Mullens emphasized that Dow is not closing the entire South Charleston plant, just a unit in the plant.
"We got a commitment that Dow is committed to this area and this is in no way a trend that's going to continue," Mullens said. "[They're] committed to be here in the long term. [That] is a good thing."
The gum base unit is one of nine on Dow's West Virginia Operations site, Bentley said.
"Operations at the other plants at the site will continue as normal," she said. "West Virginia Operations will work with the regulating agencies to cease operations and shut down the operating unit in a manner consistent with applicable environmental, health and safety laws."
Mullens said he thinks Dow employs between 400 and 500 workers in South Charleston.
"I hate to lose any jobs but it seems that this is going to be a small issue for here," Mullens said.
Late Tuesday, the company issued its third-quarter earnings report that had been expected to come out Thursday morning.
It reported a nearly 40 percent drop in net income to $497 million, or 42 cents a share, from $815 million, or 69 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
It said revenue dropped 10 percent, to $13.64 billion, led by a 10 percent decline in Europe.
Analysts had been expecting the company to earn 37 cents a share on $14.18 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
The company's business has been hurt by Europe's debt crisis and slower growth in China. Manufacturers, construction businesses and some transportation customers have reduced demand for Dow products. The company's coatings and materials for electronic devices also have been weak.
"The reality is we are operating in a slow-growth environment in the near-term and, while these actions are difficult, they demonstrate our resolve to tightly manage operations particularly in Europe and mitigate the impact of current market dynamics," Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.