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Stericycle Pleased with Settlement, Environmental Activists Concerned

Photo courtesy Foxboro residents
Smoke billows out of Stericycle's incinerator during an emergency bypass incident.

The Utah Air Quality Board has approved a 2.3 million dollar settlement between the medical waste company Stericycle and state environmental regulators.

To be clear, Vice President of Stericycle’s Corporate Communications Jennifer Koenig says the company is not admitting fault for alleged emissions violations at its North Salt Lake incinerator, but she says they’re pleased with the settlement.

“With this matter behind us, we’re now able to really focus on the necessary steps to relocate our facility, as well as to serve the healthcare community without further interruption,” Koenig says.

Tim Wagner, Executive Director for Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, says he applauds the state for levying the highest possible fine, but he’s concerned about how long Stericycle could continue to operate in North Salt Lake.

“This operation could continue to operate and emit some pretty serious hazardous chemicals and pollutants for another three to six years so we have some major concerns over that,” Wagner says.  

Under the terms of the settlement, Stericycle will only have to pay half of the penalty if it moves its operations to Tooele County. The settlement gives Stericycle a three-year deadline to shut down its North Salt Lake facility. But the clock on that deadline only starts after its permit applications to move are approved.

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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