Below is an email I recieved today about a fire at a refinery in Northern California:

“Washington DC, August 8, 2012 – A seven-member investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying to the scene of an explosion and fire that occurred Monday at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA.

The team will be headed by Donald Holmstrom, director of the CSB’s Western Regional Office in Denver, and is expected to arrive Wednesday. Board Member Mark Griffon will accompany the team.

According to company officials the explosion and fire involved the release of vapor that found an ignition source. Four workers sustaining minor injures, several thousand members of the public were ordered to shelter in place.

CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “CSB investigations examine a wide range of safety issues such as effective process safety management and mechanical integrity. Our mission is to improve the safety of workers and the public.“

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents.  The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.  CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.  Please visit the CSB’s website at”