TOOELE COUNTY -- The plumes of black smoke that have sparked so much controversy in North Salt Lake drew little attention from the potential new neighbors of Stericycle in Tooele County on Tuesday night.
“I really have no concerns about them coming in,” said Grantsville resident Mike Colson.
Only about a dozen residents attended a public meeting held by the company at Grantsville High School, and very few had concerns about the medical waste incinerator moving into their backyard.
“I think it's a pretty clean technology. If you don't do it here, or if you don't do it somewhere, what's it going to do to your medical costs?” said resident Tom Tripp.
But over the course of the presentation, questions were still raised about the company’s past problems, specifically the unintentional emissions sometimes caused by malfunctions or power outages.
“I'm pretty concerned about their bypass events. I think that were going to have to make sure that there are safeguards in place so that our community is not put at risk,” said Jewel Allen, who lives about 12 miles from the proposed site.
The company hopes to move to a 40-acre space located off Rowley Road, about 20 miles from Grantsville. Company officials said the closest home is 11 miles away, and the closest neighborhood is about 18 miles.
“I really do believe that we have found a good location for our facility,” said Selin Hoboy, Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the company.
By October, the company has to replace equipment to further reduce its emissions under new regulations. They hope the changes help to remove the cloud of criticism they've been working under.
“Look, the facility is continuously monitored. That information is given to the state and is available publicly for people to review,” Hoboy said. “We have nothing to hide, and as far as assurances, I mean, that was our single emissions violation in 25 years. I have to say it's a pretty good track record.”
The meeting in Grantsville was the fifth in a series of events Stericycle has held in Tooele County. The public forums aim to answer community questions and provide more transparency, as the company has long been criticized for not addressing concerns from North Salt Lake residents.
The public is also invited to tour their current facility. The next date is scheduled for May 6 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. To schedule a reservation, you can contact Jennifer Koenig at firstname.lastname@example.org.