Congressman Barry Loudermilk, who represents Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, added his voice to the list of public officials who have weighed in on the Sterigenics facility in Smyrna, which emits the carcinogen ethylene oxide.
Loudermilk has in the past called for the EPA to be abolished.
In a letter dated August 16, Loudermilk sent the following questions to Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the EPA:
- What steps is the EPA taking to cooperate with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in response to the potential risk to the affected community?
- What is the EPA doing to assist Cobb County and the City of Smyrna in their investigations?
- Would the EPA support efforts by the City of Smyrna for independent air testing to identify risks to the area?
- How does the agency ensure that companies are reporting accurate information through their reports to the EPA?
- When potential risks arise in local communities around the nation, what process does the EPA follow to notify residents of those potential risks?
- Is the EPA planning any further tests to identify potential risks posed by ethylene oxide?
Background on the Sterigenics issue
The Sterigenics plant became a focus of community concern after an article jointly published by Georgia Health News and WebMD reported that three census tracts, two in the Smyrna area and one in Covington, had unacceptable levels of cancer risk by EPA standards, due to elevated amounts of ethylene oxide in the air.