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EPA reaches agreement with Cosmed

Release Date: 8/18/2005
Contact Information:
CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA155

CHICAGO (Aug. 18, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with Cosmed Group Inc. on alleged clean-air violations at eight current and former Cosmed plants, including Cosmed's medical equipment sterilization plant, 1160 Northpoint Blvd., Waukegan, Ill. Cosmed agreed to pay $500,000 in penalties and spend an additional $1 million on four clean-air projects, one of them in Lake County, Ill.

The settlement resolves EPA claims that Cosmed violated emission standards for ethylene oxide, a probable cancer-causing agent in humans that also contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, or "smog."

"Cosmed not only will have to meet ethylene oxide emission standards, it also will pay for equipment to reduce harmful diesel emissions from municipal equipment in a number of Lake County communities," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Thomas V. Skinner.

The Lake County project will identify and retrofit diesel equipment owned and operated by specific municipalities. They are cities or towns identified by EPA as areas where minority or economically sensitive groups of residents might be unfairly affected by environmental hazards. The municipalities will use a combination of diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate matter filters as well as ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

EPA estimates that approximately 3.66 tons of particulate matter, 66.23 tons of carbon monoxide and 13.2 tons of hydrocarbon emissions will be eliminated during the first three years of the project.

In addition to the Lake County project, Cosmed is pursuing clean-air projects that will significantly reduce air pollution and deliver important public health benefits to large populations in areas near current or former Cosmed plants in Camden, N.J., San Diego, Calif., and Dallas, Texas.

Cosmed, headquartered in Jamestown, R.I., is a national contract sterilization company.

The proposed agreement, lodged today at the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. For more information, go to, and click on "Clean Air Act."

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