Candidate Jim Caffrey is asking that Governor Rauner and the IEPA declare the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook a threat to public health and revoke its air permit. Caffrey stated that, “There is a Sterigenics facility just outside the 47th district that has been emitting a cancer-causing product into the villages of the 47th district including Hinsdale, Western Springs, Clarendon Hills, and Westmont. This factory cannot continue to operate without new rules being put into place to ensure that the air we breathe is safe from any cancer-causing agents.”
Caffrey agrees with the recommendations put out by the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) regarding next steps in regulating Ethylene Oxide (EtO). These steps include drafting rules to strengthen EtO emission limits, EtO use in general, and provide authority for the IEPA to reopen air pollution permits in specific instances where “allowable levels of emissions are found to create a public health hazard.” Taking these steps would give the state the ability to regulate the Sterigenics plant in line with the current understanding of the risks posed by EtO, not the regulations established prior to EtO being labeled a known carcinogen.
Caffrey also wants IL EPA to provide any and all documentation necessary to the Attorney General’s office to determine if the Sterigenics plant should be shut down. Caffrey added that: “We need the IL EPA to do its job and move quickly. This is no time for bureaucratic red-tape to slow down the process.”
Caffrey is a former businessman, Peace Corps volunteer, and national political organizer. The 47th District runs along the eastern portion of DuPage County and includes all or portions of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, and Downers Grove. It also includes a small portion of Western Springs in Cook County.