Stericycle has begun the first of a series of regulatory actions the company must take before possibly relocating its North Salt Lake incinerator to Rowley.
House majority whip Gregory Hughes (R-Salt Lake) has proposed a joint resolution that would approve the medical waste handler’s relocation, according to documents from the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel.
The two-page resolution would grant Stericycle permission to construct a new nonhazardous solid waste disposal facility in Tooele County on the condition that the company obtain permission from and abide by rules and regulations of the state Department of Environmental Quality and other government bodies.
The proposed resolution identifies the 40-acre parcel of state trust lands near Rowley that Stericycle intends to purchase as an acceptable location for the future plant.
Selin Hoboy, Stericycle’s vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, said she believes the resolution will be a win-win for Stericycle customers, Utah residents and the environment.
“HJB006 provides an excellent workable solution that allows us to continue serving the vast and expanding medical community in Utah while moving to a Utah location that is more conducive to industrial operation,” Hoboy said in an email.
“Our proposed location is miles from the closest residential areas and a new incinerator in that location would meet even more stringent environmental standards,” she added. “If approved by both houses of the state legislature, we expect that this joint resolution will provide the legislative approval we need to continue on what will be a long and complex path to ultimately relocate the facility.”
Hoboy expects a committee hearing on the resolution will take place sometime this week.
If the resolution passes, Stericycle must still obtain a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality and convince the governor to sign off on the relocation, in addition to obtaining a conditional use permit from Tooele County.
Hoboy has estimated that the entire process will take at least six months before the company can begin to relocate its North Salt Lake incinerator.
Stericycle hopes to move the incinerator from its current location, which is located within a residential neighborhood, in light of recent pressure from locals and activist groups.
Company representatives said that a series of mechanical and electrical failures caused the incinerator to release more emissions than Stericycle is allotted under its current permit.
Though the company said this was the first error in 25 years of operations and has promised additional failsafes at this and future plants, representatives said the timing of the permit violation has caused the company to consider relocating to a more remote, industrialized area.
The resolution, House Joint Resolution 6, was not the only piece of recently introduce legislation with the potential to impact Stericycle’s operations. A separate bill, SB 64, would have banned incineration within five miles of all schools and residences. The bill was heard in committee last Friday; however, the bill was not voted forward.