Suburban residents angry after deal to reopen Sterigenics

Attorneys for neighbors of a suburban Chicago medical equipment cleaning plant are criticizing an agreement between the state of Illinois and the plant's owner.

Patrick Salvi Jr. and Todd Smith said Thursday the deal between Sterigenics LLC, the attorney general's office and DuPage County officials doesn't go far enough and shows Sterigenics operates in bad faith.

The lawyers said Sterigenics shouldn't operate in a densely populated area as long as it emits any of the cancer-causing chemical ethylene oxide used to sterilize medical equipment.

The agreement filed Wednesday in DuPage County circuit court will allow Sterigenics in Willowbrook to resume operations after installing additional emission capture and control equipment at the plant. If the agreement is approved by the court, Sterigenics will be absolved of any liability for past pollution problems.

The proposed agreement is expected to be reviewed July 24 by DuPage County Circuit Judge Paul Fullerton.