"I believe it's an important thing to do," said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper. "We ought to do everything we can to try to implement it."
But Carper said it's not that easy, and that the proposal could face significant political hurdles.
"It's going to take the support of the Legislature and it's going to take the support of the industry," he said. "The problem will be gaining unified support between industry, the public and government."
Steve Hedrick, Bayer's plant manager, said his company is reviewing the board's report and is "committed to cooperating with the board on the next steps," but did not specifically endorse the new accident prevention program.
Joe Davenport, health and safety director for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents Bayer's hourly employees, urged all sides to come together to deal with safety operations and with keeping the plant economically viable.
"The workers at the plant want to work safely, and we certainly don't want to hurt the people who live in the community," Davenport said.
Maya Nye, spokeswoman for the group People Concerned About MIC, said she hopes that the recommendation could lead to easier access for citizens to vital information about chemical facilities near their homes.
"This information should not be kept under lock and key away from the people whose backyards these dangerous chemicals are kept in," Nye said. "People have a right to now what dangers exist in their community."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.