Rep. Mazzochi Welcomes Sterigenics’ Decision to Leave Willowbrook; Calls for Added Oversight of Illinois EPA

Elmhurst…For more than a year, Representative Mazzochi and citizen activists have challenged shoddy science, lax oversight, and the lack of transparency surrounding Willowbrook’s Sterigenics facility.  Today the company announced they have abandoned current efforts to re-open the sterilization plant.  Following the announcement, State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) issued the following statement:

“The Matt Haller Act recognized that ethylene oxide sterilization involves a chemical process requiring the utmost care and trust to control emissions.  Sterigenics’ behavior these many months destroyed that trust.  We also had to repeatedly fight the Illinois EPA’s rubber-stamp approach and efforts to denigrate community members who just wanted truthful answers from the agency who by its very name is supposed to protect them.  When legislators and community activists repeatedly found flaws in the scientific evidence; permit standards and other building requirements, the Administration and Illinois EPA repeatedly ignored them to favor Sterigenics.  While today’s announcement can be viewed as a solid victory for residents of Willowbrook and surrounding communities, we are prepared to go further to make sure the Illinois EPA ends these lax oversight practices.  The state as a whole will benefit from an Illinois EPA that does its job correctly to ensure that the air we breathe is safe.”

Rep. Mazzochi was the chief co-sponsor of the Matt Haller Act, which created the strongest restrictions on EtO in the nation when it passed the legislature with broad bipartisan support in May.