“I am disgusted, but not surprised, by the Illinois EPA’s decision to grant Sterigenics a permit to reopen. This is the same state agency that, in 1984, gave the operator of the Willowbrook plant a permit to emit ethylene oxide into the local community in quantities that the state knew posed an unacceptable cancer risk to local residents.
With this latest permit issuance, Illinois has proved once again why it cannot be trusted to protect its citizens. It seems more interested in protecting Sterigenics’ right to make a profit.
For many years, Sterigenics has spewed a very dangerous carcinogen into a residential community. It never warned the people who live and work there. Children. Parents. Students. Teachers. Youth sports team players and coaches. Workers in the local shops. It never gave them a chance to protect themselves. By these actions, Sterigenics forfeited its right to operate here.
Within the last month, dozens of nearby residents have filed lawsuits, alleging that Sterigenics’ ethylene oxide emissions gave them cancer, or cost some their lives. My law firm has filed 12 of these suits. We will be filing more. All of this was ignored in the state’s decision to allow the company to re-open. What a disgrace.”