Washington, DC, May 5, 2005 - The CSB today announced it is convening a public hearing related to its investigation of combustible dust hazards at industrial facilities. The hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m. on June 22, 2005, in the Horizon Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
The hearing will begin with a panel of CSB investigators presenting their preliminary research on the history of combustible dust fires and explosions in the U.S. Other panels will include: victims of past dust explosions; representatives from industry explaining current prevention efforts for combustible dust accidents; and representatives from state, federal, and overseas government agencies speaking about current regulations and activities to prevent dust explosions. In addition to collecting testimony at the public hearing, the CSB is soliciting comments on a number of questions related to combustible dust hazards. More information on submitting comments can be obtained by the reviewing the Federal Register notice available on CSB's website, www.csb.gov, or by emailing [email protected].
The public hearing is open to the public and no fee is required to attend. However, seating is limited, and attendees are strongly encouraged to pre-register by emailing their names and affiliations to [email protected] no later than June 10, 2005.
In 2003, the CSB launched investigations of three combustible dust explosions in Kinston, North Carolina; Corbin, Kentucky; and Huntington, Indiana. The investigations in North Carolina and Kentucky are now complete, and final reports are available from www.csb.gov. A total of 14 people were killed and 81 injured in these three accidents. In 2004, the Board launched a broader study of the causes and effects of combustible dust fires and explosions.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial 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 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. Further information about the CSB is available from www.csb.gov. For more information, contact Kara Wenzel at 202-261-7642 / 202-577-8448 (cell).