Judge Delays Ruling on Reopening of Sterigenics in Willowbrook

SterigenicsA DuPage County judge has delayed a ruling on an agreement between Sterigenics and the State of Illinois to reopen the company’s Willowbrook facility. The judge’s ruling keeps the Willowbrook plant closed until at least September to allow impacted communities to weigh in on the deal.

Sterigenics Ruling Delayed Until September 6

The proposed agreement to reopen the Sterigenics plant had been struck with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and filed in the DuPage County Circuit Court on July 17, 2019. The deal now requires judicial approval. The agreement would clear the company to restart operations at one of its two Willowbrook buildings following the installation of new equipment to dramatically reduce its emissions of ethylene oxide, a known cancer-causing gas.

In exchange for its compliance, the proposed agreement would have absolved Sterigenics of any liability with state regulators for past pollution problems. It also would not have required the company to pay any fines to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which had effectively shut down the Willowbrook facility in February in response to independent environmental testing that found “the highest levels of [ethylene oxide] recorded in the area to date.”

The deal had been made without community knowledge or support, angering many residents and lawmakers. But on July 24, a DuPage County judge delayed approval of the agreement, keeping the Willowbrook facility shut down until at least September. Arguing that the public has a right to intervene in this matter, the judge ordered four nearby towns – Willowbrook, Darien, Hinsdale, and Burr Ridge – to comment on the proposed deal.

The impacted communities will have until August 30 to file briefs on the agreement to reopen the Sterigenics plant. The company will then have one week to respond to the briefs. The judge’s ruling on the deal is expected to take place on September 6.

Have You Developed Cancer Near the Sterigenics Plant?

GWC Injury Lawyers has been retained by several parties who have lived or worked near the Sterigenics facility for a number of years and have developed cancers or other serious medical conditions that may be related to their exposure to ethylene oxide gas.

If you have lived or worked near the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook and have been diagnosed with cancer, contact GWC today for a free consultation. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives at any time.