PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced Bayer CropScience LP will pay $5.6 million for penalty and safety improvements after allegations it violated federal chemical accident prevention laws. The alleged violations occurred in 2008 at Bayer’s facility in Institute, West Virginia, where an explosion killed two people.
Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia stated the evidence pointed to critical safety deficiencies at the plant.
“We are very pleased with the court’s decision,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This settlement supports the need for stronger worker safety and environmental protection measures involving the handling and storage of hazardous chemicals at Bayer’s facility in Institute and their other plants around the country. It will also fund 15 protective community-based projects including hazardous chemical cleanouts at 17 area high schools and provide response equipment for responders in eight communities and two police departments.”
Bayer CropScience will spend $4.23 million to improve emergency preparedness and response, as well as $452,000 on safety measures at its chemical storage facilities across the country. Additionally, it will pay $975,000 in penalties.