Public meeting regarding ethylene oxide emissions to be held in Waukegan

A public meeting regarding planned controls to reduce ethylene oxide emissions from the Medline Industries Inc. facility in Waukegan will be held next week.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will host the session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Whittier Elementary School, 901 N. Lewis Ave., in Waukegan.

The IEPA will present information about Medline and its emissions and will discuss a draft permit to place "significant" new control equipment to reduce emissions of ethylene oxide from the facility, the agency announced Friday.

"The Agency is pleased to present this draft permit to the public and is confident it will eliminate fugitive emissions of ethylene oxide emissions from the facility and have meaningful benefits for the City of Waukegan," acting Director John J. Kim said in a statement.

"This draft permit is a vital step in the Agency's commitment to addressing the concerns of area residents and officials."

Medline, 1160 Northpoint Boulevard, uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment and devices.

Last November, the Lake County Health Department learned of concerns surrounding ethylene oxide emissions from Medline Industries in Waukegan and Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee.

Testing for the cancer-causing gas in the air surrounding both facilities is planned after calls for action from residents and political leaders in both communities.

Under the draft construction permit, Medline would install several new emission controls, place the building under 100% capture and route all emission sources at the facility through pollution control devices, according to the IEPA.

The measures will eliminate any fugitive emissions from the facility, the agency added. The draft permit also includes performance requirements for the control devices and limits annual emissions from the facility, according to IEPA.

A copy of the draft permit and fact sheet are available on the Illinois EPA's website. Questions about the meeting should be directed to Brad Frost, (217) 782-7027 or Also, questions to be addressed can be submitted to

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