CSB: Natural gas regulations are necessary

New rules regulating natural gas are necessary to avoid disastrous explosions at energy facilities, according to the Chemical Safety Board.

CSB voted Monday to approve recommendations (.pdf file) related to recent workplace explosions. Specifically, CSB recommended OSHA pass regulations prohibiting both gas blows for pipe cleaning, which caused the Feb. 7 explosion at a Kleen Energy Systems power plant in Middletown, CT, that killed six workers, and indoor gas purging, the cause of last summer's ConAgra Slim Jim plant blast in Garner, NC, that killed four employees. It also recommended that the National Fire Protection Association change its consensus standards to address gas piping cleaning hazards.

During a House Education and Labor Committee's Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing earlier on Monday, witnesses stressed the need for such regulations and urged Congress to continue or increase funding for local emergency response training.

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