West Virginia: Safety Ignored, Disaster Answers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The accidents kept coming and so did the calls for a plan to improve West Virginia’s chemical safety regulations.

Last week’s massive chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River was the region’s third major chemical accident in five years. It comes after two investigations by the federal Chemical Safety Board in the Kanawha Valley, also known dryly as “Chemical Valley.”

And it comes on the heels of repeated recommendations from federal regulators and a local environmental advocacy group that the state adopt rules embraced in other communities to safeguard chemicals.

All of those recommendations died a quiet death with barely any consideration by state and local lawmakers, federal regulators and local environmental groups said.


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