(EnviroNews Utah) — On Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, Communities for Clean Air (CCA) and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) held a press conference calling for the shutdown of Stericycle based on the allegations from a former employee interviewed by EnviroNews Executive Editor Emerson Urry.
Bradley Angel from Greenaction was in attendance and had this to say about Stericycle’s permit violations:
Good afternoon, everyone. My name’s Bradley Angel, and I am the Executive Director of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, and I’ve been dealing with this Stericycle incinerator for about 20 years now, which is really a shame because through all those years with the building of Foxboro, you see what happens. Every day they operate, even if in alleged compliance, you have dioxin, mercury, other toxic pollutants go into the air and into the homes and the lungs of the residents of North Salt Lake City.
But as you also see, you have these repeat ongoing bypasses that go around the pollution control equipment; we have no idea the quantities of the pollutants that come out, but we know that it’s unfiltered. That it’s dioxin. It is metals. It is a wide range of other hazardous air pollutants.
There’s a double standard going on. Stericycle’s permit, their main permit, is the air quality permit, so-called, under Title V of the Clean Air Act administered by the Utah Division of Air Quality. That is supposed to be, as it says in black and white on the permit, a five year permit. That permit should’ve expired over six months ago. If any Utah resident kept driving on a license that expired six months earlier and the government knew about it and you kept doing it, you’d go to jail, but if you are Stericycle, a polluter that clearly cannot operate its facility safely that puts out some of the most dangerous toxic pollutants, that is charged by the state with rigging their tests and submitting false reports to the government. Not only do you not get shutdown but your five year permit becomes five and a half years or six years or more.
Greenaction and other residents appealed their last permit five years ago. The U.S. so-called Environmental Protection Agency, sitting in Denver, is fiddling around doing nothing and has ignored our appeal. The state of Utah should be making a permit denial; they should’ve done it six months ago.
The grounds for that are, the condition for Title V Permit is: Can the company assure compliance with the Title V Permit? And I think it is quite clear to anybody with a brain that if you’re rigging tests and submitting false reports and exceeding your dioxin and other toxic emissions, you have no chance of complying with your permit and assuring compliance, so the question is, and I think the governor, the state and the feds have a lot of explaining to do:
How is it that a company that has such egregious violations, all these bypasses, their permit should’ve been ended about six months ago? Where’s the permit denial? Why is there a double standard?
The people of North Salt Lake City deserve health, and they deserve justice, and we need this permit denied yesterday. Thank you very much.