Congress looking to strengthen CSB

Congress members are trying to strengthen the federal agency that investigated the deadly Texas City refinery explosion.The goal is to prevent similar chemical accidents. Sara Sciammacco has more from Capitol Hill.

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Members of the Chemical Safety Board said they faced road blocks when trying to get information about the BP explosion. Officials said the Environmental Protection Agency didn't fully cooperate. At a hearing on Capitol Hill the EPA's director of emergency management Deborah Dietrich responded to that criticism.

"We did not see where the questions of the number of inspections and how we target inspections were directly relevant to the accident investigation."

New Jersey Frank Lautenberg isn't happy with the answer and is working on legislation to give the Chemical Safety Board more powers to investigate accidents.That pleases Linda Hunnings. Her husband was one of 15 workers killed in the explosion.

"BP should not have a choice. That is the problem now, they choose what they want to do. No one enforces them to do anything. There has to be reform, new laws need to be passed or laws that are on the books need to be enforced."

Last June, BP managers met in Houston to talk about ways to improve staffing and management at all their refineries.

For Houston Public Radio, I'm Sara Sciammacco on Capitol Hill.

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