The outside of the Sterigenics building is seen on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Smyrna. ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage

EPA to hold town hall on toxic gas emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a community meeting Monday at the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta to address an EPA report on levels of a toxic gas in parts of Cobb and Fulton counties.

U.S. Census tracts near the Sterigenics sterilization facility in Smyrna were among several locations flagged in Georgia by the EPA last year for elevated cancer risk from ethylene oxide. The gas, which was reclassified in 2016 as a carcinogen, is used by the company to sterilize medical equipment and other products.

Sterigenics has said it is in full compliance with state and federal emissions regulations and is in the process of upgrading its emissions controls. Sources of the gas also include petroleum refining and vehicle exhaust, and its presence in the atmosphere has been found to be more pervasive than previously thought.

08/02/2019 — Smyrna, Georgia — Stop Sterigenics Georgia member Lynn Bixler holds a sign as she and other supporters protest against Sterigenics near the plant in Smyrna, Friday, August 2, 2019. Stop Sterigenics Georgia is an organization that is concerned about the Ethylene Oxide pollution that the Sterigenics plant is producing in the area. (Alyssa Pointer/
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cobb commissioners approved $40,000 for air testing and will partner with Smyrna and potentially the city of Atlanta to pay for the tests.

Monday’s EPA meeting will be held in two parts. From 5 to 6:45 p.m., local, state and federal health and environmental protection officials will hold an open house and answer questions one-on-one from residents.

Previously: Cobb residents dig in for fight over Sterigenics plant emissions

Also: Residents, officials outraged over toxic emissions from Cobb plant

From 7 to 9 p.m., officials will hold a forum with presentations by health and environmental experts and overviews of recent government reports. Questions must be submitted here in advance for the 7 p.m. forum.

The civic center is located at 548 South Marietta Parkway SE in Marietta.

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