Maya Nye, spokeswoman for a new Kanawha Valley group called People Concerned About Chemical Safety, said she was concerned after learning what the CSB found when it modeled the phosgene leak.
"This just goes to show that we can't always believe what [the chemical companies] say," Nye said.
"The CSB report underscores the need for additional oversight," Nye said. "This is the kind of thing that a local oversight body could and should look into and handle."
DuPont plant manager Jim O'Connor said the company doesn't believe the CSB modeling is accurate.
"We have to take exception to what the CSB presented," O'Connor said. "We don't have any evidence that indicates that there were harmful levels that left the site."
As pointed out in the CSB report, the modeling used weather data from Yeager Airport, not from the plant site itself. The CSB noted that the model doesn't account for topography or terrain, and that after the incident there were no reports of any plant neighbors experiencing symptoms of phosgene exposure.
DuPont did not conduct any of its own modeling to project phosgene levels that might have left the plant, O'Connor said.
O' Connor said the CSB's report did include accurate figures for the phosgene concentrations shown on company fence-line monitors on the plant's border with the Kanawha River.
Those figures showed phosgene levels of up to 0.27 parts per million, greater than the amount considered safe for an exposure of an hour or more, the CSB report said.
O'Connor said DuPont's goal is to prevent the release of any amount of phosgene.
"We would never consider the release of phosgene to be acceptable," he said.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.