the news this month that a panel of Justices of the NYS Appellate Division dismissed a petition filed by NRG, which sought to prevent the Town of Tonawanda from seizing the former Huntley property through eminent domain. NRG has been dragging it’s feet in moving forward not only with the clean up and redevelopment of the facility, but also of the clean up of the coal ash ponds adjacent to the hulking structure.

However, this fight is far from over – we will continue to advocate all throughout the Expression of Interest process for an equitable reuse of the structure that incorporates the visions of the Tonawanda Tomorrow Plan, and, with clarification on the future of the site, will be increasing our pressure on NRG for a just clean up of the ash ponds.

If you are interested in fighting for equitable redevelopment of the Huntley facility, please join our Tonawanda Tomorrow Team, and if you want to push NRG to take action to clean up the ash ponds, please join our River Road Watchdogs team!

Take Action to Strengthen Federal Regulations

Speaking of the coal ash ponds at Huntley, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering updates to strengthen nationwide regulations on coal ash ponds at legacy facilities. You can read more about these proposed changes from EarthJustice’s press release and at Grist.org, which published some fantastic in-depth reporting on this topic. We strongly encourage sending a letter to the EPA encouraging robust regulations using EarthJustice’s one click toolComments are due July 17.

The EPA is also finalizing rules around carbon pollution standards at power plants still in operation – click here to send a letter to the EPA using another one click tool from EarthJustice. Comments are due August 8.


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