Residents, Lawmakers Demand Trump Admin Shut Down Dangerous Plant

Steve Miller
February 08, 2019 - 6:53 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- West suburban politicians and families who live near the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook are demanding that the Trump administration shut down that facility — based on the latest testing of the air quality.

The EPA has found even higher levels of cancer-causing ethylene oxide in the area around the Willowbrook plant, but the agency wants to wait for more testing before taking any action. At a press conference at Chicago's EPA headquarters at the Metcalfe Federal Building, Congressman Dan Lipinski said that behavior is unacceptable.

Frank Trilla, mayor of Willowbrook and other residents of the town voiced concern for the plant's health effects on the community. People had shirts and signs protesting the plant, which has been an issue for the community for years. 

Dan Lipinski (Steve Miller/WBBM Newsradio)

Lipinski (D-IL 3rd District) is joined by Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Brad Schneider and Rep. Sean Casten, who all released a statement about the dangers of the plant and the government needs to take immediate action.

"U.S. EPA is still saying, 'Wait.' But we should not be waiting," Lipinski said at the conference.

Joanna Chlystek, who was also at the press conference, lives in Darien, about a mile from the plant.

"My daughter always keeps coughing, and the doctors don't know what it is," Chlystek said. "We've been living next to a plant that keeps emitting poison."

Sri Rao lives less than one mile away from the plant and wants government help to fix this health crisis.

"We depend on the government to help us. And we thought that they would," Rao said. "And they're not."

Sterigenics said its plant "has a proven record of operating safely and in compliance with applicable regulations."

Sri Rao (Steve Miller/WBBM Newsradio)