Kwame caved: Rep. Mazzochi speaks out on courthouse steps against Attorney General’s action to reopen Sterigenics

A standing-room-only crowd showed up for the latest court
call in the People of the State of Illinois v. Sterigenics today.  State Representative Deanne Mazzochi
(R-Elmhurst) appeared to defend the goals and intent of legislation the General
Assembly enacted to combat the adverse effects of ethylene oxide.  Representative Mazzochi spoke at a news
conference on the DuPage County courthouse steps opposing the State of
Illinois’ proposed consent decree with Sterigenics.  The decree would allow the company’s medical
device sterilization plant in Willowbrook to reopen without the company
admitting any fault; and even though the Illinois EPA ordered the facility closed
in February citing excessive emissions of ethylene oxide (EO), which is
considered carcinogenic.  

“The holes in this consent agreement are big enough for
Sterigenics to drive a truck through,” Rep. Mazzochi said. “In the Matt Haller
Act we passed this spring, legislators gave the regulators the tools they need to
protect communities from unhealthy ethylene oxide emissions. I am disappointed Attorney
General Kwame Raoul caved in to Sterigenics by signing this agreement without first
addressing the serious public health and environmental safety that local
families require; and with no meaningful notice or input to the stakeholders
involved.”  Sterigenics attorneys proposed
to the court that once the court entered this consent decree, that would “moot”
local municipalities’ efforts to stop Sterigenics pollution and fight nuisance
claims.  Mazzochi disagreed.  “This fight is not over. The next step is to
vigorously oppose the current proposed consent agreement in court.”

The Attorney General’s office withheld the terms of the
agreement from state representatives until after it was signed.  Rep. Mazzochi, an attorney, pointed to
several loopholes that Sterigenics could use to reopen immediately, while
avoiding the additional oversight and layers of environmental protection the
latest legislation requires, which she declared “unacceptable.”  Mazzochi also reiterated that “neither the Attorney
General’s Office nor the Illinois EPA have released findings contradicting
their original Seal Order claim that Sterigenics posed an environmental and
public health threat. The Attorney General’s action signals his unwillingness
to defend the original seal order finding that Sterigenics is an environmental
health hazard, and to fight to keep our local residents safe.”

A court hearing on the state’s consent agreement to reopen
Sterigenics is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24 at the DuPage County
Courthouse. Rep. Mazzochi intends to file a “friend of the court” brief to
discuss the legislative intent that prompted the passage of Senate Bill 1852, known as the Matt Haller Act, to prohibit the renewal of any permits for
facilities that violate federal or state standards for ethylene oxide emissions;
and which prohibits ethylene oxide use by facilities with egregious violations
requiring a seal order. 

For questions or more information, please call
Representative Mazzochi’s office at (630) 852-8633.

The post Kwame caved: Rep. Mazzochi speaks out on courthouse steps against Attorney General’s action to reopen Sterigenics appeared first on Deanne Mazzochi.

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