Chemical Safety Board Renews a Sense of Urgency in Ongoing Investigations

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is the federal government entity that investigates industrial chemical accidents. Like many federal agencies, the CSB suffers from a backlog in its incident investigations. The backlog faced by the CSB affects investigations of significant industrial incidents, including notable Houston-based incidents such as the International Terminals Company (ITC) fire and the explosion in inner-city Houston at Watson Grinding & Manufacturing.

The ITC Chemical Fire that occurred on March 17, 2019, released thousands of gallons of Naphtha, Xylene, Toluene, and several other toxic chemicals into the air and waterways in Deer Park, Texas. Thousands of individuals and several businesses have come forward claiming injuries due to the toxic fire whose flames and smoke engulfed Deer Park and surrounding areas for more than a week. The ITC Chemical Fire is still under investigation by the CSB.

The Watson Grinding Explosion occurred in central Houston on January 24, 2020. The explosion was caused by propylene, a hazardous and flammable chemical that was located in a factory near a residential neighborhood. The explosion resulted in three deaths, and thousands of injuries, and damaged homes. The Watson Grinding Explosion is still under investigation by the CSB.

In the meantime, many of the victims have filed suit in both the ITC Fire and the Watson Grinding Explosion. These cases relate to personal injuries suffered due to exposure to toxic fumes, personal injuries suffered as a result of the blast, and property-related losses that were suffered during the fire and/or blast.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the CSB has recently renewed its efforts to address the backlog issues which have prevented the federal agency from concluding investigations, including the investigations into the ITC Fire and Watson Grinding Explosion. Chemical Safety Board promises to catch up on case backlog as Congress turns up the pressure (

Lawsuits over chemical exposures have increased in recent years. While the federal investigative entities face a massive backlog, the attorneys at Abraham Watkins are available and prepared to handle the civil suits that arise from the chemical exposure incidents.

If you or someone you know has been affected by chemical exposure, chemical release, or chemical explosion, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-366-4798.