Willowbrook –Representative Deanne M. Mazzochi (R- Elmhurst) continued her advocacy on behalf of neighbors and communities close to Willowbrook’s Sterigenics facility at an IL EPA listening session in Willowbrook on Thursday, when she outlined several points of non-compliance she says should prohibit the plant from re-opening.
“I am concerned that the Illinois EPA is not effectively using the Matt Haller Act to protect local residents from ethylene oxide emissions,” said Mazzochi. “The Act calls for the Illinois EPA to mandate strict certifications and do its own independent product-by-product review so that Sterigenics is not just promising, but actually living up to the highest standards of environmental protection that are technologically feasible.”
Mazzochi referred to data from prior testing that caused her concern. “The Illinois EPA accepted a report that stated Sterigenics’ air releases had no detectable ethylene oxide,” Mazzochi said. “Yet that same report data revealed ‘unknown’ compounds that the Illinois EPA never had the company publicly identify. There were several red flags within the data that should have triggered more comprehensive testing and further analysis of output streams.”
Mazzochi continued, “Both Sterigenics and the Illinois EPA must independently and conclusively prove these systems will truly destroy the ethylene oxide prior to release. They have failed to do it, and the permit admits some systems are still experimental. This is just not enough. It is baffling that Illinois EPA is even entertaining a revised construction permit at this time when it’s fundamental mission is to protect the public.”
On July 24, DuPage County Circuit Judge Fullerton recognized the ‘well written and informative’ Amicus Brief submitted by State Representative Mazzochi, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, and State Senator John Curran, contesting the Illinois Attorney General’s Consent Order, and ordered the IL EPA and Sterigenics to remain closed until September 6th.
An attorney, Mazzochi has promised to fight for what is right for the surrounding communities whether it is under the dome in Springfield, or in a courthouse in Wheaton.