The federal Environmental Protection Agency declined to take action against Sterigenics in west suburban Willowbrook this week despite evidence that the plant is emitting a cancer-causing gas called ethylene oxide.
The EPA’s top air official told residents and activists Tuesday that there needs to be more research and testing before any action can be taken.
The Chicago Tribune first reported in late 2017 that one census tract near the Sterigenics plant has cancer risks that are nine times the national average, and that the EPA was looking into the issue.
In August, another federal agency determined that the risks could be even worse, leading to a public outcry, including calls on then-Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to intervene.
In October, just before the gubernatorial election, it became clear that Rauner and Trump administration officials had known about the problem for months without stepping in.
Morning Shift talks with the Tribune journalist who has broke story after story on Sterigenics over the last year and a half about this latest development.
GUEST: Michael Hawthorne, reporter for the Chicago Tribune
LEARN MORE: Trump EPA Confirms Sterigenics Is Emitting Alarming Levels Of Cancer-Causing Gas In Willowbrook But Still Won’t Take Action (Chicago Tribune 2/5/19)