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La Grange

Glowiak sponsors legislation to protect public health

Willowbrook residents soon may have regulations in place to address the public health crisis created by unsafe levels of the cancer-causing chemical ethylene oxide in the community’s air supply. 

State Sen. Suzy Glowiak, D-Western Springs, is sponsoring a package of measures designed to protect communities such as Willowbrook across the 24th State Senate District.

“This bipartisan legislation will guarantee local residents are not only safe from this cancer-causing chemical, but also ensure they’re informed and have the opportunity to share their concerns,” Glowiak said. “The residents of Willowbrook have been courageous advocates in the fight to protect all of us in DuPage County. I would like to thank them for their dedication to safeguarding our neighborhoods for generations to come.”

Glowiak joined the legislation’s sponsor, State Sen. John Curran, R-Downers Grove, in fighting to safeguard not only Willowbrook but all of Illinois from this disastrous public health hazard.

The three measures take a multifaceted approach to address this health crisis:

Senate Bill 1852: A facility must notify all affected property owners and local governments located within 2,500 feet when an ethylene oxide leak occurs.

Senate Bill 1853: The Environmental Protection Agency will re-evaluate the CAAPP (Clean Air Act Permit Program) permits of any facility emitting ethylene oxide, and conduct a 90-day public hearing process on such permits.

A facility emitting ethylene oxide at levels higher than federal or state standards must cease operations until emissions are reduced below the standards.

Senate Bill 1854: No facility shall have accidental unfiltered emissions of ethylene oxide above zero.

Each facility will be subject to regular, unannounced inspections to ensure that no accidental emissions of ethylene oxide exist, conducted by a third party selected by local government.

Each facility would be subject to ambient air testing at its perimeters, conducted at random once within every 90 to 120 days for a duration of 24-hour samples of no fewer than six consecutive days.

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