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Stop the next disaster, before it happens. Tell Congress to pass chemical security legislation.
The Bayer Corporation is trying to conceal details of a deadly chemical plant accident at their factory in Institute, West Virginia. The accident killed two employees and forced a state of emergency where thousands of residents were advised to take shelter in their homes.
Now Congress is considering a law -- once co-sponsored by Barack Obama -- that would require companies like Bayer to use safer procedures and tell the community about the risk their facility poses. But Bayer and their allies are trying to use the threat of terrorism to hide the truth from the public and oppose tighter rules.
Tell Congress not to listen to the chemical industry -- pass tough chemical security legislation.
Believe it or not, the accident could have been a lot worse. Bayer's facility stores tons of a deadly chemical called methyl isocyanate. In 1984 a similar accident killed thousands of people in Bhopal India when 42 tons of this chemical was released. Bayer's facility in West Virginia had more than 200 tons stored in tanks less than 100 feet from where the explosion happened.
But there's no need for these kind of life-threatening accidents. Hundreds of chemical facilities have switched to safer and more secure chemicals or processes that eliminate risk to the community. But Bayer's plant isn't one of them, and now the company wants to hide information about what happened by claiming that if the public knows the truth, they will be more vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
Letting Bayer get away with covering up a near-catastrophic chemical accident isn't just wrong, it's a dangerous precedent. Bayer isn't the only plant in the country storing dangerous chemicals. Refineries, pesticide plants, and even water treatment plants are potential risks in every major city and town. And that's why we need chemical security legislation that puts all high-risk facilities on an even playing field, requires them to use safer procedures, and protects the public's right to know about hazards in their back yard.
Tell Congress to follow President Obama's lead and adopt tough chemical security regulations.