Threat of Bhopal-like Disaster grips W. Va Community
Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette reported this week that Bayer CropScience has put the community around their Institute, WV plant at a high risk for a Bhopal-like disaster. According to the article, Bayer has “not properly maintained or tested the underground storage tank where it keeps roughly 200,000 pounds of methyl isocyanate, the deadly chemical that killed thousands of people in Bhopal, India, in 1984.”
Bayer’s move to reduce onsite storage of MIC from 200,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds will do little to protect the community in the event of a disaster. “It is not good enough,” said Rachna Dhingra, a spokesperson for the campaign. “If Bayer is saying that the community can rest easy now that only 40,000 pounds is stored onsite, they are being dangerously misleading. It was a leak of a little over 50,000 pounds in Bhopal that killed thousands and maimed hundreds of thousands.” A safe community is possible only when the production, transportation and storage of hazardous chemicals, particularly ground-hugging gases like MIC and Hydrogen fluoride, are brought down to zero. 40,000 pounds may present an acceptable risk to Bayer, but the victims of a potential disaster involving MIC may feel differently.
Learn more at our ally’s website – People Concerned about MIC