Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Durkin responds *** Pritzker offers to call special session on Sterigenics after claiming Durkin indicated “deficiencies” in his own bill
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*** UPDATED x1 - Durkin responds *** Pritzker offers to call special session on Sterigenics after claiming Durkin indicated “deficiencies” in his own bill

Thursday, Jul 18, 2019

* These guys don’t mess around. And now I’m curious what the next escalation is gonna look like…

Gov. Pritzker and AG Raoul Issue Statements on Sterigenics

Stress Risks to Health and Safety of Willowbrook Residents of Continuing Litigation

Statement from Governor JB Pritzker:

“Leader Durkin and other local leaders in the General Assembly were the drafters of Senate Bill 1852, the legislation that imposes the strongest controls on ethylene oxide in the nation. My office made it clear to the legislators that I was – and remain – willing to sign the strongest possible legislation that they can pass. I share the community’s concerns and their health and safety is my top priority. This morning, I spoke with Leader Durkin and I emphasized, based on conversations with the Attorney General, the potential danger to the health and safety of the residents of Willowbrook involved in further litigation, which would not have achieved the same level of protection as the consent order. Leader Durkin seemed to indicate that there were deficiencies in the legislation written by himself and other local leaders in the General Assembly that helped inform the consent order. At this time, the only option remaining is for Leader Durkin to propose new legislation that will fix the perceived shortcomings of the legislation that he sponsored and worked to pass. I made it clear to Leader Durkin this morning that, if he requests it, I will call a special session of the legislature to allow for an immediate vote on a bill that is constitutional and will fix the perceived shortcomings of the legislation he previously sponsored.”

Statement from Attorney General Kwame Raoul:

“As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to enforce laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly, and I applaud Leader Durkin, Rep. Mazzochi, Sen. Curran, and all the lawmakers who worked diligently to craft and pass the strict standards in Senate Bill 1852. The consent order my office filed jointly with the DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin imposes every emissions reduction requirement of the new law and goes further. Under the new law, emissions reduction requirements are not effective until Dec. 18 – under the consent order, Sterigenics will not be able to reopen until it is able to meet those requirements. The suggestion that continuing the litigation over the seal order would provide greater protection to residents is inaccurate and uninformed. The very real risk that continued litigation could result in Sterigenics being able to reopen before installing any new emissions controls – while still operating under its existing permit that authorized it to emit 36,400 pounds of EtO per year – was unacceptable. The new law imposes new certification requirements, but, through litigation, Sterigenics attempted to exploit a loophole in the law to avoid those requirements. Through the consent order, we eliminated that loophole. Sterigenics will now always be subject to the certification requirements that area legislators insisted be included in the law. The final result is that, combined with the Matt Haller Act, the consent order ensures that Sterigenics will not reopen unless and until it installs new emissions controls that will reduce its emissions to no more than 85 pounds of EtO per year. Our office has met with legislators, local officials, and representatives from the community to explain how the consent order implements current law and provides additional enforcement tools, and we will continue to address questions.”

…Adding… These folks have not been happy with Pritzker over the Sterigenics consent order, but they’ve bought into the governor’s move here…



*** UPDATE *** House Republican Leader Jim Durkin…

As I told Gov. Pritzker today, the legislation supported by the Illinois Environmental Council is not the problem. Unfortunately, Gov. Pritzker and his regulators are willing to fast track the reopening of Sterigenics by entering into a settlement agreement with the corporate polluter to lift the seal order. If the Governor is not happy with the legislation he signed into law, I recommend he introduce his own legislation in the General Assembly and call a special session to take it up for consideration.

I stand by my legislation which was signed into law by the Governor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

49 Comments
  1. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 6:58 pm:

    As my Korean friends exclaim in approval…Strong Message.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:00 pm:

    Welp,

    Sounds like a plan to me.

    Good on Leader Durkin, to the Bill.

    Good on the Governor to make this so.

    *That*… that is how you go about your business.

    I’m. Impressed.

    OW


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:02 pm:

    Agree with him or not, this guy leads.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:09 pm:

    ===Leader Durkin seemed to indicate that there were deficiencies in the legislation written by himself and other local leaders in the General Assembly that helped inform the consent order.===

    As true as this is, the Governor needs to lead.

    Governors own.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:21 pm:

    I like this governor.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:37 pm:

    Seems like the Governor has the locals engaged.


  7. - Roads Scholar - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:50 pm:

    OW - with much respect - how does the Governor own the bipartisan legislative process? If the Governor will sign what the GA passes, and has publicly stated so, it seems to me incumbent on the GA to pass something its members find satisfactory.


  8. - Big Boy Pants - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:58 pm:

    Let me get this right - you’re going to call a Special Session to shut down a legally operating business which has broken no law, regulation or permit. Even the IEPA and AG acknowledge this as fact. A business which has agreed to all of your demands in the Consent Order and now because of blow back, you run quickly from your own decision. Boy, that sends a message to the business community. Sterigenics should have a good case to sue the State for seizing their property. Should be costly.


  9. - Bill - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:58 pm:

    The AG’s proposed consent order does not comply with SB 1852, subpart (g). It states that anyone subjected to a Seal Order has to live by stringent requirements, including no reopening unless a court finds the Seal Order was without merit; the consent order refuses to defend ILEPA’s own seal order. Subsection (g) also states that absent that finding (which the consent order refuses to make), the facility must then certify to the Agency that if it wants to operate, it must certify that this is the ONLY way a product can be sterilized; and that the facility’s emission control system uses technology that produces the greatest reduction in ethylene oxide emissions currently available. The consent order jettisons both requirements in favor of a new “critical need” standard found nowhere in the statute.


  10. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 8:46 pm:

    Checkmate.

    I imagine Durkin’s counter will be to insist the law gives the IEPA and AG the authority to try something else. He’s gonna have a hard time convincing his constituents of that when a special session is on the table. But he’s gonna have an even harder time convincing the Eastern Bloc and others to come to Springfield to bail him out on an anti-business vote.


  11. - Hamlets Ghost - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 9:08 pm:

    If Leader Durkin wishes to claim that the proposed consent order is not consistent with the Matt Haller Act then it would be helpful if he and the Dupage State’s Atty were on the same page.

    It appears the SA and the AG are in agreement on the legal interpretation of the law.


  12. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 9:20 pm:

    I’m not seeing a complaint that the consent agreement allowed emissions in excess of the legal standard set by the new law. So Durkin upset that things are being done quickly? This is absurd. Especially for a pro business GOP leader. Typically, these types complain that government moves too slowly.

    The company must comply with the law and the state must ensure that compliance.


  13. - Style - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 9:44 pm:

    The Governor needs to lead.
    Governors own.


  14. - JB13 - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 9:47 pm:

    “This guy leads.”

    Who or what exactly is he leading here?

    His bureaucrats and the Attorney General negotiate a settlement to avert potential disaster in court, and cut to the chase.

    Now, a group of very loud people on Twitter start shouting (again), and he rushes to call for a special session for a new law to replace the brand new law he just signed one month ago, just to target one politically unpopular business?

    Odd definition of leadership you’ve got there.


  15. - Dupage Bard - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 9:57 pm:

    Which way do you want Jim?
    You’re upset the GOP States Attorney hashed this out. You’re a lawyer is he right or wrong? He’s up for election just like you in 2020.
    You’re response is weak. You didn’t like the Govs, the AG or States Attorney deal. You played politics. The Gov has called your raise.
    The locals obviously know the ball is in your court. Write the bill to shut down a private business complying with the law you wrote? Or blame the Gov, AG and GOP States Attorney who followed the law you wrote and allowed the business to reopen per your law?

    Tough decision


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 10:26 pm:

    ===I stand by my legislation which was signed into law by the Governor.===

    Welp, Leader Durkin,

    Tell that to the families.

    You passed flawed legislation, by your own volition. You should correct it? Why won’t you?

    Are ya just gonna tell the families… “no thanks, I’m good”.

    Actually, ya just did.

    Good luck with that.


  17. - Shelly - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 10:33 pm:

    I’d like to know where and how Sterigenics intends to create a negative pressure building that has never been done before. Where are the opinions of the engineers ? Can this even be done, and how can they possibly expect Willowbrook to be the guinea pigs yet again?


  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:07 pm:

    == a negative pressure building that has never been done before. ==

    There are negative pressure buildings. It’s expensive, but doable


  19. - Cadillac - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:15 pm:

    === Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 7:00 pm:

    Good on Leader Durkin, to the Bill. ====

    LOLZ. Maybe you should revisit the other post where you were hanging your “fellow Republican” out to dry.


  20. - Dupage Bard - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:24 pm:

    GOP States Attorney from Dupage agrees with current situation and signed off.
    Press releases and politics aside who does Durkin go with?
    The Gov, AG and States Attorney or the folks who want it closed no matter what?
    Politically, he goes with the people he throws Gov, AG and his own party’s SA under the bus, he writes a new bill he admits he made a political mistake?
    Where does he go?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:28 pm:

    ===Maybe you should revisit the other post where you were hanging your “fellow Republican” out to dry.===

    Read the Durkin response.

    Then you’ll understand… lol


  22. - Cadillac - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:34 pm:

    === - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:28 pm:

    Read the Durkin response. ===

    What is the problem with his response? Just trying to learn….


  23. - Cadillac - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:47 pm:

    === “the only option remaining is for Leader Durkin to propose new legislation” ===

    Really? I thought you guys had supermajorities.


  24. - Dupage Bard - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:56 pm:

    Cadillac- he can do whatever he wants ball is in his court. He threw all in on the pot.

    He either sides with the folks who want it closed or he throws his own SA under the bus for following the la he wrote.

    Which way does he go?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 18, 19 @ 11:58 pm:

    ===Really? I thought you guys had supermajorities.===

    You want Democrats to write legislation for Durkin’s own district?

    That’s fun, lol


  26. - Dupage Bard - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:04 am:

    Cadillac - learn this - Durkin wrote a law. The Gov signed his law. The AG and SA followed the law. The locals don’t like the outcome and now he’s saying it’s not his fault. Now he’s trying to figure a way out.

    Does that help?


  27. - Cadillac - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:04 am:

    The GA has never wrote legislation for Durkin’s District?

    If not, that would be fun, lol


  28. - Cadillac - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:06 am:

    Dupage: Durkin did not “wrote a law”. Start there.


  29. - Cadillac - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:19 am:

    Statement from Attorney General Kwame Raoul:

    “As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to enforce laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly, and I applaud Leader Durkin”….


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:31 am:

    ===The GA has never wrote legislation for Durkin’s District?

    If not, that would be fun===

    If you’re saying Durkin is unable…


  31. - Cadillac - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:39 am:

    I see you are not answering the question. The GA has never wrote legislation for Durkin’s District before? That was the premise, right?


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:43 am:

    ===The GA has never wrote legislation for Durkin’s District before?===

    I am answering.

    Durkin wants the look to his constituents… he can’t?

    See, you’re not asking the right question.

    Durkin is saying, write this yourself.

    The way it reads is… I’m not *willing* to correct my own flawed bill.

    Durkin wants someone else to fix his failings.

    That’s the premise.

    Again, if Durkin wants that… to look like, as he’s saying, “he’s good” with failed legislation… welp… I’m sure someone might have a problem that Durkin isn’t looking out for his district.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:47 am:

    - Cadillac -

    @CleanAirIL -We are here for this @GovPritzker Let’s get this done

    Durkin already losing the folks he’s supposedly sticking up for?

    Again, you’re asking the wrong question. Those most effected understand the score.


  34. - Cadillac - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:49 am:

    === I’m sure someone might have a problem that Durkin isn’t looking out for his district. ===

    Well, I’m not sure if you’ve had the the time to check out the #StopSterigenics facebook page (sit down, you might do damage to yourself), but the people in harm’s way don’t exactly agree with you.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:58 am:

    - Cadillac -

    I have, it appears 10 hours ago, there was more commenting, and blaming “both sides” which isn’t helping. The last post was just after Noon.

    I guess we’ll have to see in the morning, lol


  36. - Dupage Bard - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:59 am:

    Cadillac - Durkin states the legislation supported by IEC and which JB signed into law. That’s his quote not mine.
    So who wrote the law? Did Jimmy write the law or the IEC? Because he didn’t say it was IEC law he said they supported. He introduced the bill. So who wrote it?


  37. - Dupage Bard - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:03 am:

    It’s his bill. Right? So is Durkin right or is the Dupage county SA right? Did the Gov, AG and SA not read his bill correctly? Are all of them wrong?
    Please let us know


  38. - Cadillac - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:11 am:

    Whatever, Dupage, Jimmy “wrote the law”.

    Amazing that with super-majorities, the buck still gets passed.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:16 am:

    ===Amazing that with super-majorities, the buck still gets passed.===

    Hmm..

    ===I stand by my legislation which was signed into law by the Governor.===

    Its not passed, Durkin supports his failed and flawed legislation.

    Not a great look.

    I’ll catch ya later, The Open golf championship in Northern Ireland is on. Be well. OW


  40. - Hamlet's Ghost - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 5:26 am:

    Anne Stava Murray could introduce a bill the locals find acceptable. Durkin and Curran co-sponsor. After all H81 & H82 are both Curran’s house districts.

    Then JB says get me 60/30 and I will sign.

    But without 3/5ths then the AG and SA need to keep the seal order in effect until the new bill’s effective date in 2020.


  41. - CancerStinks - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 6:24 am:

    The new law is stringent, but Sterigenics has deceived the community in the past. The law says they must prove sterilization by any other means is not possible in order to use EtO. Where is that proof? Why is IEPA willing to believe this company will comply with anything, after knowingly poisoning the community for decades? Bad actors should not be given another chance in populous areas. People are dead and dying!


  42. - New Slang - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 6:26 am:

    Watching OW and others debate after midnight: priceless.


  43. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 9:01 am:

    Pritzker can’t file a bill, only a lawmaker can, so essentially Durkin is telling the whole world he cannot legislate for his own constituents, he needs Mike Madigan’s help. Not the best communications plan.

    Someone promised someone something. Whatever it was, walk back to them and tell them that deal is off and it’s all Stergenics’ Fault: for jumping the gun and rubbing Willowbrook’s face in this deal before the public could be brought on board, and in one fashion or another attempting to humiliate everyone in state government, however indirectly.

    “Don’t shoot the messenger” is such a worn out phrase because shooting the messenger is a time-honored tradition. It’s why the ancients’ sent messengers instead of going themselves.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 9:13 am:

    ===…all Stergenics’ Fault: for jumping the gun and rubbing Willowbrook’s face in this deal before the public could be brought on board, and in one fashion or another attempting to humiliate everyone in state government, however indirectly.===

    That was the feature, not the bug, as Stergenics got out the messaging first, caught everyone flat footed, and again was the bad actor in process.

    The real end game, the honest real end game, would be all folks recognizing this and the community, governor, the legislators… they all realize the villain is still… Stergenics.

    When Durkin and Co “decided” to throw the governor under the bus, because, governors do own, that’ll never change, it put the legislators in a position of covering themselves, sure, but they themselves not helping process, and the signed bill gets highlighted… because that language in it… welp… that’s how this all went down.

    So… here we are, but anyone forgets how we got here these past hours, remember, Stergenics decided to out-flank and blast a PR release no one saw coming, both in words and timing. Forgetting it, or now focusing away from Stergenics, the true bad actor… made, to Stergenics, that release all the better.

    No one is going to win this, but now it’s how bad any side can end up looking by not working together in the end.


  45. - Froganon - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 9:22 am:

    Message to the Business Community - dumping your waste products onto the public is no longer a legal or acceptable business plan. Neutralize the poisons you create and/or use or close your business. It’s on Leader Durkin to get it right and get it passed. Maybe get some help from the legendary MJM?


  46. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 9:34 am:

    === It’s on Leader Durkin to get it right and get it passed. Maybe get some help from the legendary MJM? ===

    “Andrei…You’ve lost another submarine?”

    I’m agnostic on the tactics. The first-and-most-important step is everyone agreeing that what everyone thought was a done deal, regardless of what they thought the deal was, has been undone by Sterigenics.

    And whatever your political ambitions, beliefs or party, we can all agree that the people of Willowbrook ought to be able to go to sleep each night without worrying that their children are breathing in cancer in the next room.

    Start with that foundation, and the strategy will become apparent.


  47. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    New Jim Durkin “I’m not in charge”. At least it is honest.

    He is the Rep and he wrote the bill. He needs to own it. Instead, he ran the other way.

    Tells you about his character.


  48. - DuPage - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    Maybe Durkin thought the law he wrote was so tough that the company would give up and move away or just go out of business. 36,400 down to 18 (not 18,000, just 18) is very expensive. I am surprised Sterigenics did not move away or go out of business, it looks like Durkin was surprised too.


  49. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    You might be on to something DuPage.

    Companies always have an advantage in these regulatory fights because they know exactly how much medical waste is being generated, have a good idea what the growth potential is, what the standard and regulatory costs are.

    We are playing a game of Battleship trying to guess their business model, while they are doing everything they can to deceive us about the true nature of their business.

    Some disgruntled former employees/lobbyists would be helpful.

    Or maybe just do what we did with mega hog farms and require local approval of siting? Maybe not possible here.


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