As angry residents continue to protest Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator and its toxic emissions, some local officials have been discussing the possibility of moving the plant to another location.
North Salt Lake Mayor Len Arave met with Stericycle’s Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs earlier this week. He says he thinks the incinerator should find another home outside the city, and that Stericycle may be open to that possibility.
“I don’t think anybody - including Stericycle - thinks that their current location is a great location for that plant. I guess I could have my mind changed, but I think we need to work towards a solution where they move,” Arave says.
The state’s Director of Air Quality Bryce Bird says his division has considered that option. State officials have been in discussions with the company since May, when they first cited Stericycle for exceeding permitted emissions of toxic pollutants and falsifying records.
“That was part of our discussions we’ve had with the company over the past several months as part of our settlement negotiations, but nothing firm is established at this point,” Bird says. “That is an option that would provide a permanent solution to the residential interface right there.” He says there are some hurdles with that plan, though. It would have to be approved by the state legislature and the Governor.
Meanwhile, residents and activists staged a protest in front of the Governor’s office on Wednesday, demanding an immediate shut down of the plant. The state’s Director of Environmental Quality Amanda Smith issued a statement saying that if Stericycle does not comply with the notice of violation, the state will pursue all legal options to revoke its permit. The company has until September 28th to appeal the alleged violations.