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Erin Heaney

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

Director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York

Full Biography

Erin has led the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York since 2009. Erin ran the grassroots campaign against Tonawanda Coke Corporation that resulted in a raid of the plant, the federal indictment of the company’s environmental control manager, a consent order with the US EPA and the reduction of benzene emissions by 86% in the Town of Tonawanda. Since then, the Clean Air Coalition expanded to begin organizing in several marginalized, Western New York neighborhoods around environmental health and justice issues.  During Erin has led  her time as Director, Erin has quadrupled the budget and staff, deepened the engagement of and grown the board of directors, secured funding from national and location foundations, launched the organizations grassroots fundraising program, and doubled and diversified the organization’s membership.  Erin has been awarded EPA Region 2’s Environmental Quality Award, was recognized by Business First as one of Buffalo’s 40 under 40, and as a Tonawanda Woman of Distinction.  Erin has been featured as the Person of the Day by the Huffington Post and as a “Game Changer” by Buffalo Spree magazine.  Erin serves on the Steering Committee of the Western New York Environmental Alliance and is the founding co-chair of the organization’s Environmental Justice Working Group.

Prior to her work at the Clean Air Coalition, Erin works as the special projects coordinator at the Public Accountability Initiative. She has a BA in Political Science and a minor in Sociology from Swarthmore College where she graduated with high honors.

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