April 11, 2024

CSB to Investigate Two Toxic Chemical Releases at Louisiana Facilities

On April 4, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard and Investigation Board (CSB) announced it will investigate two toxic chemical releases that occurred at Louisiana facilities in 2023. One incident under investigation is an explosion and release of hydrogen fluoride and chlorine that resulted after a heat exchanger ruptured at the Honeywell facility in Geismar on Jan. 23, 2023. The other incident occurred at a Dow facility in Plaquemine, where an ethylene oxide release caused an explosion and fire on July 14, 2023. Local officials declared shelter-in-place orders for the surrounding areas due to both incidents. Neither resulted in fatalities or serious injuries, according to CSB’s press release.

“Because we recently completely eliminated the CSB’s long-standing backlog of investigation reports, we now have the ability to address other serious chemical incidents reported to the agency under the Accidental Release Reporting Rule,” said CSB Chairperson Steve Owens. Under different circumstances, both incidents involved toxic chemicals that could have put workers and residents at risk, Owens noted. “We want to make sure that similar incidents do not happen again at these facilities.”

More information can be found in CSB’s press release.