Rauner seeks shutdown of Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook after downplaying cancer risks

Updated 10/3/2018 9:15 AM

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Bruce Rauner is now calling for the shutdown of a West suburban plant suspected of emitting chemically polluted fumes that could elevate the risk of cancer.

Rauner on Tuesday joined a chorus of elected officials calling for the shutdown of a Sterigenics International facility in Willowbrook.

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For more than three decades the plant has used highly potent ethylene oxide gas to sterilize medical instruments and pharmaceutical drugs near densely populated neighborhoods and several schools.

Fellow Republicans from DuPage County have been clamoring for Rauner to take more aggressive action against the company.

Last week, Rauner would only say he has instructed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to launch an investigation. The governor is now urging Attorney General Lisa Madigan to seek a court order that would close the facility until a federal investigation shows a resumption of operations would not present an elevated health risk.

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