On November 14, the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee met for a subject matter discussion on the current ethylene oxide emission crisis facing Willowbrook and surrounding communities.
“It’s encouraging to see the current public health issue facing area residents be given some much-needed attention from Senate lawmakers,” said State Senator John Curran (R-Downers Grove). “Today’s committee hearing was a critical step in the process of bringing awareness to the sound concerns of area residents while also underscoring the need to pass substantive legislation to address some of the significant shortcomings identified throughout this process.”
Today’s committee hearing focused on two pieces of legislation introduced by Senator Curran since reports were released detailing the risks of ethylene oxide emissions from the Willowbrook Sterigenics facility.
Senate Bill 3640 aims to improve and protect air quality by denying renewed permits for companies found to be emitting ethylene oxide that exceed state and federal levels. This legislation also works to prohibit the use of all ethylene oxide in Illinois by 2022.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 3630 would put in place stronger protections for residents and communication requirements in cases of a hazardous air emission leak.
“While I appreciate the Committee’s time and attention today, this is just the beginning of the process,” said Senator Curran. “We need to come together, recognize the significant danger and health risks of ethylene oxide and ensure we are passing the necessary legislation needed to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.”