Environmental group calls for more regs after chemical spill


The West Virginia chemical spill is the latest example of the "shortcomings" of environmental protections around the country, an environmental group said Tuesday, as it called for more stringent chemical safety laws.

The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards also pointed to the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and last year's Texas fertilizer plant explosion as reasons for tighter environmental regulations.

"We’ve seen that the public pays the price when regulatory agencies don’t have the legal tools and funding to do their jobs," the Coalition said in a statement.

"It’s time to reform our chemical safety laws — both at the state and federal levels — to prevent the next dangerous accident or spill," the statement continued.

Environmental groups have used the recent spill to push back against Republicans in the so-called war on coal, with the Coalition arguing the country needs stronger safeguards "so we can drink safe water, breathe safe air, eat safe food and drive safe cars."

"If this facility had been required to meet some basic standards and had been inspected regularly, some critics surely would have called it red tape," the Coalition said. "But such protections are crucial."