CSB announces it will investigate cause BP Deepwater Horizon blowout

By Dorothy Davis 

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) have announced they will embark upon an official investigation of the causes behind the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and Macondo well blowout on April 20, 2010.

In an official response to a June 8th letter from Democratic Chairmen Waxman and Stupak of the House Committee on Energy to the CSB, Chairman John Bresland confirmed that the board would proceed with an investigation into the root causes of the accident that lead to the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

“Like other CSB investigations, the investigation should include an examination of key technical factors, the safety cultures involved, and the effectiveness of relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards”, said Bresland.

The letter then goes on to explain that the CSB will have to limit their investigative focus to the explosion and the events proceeding as an exploration into the response efforts and the residual effects of the spill are beyond the agency’s current resources and abilities.

Bresland then addressed that although the CSB operates as an independent entity they took note that there were numerous other investigation already underway and were committed to coordinating with these to avoid costly redundancies in their investigation efforts.

The letter continues with a forewarning that in order to conduct the work effectively the CSB anticipates it will have to undertake certain extraordinary measures such as tapping into their $847,000 emergency investigative fund as well as requesting additional monies to cover its costs.

Further, Bresland confirmed that the CSB would utilize the same key investigators involved in the probe of the 2005 explosion at a BP Texas City refinery; the longest probe in CSB history spanning close to three years and costing approximately $2.5 million.

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