Home » Bayer CropScience to enhance safeguards at chem facilities in 4 states
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have announced a $5.6 million settlement with Bayer CropScience LP to resolve violations of federal chemical accident prevention laws at its facility in Institute, West Virginia, where an explosion killed two people in 2008. Under the settlement, Bayer CropScience committed to spending $4.23 million to improve emergency preparedness and response in Institute and protect the Kanawha River, pay a $975,000 penalty, and spend approximately $452,000 to implement a series of measures to improve safety at chemical storage facilities across the United States.
“The tragic accident at the Bayer CropScience facility in West Virginia underscores the need for hazardous chemicals to be stored and handled in accordance with the law to protect worker health and the environment,” said Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement will establish important safeguards at its facilities across the country and improve emergency response capabilities in the Institute, West Virginia community.”
“Failures by a chemical manufacturer to comply with safety, accident prevention, and response requirements can have catastrophic consequences,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to worker safety. Under this judicially enforceable settlement, Bayer Crop Science will not only pay a penalty but commits to significant improvements in preparedness and response capabilities at its facilities across the country.”
Under the settlement, Bayer CropScience will implement a series of steps to prevent future chemical releases at its facilities in West Virginia, Texas, Missouri and Michigan by improving inspections to identify potential safety issues and standardize facility safety operating procedures. At the facility in Institute, the company will conduct emergency response exercises with local responders and ensure proper certification of facility environmental management systems. Bayer must complete the majority of these actions within three years.
Among the articles in the March 2021 issue of ISHN magazine, we discuss fall prevention in regards to the musculoskeletal system, look into building a culture of safety, learn about NFPA 652 compliance and consider advancements in materials manufacturing.