The Georgia environmental chief’s effort to shut down a Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) medtech sterilization plant could cause widespread shortages of commonly used devices for which BD has a large market share, the company said today in a court filing.
On Tuesday, Georgia state Environmental Protection Division director Richard Dunn filed a motion with Newton County Superior Court for a temporary restraining order to halt operations at BD’s Covington, Ga. plant, which uses ethylene oxide (EO), a known carcinogen, to sterilize millions of medical devices per month. The EPD claims that BD violated its state air quality permit during an eight-day valve leak in September that released 54.5 lbs. of EO into the air and that the BD plant violated another permit by “willfully or negligently allowing” EO emissions of 555.7 lbs. per year.