A letter asking the governor to consider taking action against Stericycle was drafted Tuesday and unanimously approved by council members.
Councilman Sam Granato said air pollution does not stop at a county line, which is why he is concerned for the health of all Utahns even though the incinerator operates in Davis County.
“[Stericycle] is not that far away and with a good wind coming south it affects the citizens of Salt Lake County,” Granato said.
Granato said Governor Gary Herbert can exercise his executive authority to shut down Stericycle in the name of public health protection under state statue 19-2-112.
He said Stericycle is similar to having a meth lab in people’s backyard.
“Meth labs are dangerous,” he said. “You don’t want to breathe that.”
Communities for Clean Air advocate Alicia Connell said the more help the group receives, the better. Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich recently joined the fight against Stericycle and she hopes the governor will too.
“I want him to know that is affecting citizens,” Connell said. “It’s detrimental to our health. He needs to step up. He needs to use his authority and he needs to close the incinerator.”
ABC 4 Utah found out one woman’s hatred of Stericycle forced her to leave the state. Crystal Folgmann moved her family from North Salt Lake to Colorado Springs over health concerns.
“I think it is the gross atrocity of that state,” Folgmann said. “It's a total travesty that they continue to let that happen.”
If Herbert does not close Stericycle’s incinerator, Granato fears attorneys will battle over it for years, while emissions keep spewing into the air.
“As inversion season is fast approaching we need to get this poison out of the air,” he said. “I’m a businessman. I don't want to hurt business, but I do want to protect lives.”
In May 2013, Utah’s Division of Air Quality found Stericycle was violating rules by exceeding their emissions limits.
A spokesperson for the state said the issued a revised notice of violation to Stericycle before the end of August 2013 which would enforce a harsher penalty and possibly require the company to install equipment that would prevent another violation of emissions limits.
In court documents obtained by ABC 4 Utah, Stericycle said they are the victim of invalid samples and/or lab analysis. They also denied the allegations that they exceeded emissions limits.
Stericycle has not responded to ABC 4 Utah’s attempts for comment.