CSB praises Connecticut for banning flammable gas blows

September 14, 2011

Washington – The Chemical Safety Board on Aug. 26 commended Connecticut for enacting legislation prohibiting flammable gas blows at power plants.

Approved July 8, the law (.pdf file) was prompted by the 2010 explosion at the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, CT, which killed six workers and injured at least 50.

CSB’s investigation tied the explosion to a series of natural gas blows – a cleaning process that involves forcing large amounts of gas through fuel piping to remove debris.

In a recent statement, CSB board member William Wark noted that the National Fire Protection Association recently approved a voluntary standard – NFPA 56 – that prohibits using flammable gas to clean pipes. CSB also has advised OSHA to develop similar federal regulations and states and localities to amend their regulations to prohibit the “inherently unsafe” practice.