Cobb commissioners approved $40,000 in contingency funds Tuesday to go toward independent air testing around a Sterigenics plant in Smyrna following concerns over emissions there.
The county will partner with the city of Smyrna and possibly Atlanta as officials weigh a bid from GHD Environmental and Consulting, Inc. to carry out the tests. GHD is a global firm that also conducted air tests in Willowbrook, Illinois, where a similar Sterigenics facility was shut down after the test results showed high levels of ethylene oxide, a carcinogen.
Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the area where Sterigenics is located in Cobb, said the testing would give the public a better understanding of any threats to public health. Until now, emissions data has been based on self-reported numbers from the company and modelling by regulators, not air sampling.
“I know that this has been a very tumultuous couple of weeks for the community,” Ott said.
Each of the commissioners spoke in support of the testing, and the measure passed 5-0. Smyrna is scheduled to vote on its funding contribution soon.