US chemical safety board urged to hold Bayer blast hearing

04 March 2009 23:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A West Virginia activist group urged the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on Wednesday to reinstate a public hearing on the causes of an explosion that killed two workers last year at a Bayer CropScience plant.

The CSB postponed the 19 March hearing last week after Bayer claimed that revealing such information to the public would violate confidentiality regulations related to plant the company's West Carbamoylation Center near Charleston, West Virginia.

An explosion near a large methyl isocyanate tank at the Bayer plant killed two workers  last August.

“The level of secrecy being upheld by Bayer regarding MIC [methyl isocyanate] MIC leads us to believe that the safety of their processes is more in question than the company cares to admit," said People Concerned about MIC spokesperson Maya Nye in a letter to the safety board.

The CSB said that calling off the hearing would give it more time to look into the legitimacy of Bayer’s legal claims.

The activist group compared the the potential damage from methyl isocyanate storage with the 1984 chemical spill that killed thousands in Bhopal, India.

Bayer did not return a call by ICIS news.

The CSB said it has not made a decision regarding the hearing.

For more on Bayer visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Ben DuBose
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