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Law firms representing Sterigenics cancer victims urge Illinois Congressional delegation to decry the EPA waiver of environmental protections as nation battles a pandemic

March 27, 2020

Decision to remove monitoring and civil penalties puts public health at risk

CHICAGO, IL  – Romanucci & Blandin, LLC and the other law firms suing Sterigenics and other entities for emitting toxic ethylene oxide (EtO) and causing cancers and miscarriages in Willowbrook, Illinois urge Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and the entire Illinois Congressional delegation to join in a strong and swift public outcry over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of March 26, 2020. The EPA has declared a sweeping waiver of environmental protections by allowing industry to stop monitoring, reporting and meeting regulations effective March 13, 2020. The agency erroneously states that the decision is an appropriate response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This rationale, however, in addition to being illogical is also highly flawed, in that the public health crises that will result from this EPA decision will equal or surpass the current pandemic in the weeks and years to come by rolling back decades of progress limiting toxic chemicals and practices across the country. Indeed, the pandemic has nothing to do with EPA regulations.

President Trump is using the novel coronavirus as a smokescreen to pursue his deregulation agenda which has been prominent since he took office over three years ago. These actions will lead to more needless end of life and suffering than the COVID-19 pandemic itself. This decision is shortsighted, and clearly benefits corporate America and will further poison individuals who breathe our country’s air and drink its water.

“EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, at President Trump’s direction, has taken advantage of the public’s primary focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, and has used this time of distraction to further their agenda to unwind the protections for our people and natural resources, to benefit their corporate cronies’ profits in this time of national crisis,” said Antonio Romanucci, Founding Partner at Romanucci & Blandin.

“We urge the Senators and Representatives of Illinois to call out this egregious abuse of power by the Trump Administration and the EPA and demand that the protections be restored immediately,” said Romanucci. “At a time when the fragility of human life and our interconnectedness are very much in the public consciousness, we need our leaders in Washington, D.C. to loudly voice the demand to reinstate all the EPA’s regulatory efforts – now more than ever- to maintain public health for current and future generations. This miscarriage of the public trust took place quietly, and without public comment, and cannot be tolerated.”

Additionally, we urge all citizens to voice their displeasure and concern with this EPA decision by sharing their views with Administrator Wheeler on Twitter @EPAAWheeler.

Antonio Romanucci is the court-appointed Lead Counsel for the legal group suing Sterigenics. Four Co-Lead Counsels were also appointed, including Todd Smith of Power Rogers & Smith L.L.P; Patrick Salvi, II of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C.; Steven Hart of Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge, LLC; and Shannon McNulty of the Clifford Law Offices.

The Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee includes Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge, LLC; Clifford Law Offices; Tomasik Kotin & Kasserman, LLC; The Collins Law Firm P.C.; and Miner Barnhill & Galland, P.C. Together the firms are fighting to hold Sterigenics accountable for the reckless negligence that has resulted in the needless and continuous poisoning of men, women and children in Illinois for so many years.

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