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Stericycle Denies Air Pollution Violations

Andrea Smardon

As activists and community members step up the pressure to shut down a North Salt Lake medical waste incinerator, Stericycle officials are denying the company violated emissions limits or rigged stack test results. They are challenging a list of citations filed by Utah regulators against the company's incinerator. That means the beginning of a legal process that could take months.

The state Division of Air Quality cited Stericycle in May for releasing excessive amounts of cancer-causing dioxins and other pollutants. After numerous deadline extensions, Stericycle officials responded by denying some of the allegations outright, while blaming faulty sampling or lab analysis for other chemical readings. DAQ Director Bryce Bird says the case will now go to an administrative law judge, which has not been appointed yet. Bird says there’s no telling how long the process might take.

“Really there is no end date. In the past, these types of proceedings have lasted many months, even over a year once the administrative law judge is appointed. The timeframe to resolve it is open-ended,” Bird says.

The DAQ will be represented by the state Attorney General’s office. Stericycle's corporate office did not respond to a request for comment.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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