Skip to Main Content

An independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment.

Text Size AA
PRINT PAGE

Oct 19, 2010

CSB Safety Message Commends Connecticut for Prohibiting Natural Gas Blows, Calls on States to take Similar Action

Rafael_Screen_Grab
Washington, DC, October 19, 2010 –  U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso today called for a ban on the practice of cleaning out debris from gas piping using pressurized natural gas.   In a video safety message released today, Dr. Moure-Eraso called the practice, known in the industry as a gas blow, to be “inherently unsafe activity.” The CSB’s safety message follows an investigation into the February 7, 2010, explosion at the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, Connecticut that killed six workers.

            The safety message can be viewed on CSB.gov and on the CSB’s safety message channel,
www.youtube.com/safetymessages.
            At a CSB public meeting on June 28, 2010, in Middletown, Connecticut, the board issued 18 urgent recommendations, including one to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calling for federal regulations that would prohibit the release of flammable gas to the atmosphere for the purpose of cleaning fuel gas piping. The Board also issued similar recommendations to two major voluntary standards organizations - the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) - to amend their respective codes and standards to require the use of inherently safer methods during the cleaning of fuel gas piping.
            Three months after the CSB’s public meeting, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell issued an executive order banning the use of natural gas blows during power plant construction in the state. In the video safety message, Chairperson Moure-Eraso commends Governor Rell for this action, saying, “The governor’s decisive action banning the use of natural gas blows should be followed by other states and the federal government, urgently. Lives can be saved.” 
In addition to this safety message commending Connecticut, the CSB is issuing letters to the other 49 states warning of the hazards associated with gas blows and urging state officials to enact any necessary changes to their respective state regulations and codes to prohibit gas blows at power plants and other similar facilities. The CSB is currently in production of a full-length safety video on the hazards of fuel gas blows and purging gas piping indoors; this video is scheduled for release by the end of the year. 
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.
For more information, please contact Hillary Cohen at 202.261.3601 or 202.446.8094 (cell) or Sandy Gilmour at 202.261.7614 or 202.251.5496 (cell).

Back

 

Related Photo Galleries

Related News

7/20/2006
Washington, DC, July 20, 2006 - The U. S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today issued a Safety Video on the October 6, 2005, fire and explosions at the Formosa Plastics Corporation, USA, plant in Point Comfort, Texas. The video includes a computer animation...
read more
10/14/2005
Washington, DC, October 14, 2005 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is continuing its probe of the propylene fire and explosions that heavily damaged an olefins unit at the Formosa Plastics facility in Point Comfort, Texas,...
read more
 
 
© csb.gov. All rights reserved