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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Probe of Power Plant Blast to Begin

Hearings are held every weekday in the New Britain headquarters of the Department of Public Utility Control.

But very few will be watched as closely as the proceedings that will begin on Tuesday afternoon. That's when a multi-agency panel convened by Gov. M. Jodi Rell will hold its first meeting on the cause and origin of the Feb. 7th explosion at the Kleen Energy Power Plant in Middletown (shown at left) that killed five people.

The 3 p.m. hearing will be chaired by Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas. Members of the panel will include representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Labor, the Connecticut State Police, the Department of Consumer Protection and the DPUC.

“Our response to the Middletown explosion must follow two distinct but critical paths,” Rell said. “We must first identify what went wrong and then determine every measure we can take to prevent future catastrophes. The reviews must be thorough, impartial and swift. And if there are concrete steps we can take in the meantime, we must be equally swift in putting those new measures into place.”

While it may be politically expedient to reach a quick decision, it would seem to me that what's equally important is that the panel do its job right the first time. Like the debris field the explosion left behind, investigating the cause of a tragedy like this is a slow and tedious process.

A rush to judgement could ultimately undermined the public's faith in the findings the panel comes up with.


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