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Air-Quality Oversight Committee Holds Initial Meeting, Gets Update on Air Testing

picture of crowd at civic center
August 24, 2019

Air-Quality Oversight Committee Holds Initial Meeting, Gets Update on Air Testing

City of Atlanta’s decision to join the cooperative effort will nearly double testing sites around Sterigenics


Smyrna, GA - The Air-Quality Oversight Committee initially formed by Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon gathered for its first meeting Tuesday, getting an update on the agreement with environmental engineering firm GHD to start testing the air around the Sterigenics plant in unincorporated Cobb County.

Officials with the City of Smyrna and Cobb County were joined by public health representatives, the City of Atlanta, the Cobb County School District, and local community leaders.  

“I think it is important for the residents of the area to realize the county, City of Smyrna, Cobb School District and the City of Atlanta are working as a group to address the Sterigenics issue,” said Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott, a member of the committee.  “We’re working quickly as promised to map out the future of the independent testing effort.”

The City of Atlanta’s recent decision to join the independent effort will nearly double the number of sampling sites GHD will use.  The company is currently evaluating sites for their air monitors which will include schools and public areas.  Testing will start in the next few weeks.

The meeting came the day after around 900 people crowded the Cobb County Civic Center for a presentation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several panels of experts.  They provided information on ethylene oxide, the suspected carcinogen released by Sterigenics, and how that chemical is monitored.

Video of that meeting can be found here:

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division recently announced plans to test the air around Sterigenics and another plant near Covington.  The EPD also released results from a south DeKalb County site that showed elevated levels of Ethylene Oxide not associated with an industrial source. 

The EPD’s plans will not change the independent air testing effort overseen by this committee.

Press Contact Info

Ross Cavitt | Cobb County Communications | [email protected]