Congressman Peter Roskam

Representing the 6th District of Illinois

Roskam announces EPA air quality study in Willowbrook

Oct 31, 2018
Press Release

West Chicago, IL – Representative Roskam is pleased to announce that the U.S. EPA is mobilizing to conduct a follow-up ambient air quality study to ensure we have the most up to date data for safeguarding the residents of Willowbrook.  After engagement with a range of stakeholders, Representative Roskam was able to secure a commitment from the EPA to conduct this phase of testing, after which the EPA will update the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) Map with the results.  Additionally, the EPA has committed to making available a comprehensive resource guide to help our residents understand what the results mean for our families.

"Since the start of this issue we have expressed the extreme urgency for the USEPA to conduct follow up ambient air testing to determine health risks for our citizens. It's urgent that the EPA conduct this testing and do so immediately and I want to thank Congressman Roskam for his help in moving this through the federal bureaucratic red tape in order to provide the residents of this community some much-needed answers," said Willowbrook Mayor Frank Trilla.

“It is no small fear to think that the air where you live, where your kids play, where you work is harming your and your family’s health. Working closely with Mayor Trilla who has been such a faithful and dedicated advocate for his community, we have been able to impress upon the EPA the urgency of providing our community the answers they need. I am pleased that Acting Administrator Wheeler has pushed the EPA to conduct the follow up ambient air test in Willowbrook.”

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BACKGROUND:

  • The letter from the EPA can be found here.
  • In May of 2018, EPA took ambient air samples around Willowbrook, IL to test for air toxics.
  • On August 22, the EPA released an update to the NATA, which showed elevated levels of ethylene oxide, a carcinogen used by local company Sterigenics to sterilize medical equipment.
  • An announcement was made in September that additional on-site stack testing would be completed at the Sterigenics facility.
  • Representative Roskam has sought answers for the people of Willowbrook, requesting information, briefings, and action from a range of stakeholder leaders, including:
    • Frank Trilla, Mayor of Willowbrook
    • US EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp
    • Director of the Illinois EPA, Alec Messina
    • Head of the Office of Air and Radiation at US EPA, Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum
    • DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin
  • Sterigenics installed emissions control equipment in July. Results from recent testing will be released within the coming days.