CSB reiterates need for hazardous waste standard

Washington – Following a Dec. 17 flash fire at a hazardous waste facility in East Liverpool, OH, the Chemical Safety Board repeated its call for the National Fire Protection Association to issue a standard for such facilities.

The fire at Heritage-WTI Inc., which killed one worker and seriously injured another, occurred while workers were separating a large drum of flammable inorganic material.

In a Dec. 26 statement, CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso cited previous incidents at hazardous waste processing facilities, including a 2006 fire at the Environmental Quality Co. facility in Apex, NC. The agency’s investigation of that incident found that 21 other fires and releases had occurred at hazardous waste facilities from 2002 to 2007. Also, in 2009, an explosion and fire at the Veolia Environmental Services facility in West Carrollton, OH, injured two workers and damaged nearby residences and businesses.

CSB has recommended that the Environmental Technology Council, a hazardous waste industry trade group, develop guidance on safe processing, handling, and storage of hazardous waste and petition NFPA to issue a standard for those facilities.

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