(EnviroNews Utah via Community Watch Blog) – North Salt Lake City – Outraged citizens from all over the Salt Lake Valley and even out of state were at it again last Thursday. That is, protesting North Salt Lake’s Stericycle medical waste incineration plant, a facility that the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE), a group of over 300 Utah doctors, say has no business even being in business in the neighborhood at all.
Protestors congregated at the waste plant located at 90 North 1100 West in North Salt Lake with a plethora of some of the most creative protest signs we’ve seen in a good while here at EnviroNews Utah (and we see a lot).
All of the signs displayed different colors in a kaleidoscope of outrage against one of America’s last-standing medical waste incinerators.
The escalating environmental battle jumped onto the media radar screen again last week when it was announced that celebrity activist Erin Brockovich has agreed to sign on to the cause. And yes, that is the same Brockovich portrayed by Julia Roberts in the blockbuster movie.
Unlike local Fox 13, which pretended to be at the event by running clips from a protest last month, EnviroNews Utah had neighborhood correspondents at the scene capturing it all.
In related news this past week, other media outlets are finally starting to pick up on a very serious matter indeed, regarding the outdated medical waste burner. The good ol’ Ogden Standard Examiner followed up on a simply befuddling story that was broken by local EnviroNews Utah last month, where Stericycle VP of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Selin Hoboy was put on the spot at a local town hall meeting concerning the potential release of deadly and highly resilient brain-destroying proteins known as prions.
Prions are the same agents responsible for causing Mad Cow Disease; deer, elk and moose Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD); and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease in humans, and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the infectious mutating proteins carry a horrifying 100% fatality rate for any infected host.
The open revelation to the public of the possible release of the deadly disease agent has sparked even more anger against Stericycle, a company whose back is already against the wall for “cooking the books” during a two-year stretch where they were out of compliance with their Title V air-pollution permit, all the while emitting massive amounts of deadly dioxins into the open environment.
With a unified message calling for the complete and total shutdown of the incinerator spanning nearly all local environmental and community groups, one has to wonder just how much longer Stericycle will be able to weather the firestorm.
Emerson Urry Reporting, Editor, Director of Photography (DP), Sound Editor – Beth Brown, Photography – Natasha Hincks, Photography – Ralph Johnson, Photography