Supervisor Janice Hahn, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago want Sterigenics facility shut down over pollution concerns

Officials are calling for the outright closure of a medical equipment sterilization company in Vernon that has been under investigation by the South Coast AQMD for polluting the surrounding community with a dangerous carcinogen.

Sterigenics, which sterilizes medical equipment using a gas called Ethylene Oxide, or EtO, does business in both Vernon and Ontario. High levels of EtO have been discovered in both communities in the immediate vicinity of Sterigenics' facilities, prompting several notices of violation from the SCAQMD, which will decide on Tuesday what steps to take next against the company.

"We don't want this to be another Exide 2.0," Assemblyman Miguel Santiago said, referring to the release of hazardous materials from the former battery recycling facility, also in Vernon. "For it to continue to operate would be devastating to our communities. We don't want cancer-causing chemicals in our communities, period. We want it shut down."