Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter requesting additional information after media reports indicated that a recent explosion at a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland was caused by the manufacturing of the illegal drug methamphetamine. The Associated Press reported that the July 19, 2015 explosion may have been connected to a NIST security officer who was injured during the incident.

Chairman Smith: “As Chairman of the Committee with jurisdiction over NIST, I am troubled by the allegations that such dangerous and illicit activity went undetected at a federal research facility. It is essential that we determine exactly where the breakdown in protocol occurred and whether similar activities could be ongoing at other federal facilities. I look forward to working with NIST to ensure that researchers at our nation’s high-tech labs are safe from this sort of criminal activity.”

The letter requests NIST provide members of the Committee with a briefing on the facts surrounding the explosion along with continual updates on the situation. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has primary oversight jurisdiction of NIST.

The full letter can be found here.