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Sterigenics announces it will close Willowbrook plant

WILLOWBROOK, Ill. (September 30, 2019) – Sterigenics will permanently close its facility in southwest suburban Willowbrook despite a recent agreement allowing it to reopen months after it was shut down by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The company announced its plans Monday in a press release, saying it “could not reach an agreement to renew the lease on its Quincy Street facility in Willowbrook in the present environment.” The company also said it plans to stop pursuing plans to reopen its second location on Midway Drive in Willbrook “given the unstable legislative and regulatory landscape in Illinois.”

The announcement came less than two weeks after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency awarded Sterigenics a new permit that would have restricted the Willowbrook facility to emitting just 85 pounds of ethylene oxide annually, down from 4,600 pounds the company released during 2017. The facility had been shut down since February due to concerns about the ethylene oxide emissions. The company, which sterilizes medical equipment using the carcinogenic gas, has operated in Willowbrook since 1984.

The company said it plans to continue using its other facilities to continue operations.

Patrick A. Salvi II has released the following statement in response to the company’s announcement that they will close their Willowbrook facility:

“This is very good news for a community that has worked tirelessly for more than a year to shine a light on Sterigenics’ misdeeds and on the danger of ethylene oxide. This has been a grassroots effort to ensure that the air being breathed is clean and safe. Though we are pleased to hear future generations of residents will not need to live in fear of being sickened by Sterigenics, we cannot forget about the many thousands of people who have suffered serious illnesses because of this company’s greed. Even in leaving the area, Sterigenics fails to accept responsibility for their actions. We look forward to continuing to hold Sterigenics responsible for their many years of misconduct.”

 

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