SMYRNA, Ga. (CBS46) -- “It’s something that will hold Sterigenics to a level of accountability that could possibly prevent them from re-opening,” said president of the community group Stop Sterigenics Georgia, Janet Rau.
The community now feeling a small win has been had because of Sterigenics' new building classification.
“The county decided to basically tell them that they’re going to stay shutdown until we determine their new classification," said Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott. "We want to make sure all the county codes and fire marshals are met.”
The Sterigenics plant was previously classified as industrial ‘storage’ facility. It’s now been classified as ‘industrial high hazard,’ due to the high amounts of the deadly ethylene oxide used to sterilize medical equipment.
“Our fire marshal is extremely meticulous and they are basically going to make sure that everything that needs to be done is done,” said Ott.
Something Stop Sterigenics Georgia thinks will be very difficult for the company.
“The high hazard category, how that building is constructed, and the proximity it has to other properties is really a challenge to overcome when you look at the high hazard zoning requirements,” said Rau.
While cautiously optimistic, it is putting more than a wry smile on the faces of those in the community.
“Knowing that the county is working with those codes specifically and that they’ve brought in outside expertise to help them, gives me a high level of confidence that they are going to prevent them from re-opening,” said Rau.