Senate Committee Hearing Today on West Explosion

The CSB's chair and other experts will testify about that devastating explosion and also about the Geismar, La., chemical plant explosion on June 13.

Two days after OSHA's assistant secretary, Dr. David Michaels, said his agency is re-examining its PSM standard in light of recent industrial explosions, the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a June 27 hearing about two of them -- the devastating West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion and the chemical plant explosion in Geismar, La.

An impressive witness list for the hearing includes U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso, Dr. M. Sam Mannan, P.E., CSP, director of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M University, Kim Nibarger, health and safety specialist for the United Steelworkers International Union, Barry Breen, deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), Randall Sawyer, chief environmental health and hazmat officer for Contra Costa County, Calif., and Rick Webre, director of the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.

In his testimony, Moure-Eraso, Ph.D., will present preliminary findings in its investigation into the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that cause at least 14 fatalities and will provide an update on CSB's current investigation into the June 13 accident at Williams Olefins that killed two workers.

The hearing will be webcast live beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT at http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Home.

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