Sterigenics, a sterilization firm, announced on Monday that it would leave Willowbrook and Illinois. Stop Sterigenics, a grassroots group started a campaign one year ago against Sterigenics. The group demanded the firm to close its operation in Willowbrook. Stop Sterigenics posted the news on Facebook immediately and wrote, “The Willowbrook area is strong and vibrant.”
Stop Sterigenics wrote on Facebook that the company which emitted toxins in their home has announced the closure of its operation. The group admired the efforts of the community and said that they were relieved to read the news of the company exit. Katie Claire, a resident of Willowbrook, posted on Facebook, “Thank you to everyone for all of your work.” She added, “You have beat the Goliath and I personally thank each and every one of you.”
Frank Trilla, the mayor of Willowbrook, said, “We are thrilled and looking forward to life after Sterigenics.” Jim Durkin, a state Representative of Western Springs, said, “You can breathe again. Sterigenics is closed.” JB Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, said, “Illinoisans will come together to protect the health and well-being of all our residents.” He admired the significant development and demonstration of the community.
A federal report revealed last year that Willowbrook was at risk of cancer due to the emission of ethylene oxide. Sterigenics is a sterilization company and it was a cause of ethylene oxide emissions in the Willowbrook neighborhood. A public campaign started against the sterilization firm after the issuance of the federal report. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency could not take action against the company.
Sterigenics was sealed by the IEPA after one month of the Pritzker’s term. The General Assembly passed strict regulations on EtO emissions. Sterigenics announced that it would reopen its operation under the regulations passed by the General Assembly. On Monday, the firm announced that it could not reopen in the present environment. Sterigenics stated in the news release, “Given the unstable legislative and regulatory landscape in Illinois, Sterigenics will not pursue reopening of its second location in Willowbrook.”