With President Trump proposing to defund and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, I thought I’d take a look at a bigger question: Why do we even need environmental regulations?
So I took a trip to the site of the worst environmental disaster in the history of the Chesapeake Bay: Hopewell, Virginia.
There, outside what is now a weedy lot beside a NAPA Auto repair shop at 501 East Randolph Street, back in 1974 and 1975 stood a small three-story building where a company called Life Sciences Products manufactured an insecticide, kepone.
The owners of Life Sciences had a financial incentive to rapidly manufacture 1.7 million pounds of this roach and ant-killing poison for a larger company, Allied Chemical. Workers earning about $3.75 did not wear masks or gloves, and were told not to worry about the odorless white powder that coated their faces, clothes, and sandwiches at lunch.