Today, following last week's revelations that a Willowbrook company, Sterigenics, was emitting cancer-causing chemicals near a residential area, 6th District Congressional Candidate Sean Casten called out Peter Roskam for his silence on the issue, and his failure to protect the Environmental Protection Agency so it can monitor and address incidents like the one in question.
"Peter Roskam's silence over Sterigenics is astonishing" said Casten. "I'm a scientist who believes in facts, and the facts show ethylene oxide -- the toxin emitted from Sterigenics -- is giving people cancer in the Sixth Congressional District. Instead of protecting the EPA, Roskam voted to gut the board that reviews the very reports that showed ethylene oxide increases the risk of cancer 30-fold."
"It appears Peter Roskam only has the wellbeing of the oil and chemical industry in mind. Instead of acting quickly to do anything to protect residents of Willowbrook and neighboring communities, Peter Roskam has kept silent at the behest of his corporate benefactors like the American Chemistry Council -- the same folks who have spent over $200,000 on his re-election."
Peter Roskam claims to support the EPA, but his action -- and lack thereof -- contradict his own claims:
Voted for the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act which would block real scientists from participating in the Science Advisory Board, and stack the deck with chemical industry insiders. NRDC called the bill a "Gift to the Chemical Industry" and the bill was opposed by Clean Water Action, Earthjustice, League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club. The Atlantic called it one of "The Transparency Bills That Would Gut the EPA."
Failed to speak out when the Trump Administration threatened to close EPA Region 5 offices in Chicago, and has does nothing to address the hiring freeze and loss of staff to work on issues like those at Sterigenics.
Sean also called for an immediate release by state and local officials of all historic and current data relating to emissions on site so that local people and businesses can evaluate their risks and take appropriate mitigation actions. Additionally, Sean demanded the immediate cessation of operations at Sterigenics until an updated and complete analysis can be done to assess current current emissions levels and their impact on the region.
Sean was joined by Rep. Bill Foster; Kady McFadden, Deputy Executive Director Sierra Club Illinois Chapter; Bridget Fitzgerald, 41st District State Senate Candidate; Tom Chlystek, 82nd District State Representative Candidate; and Abdelnasser Rashid, 17th District Cook County Board Candidate.