On Third Anniversary of Tesoro Explosion, Members of Washington Delegation Call for Completion of Federal Investigation

Apr 2, 2013

WASHINGTON—On the third anniversary of the deadly 2010 refinery explosion in Anacortes, six members of Washington’s Congressional Delegation are renewing their call for urgent completion of the federal investigation into the incident.

In the letter led by Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, and Sen. Patty Murray, the Members, including Sen. Maria Cantwell, Rep. Jim McDermott, WA-07, Rep. Adam Smith, WA-09, and Rep. Suzan DelBene, WA-01, told the U.S. Chemical Safety Board that three years is too long to wait for the results of the investigation.

“On this third anniversary of the tragic fire and explosion in Anacortes, we stand with the families, coworkers and the community of the workers that lost their lives in urging you to complete this investigation as soon as possible,” the members wrote.

Larsen spoke with several of the victims’ families in a private meeting in Anacortes yesterday. He reaffirmed his commitment to secure the board’s final report so that actions can be taken to prevent further tragedies.

The full text of the letter follows:

April 2, 2013

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

Dear Chairman Moure-Eraso:

Three years ago today, the city of Anacortes was rocked by a fire and explosion at the Tesoro refinery that took the lives of seven workers. Since the 2010 incident, the families and community have struggled to recover from the great losses suffered that day.

We remain concerned that the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has not completed its investigation into the Tesoro incident. In a January letter you wrote to us that the Chemical Safety Board’s report has been delayed because the team tasked with investigating the Tesoro incident has been called away to other incidents multiple times. You noted that the Chemical Safety Board has not devoted “a full time investigative team to the Tesoro case since the initial deployment in April 2010.”

We appreciate your personal commitment that the final report will be issued this year and urge you to direct your team to give the Tesoro investigation the immediate attention it deserves.

In the three years since this horrific incident, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and the Tesoro Company have issued their reports on the incident, and legal settlements have been reached between Tesoro and the families of the seven workers who were killed. The families and coworkers of those who died deserve to know that the federal government is doing everything it can to prevent future tragedies from occurring.

On this third anniversary of the tragic fire and explosion in Anacortes, we stand with the families, coworkers and the community of the workers that lost their lives in urging you to complete this investigation as soon as possible. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
U.S. Senator

Maria Cantwell
U.S. Senator

Rick Larsen
U.S. Representative

Jim McDermott
U.S. Representative

Adam Smith
U.S. Representative

Suzan DelBene
U.S. Representative