“Contrary to what Americans hear after such chemical spills, there are plenty of chemical laws and regulations on the books, but West Virginia state and local communities have not implemented them well,” said Logomasini. “Unfortunately, adding a new layer of regulation on top of what we have, isn’t likely to fix the problem. Rather, we need to investigate where officials failed to employ emergency planning measures so that they can minimize the probability of future accidents.”
Myth: The spill offers evidence that we don’t have enough regulation of the chemical industry. Fact: Myriad regulations exist, but state and local officials failed to implement them correctly.
Myth: There is no toxicological data on Crude MCHM (chemical mixture involved in spill). Fact: Both the federal government and the manufacturer have conducted numerous tests that indicate low toxicity.
“In order to minimize the probability of accidents and keep people safe, government officials must keep this issue in perspective, learn from it, and avoid advancing opportunistic legislation,” said Logomasini. “Chemical technologies have important benefits that we should not overlook when accidents happen. Instead, we should focus on better managing the risks so we can continue to enjoy the benefits. Crude MCHM, for example, is used to make coal burn cleaner and be more energy efficient.”