November 07, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin Statement on EPA’s Ethylene Oxide Announcement


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement today after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memo on the status of updated rules limiting emissions of toxic ethylene oxide:

“Ethylene oxide increases cancer risks in communities like Waukegan and Gurnee and others in Illinois and around the country. EPA’s proposed amendments to the rule are deeply concerning.  We are alarmed that the Agency is even considering rubber stamping weak standards that would continue to expose our constituents to elevated cancer risks. It is also unacceptable that EPA is failing to propose fence-line monitoring after dangerous malfunctions have been reported at EtO facilities. EPA lacks a coherent plan to address ethylene oxide sterilizers, a major source of ethylene oxide exposure. Finally, the EPA reveals who it really answers to when it throws its own dedicated civil servants under the bus and invites corporate interests to trash the Agency’s excellent IRIS program.”