The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it will hold a daylong public hearing entitled “Regulatory Approaches to Offshore Oil and Gas Safety” on Wednesday, December 15 in Washington DC. The meeting is part of the CSB’s ongoing investigation into the April 20, 2010 fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 workers. According to a CSB press release, the hearing will bring together international regulators, union representatives and industry groups to discuss approaches to regulating the safety of offshore oil and gas exploration and production.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Ballroom,1250 22nd Street Northwest, Washington D.C.

The CSB’s board members and Deepwater Horizon investigation team will hear testimony from leading safety experts involved in offshore drilling activities from the United Kingdom, Australia and Norway. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to comment and to submit questions to the panel participants.

The meeting will be available via webcast. All proceedings will be videotaped and an official transcript will be published.

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 regulations, industry standards, and 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. For more information, visit the website: www.csb.gov.