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No Stranger To BP

The head of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board says his agency’s familiarity with BP shouldn’t affect its investigation into the cause of the Gulf well explosion that killed 11 workers and started what has been an unprecedented oil spill. Pat Hernandez reports.


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The U.S. Chemical Safety Board enters the BP investigation at the request of the House Commitee on Energy and Commerce in Washington. It has held at least five hearings into the accident.

CSB chairman John Bresland says the board will have to coordinate with all the other investigations being conducted.

“We did the investigation of the BP Texas City accident back in 2005, and we had a successful conclusion to that particular investigation.”

PH : “Sir, being that the CSB is no stranger to BP because of that Texas City accident, it’s not an instance of same song, different verse is it?”

Bresland : “Well, we haven’t got into this yet, and obviously we’ve all been reading a lot about it in the newspapers and we’ve been watching it on TV, but we’d like to go into our investigations with a completely open mind and, let the facts take us where they should take us, and we’ll come appropriate conclusions when we’re finished.”

Even though the well continues to spill an enormous amount of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day, Bresland says their investigation will focus on the cause:

“Up to basically the moment that the explosion took place. What happened in the year leading up to the incident? What happened in the weeks leading up to the incident? What was going on in the rig before the accident happened, and then, what happened on the day of the incident?”

Since it is a small agency, Bresland says it will begin the BP probe soon after the board’s public meeting into a natural gas explosion that killed six workers in Connecticut.

“A lot of information has been gathered already by the congressional committees that has been made public, and we’re certainly hoping that we’ll be able to access the information that has been gathered by the congressional committees, and we look forward to doing a very thorough and detailed investigation and coming up with good conclusions and recommendations.”   

The CSB could take as long as 18-months to complete its probe into the cause of BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout accident.

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