Long time readers of this blog will understand that I have long been a fan of the investigations conducted by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). They have provided a valuable service to the chemical process industry and their neighbors by diligently digging in, finding and publicizing the root cause of serious chemical incidents.
The CSB has been a noted innovator in the use of the internet for communicating their findings on these investigations, particularly their use of YouTube videos of recreations of the cause of the accidents they investigate. With the West Fertilizer investigation still in its early stages the CSB has shown us another innovative use of the internet; the use of Facebook.
The use of Facebook by government agencies is certainly not new, but the breadth of the information that the CSB has on their WestExplosion site certainly goes far beyond the standard government Facebook fare. Links to all of the major (and many of the minor) news stories, and their related on-line discussions, about the West Fertilizer explosion make this a one-stop shop for information about this tragedy.
What really impresses me about this page is the lack of agency grandstanding about the investigation. There are bits and pieces about the CSB investigation, but very little of the photo-op spin journalism that we see on too many government web sites.