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House committee requests CSB investigation of BP Deepwater Horizon blowout (6/9)

John Bresland, Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Chairman, issued the following statement yesterday:

“I have received the letter from Chairmen Waxman and Stupak of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, requesting that the CSB investigate the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. It is my desire that the CSB do everything it can to facilitate the request and to undertake the investigation and determine what factors led to the explosion and failure of the blowout prevention system.

“The CSB, a small agency, is currently engaged in numerous investigations consuming all of our investigation staff. However, I will be consulting immediately with the rest of the board and with key staff to determine how we may put together a high-performing investigation team.

“The CSB thoroughly investigated the BP Texas City refinery explosion of 2005 and issued a lengthy report and hour-long CSB Safety Video following our investigation, and as the letter from the committee chairmen states, we would be in a unique position to address numerous questions about BP’s safety culture and practices, and to answer the questions outlined in the House committee letter today. The CSB investigation report and safety video may be viewed at www.CSB.gov.

“In addition, at the CSB’s urgent recommendation in 2005, BP convened a special panel under the leadership of former Secretary of State James Baker to evaluate the safety culture at BP’s North American refineries. That report was published in January 2007.

“We will be making key decisions on the matter in the next few days and we thank the Committee on Energy and Commerce for its interest in and support of CSB investigation activities.

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