EPA addresses risks posed to Laredo area

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 12:48 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The EPA visited the Laredo Community for the first time since news broke about the presence of ethylene oxide in our community.

The goal of the meeting was to inform the public about the steps they are taking to address the issue.

During Thursday’s meeting, many members of the community were asking, why did it take so long for the EPA to get involved?

According to the EPA, they came as soon as the knew the risks posed to our area.

During the meeting, an EPA representative reiterated the information the public already knows, which is that ethylene oxide is dangerous air pollutant impacting our area.

According to the EPA, they are working on new regulations for commercial sterilizers like Midwest Sterilization to ensure emissions are safe and to establish how commercial sterilizers will use ethylene oxide within their facility.

These proposals can take a year to go into effect and the company itself will have three years to react to the requirement.

Many residents felt their answers were not enough.

Many people went before the representatives to express their frustration and one went to spread awareness about her child’s cancer.

Karla Ortiz says when her child was diagnosed in 2019 with a form of leukemia, the doctors said it was hereditary, but Ortiz said no one in her or her husband’s family had cancer.

So, when she found about ethylene oxides impact to children, she knew that could be a potential cause.

“It’s hard because it’s a company but it’s our children you know it affects us the most vulnerable and we were one of those families that were triggered”, said Ortiz.

Many residents asked the EPA representatives to install air monitoring systems in the community which is something they said they couldn’t immediately promise but would look into.

If you were not able to attend the meeting, you can view most of the information that was shared by clicking here.

For more headlines. click here.