Durbin Statement On Rauner & Trump Administrations' Delay Of Notifying Lake County Residents About Cancer-Causing Pollution
CHAMPAIGN – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Chicago Tribune published a story that details how two facilities in Lake County, Illinois – Medline Industries, Inc. in Waukegan and Vantage Specialty Chemicals, Inc. in Gurnee – appear to emit cancer-causing emissions, yet the Rauner Administration, along with the Trump Administration, have delayed giving this pertinent information to Lake County residents:
This is simply outrageous. Day after day, the Rauner and Trump Administrations continue to prioritize public relations over serious public health hazards. The U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA must immediately begin conducting ambient air monitoring and stack tests to identify all emissions from the Medline and Vantage facilities and determine whether these facilities are releasing harmful levels of ethylene oxide – cancer causing emissions. They must also guarantee that both companies are taking the necessary steps to limit ethylene oxide emissions using any available pollution control technologies. Most importantly, the Rauner and Trump Administrations must be fully transparent with the public about the information they have on these two facilities, and set a public meeting for Lake County residents. Additionally, I will be calling on the EPA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to investigate whether or not EPA complied with all statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements and protocols when it intentionally withheld critical health information from the public on these two facilities. The health and safety of Illinoisans is at stake.
Last week, Durbin, along with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), pressed the EPA to perform an in-depth investigation of ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions at Medline Industries, Inc. and Vantage Specialty Chemicals, Inc. In addition, the members urged EPA to publish a timeline for when it will revise the current Clean Air Act (CAA) EtO standards to limit future emission to a level deemed safe by the 2016 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and 2014 National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) reports. These recent reports have shown that the existing standards need to be lowered to protect public health in communities across the county.
Yesterday, Durbin, along with Senator Duckworth and Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL-11), requested the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the EPA investigate if EPA complied with all statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements and protocols when it intentionally withheld critical health information from the public about carcinogenic air pollution from the Sterigenics facility in DuPage County, Illinois. Their request follows a story published by the Chicago Tribune last week that detailed how Governor Bruce Rauner’s Administration, along with the Trump Administration, chose to not inform the public of serious cancer risks associated with emissions from the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook, Illinois, for at least eight months after it learned of the risks.
Durbin and Duckworth are set to meet with Andrew Wheeler, EPA Acting Administrator, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 14.
Previous Article Next Article