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EXPOSÉ: America's Investigative Reports
EXPOSÉ 2008 Season
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Introduction Carl Prine Interview Watch the Episode Casing Chemical Joints CIR Blogger Notes Web Resources
Casing Chemical Joints

We're at a joint called Neville Chemical and it's appropriately named because the factory squats on Neville Island, a large channel a few miles as the wind blows from downtown Pittsburgh.
The handsome, famous guy on the left is Steve Kroft, a longtime CBS 60 Minutes investigator. I'm the wet guy wearing a Trib jacket and a Kuwaiti press pass (written in Arabic) I had from covering the invasion of Iraq in 2003. We're at a joint called Neville Chemical and it's appropriately named because the factory squats on Neville Island, a large channel a few miles as the wind blows from downtown Pittsburgh. They used a particularly nasty chemical, boron trifluoride, in large amounts, along with smaller quantities of anhydrous ammonia and other toxics. Oh, yeah -- we're standing right next to the poisons, and I'm giving Kroft a tour of the factory. We spent about 15 minutes or so there, then went to confront the director of security about the rather apparent lack of security at his plant. He called the police, an officer issued us tickets, I went to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court and was found not guilty by the judge. So I beat the rap! I'm happy to report that because of our investigation, not only did the company make its facility far more secure from intruders, but also federal, state and local agencies really came together to secure large parts of the island from attack, and today the plant has far better security than nearly anyplace in the United States. They still don't really like me, but I can live with that. Everyone's safer because of the stroll Kroft and I took on that rainy autumn day in Pittsburgh. By the way, it was my second time inside that day. I spent more than 30 minutes inside the place earlier in the morning, walking around, nodding at workers, and generally showing what anyone could do at some of our largest facilities in 2003. My press pass, however, wasn't a bomb. I wasn't a terrorist. And neither Kroft nor I posed any harm to the good citizens of Pittsburgh. Kroft's a nice guy, too.

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