Friday, April 5, 2024

CSB Announces Two New (sort of) Investigations

Yesterday, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced the start of two new investigations, Both for incidents that occurred in 2023. The first was a January 23rd, 2023 hydrogen fluoride release at the Honeywell facility in Geismar, LA. The second was an explosion and fire at the Dow facility in Plaquemine, LA on July 14th, 2023.

Yesterday’s press release quoted CSB Chair Owens as explaining:

““Because we recently completely eliminated the CSB’s long-standing backlog of investigation reports, we now have the ability to address other serious chemical incidents reported to the agency under the Accidental Release Reporting Rule. Fortunately no one was seriously injured or killed in either of these two events, but both involved the release of highly toxic chemicals -- hydrogen fluoride and chlorine at the Honeywell facility and ethylene oxide at the Dow facility -- that could have put workers and nearby residents at serious risk under different circumstances. We want to make sure that similar incidents do not happen again at these facilities.”

Unfortunately, most of the physical evidence from both of these incidents has been long since compromised by the clean up and restart process at both facilities and personal memories of the incident will be compromised by the passage of time. This will limit the ability of the investigators to get to the root cause of the incident.

The Board now has four open investigations. 

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