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La Grange News

Posted on: January 29, 2019

La Grange Working with State and Federal Agencies Regarding Air Quality

The Village of LaGrange has joined other communities from the region to express concerns and receive additional information regarding air quality reports involving the Sterigenics facilities in Willowbrook.  The Village has also received written information from Sterigenics as well as state and federal agencies regarding emission testing and data collection.  

The Village has and will continue to be in regular contact with our state legislators and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) regarding this matter.  The Village has also been in contact with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has received a response.  The IEPA has provided a website to provide more information to the public regarding Sterigenics, including links to related documents and resources.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has also provided a website and additional resources for residents. 

On February 5, 2019, the EPA provided updated ambient air testing results that reflected elevated levels of ethylene oxide in the immediate vicinity of the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook.  On February 15, 2019, the Illinois EPA issued a Seal Order to the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook to halt ethylene oxide emissions.  The EPA indicates that it will continue to monitor for ethylene oxide until the end of the month, after which it will release new data.   This information is expected to be factored into a risk assessment report that is anticipated to be released this spring.

On March 11, 2019, the Village Board approved a resolution supporting the shutdown of Sterigenics and continued air quality testing.

On March 29, 2019, the Illinois Department of Public Health released the results of a cancer assessment for areas surrounding the Sterigenics facility.  The study found that some cancers were elevated.  The study also found differences and inconsistencies between genders, across the study areas, and among types of cancer.  The study was the first of its kind in the country and scientists recommend further research in Illinois and at the national level to determine the risks associated with ethylene oxide.  Information regarding the study is available on the IDPH website - http://www.dph.illinois.gov/news/idph-releases-cancer-assessment-area-surrounding-sterigenics-facility.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions and an e mail address where questions can be sent is also provided - ethyleneoxide-cancer@illinois.gov.

The Village will continue to monitor and actively participate in efforts by the U.S. and Illinois EPA as well as IDPH to protect the public health and welfare.

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