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Erin Brockovich fights NSL incinerator

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich is using her voice to support North Salt Lake families in their fight against Stericycle.
NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich is using her voice to support North Salt Lake families in their fight against Stericycle.

She spoke out at a town hall meeting Saturday at Foxboro Elementary about the company’s medical waste incinerator accused of polluting the air.

Doctors like Brian Moench are calling the company “Scarycycle.” He said incinerators like Stericycle can cause serious harm to communities.

Resident Susan Fleck got emotional thinking about her autistic son after she heard North Salt Lake’s Mayor Len Arave tell residents there is not much the city can do to shut down the incinerator.

“We’re certain his autism is connected to the environment,” Fleck said.

ABC 4 Utah Reporter Cristina Rendon was first to report Stericycle might move to a different location. Arave confirmed the details two weeks ago and said himself he does not want the company operating in his city.

Stories of health concerns from the public keep Brockovich up at night.

“I feel their pain,” she said. “I feel their fear. They want information.”

Brockovich and her team of investigators said they are finding out Stericycle is burning almost 100% more waste than the building was designed for.

Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality caught Stericycle exceeding their emissions limits and falsifying records in the past. The company has since come into compliance, but Brockovich said that is not good enough.

“We should not be burning bio-hazard waste on top of communities and children,” Brockovich said.

Brockovich, who is known for her work in anti pollution lawsuits, said the case in North Salt Lake is much different than other cases and she finds it scary. Her fear is compelling her to join the fight.

“We can't be so negligent that some bio-hazard gets out and it is a disaster,” she said.

Brockovich urged residents to stick together if they want to make a difference.

“They have to stay at it,” she added.

Stericycle has refused to comment to ABC 4 Utah about the backlash they are getting even though Arave said they are aware of all the concerns.

Residents claim employees of Stericycle have said in the past they are trying to be a good neighbor. Stericycle’s website lists several sustainability commitments, including one on emission control systems.

This statement is listed on Stericycle’s website:

“Use of the latest emission control systems is essential to our commitment to clean air standards. All our plants meet or exceed state and local standards for air emissions. Our plant teams carefully and constantly monitor air quality. As new technology becomes available, we’ll continue to evaluate these enhancements.”
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