State Representative Erick Allen is proposing legislation to regulate the use and monitoring of ethylene oxide in Georgia.
His goal is to keep the air clean of the cancer causing toxin, which is used to sterilize medical equipment and devices. It's the same chemical used at the Sterigenics plant in his own back yard that has been shutdown by the state indefinitely.
Along with the Sterigenics plant, BD plants in Covington and Madison have been widely criticized for its use of ethylene oxide. Both plants remain open, but under the watchful eye of the state officials as they work to clean up the emissions of EtO.
Allen said he is working on four pieces of legislation to address the dangers to the nearby communities. Part of the proposed legislation would require testing and 24 hour monitoring of the cancer causing emissions at the stack of these facilities.
"This is really the most important to me because right now all of the reporting that we get is self reporting or processed reporting. This will be the first time that we will have 24/7 monitoring of what comes out of those stacks and that's very important," Rep. Allen told 11Alive.
Allen is also pushing legislation that would limit how close these plants can be to homes, schools, and daycare centers.
The 2020 general assembly session begins on January 13th. Representative Allen says he hopes to get this introduced and implemented as soon as possible to keep the companies accountable and to keep people safe.
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