Mazzochi Charges Illinois EPA as “Evasive and Lackadaisical” on Ethylene Oxide Emissions

Chicago…State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) continued hammering the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency today at the Illinois House Energy & Environment Committee Hearing on Ethylene Oxide emissions in Chicago. After hearing testimony from four panels, including the head of the Illinois EPA, Mazzochi insisted that the Illinois EPA had to do more, and do better. 

“To date, the Illinois EPA has failed to use the tools we gave them in the Matt Haller Act. They refused to defend the merits of a February Seal Order in court. They failed to address legislators’ and residents’ concerns involving the Sterigenics building permit, including my own. They have not yet started the statewide survey of the state’s ethylene oxide background levels. This law was passed in May, signed in June, and the Agency still cannot offer even a timeline for releasing the rules they plan to enact in order to perform the testing. We need more action, less evasion,” emphasized Mazzochi.

Mazzochi, an attorney and chemist, had previously identified several Sterigenics stack test spectra that showed the presence of compounds labeled “unknown,” but which could fall within the ethylene oxide compound test range. The Agency has yet to explain the identity of those compounds; and whether they contradicted the Agency view of Sterigenics’ compliance.

During the hearing, Mazzochi also challenged industry experts on the relative risk ratio of ethylene oxide and other proposed sterilizing agents for various products. None knew whether a comparison has been done; or whether any proposals to change out ethylene oxide with other options had been submitted to the Federal Food and Drug Administration. Mazzochi emphasized that “there is still much that we don’t know, and that we need to know, to drive solid policy. I will continue to pursue this information to ensure that our residents both locally and throughout the state are kept protected and safe.”