New Wacker webpage discusses safety, neighbors want more
Wacker Chemie has a new message in the form of a web page for people who live near the Bradley County plant.
Wacker Chemie has a new message in the form of a webpage for people who live near the Bradley County plant.
The page aims to inform the surrounding community about the chemicals used at the plant and what to do in case of an emergency. It’s a new tool made available through Wacker’s website, that Channel 3 learned people living near the plant didn’t know was available.
“First time I’ve seen it,” Bradley County resident Mike Birdwell said when we showed him the webpage.
It’s been four months since an explosion at Wacker forced residents to shelter in place. Since then, the plant has been closed, and county officials have encouraged residents to sign up for a text alert system.
Residents said they want more done to ensure their safety in the event of another explosion.
“It states that safety of our community and those on-site are first and foremost our top priority and focus,” Bradley County resident Nikki Johnson-Corley read from the webpage. “If we were first and foremost their priority, why have they not implemented an evacuation plan?”
Neighbors said no one from Wacker has reached out since the September explosion.
Channel 3 requested an interview with Wacker officials about the new webpage and how they plan to get the information to residents nearby.
They responded with the following statement:
“Safety is our number one value and priority. We are continuously working to ensure the safety of our site, our team members, our community and our environment. To further support our community and promote a sustainable safety culture, we have included a WACKER-Charleston safety page on our website. This page contains information about the chemicals we use on site, safety information, including Sheltering in place and safety video. It is our hope this safety page provides helpful and useful information to our community members about WACKER’s commitment to safety.”
Neighbors said the webpage isn’t enough.
“My only irritation is the safety concern really, and that there seems to be total lack of it,” Birdwell urged. “We’re all in the dark as to what’s going on.”
“We live here every day and we still don’t have and word from Wacker on what their plan is to protect us,” Johnson-Corley urged. “And for them to put something online, is that the best they can do?”
Neighbors said they need open communication with the company in order to feel safe moving forward.
“We don’t buy it Wacker," Johnson-Corley said. "We don’t trust you, we don’t even like you at this point. We demand better and we think we deserve it.”
Neighbors also said they want an evacuation plan, which isn’t listed on the webpage.