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In connection with its investigation into the cause of the hydrogen sulfide gas leak at the Georgia-Pacific Naheola Mill in Pennington, Alabama on January 16, 2002, the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board announces that it will convene a Public Meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. local time on November 20, 2002, at 2175 K Street, NW, Suite 400 Conference Room.

At the meeting CSB staff will present to the Board the results of their investigation into this incident, including an analysis of the incident together with a discussion of the key findings, root and contributing causes and draft recommendations. In addition, the Chair will present a preliminary outlook for FY 2003.

Recommendations are issued by a vote of the Board and address an identified safety deficiency uncovered during the investigation, and specify how to correct the situation. Safety recommendations are the primary tool used by the Board to motivate implementation of safety improvements and prevent future incidents. The CSB uses its unique independent accident investigation perspective to identify trends or issues that might otherwise be overlooked. CSB recommendations may be directed to corporations, trade associations, government entities, safety organizations, labor unions and others.

At the conclusion of the staff presentation the Board will consider whether to vote to approve the final report and recommendations. When a report and its recommendations are approved, this will begin CSB's process for disseminating the findings and recommendations of the report not only to the recipients of recommendations but also to other public and industry sectors. The CSB believes that this process will ultimately lead to the adoption of recommendations and the growing body of safety knowledge in the industry, which, in turn, should save future lives and property.

All staff presentations are preliminary and are intended solely to allow the Board to consider in a public forum the issues and factors involved in this case. No factual analyses, conclusions or findings should be considered final. Only after the Board has considered the staff presentation and approved the staff report will there be an approved final record of this incident.

The Georgia-Pacific incident left two persons dead and injured eight. In addition, Choctaw County paramedics who transported the victims to the hospitals reported symptoms of hydrogen sulfide exposure.

The meeting will be open to the public. Please notify CSB if a translator or interpreter is needed, at least 5 business days prior to the public meeting. For more information, please contact the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board at (202)-261-7600, or visit our Web site at: http://www.csb.gov.

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Christopher W. Warner,

General Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 02-28193 Filed 11-1-02; 11:52 am]

BILLING CODE 6350-01-P