Lawmakers want answers on deadly 2010 Anacortes refinery fire

Six members of Washington state’s Congressional delegation have called for federal officials to complete an investigation into the violent explosion and resulting fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes in April 2010, which claimed seven lives.

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell joined Reps. Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith and Suzan DelBene in writing a letter to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board about the delayed investigation.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries fined Tesoro a total of $2.38 million and cited the company for 39 “willful” violations and five “serious” violations of state workplace safety and health regulations, according to an October 2010 story from the Whidbey News-Times, a partner publication of the Bellingham Business Journal.

In their joint letter, sent on Dec. 21, the members wrote:

“As the third anniversary of the event is rapidly nearing, we note with growing concern that the one major report still outstanding is the one being conducted by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. We are also very dismayed by reports that the Board has redirected personnel and resources from this investigation in order to work on other, more recent accidents and incidents. …We ask that you immediately update us in writing on the status of the Board’s report, and urge you to complete this investigation as soon as possible. Our constituents must not wait any longer to get the information they deserve.”

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