May-June 2023 Monthly Email Updates

Click here to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, and view this month’s edition by clicking the “Read More” link below.


Supreme Court Decision on Sackett vs. EPA Severely Weakens the Clean Water Act

Clean Air strongly condemns the 5-4 split decision from the US Supreme Court on Sackett vs EPA, which fundamentally weakens the Clean Water Act. The decision puts millions of acres of wetlands and many other water bodies under threat of pollution or destruction. This decision is a major step backwards for the protection that wetlands need during the extinction and climate crisis that we are in the midst of today. 

This continues a concerning trend in which the court’s conservative supermajority is ignoring robust scientific evidence and research to side with corporate polluters and developers, as well as  gut long standing protections. In 2022 we wrote a statement with similar sentiment on the decision of West Virginia vs. EPA, which weakened the Clean Air Act that we rely on to keep people in our community safe from deadly air pollution. Our people are wise enough to know that this case is not about an individual family’s property and was in fact pushed through with representation from the Pacific Legal Foundation, a pro-polluting astroturf industry organization which also backs other far right libertarian policies, such as rolling back affirmative action policies and tenant’s rights. We face this in our work daily when polluters bankroll large legal and PR firms to resist being held accountable. 

We recommend that folks educate themselves on this case by reading these articles from Earthjustice and Earther. We call on our federal elected leaders to rebalance the Supreme Court, which has clearly become partisan and continues to make decisions that disregard scientific evidence and are out of step with the desires and will of everyday working people in the United States. An immediate action we can all take is to join an organization like Clean Air that continues to fight for health and justice and to elevate the voice of poor and working class people. 

Become a member today here.

May 14, 2022

One year ago a NYS homegrown white supremacist terrorist traveled from a small suburban town outside of Binghamton NY to the Tops on Jefferson Avenue on Buffalo’s East Side with the explicit goal in mind of murdering as many black folk as he could manage. Prior to his killing spree, he posted a statement that he copied word for word from the Christchurch New Zealand shooter’s manifesto, one that was steeped in ecofascism and white supremacist sentiment.

We honor the memory of the victims and wish ongoing healing for the survivors as we continue to organize for health and justice in Buffalo. We know that white supremacy is a threat to all of us and that the thoughts and actions of the murderer are present within our community. We must all continue to take direct action toward dismantling the oppressive systems that were present way before 5/14.

Please give grace to each other and the space to heal during this week of remembrance and mourning. We continue to say the names of the victims.

Aaron Salter Jr, 55.
Celestine Chaney, 65.
Roberta A. Drury, 32.
Andre Mackniel, 53.
Katherine Massey, 72.
Margus D. Morrison, 52.
Heyward Patterson, 67.
Geraldine Talley, 62.
Ruth Whitfield, 86.
Pearl Young, 77

Another blown deadline at Battaglia Demolition

Earlier this year, the owner of Battaglia Demolition, Inc. was given 30 days to clear the concrete rubble still left on its property at Peabody and Seneca Streets. That target date passed on April 27 and the debris remains. 

It’s another in a long line of blown deadlines for the company and its owner, Peter J. Battaglia. His company has already been ordered by New York State Supreme Court to pay a $1 million fine for failure to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement in a timely fashion. The agreement was signed in August 2022, after over a year of inaction. 

WGRZ Channel 2 News in Buffalo recently dropped by the property to report on the matter. They said the company did not respond to their questions.

Check on the full story here:


Join us for our May 18 General Meeting and the Buffalo Pride Parade!

Join us on May 18 for our next General Meeting to learn about what we’re currently working on and to join us! Register by clicking here.

Please also save the date of Sunday June 4 for the Buffalo Pride Parade! As we did last year, we are working with other organizations to coordinate a marching bloc that centers LGBTQIA2S+ rights.

April/May 2023 Email Newsletter

Click here to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, and view this month’s edition by clicking the “Read More” link below.


We are hiring!

We are hiring for an Environmental Justice Organizer for our American Axle/Delavan-Grider campaign!

We are highly encouraging applicants who are from, or highly involved with communities on the East Side of Buffalo to apply. Formal organizing experience is a plus but not a requirement. The ideal candidate for this job has a strong analysis of systemic racism and classism, is adaptable, outgoing, and has a strong interest in building power.

This is a full time, salaried position, working 40 hours per week, paying $50,000 annual salary with a generous benefits package and paid time off.

This position is open until filled; to apply, please send a cover letter, resume and a list of three references to with the subject line “The Environmental Justice Community Organizer”. Optionally, you may additionally send two relevant work samples with your application.

Please see the full job post below for details.

Download (PDF, 166KB)

Trans Day of Visibility 2023

As attacks on our civil and human rights are increasing nationwide, I wanted to just take a moment to commemorate Trans Day of Visibility.

Visibility doesn’t protect trans folks – but community does.

With that in mind, I just wanted to say it loud and proud – I am transgender and non-binary.

Someone you know is trans.

I’m also absolutely certain I am not the only one in your life who identifies as such. 

Let’s work to make it safe for everyone to be visible.

-Bridge Rauch, they/them, Environmental Justice Organizer

March/April 2023 Monthly E-Newsletter

Click here to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, and view this month’s edition by clicking the “Read More” link below.


Owner of illegal concrete crushing operation ordered by State Supreme Court to pay $1 million fine

A win for residents who have organized against the company for over a decade, but the protracted case still goes on as members demand a resolution

The owner and operator of Battaglia Demolition, Inc., Peter J. Battagalia, has been ordered by New York State Supreme Court to pay a $1 million fine for failure to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement which was signed in August 2022. This is a win for residents who have organized and called for accountability for over a decade. However, the lengthy legal proceedings continue in court, which residents criticize.

“On April 2nd 2018, Judge Chimes shut Batatglia corporation down. Five years later we still have no quality of life because of this business. Peter Battaglia has gotten away with not maintaining or securing his property. We are still living with rats. People illegally dumping and the silica dust still blowing off the mounds and mounds of concrete that are still there and should be taken off the land the way it is, not crushed. The grass has not been cut since the shutdown and is a breeding ground for the rats,” said Diane Lemanski, longtime member and organizer with Clean Air.

“It’s a view of ugliness that we have to live with on a daily basis,” Lemanski continued. “It took the city of Buffalo over four years to step up and clean up the building and the debris that was in it. It is time for us to have our quality of life back and Battaglia to pay the price for his actions. It’s time for this case to be settled. We need a final decision now.” 

Residents living in Buffalo’s Seneca Babcock neighborhood have organized for more than a decade to hold Battaglia Demolition, a waste transfer site that was illegally operating a concrete crusher, accountable. Battaglia’s operations shook the foundations of residents’ homes, polluted the air with diesel particulates, and blanketed the neighborhood in silica dust, a pollutant known to cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma, lung disease and lung cancer. 

Since the 2018 shutdown of Battaglia Demolition, the property has fallen into abandonment, with piles of concrete dust still swirling from the site through the neighborhood air. The derelict property has become a site with illegal dumping, and is now full of garbage and refuse, attracting rats.  The building Battaglia Demolition once occupied caught fire and was demolished after an emergency order from the city’s housing court last year. 

Battaglia reached a settlement agreement with the NYS Attorney General and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 2021 under NYS Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Judge Chimes. After over a year of inaction, Battaglia finally signed the agreement in August 2022.  

“Residents of Peabody Street were cut out of the settlement process and were not happy with the very lenient terms that were given to Battaglia,” said Clean Air Executive Director Chris Murawski. “Now we see it coming full circle that despite being given the benefit of the doubt, he has once again taken no action to improve the site, continuing to negatively affect the residents’ quality of life.” 

Clean Air will continue to monitor the ongoing legal actions however, the community envisions the best use of the land that will bring true justice is for the property to be gifted to the community and held by a Land Trust as green space and a carbon sink to make up for the years of suffering.

“Accountability for the company and its owner are long overdue,”  said Phil Gambini, an organizer with Clean Air. “It’s about time Battaglia faces consequences for his actions.”