My Impacted Neighbors: Joyce’s Story

Joyce and Dave Hogenkamp

 I live on Rogers Avenue in the city of Tonawanda, less than 2 miles from the Tonawanda Coke plant.   I have suffered from multiple eyes, ear, nose and throat infections and burning when Tonawanda Coke put ammonia and benzene in the air.  I have Hoshimoto’s Auto-immune disease of the thyroid, complicated by nodules on the thyroid.  I had to have my gall bladder removed because of a severe infection. I am still seeking medical attention for my chronic conditions.  I have watched my son, since birth; go through multiple ear infections, chronic sinus problems. He is still seeking medical attention for his conditions.  Because of no baffles in the quench tower, it made it impossible to enjoy our back yard, with pool and hot tub.  There was always a horrible smell followed by a burn.  There was a black oily film on the pool and tar balls floating around.  I had to wash white siding almost every day with Dawn soap to remove the oil clinging to it.  It always looked dirty and yellowish until I cleaned it.  Our windows had to be cleaned constantly so we could see out, if not there was an oily film giving an appearance of fog.  The constant cleaning has significantly shortened the life of the siding and of our windows.

Joyce's Mom
Joyce’s Mom, Joyce Hoffman

I lost my mother Joyce Hoffmann, who lived on Hackett Drive, October 30, 2006.  I watched her go to the hospital many times in her last 4 years of life. She suffered so much pain from having to have multiple blood transfusions. Her heart just couldn’t take it anymore.  Every day I have to go on without my best friend, see my son miss his Nana all the time, she missed my son’s college swim career and his college graduation.  She will miss him getting married and having his own children.  I feel cheated that she missed so much already and she will miss our family’s future happy events, there is always an empty chair for her.

I feel Tonawanda Coke and Mark L. Kamholtz should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  I feel they have hurt me and my family.  The blatant disregard for the laws and the community is appalling.  The disregard for human health and lasting effects on our community is unforgiveable.  I am one of many; please sentence them to the maximum allowable by the laws of the United States.


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