Seneca Babcock

Residents living on Peabody Street 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.  Through tenacious organizing by the team, in 2016, NYS Assistant Attorney General Jane Cameron filed a lawsuit against the company.

In April 2018, after years of documenting violations, protesting, picketing, writing letters, making phone calls, knocking on doors, planning press conferences, and advocating to public officials about the pollution and nuisance of Battaglia Demolition, Seneca Babcock residents scored a major victory. Erie County Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Chimes ordered an injunction on the Battaglia Demolition facility, forcing the facility to halt all operations until it acquires the legally required permits. Additionally, the court held owner Peter Battaglia personally liable for damages caused to the surrounding community. Fines may total in excess of $14 million.

Moving forward, Clean Air and residents of Peabody Street are calling on NYS to hold Battaglia accountable to all harm done to the community through a court-actioned Environmental Benefit Project. This would improve, restore, protect, and/or reduce risks to public health and the environment beyond that achieved by the company’s full compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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