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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'methyl isocyanate (MIC)' Category


19
Jun

Farmworker Groups Ask EPA Administrator to Uphold Environmental Justice for Farmworker Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, June 19, 2009) Farmworker unions, support groups, and worker advocacy organizations today asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to stop the pesticide poisoning of farmworker communities and uphold the Obama administration’s commitment to environmental justice. Citing a long EPA history of “inhumane neglect of toxic pesticide effects on farmworker community health,” the groups asked the Administrator to amend a recent May 2009 decision that allows the continued use of hazardous soil fumigant pesticides. The chemicals when used in chemically treated crop production, such as tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and nuts, escape into the environment and drift into communities where the families and children of farmworkers live and play. The letter, signed by 28 groups from across the country, says that the new fumigants policy “continues an outdated EPA approach to pesticide regulation that adopts unrealistic and unenforceable standards as risk mitigation measures, in an age of safer, greener approaches to agricultural pest management.” EPA announced its decision May 27, 2009 to allow continued use of toxic soil fumigants with modified safety measures, falling far short of safety advocate efforts to adopt more stringent use restrictions and chemical bans. The rule was first proposed in July 2008, […]

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02
Apr

Bayer Suppresses Details and Hazards of Plant Explosion

(Beyond Pesticides, April 2, 2009) Last summer, when a pesticide tank exploded at a Bayer chemical plant in West Virginia, comparisons between the site’s potential risk and the 1984 Bhopal disaster, in which an explosion and leak at the Bayer site’s sister plant killed thousands, were drawn. The investigation into the West Virginia incident is ongoing, but recent reports show that Bayer is using every means to prevent full disclosure of the potential for a similar disaster to occur in the United States. Like Union Carbide’s Bhopal plant, Bayer stores stockpiles of the highly toxic chemical methyl isocyanate (MIC) in Institute, West Virginia. The U.S. plant has the capacity to store more than twice the amount of MIC that was leaked in Bhopal. The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, a nonregulatory agency, is conducting an investigation into the cause of last year’s explosion, emergency response coordination, and future prevention measures. However, Bayer has invoked the 2002 federal Maritime Transportation Security Act because its campus is attached to a dock on the Kanawha River, claiming the Act exempts it from sharing “sensitive security information” due to potential terrorism. The board has already canceled one public meeting on the investigation, the […]

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