Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst)
Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) is applauding long-troubled Sterigenics' decision to leave Willowbrook as being in the best interest of the state and her district.
“The Matt Haller Act recognized that ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization involves a chemical process requiring the utmost care and trust to control emissions,” Mazzochi said in a press release. “Sterigenics’ behavior these many months destroyed that trust.”
After more than a year of intense scrutiny from Mazzochi and other activists over the way the medical-equipment sterilization facility conducted oversight that ultimately led to the plant being shuttered, company officials recently announced they have abandoned plans to reopen the plant and instead will be moving operations to other locations.
Mazzochi, who co-sponsored the Matt Haller Act that created what have been deemed as some of the strongest restrictions on EtO in the country, assured residents the battle to keep their community safe, is not yet over.
“While today’s announcement can be viewed as a solid victory for residents of Willowbrook and surrounding communities, we are prepared to go further to make sure the Illinois EPA ends these lax oversight practices,” Mazzochi said in the release. “The state as a whole will benefit from an Illinois EPA that does its job correctly to ensure that the air we breathe is safe.”
Throughout the villages’ ordeal, Mazzochi said she came to realize that Sterigenics is not the only barrier that residents face in making sure standards are adhered to.
“We also had to repeatedly fight the Illinois EPA’s rubber-stamp approach and efforts to denigrate community members who just wanted truthful answers from the agency who by its very name is supposed to protect them,” Mazzochi said. “When legislators and community activists repeatedly found flaws in the scientific evidence, permit standards and other building requirements, the administration and Illinois EPA repeatedly ignored them to favor Sterigenics.”