carbamate pesticides; and (3) examine the use and storage of MIC at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, West Virginia. The third part of the task was the most complex, containing the following subparts:
3.1. Identify possible approaches for eliminating or reducing the use of MIC in the Bayer carbamate pesticide manufacturing processes;
3.2. Estimate the projected costs of alternative approaches identified above;
3.3. Evaluate the projected benefits of alternative approaches identified above;
3.4. Compare this analysis to the inherently safer process assessments conducted by Bayer and previous owners of the Institute site; and
3.5. Comment, if possible, on whether and how inherently safer process (ISP) assessments can be utilized during post-incident investigations.
Data gathering and report preparation were performed during a period of legal activity and community concern related to the facility and its production of MIC. When the study began in September 2010, the CSB investigation was not yet complete, and Bayer had begun efforts to reduce onsite inventory of MIC, and a new underground storage facility was being built for MIC in light of that reduction. In August 2010, Bayer announced that, because of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to cancel registration of aldicarb, the company would cease production of aldicarb by late 2014. This decision was followed up in January 2011 by a decision to shut down production of MIC by 2012 and cease production of aldicarb and two other pesticides, methomyl and carbaryl. At the time, Bayer intended to restart production of MIC in February 2011, after the plant modifications were complete, to continue production until the 2012 end date. However, also in February, a group of local residents filed suit against the company citing concerns about the restart process and MIC storage and manufacture onsite. This resulted in a court order to halt the restart process pending an evidentiary hearing, although preparations in anticipation of restart were allowed to continue. The court process continued through the month of February, and on March 18, stating that, “uncertainty over delays has led the company to the conclusion that a restart of production can no longer be expected in time for the 2011 growing season”,1 Bayer announced that it no longer intended to restart production of MIC or aldicarb.
In addressing the statement of task, the committee began by considering how to address Task 3 and determining the data-gathering required. In addressing Task 3, the committee quickly determined that a detailed, full analysis of all alter-
1 Bayer. 2011. Bayer CropScience Announces Decision Not to Resume MIC Production. Bayer Press Release: March 18, 2001 [online]. Available: www.bayercropscience.com/bcsweb/cropprotection.nsf/id/84634C20BB57C2D3C125785700503244.