June 21, 2021, Washington, DC. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is deploying two of its senior leadership members to Rockton, IL where a significant fire incident occurred at the Chemtool manufacturing facility on June 14th. David LaCerte, Acting Managing Director, and Stephen Klejst, Executive Director – Investigations and Recommendations, will engage with Federal, State and local emergency responders, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others to determine the conditions and circumstances that led to the incident and to identify the cause or causes so similar incidents might be prevented.
The CSB is an independent agency and frequently engages with other organizations through Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) during its investigations. The EPA, under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, has direct responsibilities associated with emergency response. After the coordinated emergency response has occurred, and the site has been opened for investigation, the CSB will use an “all-cause” approach to discharge its investigatory duties. The MOU between the CSB and EPA is not intended and does not affect the conduct of a criminal investigation. The on-scene incident commander, Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson, said the DOJ/ATF asked him to announce that there was no suspicious or criminal activity regarding this incident – meaning with respect to cause and origin.
Managing Director LaCerte and Executive Director Klejst will gather information from the incident site and make a recommendation on how best to proceed.