SPRINGFIELD — Legislation designed to address the ethylene oxide crisis is one step closer to becoming law, as the Senate Environment Committee has advanced a bill sponsored by State Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove).
“This is an important step as we move forward in addressing the ethylene oxide crisis and preventing similar tragedies in the future,” said Curran. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and the people of Willowbrook as we fine-tune this bill to provide the best protection possible for the families of this state.”
On March 14th, the committee passed Senate Bill 1854, which would ban all fugitive emissions of ethylene oxide above 0. Each facility utilizing the chemical would be subject to regular and frequent inspections and testing to demonstrate that there no fugitive emissions of ethylene oxide. The facilities would also be subject to random fence-line ambient air tests, once within every 90-120 days for a duration of 24-hr samples of no less than six consecutive days.
In addition, the committee passed Senate Bill 1852, which requires facilities to notify all affected property owners and local governments within 2,500 feet when an ethylene oxide leak has occurred. The two bills passed now move to the full Senate for consideration.
Senator Curran is also continuing to work on a third bill which would increase government oversight and citizen input on the permitting process for facilities that emit ethylene oxide, making it easier to close facilities with dangerous emissions.