CSB Meeting July 26 to Discuss ExxonMobil Refinery Investigation

The meeting will include a discussion of its investigation of a Nov. 22, 2016, isobutane release in the sulfuric acid alkylation unit of the ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, La. The release caused four serious injuries to workers and less serious injuries to two others.

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has scheduled a public meeting July 26 in Washington, D.C., to discuss open investigations, the status of audits from the Office of the Inspector General, financial and organizational updates, the agency's action plan -- and also to discuss its investigation of a Nov. 22, 2016, isobutane release in the sulfuric acid alkylation unit of the ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, La. The release caused four serious injuries to workers and less serious injuries to two others; it occurred during minor maintenance on a flammable isobutane line that failed, releasing isobutane into the unit, which ignited.

CSB sent three investigators to the refinery after the incident. There was no explosion, but the release caused a fire.

"The CSB has investigated too many incidents at refineries across the country," Chairperson Vanessa Sutherland said then. "As an agency, we continue to be concerned about the safety of oil and gas workers and their surrounding communities. The management of risk is an important part of any high-hazard operation."

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