June 22, 2021, Washington, D.C. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) deployed two of its senior leadership members yesterday to Chemtool Inc. in Rockton, IL where they met with Chemtool regional and site leadership, the on-site Federal and local emergency responders, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA).
On June 14th, the CSB began tracking, documenting and coordinating this incident with Federal counterparts. The CSB determined the first opportunity for the agency to engage on-scene would follow the fire and environmental emergency response efforts. Those emergency efforts continue as several hotspots are still burning. The Incident Commander, Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson, said these fires are being extinguished but could continue to burn for another 24-48 hours. The CSB is grateful no one was seriously injured inside or outside the fence line. The concern about an environmental release was also quickly mitigated by the emergency responders. The site remains closed to investigators currently.
Tracking, monitoring, investigating the causes of, and preventing accidental chemical releases remains a top priority for the CSB and we would like to congratulate all of the first responders who worked to save lives and protect the environment.