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In connection with its investigation into the cause of a deadly explosion and the leakage of 26,000 pounds of aqua ammonia into the atmosphere from the DD Williamson & Co., Inc. plant in Louisville, Kentucky on April 11, 2003, the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board announces that it will convene a Public Meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. local time on March 12, 2004, at the Galt House, 140 North Fourth Street, Louisville, KY, 40202, Telephone: 502-568-5200.

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. The CSB staff presentation will focus on three key safety issues: overpressure protection, hazard evaluation systems, and engineering at small facilities.

This incident occurred at 2:10 a.m. on Friday, April 11, 2003, when a vessel explosion at the DD Williamson plant killed an operator and caused extensive damage to the western end of the facility. As a consequence of the explosion, 26,000 pounds of aqua ammonia (29.4% ammonia solution in water) leaked into the atmosphere, forcing the evacuation of 26 residents. The DD Williamson plant employs approximately 45 people and is located in a mixed industrial and residential neighborhood approximately 1.5 miles east of downtown Louisville.

Recommendations proposed in the investigative report are issued by a vote of the Board and address identified safety deficiencies uncovered during the investigation, and specifies 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.

After the staff presentation, the Board will allow a time for public comment. Following the conclusion of the public comment period, the Board will consider whether to vote to approve the final report and recommendations.

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 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:

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Christopher W. Warner,

General Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 04-3894 Filed 2-19-04; 10:01 am]