Rep. Larsen upset over delay of blast report

Board says public to have access to draft on Tesoro explosion



A federal report on the April 2010 Tesoro refinery explosion that killed seven has again been delayed and frustrates U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, but after he wrote the U.S. Chemical Safety Board asking it to keep promises made to the citizens of Anacortes, the government seems to be listening.

L a r s e n , D-Wash., said he was “exasperated” when he learned a public meeting in Anacortes this month to discuss the Tesoro report had been canceled. And he wasn’t happy when the Chemical Safety Board changed a public hearing to release the report’s findings and recommendations into a “listening session” on Thursday, Jan. 30, giving almost no time for the public to read the report.

In his letter, Larsen urged Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso to release the report and give the public time to consider its findings.

“The Anacortes community deserves better after four years of waiting and countless delays from CSB,” Larsen wrote Friday.

Larsen said he was shocked to get a quick response given the board’s history of delays. The board told Larsen it now plans to give the public 45 days to go through the draft report before a public meeting. Larsen’s concern now is wanting to make sure the board is willing to listen to public comments and take them into consideration before adopting it.

“The Chemical Safety Board owes the public an opportunity to talk directly to them,” Larsen said.

He wants the board to hear from and see the human face of the deadly explosion. He said he’s heard from victims and families who are frustrated and tired of waiting on the report to shed light on the incident.