Shirley A. Nicholas, whose activism is credited with producing a cleanup of toxic sites in her Lockport neighborhood after decades of government inaction, has been honored with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's highest award.
Nicholas, 80, is one of this year's winners of the Environmental Champion Award. She was nominated by the EPA's Buffalo-area spokesman, Michael Basile.
"I was blown away by it," Nicholas said of the award. She is expected to receive it at a June 7 Lockport Common Council meeting.
Nicholas' work helped force Eighteen Mile Creek onto the national Superfund cleanup list in 2012.
She also pushed successfully for the demolition of the burned-out Flintkote plant across from her Mill Street home, and for demolition of an asbestos-laden former warehouse on that street. She also played a role in persuading the EPA to buy out residents of Water Street, across the creek from Flintkote.
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