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Stericycle given more time to settle pollution violations

Published August 2, 2013 5:11 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Stericycle, a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake, has been granted another 30 days to negotiate its penalties with the Utah Division of Air Quality.

The Illinois-based company was cited by state regulators May 28 for violating pollution and record-keeping standards. Its state permits allow the incinerator to burn as much as 2,500 pounds per hour and treat about 7,000 tons of medical waste per year from throughout the West.

But a series of lapses led to a state investigation that found the incinerator had released too much nitrogen oxide, which contributes to Utah's summer- and winter-pollution problems, as well as excessive volumes of dioxins, furans and hydrochloric acid, which are hazardous air pollutants.

Although Stericycle has assured state regulators and the public the reasons for the violations have been corrected, the company still has to finalize the steps it will take to prevent future violations and settle any fines.

Utah's top air-quality regulator, Bryce Bird, this week granted the company's request for more time to finalize the penalties. The new deadline is Aug. 29, and any decision will be reviewed by the Air Quality Board before it is made final.

fahys@sltrib.com

Twitter: @judyfutah