EPA Public Comments

On April 11, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to significantly strengthen and update Clean Air Act standards for ethylene oxide (EtO) emitted into the air from commercial sterilizing facilities, also called commercial sterilizers. (1)

Currently, Laredo ranks among the top 23 most vulnerable communities nationally due to the significantly high volume of emissions from Midwest Sterilization. (2) Children at many Laredo campuses, public and private, are exposed to some of the worst air toxicity in the country due to these harmful ethylene oxide emissions.

While EPA’s announcement is a major first step forward, Clean Air Laredo members have pointed out that the newly proposed rules fall short in three critical areas.

We ask the public to please submit a comment to the EPA here:


In your comment to the EPA, tell them about your experience living in a community that is affected by highly toxic air emissions. You can include fears you may have about living, working, or passing by the area close to Midwest Sterilization.
You can also include that you would like to see following points added in the final rule:
1. Require FREQUENT fenceline air monitoring around commercial sterilizer facilities to determine the level of EtO emissions that are being released into the surrounding air;

2. Include and regulate fugitive emissions from warehouses, where sterilizer facilities store and off-gas their sterilized products before being sent to market, in the final rule;

3. Shorten compliance date from 18 months to 6 months, especially since our community has been exposed to this highly toxic chemical 24/7 for 17 years; and

4. Require that all sterilizers, including both major and minor sources, are covered in the final rule.
You can attach the two DSHS studies along with your comment to support your claims!
Download them HERE and HERE.
Commenting period ends June 27, 2023

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