"W.Va. Plant To Cut Storage of Deadly Chemical"

"INSTITUTE, W.Va. — Bayer CropScience said Wednesday that a West Virginia plant will reduce its storage of a toxic chemical that was in danger of being released in a deadly explosion nearly a year ago.

The company will cut storage of methyl isocyanate, or MIC, by 80 percent and build an underground storage tank to hold it within the next year, said Bill Buckner, Bayer CropScience's president and chief executive. The changes are part of a $25 million safety upgrade at its Institute plant, which is the only U.S. site that produces and stores large amounts of MIC.

An above-ground storage tank with the capacity to hold 40,000 pounds of the chemical was near the site of a blast that killed two plant employees last year. The blast didn't cause the release of any MIC, but it raised concerns about what could happen if a future mishap were to damage the storage tank."

The Associated Press had the story August 26, 2009.

Thursday, August 27, 2009