‘Chemical Valley’ film explores a history of social and environmental abuse in West Virginia

The Kentucky-based grassroots organization Appalshop has released a film exploring the long history of abuse preceding the most recent industrial pollution disaster in West Virginia.

About Chemical Valley:

“On Dec. 3, 1984, the worst industrial accident in history occurred when a toxic gas known as MIC leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. At least 3500 people were killed, and over 50,000 were permanently disabled. The tragedy in Bhopal brought international attention to the predominantly African American community of Institute, West Virginia, site of the only Union Carbide plant in the United States that manufactured MIC.

Chemical Valley begins with Bhopal and the immediate response in the Kanawha Valley, an area once dubbed by residents “the chemical capital of the world” because of the many plants operated by such industrial giants as Monsanto, DuPont, FMC, and Union Carbide. The program then follows events in the valley over the next five years as lines are drawn and all sides heard in the debate between those who fear for their livelihood and those who fear for their lives. Chemical Valley explores issues of job blackmail, racism, and citizens’ right to know and to act as it documents one community’s struggle to make accountable an industry that has all too often forced communities to choose between safety and jobs.” –Appalshop


January 22, 2014 | Namati