Saturday, April 1, 2023

Chemical Incident Reporting – Week of 3-25-23

Long-time readers of this blog will understand that I have been talking about chemical incidents almost from the inception of this blog. Most often I have taken the news reports of a recent incident as a starting point for a discussion about some chemical safety issue. Recently, however, I have been more frequently looking at reports of chemical incidents in relationship to whether or not they could/should be CSB chemical release reporting incidents. This has expanded the number of incidents that I write about. To save some time and space (and avoid looking preachy), I am going to start to consolidate those CSB reporting posts into weekly posts.


When the Chemical Safety Board was authorized, Congress envisioned that they would issue early regulations requiring reporting of serious chemical incidents. While bureaucratic inertia may have played a role, the CSB avoided issuing those regulations, ostensibly to avoid the stigma of being a regulatory agency instead of a cooperative fact-finding organization. Under court order to comply with the congressional regulation mandate, the CSB finally completed their reporting rule in February 2020.

The CSB has been diligent in sharing bare bones information about the incidents that have been reported to the Board since the reporting rule’s inception. As of January 23rd, 2023 (they report roughly quarterly), 231 serious chemical incidents have been reported to the Board. Almost all of those incidents have been reported by organizations in the chemical manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, chemical incidents occur at a much wider variety of facilities than just chemical manufacturers, and many of those incidents also fall under the CSB reporting requirements. And the CSB’s universe of incidents of concern should (and legally does) also include those incidents. But, most of those incidents go unreported to CSB because the facility owners are unaware of their reporting responsibilities.

Thus, my gadfly responsibility kicks in.

One final background note, some older incidents are included because I did not become aware of them until this week. I will be using that criteria in future posts as well. The whole point of this blog is tracking chemical release incidents, not news reporting. On that note, if any readers see a local news report about a chemical release incident please let me know at

Pasadena, TX 3-22-23

News reports: Here, here, and here.

Explosion and fire during transfer of liquified natural gas (LNG) from tanker to storage tank. One person was hospitalized.

CSB reportable.

Philadelphia, PA, 3-24-23

News report here.

Pipe rupture leading to release of 81,000 gallons of latex solution into Delaware River tributary. Concerns of possible contamination of drinking water downstream.

CSB reportable, only if you count downstream response costs in the economic damage of the incident.

Belle Glade, FL, 3-29-23

News report here.

Unquantified chlorine dioxide release at produce processing facility. Nine people were hospitalized.

CSB reportable.

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