Sterigenics to Close Ill. Plant, Cites ‘Unstable’ Regulatory Environment

"Sterigenics U.S. LLC announced Sept. 30 it will permanently shut its Willowbrook, Ill., medical sterilization facility after a bitter fight with Illinois residents and lawmakers over the plant’s ethylene oxide emissions.

The Willowbrook plant was shut down by a Feb. 15 court order that claimed the company violated the state’s Environmental Protection Act by emitting harmful levels of ethylene oxide. But a DuPage County judge Sept. 6 approved a consent order between the company and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D) that paved the way for the plant to reopen.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency then approved Sept. 20 a construction permit outlining facility upgrades that would need to be completed before the plant was reopened.

But the company continued to face vocal opposition from Willowbrook residents who claimed the emissions threatened human health. State legislators, meantime, introduced legislation aiming to shut down the plant permanently."

Stephen Joyce reports for Bloomberg Environment September 30, 2019.


"Sterigenics Is Leaving Willowbrook, Eliminating Key Source Of Cancer-Causing Ethylene Oxide In Chicago’s Western Suburbs" (Chicago Tribune)

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 10/01/2019