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State Investigator Criticizes Feds On Facebook Over Richmond Refinery Fire

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Inspectors with the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board on the scene of the August 6, 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond. (CBS)

Inspectors with the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board on the scene of the August 6, 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond. (CBS)

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RICHMOND (KCBS) – The head of the federal agency looking into the fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond said he will not back down from regularly updating the public on the ongoing investigation.

This comes as a state investigator took to Facebook recently, accusing the U.S. Chemical Safety Board of media grandstanding.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso got a tour of the refinery on Monday. Afterward, he said his agency has a responsibility to communicate regularly with the public about the August 6 fire.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“It is appropriate for us to say, this is what we are looking at, this is what is happening here,” he said. “And that’s why we are investigating.”

But it was just a few days ago the lead state investigator into the refinery fire said on Facebook that the federal safety board was scaring the public with half truths and misleading information.

Despite the criticism, U.S. Chemical Safety Board Managing Director Daniel Horowitz said his agency and state officials are committed to cooperating on the investigation.

“The working relationships within the plan are excellent among our people and Cal-OSHA,” said Horowitz.

Cal-OSHA did not return calls seeking comment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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