The House Energy and Environment Committee, which State Representative Tim Butler serves on, heard testimony from concerned parties and stakeholders in the wake of events surrounding the closure of the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook. The west suburban facility, which used the controversial chemical to scrub pieces of medical equipment, came under fire in 2019 upon revelations that it had been an active generator of ambient toxic waste. Sterigenics announced plans in late September 2019 to permanently close the troubled Willowbrook plant.
In the Thursday, October 10 hearing, the Energy and Environment Committee heard that other plants within Illinois also use ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide, if it is emitted outside the walls of the mechanical sterilization cycle where it is used, has been linked to cancer and other life-threatening health conditions. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is the lead sponsor of House Bill 3885, which would allow local home rule communities the ability to ban the use of ethylene oxide.