COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Neighbors who live near the controversial Sterigenics plant in Cobb County say they will not give up their fight to shut the plant down, even after a judge’s ruling this week allows the plant to stay open.
“It’s a mixed bag because we’re not going to see it closed today, but we do have this judge saying that they are not immune from regulations by the county,” said former State Representative Erick Allen who lives about three miles from the plant.
Allen says the judge’s ruling may allow for regulations that will make the plant safer.
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He told Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon that he believes the plant, which is accused of emitting a chemical the EPA says causes cancer, made some neighbors sick.
“Not only has it, I think it continues to and until there are some changes, I think it presents an unnecessary risk,” said Allen.
Sterigenics has long denied the allegations, but did voluntarily close the plant temporarily in 2019 to install emissions controls. Soon after that, the county tried to force them to suspend operations, which led to this long legal fight.
The company has not responded to our requests for comment on the judge’s ruling.
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Cobb County Chairwoman Lisa Cupid released a statement to Channel 2 Action News that read, “I recognize the order will allow the facility to continue operating...The order makes it clear that the county will still have the opportunity to monitor the facility and ensure it operates in the interest of public safety.”
Allen also remains optimistic.
“The county has a job to do and I think they will do it, to make sure they’re keeping all the residents in this area safe,” said Allen.
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