Larsen to Chemical Safety Board: "The Anacortes Community Deserves Better"

Jan 24, 2014

WASHINGTON—“Exasperated” by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s actions, Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today called on the federal safety agency to quickly issue its report on the April 2010 explosion at the Tesoro refinery.

“The Anacortes community deserves better after four years of waiting and countless delays from CSB,” Larsen wrote in a letter to board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso.

The Chemical Safety Board’s investigation into the refinery explosion that claimed seven lives has been delayed several times. While the board had scheduled a public meeting in Anacortes this month to discuss the report, they have now cancelled the meeting and instead plan to hold a listening session in the community. The board has not released the draft report and does not plan to before the listening session.

The full text of Larsen’s letter to Moure-Eraso follows:

January 24, 2014

The Honorable Rafael Moure-Eraso
Chairman
U.S. Chemical Safety Board
2175 K St., NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Chairman Moure-Eraso:

I am exasperated to hear about the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB) sudden change to the previously scheduled January 30 meeting in Anacortes to investigate the April 2010 explosion at the Tesoro refinery. 

Yesterday, the CSB put notice in the Federal Register canceling the public board meeting to consider the report on the accident, and in its place scheduled a “listening session.”  My understanding is that CSB will provide no advance copies of the draft report on the accident to the public until the meeting occurs. Additionally, the notice indicates that CSB will limit public input at the session.

The Anacortes community deserves better after four years of waiting and countless delays from CSB.

My constituents will not be afforded an appropriate opportunity to weigh in with the CSB Board in person unless they are given enough time to evaluate the investigations complex and numerous findings. You assured me that my constituents would be given that basic opportunity when we spoke in April 2013 about the progress of the report. I am concerned that you are not meeting that commitment.

I urge you to do at least the bare minimum to meet your agency’s mandate: issue the draft report quickly and schedule a public meeting in Anacortes after enough time has passed for the public to consider the report’s recommendations.

Sincerely,

Rick Larsen
Member of Congress
Washington State, 2nd District