Buffalo nonprofit works to educate residents about environmental risks

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BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – Since 2009, Clean Air Buffalo has been committed to detaining large companies that pose environmental health risks indebted by empowering the neighbors made by them.

“We started as an all-volunteer effort for people who wanted to hold the Tonawanda Coke Corporation accountable for polluting their environment with carcinogenic benzene,” said Chris Murawski, executive director of Clean Air Buffalo.

The nonprofit’s most recent victory was against Battaglia Trucking Inc.

Residents of Buffalo’s Peabody Street had to endure its pollution for about a decade, until the business closed in 2018.

“This company was polluting the Seneca Babcock neighborhood by crushing concrete very close to a residential neighborhood and filling the neighborhood with dust and silica dust, which is a carcinogenic element,” Murawski added.

The organization does not simply offer a task; it works with community members who are already working on a cause.

Clean Air Buffalo Chairman of the Board, Sydney Brown, said, “We’re basically giving them skills to help them lead a campaign to solve the problem they’re facing. It’s really important because I would say there’s power in the number of people uniting their voices together.”

The organization is currently run by four people. He is small but mighty and needs more help with things like monetary and intellectual abilities to be able to do phone banking for causes.

Brown said, “Volunteering is important because if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. It is important to have volunteers who will deploy their energy, their time, their efforts. their resources.

As the legislative session resumes, the organization is also looking for people to help get petitions signed.

“We’re hoping to canvass while the weather is still nice and COVID is still low. We’d like people to come canvass with us,” said Bridge Rauch, Clean Air’s environmental justice organizer.

The organization recently moved its office to 371 Delaware Avenue.

Questions about volunteering can be sent to [email protected].

Other ways to follow Buffalo City Mission are to follow its social media pages through Facebook and Instagram.
Right now, in the Buffalo Strong section of wkbw.com, you’ll find a list with contact information for more than a dozen organizations across the city looking for volunteers to “get involved.”

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