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.”  

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