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Tue Jun 24, 2014, 10:13 PM

Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety Were Suppressed

Source: KUOW Radio,based in Seattle,serving Puget Sound

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

It then took the Chemical Safety Board another three and a half years to issue recommendations for making the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes safer.

Those are some of the scathing conclusions of a Congressional inquiry into mismanagement at the Chemical Safety Board.

The independent board investigates explosions and other chemical accidents and is modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board. The Chemical Safety Board issued its report in May on the Tesoro blast in Anacortes, four years after the explosion killed seven.



Read more: http://kuow.org/post/report-urgent-recommendations-tesoro-refinery-safety-were-suppressed



This explosion killed SEVEN people.

The report details that an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology found:

* A “toxic and abusive” workplace that led to an exodus of the agency’s skilled investigators.

* Retaliation against whistleblowers.

* Chemical Safety Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso’s use of personal email accounts for official business.

* Moure-Eraso’s refusal to release documents to an inspector general investigating agency
mismanagement.


The Congressional inquiry found that Moure-Eraso and Chemical Safety Board managing director Daniel Horowitz blocked the recommendations from release in September 2010, even though they had already been peer-reviewed.

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Reply Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety Were Suppressed (Original post)
Divernan Jun 2014 OP
DonViejo Jun 2014 #1
Divernan Jun 2014 #2
DonViejo Jun 2014 #4
truedelphi Jun 2014 #3
DonViejo Jun 2014 #5

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 10:22 PM

1. I'm not dismissing the report but,..

I have a question;

The investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology found


I'm not saying the allegations are wrong, just noting, the Republicans control that Committee. The report is, minimally, suspect, no?

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Response to DonViejo (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 10:44 PM

2. Committee gave a "bi-partisan drubbing" to the agency.

I think it's fair to expect you to read the entire article at the link if you want to challenge the objectivity of the congressional action. If you had done so, you would see the reporter made it a point to state:

At an oversight committee hearing on Thursday, Moure-Eraso received a bipartisan drubbing.

“Investigations have languished for years, and several employees disclosed to us that they feared retaliation from agency management for cooperating with the committee’s investigation,” said committee chair Rep. Darrel Issa (R-California).

“It is clear there are serious management problems that need to be addressed,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said. Speaking directly to Moure-Eraso, he added, “I’ve got to tell you, the fingers are pointing at you, my brother.”

Moure-Eraso said the Chemical Safety Board’s budget was too small to respond to the number of industrial accidents in the U.S. each year. “Part of the problem with the languishing investigations is we really have a window of opportunity, when we have an incident, to effect change, and that window of opportunity shrinks as time passes,” Rob Hall, former Chemical Safety Board investigator who ran the Anacortes investigation, told committee staff.


It's understandable and reasonable to start out with a suspicious attitude toward a report from a committee with a GOP majority, but those suspicions should be quickly dispelled by the factual reporting. The reporter, John Ryan, has won national awards for both public service and investigative reporting - he does not spin. See this report a few years back where he really nailed Shell Oil: http://kuow.org/post/sea-trial-leaves-shells-arctic-oil-spill-gear-crushed-beer-can

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Response to Divernan (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 11:06 PM

4. "if you want to challenge the objectivity of the congressional action.."

I was not challenging anything, I was asking an honest question. It's been nice not having a discussion with you.

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Response to DonViejo (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 10:54 PM

3. The corporate control of so many agencies that obstensibly exist to protect us

Goes back decades.

For instance, many people realize that back in the early 1980's, the US EPA banned the lead in gasoline in most places in this country. That is a good thing and a total win for all of us. Except the fact remains, that at the time the lead investigator at the EPA was trying to have that ban take place, his superiors were attempting to fire him. Then he received a MacArthur award. It is very hard to pink slip someone for their "shoddy science work" when the MacArthur award has been awarded to them.

So in the end, the EPA banned lead in gasoline, but a lot of the credit goes to the MacArthur Foundation.

I don't care which party goes after wrong doing. I want wrong doing stopped.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 11:09 PM

5. Thanks for the informative response truedelphi.

Much appreciated.

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