The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will meet on, September 28, 2016 to release its final report and safety recommendations into the January 9, 2014, chemical storage tank leak that contaminated the drinking water of up to 300,000 residents of nine West Virginia Counties.
CSB investigators said earlier that it was likely the tank MCHM chemical storage tank at the Freedom Industries site had been leaking prior to the disastrous spill in January, which was discovered when a citizen complained of a “licorice-like” odor in the area.
At the meeting, the Board will hear a presentation from the investigative staff on their draft investigation report and related safety recommendations. The Board will also hear comments from the community. At the conclusion of the staff presentation, the Board may vote on the final report.
Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “Protecting people and the environment is the cornerstone of our mission. The CSB is focused on the completion of the investigation into this incident which affected hundreds of thousands of residents in West Virginia. By sharing the lessons learned from the Freedom Industries investigations, we will raise communities’ awareness about the possible impact of a similar event. The Board looks forward to sharing its findings and hearing from the public.”
The meeting will be webcast live and free of charge. Details about the webcast will be available at www.csb.gov closer to the time of the meeting.
The CSB is an independent Federal agency charged with investigating serious 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 regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA and others. Please visit our website, www.csb.gov.