CSB to Hold November 16 Public Meeting in Dalton, Georgia, to Release Preliminary Findings and Hear Community Comments on MFG Chemical Investigation

November 1, 2004

Washington, DC, November 1, 2004 - The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will hold a community meeting in Dalton, Georgia, at 7 p.m. on November 16, 2004, to discuss the April 2004 chemical release accident at MFG Chemical Inc. Over 100 families and businesses were evacuated, and 154 people were treated at a local hospital for chemical exposure.

The meeting will be held at the North West Georgia Trade and Convention Center, located at 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road in Dalton, Georgia. There is no fee or registration required to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to present preliminary findings of the accident investigation to the community, and to gather relevant information about the incident from affected citizens and emergency responders. This information may help CSB investigators develop findings, root causes, and recommendations for the final investigation report.

CSB Chairman and CEO Carolyn Merritt will preside over the meeting, accompanied by Board Members Gary Visscher and John Bresland. CSB investigators will present preliminary findings of their investigation. The Board will then hear testimony from a panel of emergency responders, including representatives from the local police, firefighters, ambulance service, and hospital. Following the panel, members of the public may offer comments related to the incident.

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, CSB 202-261-7642 / 202-577-8448 (cell), or Sandy Gilmour (Public Affairs Contractor), 202-261-7614 / 202-251-5496 (cell).

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