- Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Plans to relocate a medical-waste incinerator that has run afoul of Utah regulators won’t solve the problem, clean air advocates said.

Illinois-based company Stericycle seeks to move the plant from a North Salt Lake neighborhood in Davis County to a remote site in Tooele County.

Critics of the facility say no medical waste should be burned and the proposed move upwind of Salt Lake City would not alleviate their concerns.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not good enough,” Alicia Connell of Communities for Clean Air told the Deseret News. “It’s still in our air shed, it’s still a danger to people, and there are better technologies with zero emissions. … We’re not interested in giving our problems to somebody else.”

Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, agreed.

“While that sounds like a resolution, we are not dealing with it as such,” he told The Salt Lake Tribune. “No one is interested in putting that facility in someone else’s community.”

Stericycle Vice President Selin Hoboy said that while the remote Tooele County site would be a better option for the future, the facility still complies with state permits. The company challenged a notice of violation the state Division of Air Quality issued against it last May.

“We are a very small emitter. Even if we leave, it’s not going to solve Salt Lake City’s air issues,” Hoboy said. “Those who are concerned about moving the problem to a different location really need to consider we’re not going to be next to neighbors, and we do think that having a new location is a better option for all of us involved.”

The Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration has agreed to sell Stericycle land west of the Stansbury Mountains.

The incinerator receives medical waste from states around the western United States, processing about 7,000 tons of waste a year, according to the Division of Air Quality.

The medical waste includes everything from pharmaceuticals and laboratory tools made of plastic and glass, to human tissue and fluids and animal tissues and carcasses.



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