State Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin are calling on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to work with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and take legal action to revoke Sterigenics, Inc. air permit that was issued in 2015.
“Ensuring the residents of Willowbrook have access to clean air and a healthy community is my top priority,” said Curran. “With the questions that have been raised, and with the information we now have, it’s vital we take every step necessary to address this issue.”
In their letter to the Attorney General, Curran and Cronin write:
Since the permit was issued, a study entitled, “Evaluation of Potential Health Impacts from Ethylene Oxide Emissions” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has been released. The study reveals new important health risk information that was not available to the public or state officials at the time the air permit was issued in 2015. The study concluded that residents and workers are exposed to elevated airborne ethyl oxide concentrations from facility emissions. The study further stated that these risks include an elevated cancer risk. Based on this new information, it is clear that the permit issued in 2015 allows emissions that are not safe and material mistakes were made in setting the emissions levels allowed by the permit.
Therefore, Sterigenics should not be allowed to continue operation under the current permit. Prompt legal action is necessary to stop Sterigenics from continued operation under the current permit and to reopen the permit as authorized by Section 39.5 of the Environmental Protection Act and the terms of the permit so that the allowed emissions levels can be modified to reflect the new information. Please take whatever legal action is necessary to ensure that the health and safety of the public and workers at the plant is protected.
“People who live and work near this company need to know their air is safe to breathe and the authorities who are in charge are unable to give us that assurance,” said Cronin. “Therefore, we urge those regulating this company to revoke its operating permit until testing provides evidence the air near this facility is clear of these dangerous pollutants. Our families have a right to know their environment is safe.”
This week, Curran also filed Senate Bill 3630 in the Illinois Senate that would provide greater protections, and require greater communications, to residents in the event of a hazardous air emission leak. Today’s letter continues his multi-faceted approached to addressing resident’s concerns about the air quality in their community.
To read more on what Senator Curran is doing on this important issue, please visit http://senatorcurran.com/Media/news/.