Eastman Chemical Not Bound By Responsible Care In Spill

Oct. 25, 2016
Judge rules voluntary safety initiative does not set up formal standards.

A federal judge rules that Eastman Chemical is not bound by the Responsible Care program, a decision that may resonate in an upcoming class action lawsuit over a January 2014 oil spill on the Elk River, according to an article from the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The voluntary safety initiative reportedly does not set up formal standards nor does it independently create a duty that Eastman owes to residents and businesses suing the company.

According to the article, Eastman is being sued for its part in selling Crude MCHM to Freedom Industries. Crude MCHM is the primary chemical involved in the spill that contaminated the area’s drinking water. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr. is quoted as ruling that there is no “foundation to conclude that the broad principles of Responsible Care translated into specific practices or actions of companies that are well known and commonly accepted within the industry.” The same judge ruled earlier that Eastman did not violate the Toxic Substances Control Act in its handling of MCHM issues. Jury selection in the case against Eastman and West Virginia American Water Co. is set to begin on October 25.

Read the entire article here.

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