US Ecology releases investigation report into deadly 2018 Grand View facility explosion

Regulatory agencies continue investigating, reviewing this investigation
Monitors check for radiation release after waste site blast
Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 15:13:28-04

GRAND VIEW, Idaho — Nearly nine months after an explosion at a US Ecology plant in Grand View, Idaho killed one person, the company is releasing a report of an investigation which utilized third-party investigators.

“This investigation confirms what we suspected early on, that we received a shipment of non-conforming waste that included material that was not supposed to be part of the approved waste stream,” said Jeff Feeler, US Ecology Chairman, President and CEO. “It is good to understand the root cause of the incident and we are focusing on steps we can take to eliminate any future incidents.”

Officials say Monte “Alex” Green of Grand View passed away after sustaining injuries during the explosion. Green was reported missing immediately following an explosion and was later located.

The report findings suggest that the explosion was "caused by a chemical reaction between water, magnesium, and the presence of non-conforming materials. It was determined that the catastrophic damage was caused by a steam explosion and was not the result of a flammable or combustible dust environment."

“The regulatory agencies are in the process of going through our final report and we want to provide the agencies with adequate time to review and digest the findings,” said Feeler. “Although it is good to have determined the root cause, it is important to remember that members of our US Ecology family suffered physical and emotional injuries, and a valued employee lost his life. We remain focused on supporting our valued team members as we move forward with rebuilding efforts.”

A representative of US Ecology tells 6 On Your Side that "an outside investigator was brought in to conduct a thorough investigation. Regulatory agencies are also investigating and currently reviewing the results of this investigation."