Durkin bill protects families from hazardous emissions

Durkin Introduces Bill To Cease Operations at Industrial Plants If Air Quality Standards Are Not In Compliance.

In response to the environmental crisis occurring at a Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook, Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) introduced legislation today that would temporarily cease industrial operations that emit toxins into the atmosphere.

House Bill 5952 would amend the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to require facilities emitting ethylene oxide emissions higher than the standards set forth by either state or federal EPA regulations to cease operations until sufficient changes can be made to reduce the level of emissions below those standards.

“The safety of our residents and those in the community will always be our utmost priority as legislators for this district,” Durkin said. “We must send a strong message that there is no acceptable level of risk. Sterigenics must make sure ethylene oxide emissions levels are below the standards of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency otherwise they are not welcome in our state.”

Late last week, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a new report on hazardous emissions at Sterigenics International, Inc. in Willowbrook, which provides sterilization services for medical devices. While the federal report says there is no immediate threat to public health or safety, there are still serious concerns and questions regarding the uncertainty of these ethylene oxide levels to residents and employees in the surrounding communities.

As new information and test results become available, Rep. Durkin, Willowbrook officials and state and federal health officials will continue to notify the public of these results and make the information readily available online. Daily updates can be found at www.willowbrookil.org.