Greenberg: Have Feds Launched Criminal Probe of Stericycle?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sometimes the best clues to what is really going on in a company can be found in local news media in a company's hometown. Or in towns they operate in.

The latter is the case with Stericycle (SRCL), the medical waste disposal company.

Of particular note: Controversy surrounding its waste disposal incinerator in the community of North Salt Lake, Utah, which is the only medical waste incinerator between the Pacific Ocean and Utah and one of a dozen or so in the country.

Based on many local media stories, including this one in the Deseret News, Stericycle's Utah incinerator seems to have a problem: According to Utah press, it repeatedly belches toxic fumes, which has not gone over well with the housing subdivision that borders the plant.

Nearby residents have held protests, with activist Erin Brockovich leading some. And the facility, whose permit to operate expires in next month, has been in the crosshairs of state and federal pollution regulators tied to allegations that its pollution tests were doctored.

Stericycle first acknowledged an issue at its Utah facility in its second-quarter 10-Q, where it disclosed that on May 28 it received "a notice of violation and order to comply" from Utah's Division of Air Quality. According to the company, the violation noticed alleged "violations of certain conditions of the operating permit" for the incinerator.

At the time, Stericycle said it planned to "cooperate fully" with federal and state regulatory agencies, and we will continue to do so through the resolution of this matter."

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