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Chicago-area medical equipment cleaning plant won't reopen

WILLOWBROOK, Ill. — A suburban Chicago medical equipment cleaning plant accused by its neighbours of emitting cancer-causing fumes won’t be reopening.

Sterigenics LLC announced Monday it won’t seek to reopen its Willowbrook plant, citing “the unstable legislative and regulatory landscape in Illinois.”

The Oak Brook-based company had faced battles with neighbours, legislators and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency over its use of the gas ethylene oxide.

The Illinois EPA closed the plant in February following air emission spikes of ethylene oxide in surrounding neighbourhoods.

A DuPage County judge ruled in early September that the plant could reopen under a July agreement.

But Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said in a statement that “Sterigenics got the message that we were never going to let them reopen their doors and poison our communities again.”

The Associated Press