Larsen Keeps Pressure on Federal Agency Tasked with Tesoro Explosion Investigation

Apr 23, 2013

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, is keeping pressure on the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, leading a letter with Washington state’s two senators and five other members of Congress demanding a written work plan detailing the agency’s plan to complete the investigation into the Tesoro refinery explosion in Anacortes three years ago.

Members of the delegation wrote to the board in December 2012 and again earlier this month asking why the investigation on the explosion, which claimed seven lives, has not been completed. Larsen met with several of the victims’ families in Anacortes on April 1, and spoke to the board’s chairman and staff members earlier this month about the incident.

Larsen is joined on this letter by Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Reps. Jim McDermott, WA-07, Adam Smith, WA-09, Suzan DelBene, WA-01, Denny Heck, WA-10, and Derek Kilmer, WA-06. The full text of the letter follows:

April 23, 2013

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

Dear Chairman Moure-Eraso:

We appreciate your agency’s continued work on addressing the tragedy at the Anacortes Tesoro refinery over three years ago. However, our frustration with the pace of the investigation continues.

In conversations with you and with your staff, you have indicated that resources from the finished Chevron investigation will be moved by April 19 to finish the Anacortes investigation within the year. While we hope this is the case, the last three years of delays have not given us confidence that we can expect such a result.

Accordingly, we ask that you provide us with a written work plan for how the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) plans to finish the Anacortes investigation.  We would like to know the number of staff working on this case, the specific tasks they are undertaking, and the timeline for completion of each of these tasks.  This information will be an important indication to the families of those lost in the Anacortes incident and prove to the community that CSB takes the completion of this report seriously.

We thank you for your cooperation with our request. We will continue to monitor the progress of your work and urge its swift completion.


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

Denny Heck
U.S. Representative

Derek Kilmer
U.S. Representative