"The biggest thing we don't want is stuff that gets out farther than it ought to go," Emch said.
Stanley said that the case would be heard in open court, but that the parties should not try to take their arguments to the media.
"The one thing I am confident that Judge Goodwin does not want is the lawyers trying this case in the press," Stanley said. "This is no time for the media machine to be standing on the courthouse steps giving press conferences."
But, Stanley added, "If you are going to use a public institution to settle a dispute, then the public ought to know what you're doing."
Stanley declined to sign the broader confidentiality order, but said she would approve an order to allow Bayer protections if its lawyers inadvertently give DePaulo records that are covered by the attorney-client privilege.
The residents filed suit on Feb. 8, seeking to stop Bayer from restarting the MIC unit until it complies with detailed recommendations from the chemical board and until federal inspectors examine the unit and declare it safe.
The case over restarting the MIC unit, which has been down for a reconfiguration project since August 2010, is the latest chapter in a 25-year effort by some Kanawha Valley residents to rid the community of the Institute plant's huge stockpile of MIC. Community activists have focused their concerns on MIC since December 1984, when a leak of the chemical killed thousands of people near a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.
Bayer was preparing to start making MIC again later this week, following a project to remake the unit and reduce its stockpile of the chemical by 80 percent.
That project was nearly completed when Bayer announced last month that it was going to stop making, using and storing any MIC at the plant by mid-2012 as part of a corporate restructuring and an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cease sales of the pesticide Temik.
At Institute, Bayer uses MIC to make aldicarb, the active ingredient in Temik. Aldicarb from Institute is shipped to another Bayer plant in Georgia, where it is used to formulate Temik. Bayer wants to restart the MIC unit so it can continue making aldicarb and Temik for another 18 months until the EPA deal takes effect.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.