The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has requested $12.25 million for fiscal year 2015 – an increase over the $11.484 million it requested in 2014. Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said thefunds will enable the agency to continue to investigate high consequence chemical accidents, perform chemical safety studies, and advocate for effective safety recommendations.
While investigators in West, Texas, sift through the rubble of a fertilizer plant that exploded last week, killing 15 people, safety advocates are calling for stricter government oversight of potentially hazardous sites like that one. The operator of the plant, West Fertilizer Co., did file an emergency response plan update in 2011 with the EPA listing anhydrous ammonia on site, but did not indicate there was a risk of fire or explosion at the plant.
Worst case scenario: Brief release of gas, no injuries
April 22, 2013
The West Fertilizer plant that was the site of last week’s devastating explosion and loss of life had at least 50,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia onsite -- yet the site’s operators told the EPA and public safety officials that it posed no risk of fire or explosion, according to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).