"Weak Federal Rules Cover Chemical Spills, Explosions"

"This month's chemical spill in West Virginia reveals a weak web of rules on chemical use."

"Tammy Miser and Katherine Rodriguez share a heartbreaking bond. They've each lost a loved one -- a brother, a father -- to chemical accidents a decade ago that burned at least 80% of the men's bodies.

The U.S. government, after investigating the tragedies in Indiana and Texas, recommended changes in federal rules so more such industrial explosions wouldn't happen.

But more have happened, and the two women are still waiting for Washington to deliver.

"I'm extremely frustrated. Almost all the families (of victims) are," says Miser, whose brother Shawn Boone was killed at age 33 in an aluminum dust explosion at the former Hayes Lemmerz factory in Huntington, Ind., in October 2003.

Their stories reveal glaring gaps in the nation's web of laws that govern the use of hazardous chemicals -- a cautionary tale as West Virginia tries to clean up a massive chemical spill begun earlier this month."

Wendy Koch reports for USA TODAY January 27, 2014.

Source: USA TODAY, 01/28/2014