A Tooele County commissioner says he wants to impose regular fees and a penalty fine structure on Stericycle’s proposed medical waste incinerator should the company decide to relocate there.
Commissioner Shawn Milne acknowledges that his community has welcomed businesses in the past that others did not want, but he says commissioners want to ensure that the environment and people are protected.
“We don’t want to just accept any business here carte blanche without any consideration for what long term consequences there might be,” Milne says.
Last year, Stericycle received a Notice of Violation from the Utah Division of Air Quality for exceeding permitted levels of some pollutants at its North Salt Lake incinerator. The company is contesting the allegations through an ongoing legal process. Milne says the best way to protect his community from these types of infractions is to appeal to Stericycle’s bottom line.
“We’ve expressed to the company representatives that we’ve interfaced with over the last several months that we want a heavy fine structure,” Milne says. He says the county could impose even tougher regulations than the state, and could charge stiff fines for infractions.
“The intent is not to make money off of a fine. The intent is to have a fine that is so onerous and so untenable that the company would never endeavor to get across the line where they incur a fine,” Milne says.
In addition to a fine structure, Milne says the county would insist that Stericycle pays mitigation fees to offset negative impacts of their industry just as Clean Harbors, Energy Solutions, and Republic Landfill do. Stericycle representatives say they plan to apply for a conditional use permit through the Tooele County planning commission this summer. The details of the fee and penalty structure would be determined during that application process.