UPDATED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 9:28pm
West, TX — The Chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, CSB, claims the ATF and State Fire Marshal's Office are keeping his investigators from adequately doing their jobs.
Rafael Moure-Eraso sent a letter which outlines specific areas where he says the two federal agencies have blocked the CSB's investigation. The letter, dated May 17, was mailed to Senator Barbara Boxer.
In the letter, Moure-Eraso writes, "At the same time the CSB deployed its investigative team and associated fire and blast experts, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) mobilized a large “national response team” that assumed essentially exclusive control of the incident site in concert with Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) personnel. These criminal investigators have exercised exclusive control of the site for a full one-month period, from April 17, 2013, until today and have altered or removed almost all relevant physical evidence at the site. The ATF and SFMO consistently expressed the position that CSB was not permitted to conduct separate interviews, prepare expert analysis, or author its own independent report. The ATF and SFMO stated that because in their view this was exclusively a criminal investigation, there could be only one version of what occurred and one report."
To read a full copy of the letter, click on this link: http://www.csb.gov/assets/1/19/Senator_Boxer_Letter_Final_5_17_13_FINAL.pdf