West Texas Investigation Hampered by Inter-Agency Cat Fight

May 24, 2013
ATF and CSB in dispute about access to plant, witnesses, evidence.
Just about the time you think the bureaucrats can't screw things up any more than they already have, news like "Fight Between U.S. Agencies Over Texas Plant Explosion Deepens" from Reuters comes over the wires. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is accusing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) of hampering its investigation into the plant explosion in West, Texas, on April 17 that killed 15 people and leveled more than 50 buildings. The ATF says it isn't so and that the CSB isn’t working and playing well with others. Oh, and the ATF spokesman also wants everyone to know that the criminal investigation by the ATF takes precedence over any other investigation that might be going on.   Reuters first reported on the tiff earlier this week: "Chemical-Safety Watchdog Criticizes Probe of Texas Blast."This kind of bureaucratic territory marking really doesn’t help anyone. As we reported earlier this month: "West, Texas, Updates, Bangladesh and Other Safety Matters," the multiple agencies with some kind of jurisdiction over places like this makes safety regulation difficult at best, if not impossible. Inter-agency bickering makes it worse. Just cut it out, kids.