EPA Mum On Whether Sterigenics Should Close

Bob Roberts
November 30, 2018 - 8:40 am



CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials are still not ready to say if ethylene oxide emissions from the Sterigenics facility in southwest suburban Willowbrook are severe enough to warrant its closure. Hundreds attended the latest public meeting Thursday on the facility.

The nation’s top clean-air official drew catcalls when he said he needed more information before taking action to close Sterigenics or clean up its act. EPA Assistant Administrator William Wehrum said he needs a couple of months of additional studies to complete the agency’s assessment. 

RELATED: Politicians Call For Sterigenics Shutdown

Sterigenics itself released a statement again insisting the facility is safe. The Stop Sterigenics group said the firm has promised clean-ups for 30 years without delivering.

“This company cannot be trusted,” Stop Sterigenics spokesman Neringa Zymancius said.

The firm has been under scrutiny since a report released in August said ethylene oxide emissions from the facility are unsafe. In its statement, Sterigenics said the EPA’s concern is the product of “flawed data.”  Members of the Stop Sterigenics group said  a litany of diverse health problems in the vicinity surrounding Sterigenics demonstrates the need for immediate action.