Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House Panel Says West Virginia Chemical Firm Withheld Information About Explosion - NYTimes.com

You have heard the story, right? If you're in Wv, probably so. If you're outside, probably not. Last August there was an explosion at the Bayer plant about 40 miles away from me. No one really knew what was going on. Folks were furious with the County Commissioner for not telling residents what had happened. He blamed the chemical plant. Turns out he was right. And Bayer had a right to be scared. The blast came damn close to blowing up a tank of MIC. What's that? The same shit that leaked in Bhopal in 1984 and killed over 2000 people. Yeah, that.

At least the New York Times has picked up this story. House Panel Says West Virginia Chemical Firm Withheld Information About Explosion - NYTimes.com

Once again, if this happened anyplace else, it would have been major news. But since it happened here, no one's all that concerned.

22 comments:

tanstaafl said...

Yeah, but Carper is now calling for a US attorney investigation. I guess I do not understand what we pay local investigatory agencies for. Seems to me that if I were Carper I'd tell my local Sheriff to get off his duff and find out a few things. He could also ask the state police to do some sniffing (no pun intended.)

I just do not see the need to call for federal action when a local plant is involved. It is the local authorities that hold the aces here. Did Bayer violate WV EPA regulations? Who knows? My bets would be probably so.

There are a number of local avenues of investigation that could be pursued, but Carper needs to get that statewide recognition if he is to climb into the governors chair in a few years, huh?

Neurotic Atty said...

No, no, Laurel, it's OK. Bayer came out in the paper this morning and promised that it wouldn't have been as bad as Bhopal. And if you can't trust Bayer, then who can you trust?

Tanstaafl, the reason they're trying to get the feds involved is that there aren't a lot of "local" avenues that can be pursued. The teeth are in the federal laws and regulations, not the state laws and regulations. What would the sheriff or the state police investigate? They can only get into criminal matters. What crime was committed, unless this was an arson gone bad? Manslaughter or negligent homicide of the two workers? You can't bring criminal charges against a company.

I'm sure Carper IS trying to grease a few rails here, but this really is beyond the local authorities.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Corporation lie. Just like used car dealers, real estate agents and lawyers, if they perceive it will benefit them, lying is a perfectly acceptable option.
Politicians are just as bad.
Now, go from there is any thoughts or dealing you might have with Bayer Chem. or that little twit Kent Carper.
Bayer chemical is a powerful corporate entity in the KV. Kent Carper has a history of being a little slime ball who will drop to his knees at the sight of an approaching corporate entity.
Federal investigations generally go nowhere at a pace that buries them in alluvial politics.

tanstaafl said...

Didn't mean to take so long to get back here, sorry for the delay.

I guess I'd have to say then, Neurotic Atty, that if there are no criminal charges that might be filed, then WTF? And you are quite wrong, criminal charges may well be brought against corporations.

Buzzardbilly said...

I don't even begin to understand why anyone needs to make this chemical anywhere at all! Whole thing pisses me off to no end--words fail me.

But, Laurel, you'll have an award up at my blog this morning as soon as I'm finished writing it.

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