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Latest on Sterigenics Plant situation

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picture of Sterigenics facility
September 10, 2019

September 9, 2019

The independent air testing effort has temporarily halted due to Sterigenics construction and operations shutdown.   Smyrna Fire Chief Roy Acree:  "In our efforts to conduct independent air sampling, we currently have a full week of data. We will resume ambient air sampling after production resumes at Sterigenics."

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September 6, 2019

Sterigenics plans to expedite construction on emissions controlling measures, meaning production will largely be halted until next month.

Cobb Statement: 

Smyrna, GA (September 6, 2019) -- Sterigenics officials had notified the Smyrna - Cobb County - City of Atlanta oversight committee about their proposal to suspended production during construction work at their facility this month.  The planned work is not expected to significantly alter the task force’s work to independently monitor the air for ethylene oxide emissions.

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, who is chairing the Oversight Committee, said the Task Force conducting the testing had already made provisions for this situation.

“We’re aware of the operational shutdown at the facility,” Mayor Bacon said.  “The Task Force had already taken this into account during their planning and those involved assure us it will not negatively impact our efforts.”

The Task Force, working with the firm GHD Services, began positioning air monitors this week.  Smyrna, Cobb County, and the City of Atlanta have joined to form the effort to independently test the amount of ethylene oxide in the air surrounding the Sterigenics facility.

News Report:

Governor Kemp's reaction to the construction timeline announcement. 

Read the story here

Lawsuit Filed:

Click here to read a statement from State Sen. Jen Jordan

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August 30, 2019

Sterigenics plans plant operation changes during construction:

"In order to expedite the installation of enhancements at its Atlanta facility, Sterigenics is altering production schedules at the facility to ensure timely execution on construction.  During this period, Sterigenics periodically will shut down production and/or reduce production as construction needs dictate.   We are working with our customers during this period to minimize any impact on the supply of sterile medical products to healthcare professionals and the patients who need them."

Cobb County statement responding to Sterigenics plan to alter production schedules:

"Sterigenics has agreed to provide the joint Smyrna/Cobb/Atlanta Oversight Committee with the dates and times of altered production schedules that could affect emissions and alter the Committee's intentions when it comes to the timing of independent air testing.  The committee, working with the GHD company, will address the situation accordingly."

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August 27, 2019

Investigation ordered into July 31st incident at Sterigenics facility near Smyrna

A news report can be found here

Governor Kemp:  Investigation opened into July 31st incident at the Sterigenics facility.

Statement is here

Sterigenics statement on July 31st incident.

Commissioner Bob Ott's comments on July 31st incident 

Watch them here

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August 23, 2019

WABE:  Georgia Lawmaker Calls For Investigation Into EPD’s Handling Of Ethylene Oxide

Story link is here

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August 22, 2019

The president of Sterigenics is expected to address the Cobb County Board of Commissioners during a Work Session on Monday, August 26 at 1:30 pm.  The meeting is the BOC Room at 100 Cherokee Street.  You can watch the meeting live on CobbTV or stream it later at www.youtube.com/cobbcountygovt.

Chairman Boyce on Monday:  https://youtu.be/yaT4uUE0zfA

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August 21, 2019

Governor Kemp issues a statement after meeting with Sterigenics officials.

Read that statement here

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August 20, 2019

The Smyrna/Cobb County/Atlanta committee formed to conduct independent air testing holds its first formal meeting.

Read more HERE

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August 20, 2019

Watch the August 19, 2019 Community Meeting on Sterigenics at the following link.

VIDEO link here

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August 19, 2019

City of Atlanta has issued a statement on participating on independent air testing.

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August 17, 2019

Governor Brian Kemp statement on Sterigenics situation.

https://twitter.com/GovKemp/status/1162480971301773314

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August 16, 2019

Georgia EPD announces the start of air testing near Sterigenics and a second facility.  Cobb County leaders say this will NOT change the plan to hire an independent firm to do air testing in the county.

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August 15, 2019

The EPA has posted a meeting agenda for the Community Meeting Monday night.  Click the link to view it.

Community Meeting Agenda (EPA)

Remember, you can ask questions at the Open House that begins at 5 p.m.  Questions for the 7 p.m. meeting will need to be submitted via their website.  Scroll down just a bit for that link.

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August 15, 2019

Officials from the City of Atlanta have indicated an interest in joining the independent air testing agreement that Smyrna and Cobb County are already working on.  However, more details must be worked out before Atlanta joins the effort.

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August 13, 2019

More information on the August 19 Community Meeting and how to ask questions at the forum:

Sterigenics Smyrna Facility: Open House and Community Meeting

Related Information

Sterigenics Smyrna facility background information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, in coordination with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, will host an open house and community meeting, on August 19, 2019, at the Cobb County Civic Center.  

Monday, August 19, 2019
Cobb County Civic Center
548 South Marietta Pkwy SE, Marietta, GA 30060

Open House:  5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

The open house will be from 5:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. followed immediately by the community meeting from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The open house will provide an opportunity for individuals to talk one-on-one with staff from U.S. EPA and other agencies, along with representatives of community organizations, about their concerns related to ethylene oxide.

Community Forum:  7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The community meeting will feature a series of presentations from federal and state agencies that have been examining issues related to ethylene oxide from the Sterigenics facility. Staff from U.S. EPA and other agencies will provide updates on their work.

Submit a Question to be Addressed at the Public Meeting by going to:

Sterigenics Smyrna Facility: Open House and Community Meeting –

www.epa.gov/smyrna-eto/forms/sterigenics-smyrna-facility-open-house-and-community-meeting

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August 13, 2019

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved an agenda item today to hire an independent company to take air samples around the Sterigenics facility.  GHD is the company that did the testing around the Sterigenics facility in Illinois.  See below for the company's proposal for testing.  The City of Smyrna will consider the partnership on Monday.  The City of Atlanta has been asked to participate as well.  Once approved the testing could start in a matter of weeks.

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August 12, 2109

Cobb's Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal to partner with the city of Smyrna to have a company called GHD do independent air quality testing near the Sterigenics plant.  The proposal will be considered during the Tuesday morning Board meeting which can be viewed live on the CobbTV networks (including www.youtube.com/cobbcountygovt).

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August 9, 2019

State Rep. Teri Anulewicz releases latest on Sterigenics situation with new updates.

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August 7, 2019

Cobb Leaders Join Smyrna Effort to Test Air Near Sterilization Plant
An Oversight Committee will seek experts to do independent testing

Smyrna, GA - August 6, 2019 |  Cobb County leaders say they’ll accept an invitation from Smyrna’s mayor to join an effort to conduct independent air testing near a medical sterilization plant in District 2.   Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon asked County Manager Rob Hosack and Commissioners Bob Ott and Lisa Cupid to join an Oversight Committee that will include residents, business leaders and others from both the city and county.

The effort comes after a report raised concerns about Ethylene Oxide released from the Sterigenics Plant off Atlanta Road.  The EPA considers Ethylene Oxide a cancer-causing chemical, but Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division has said Sterigenics is “in compliance with current federal requirements for control of ethylene oxide emissions.”

“We need to make sure the community is protected, that people are safe,” said Mayor Bacon.  “The key is getting this going, getting the air tested and see where we go from there.”

The committee will include city and county officials, health experts, and other local stakeholders who will work with an Independent Air Quality Task Force of private technology experts to quickly implement a plan to test the air near Sterigenics and analyze the results.

A small group met with representatives of GHD, the company who did independent testing around the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook, Illinois.  The company said testing could be set up in a few weeks, with some initial results a few weeks after that.  The committee will also reach out to officials in Atlanta to see if they would like to expand testing there.

“This is a great opportunity for the City of Smyrna and Cobb County to work together to give residents what they’ve been asking for; independent testing,” said Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott.  “This quick action shows the great relationship between the city and county.”

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August 7, 2019

Smyrna announces Oversight Committee and Task Force to implement independent air quality testing near the plant.

READ MORE on City of Smyrna website

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August 5, 2019

Officials announce an Open House will precede the August 19th Community Meeting.  Doors of the Cobb County Civic Center will open in time for the 5:00 p.m. Open House.  It will include booths from the evening's participants and give residents opportunities to ask questions before the 7 p.m. Community Meeting.

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August 2, 2019

Georgia EPD release on approval of plan to reduce emissions from Sterigenics.

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August 2, 2019

Governor Brian Kemp releases a brief statement on Sterigenics.

Read it here

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August 2, 2019

Senator Jen Jordan asks EPA for monitoring of the area around Sterigenics.

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August 2, 2019

Senator Jen Jordan sends letters to the Governor and Attorney General.

Read them by clicking here

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August 1, 2019

Congressman David Scott calls on Sterigenics to suspend operations in Georgia.

His statement is here

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August 1, 2019

Sterigenics has put up a website with their information and updates.  It is located at;

www.sterigenicsatlanta.com

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July 31, 2019

Commissioner Bob Ott has announced a new, county Community Meeting on Sterigenics that will be;

Monday, August 19th at 7:00 pm
Cobb County Civic Center
548 South Marietta Pkwy SE, Marietta

That meeting will feature federal EPA officials, as well as others from the Georgia EPD and the CDC.
"Cobb County will also partner with the City of Smyrna to do independent testing and monitoring in the area," said Commission Ott who expects to introduce an agenda item at the Board's August 13th meeting.  

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July 31, 2019

Video from Tuesday night's community meeting on Sterigenics has been posted at https://youtu.be/d8zhQKECxXU

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July 30, 2019

The EPA has a link on their website for information on ethylene oxide. 

Click here for more information

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July 25, 2019

State EPD officials today released a statement on the situation surrounding the Sterigenics Facility near Smyrna. 

Read their comments here.

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July 24, 2019

Arrangements are being made for a public meeting concerning this situation and state, county, and local municipal officials are working on getting with Sterigenics officials to discuss the present and future operations there.  We will post information here on the latest when we get the details.

Some documents obtained today are below;

 Sterigenics releases statements

CLICK HERE for release from Sterigenics about Cobb County facility

CLICK HERE for a letter from Sterigenics to the Old Ivy Homeowners Association

CLICK HERE for Commissioner Ott's Comments on Sterigenics Tuesday night

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July 23, 2019

Statement from State Senator Jen Jordan on Sterigenics

As I indicated yesterday, disturbing reporting by Georgia Health News and WebMD revealed that Georgia’s Environmental Protected Division (“EPD”) has kept the public in the dark about an elevated cancer risk caused by the emission of ethylene oxide in the metro-Atlanta area.

This morning, with Rep. Erick Allen, I spoke with the President of Sterigenics and he has represented to me that the company will be submitting an application to Georgia EPD within 7 to 14 days that will seek EPD's approval for Sterigenics to install new emissions-reducing technology in its Cobb County plant that the company believes will significantly reduce emissions and bring down any emissions to an acceptable level.

If its application is approved by EDP, Sterigenics believes that the installation of the new emissions-reducing technology would then take approximately 12 weeks to complete. The company has said that it would put out a formal statement by the end of the day. Rep. Allen and I will post the statement once we have it in hand.

To be clear, these initial overtures are welcome, but they are just the beginning and will not cut off my office's efforts to ensure that the people that live in my district are not being harmed. I know that there is a lot of troubling information out there, but just know that we are working to get answers and solutions.

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July 23, 2019

Commissioner Bob Ott’s office has reached out to state Environmental Protection Division officials after residents expressed concern about a medical equipment facility operating in a nearby Heavy Industrial area.

A recently-published article indicated the Sterigenics facility off Atlanta Road near the Chattahoochee River emits a gas that has been linked to cancer.  

“The county understands the concerns of people who live in the area,” said Commissioner Ott.  “Both my assistant and others with the county have had multiple conversations with Georgia EPD officials since the article came out and want to make sure the state is doing everything it can to monitor emissions from the plant.”

Ott’s office confirmed the Sterigenics facility is operating legally in an area zoned for heavy industrial use.  The company did not receive any incentives or tax breaks to locate there.

Georgia EPD officials tell us the company is currently in compliance with state regulations and has told them they are installing additional emission controls at their own cost.

The concerns were raised not because the plant is releasing more ethylene oxide gas, but because the US Environmental Protection Agency recently identified the gas as a carcinogen.  State EPD officials told Commissioner Ott’s office that since that change, new testing and analysis has been underway with results expected in the next few months.

“Even though the state has authority in monitoring emissions coming from the plant, I think it is important the county makes sure residents in the area get their questions answered and are briefed on any new results as soon as possible,” Ott said.

Press Contact Info

Ross Cavitt | Cobb County Communications | [email protected]
www.cobbcounty.org/communications/news