Georgia House of Representatives

08/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/05/2020 10:45

Rep. Allen Announces Legislation to Report Ethylene Oxide Spills in Georgia Signed Into Law

ATLANTA - State Representative Erick Allen (D-Smyrna) today announced that Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 426 into law on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. SB 426 requires operations that utilize ethylene oxide to report spills or releases of such gas in Georgia.

'Today is a great first step in ensuring that our communities are safer from the exposure of dangerous toxic air,' said Rep. Allen. 'I am excited about the passage of Senate Bill 426, but I also know that there is much more work that needs to be done. We would not be here today without the members of Stop Sterigenics and the many community leaders who helped me shape similar legislation earlier this year and then pushed hard for this legislation. I am happy to stand with them in the fight for a safer community and look forward to getting more done on this issue next year.'

Senate Bill 426 requires any permittee of an operation that includes the emission of ethylene oxide to report a spill or release of any amount of ethylene oxide to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) within 24 hours of discovery. Under SB 426, the EPD is required to make information regarding the spill or release available on the agency's website.

'Senate Bill 426 represents a solid step forward in transparency for citizens regarding pollution from ethylene oxide,' said Janet Rau, who is the president of Stop Sterigenics. 'We still have a long road to get real regulation of this toxic chemical. But, at least now, we know when we are being poisoned more than just the 'usual' amount. The bipartisan support for this bill gives us hope that we will continue to work together to ensure that the air that Georgians breathe safer in the future.'

For more information on SB 426, please click here.

Representative Erick Allen represents the citizens of District 40, which includes portions of Cobb and Fulton counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and currently serves on the Banks & Banking, Code Revision and Human Relations & Aging Committees