Judge OKs agreement to reopen Sterigenics in suburban Chicago

An Illinois judge has ruled the operator of a suburban Chicago medical equipment cleaning plant that its neighbors say emits cancer-causing fumes can reopen the facility.

DuPage County Circuit Judge Paul Fullerton on Friday approved an agreement reached in July between Sterigenics, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

The agreement will allow Oak Brook-based Sterigenics to reopen the Willowbrook plant after additional emission capture and control equipment is installed. In February, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency shut down the plant after air quality monitoring spikes of ethylene oxide in surrounding neighborhoods.

Willowbrook Mayor Frank Trilla says despite the judge's ruling, the fight to ban ethylene oxide from the city is not over.

Trilla says the city will back legislation introduced by state Rep. Jim Durkin amending the Environmental Protection Act to give home rule governments the ability to ban ethylene oxide within their boundaries.