Trump and Rauner administrations knew about Sterigenics cancer risks months before telling public

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration knew in December that toxic air pollution from the Sterigenics plant in west suburban Willowbrook likely was responsible for some of the highest cancer risks in the nation, according to a letter obtained by the Tribune.

The governor’s office and the Rauner-led Illinois Environmental Protection Agency kept the politically explosive information from the public for eight months, then initially downplayed the dangers posed by a company owned in part by the incumbent Republican’s former private equity firm.

Disclosure of the previously unknown warning about Sterigenics comes as angry and frightened neighbors packed a hearing Friday in the Loop called by state lawmakers who are scrambling to respond to health dangers in a swath of suburban Chicago that also is a key battleground in the Nov. 6 election.

Other records obtained by the Tribune show the Rauner administration worked behind the scenes with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency between December and August on a more intensive investigation of Sterigenics and discussed potential solutions to the company’s pollution problems.

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