The state's lead investigator in the Chevron refinery fire investigation has posted social-media comments accusing his federal counterparts of bias, media "grandstanding" and "scaring the public with half truths and misleading information."
Clyde Trombettas, who is district director for the state's refinery safety program in Northern California and the lead state investigator in the Aug. 6 fire, is openly critical of federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which has intervened in the case.
The unusually blunt comments appear on a public page open to anyone cruising Facebook and suggest an undercurrent of friction over the focus and transparency of the investigation between safety board and the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA. The two have been disputing which agency will serve as the lead n the probe, but on Friday came to an agreement for "sustained cooperation."
The state agency has historically been very guarded in what it discloses about its investigation until releasing its findings, sometimes long after the event.