Residents should reserve the bulk of their anger for the failed regulatory oversight provided by the Georgia EPD. It turns out that part of being the “No. 1 state to do business” also means not informing people (for years) that they are living next to an industrial facility pumping out cancer-causing toxic gas.
Let’s not forget that the chief executive of our state promised to use his big chainsaw to “rip up government regulations.” The president of Sterigenics is not lying when he says they are in compliance and that his company is happy to follow any mandate dictated by the Georgia EPD.
I have no doubt that my fellow residents will soon become experts on ethylene oxide and its associated safety standards. And perhaps with enough action, residents will be successful in changing the company’s behavior. But there will be more bad corporate actors and residents cannot be expected to play environmental watchdogs in their spare time.
As long as we elect people that prioritize Georgia in being the No. 1 state to do business instead of the No. 1 state for people to live and call home, then we should expect more stories like this one.