A spokesman for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division said Sterigenics’ ability to proceed with testing required by the state to reopen is dependent on Cobb County’s approval.
A planned test of new emission controls was called off last month after local elected officials objected.
Cobb spokesman Ross Cavitt wrote in a statement Friday that the county is in “ongoing discussions” with representatives from FDA, the governor’s office, and Sterigenics “concerning the COVID-19 virus and our desire to do anything to help stop or slow the spread of the disease.”
“Those discussions continue and we hope to come up with an agreement on a path forward soon,” he added.
Tony Adams, a resident who lives near the plant and an active member of Stop Sterigenics Georgia, said his group was sympathetic to the shortage of medical equipment.
“But we also don’t want a company to twist the truth and take advantage of a crisis situation just to get back open, which is what we suspect is going on,” he said. “I don’t know what to think about the FDA nicely asking the state to get involved in this.”
In a statement posted on its website, Sterigenics said its Atlanta facility could immediately assist the sterilization backlog for items needed to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“New controls further reduce ethylene oxide (EO) emissions beyond already safe levels protecting employees and the community,” it said.