Washington, DC, August 2, 2012 – Long-time U.S. Chemical Safety Board Member John Bresland will retire from the agency on August 31, the CSB announced today. Mr. Bresland was first appointed to the agency in August 2002 by President George W. Bush and then was re-appointed to a second five-year term in March 2008, serving as CSB chairperson from March 2008 to June 2010.
Current CSB Chairperson Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “For the past ten years, Mr. Bresland has been an integral part of the agency – the longest serving board member ever, including two years as chairperson; the overseer of many challenging and significant cases, including Bayer Crop Sciences and Imperial Sugar; the agency’s leader during the opening of our first regional office in Denver; a staunch advocate for the Board’s mission in multiple Congressional hearings and other venues too numerous to count; and the initiator of the CSB’s investigation of the Gulf disaster, the fruits of which we are now beginning to see. So it is with a mixture of some sadness but great respect that we must now wish Mr. Bresland and his family all the best in this new chapter of their lives.”
Board Member Bresland plans to return home to West Virginia and will take up a new role as a Research Fellow for the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M University. The Center’s director, Texas A&M Professor M. Sam Mannan, said, “As a Research Fellow at the Center, Mr. Bresland will provide counsel and input to Center programs and activities. He will also be engaged in special process safety projects of global significance.” Mr. Bresland will also continue to speak to audiences around the world on chemical process safety topics.
Mr. Bresland said, “The past decade has seen the CSB’s evolution from a young and little recognized organization to an internationally renowned agency pressing industry to constantly improve process safety performance. It has been my privilege to serve here alongside a group of highly talented and dedicated public servants advancing this vital, life-saving mission. I wish everyone at the CSB continued success and look forward to new challenges and experiences in my role with Texas A&M University.
Before joining the CSB in 2002, Mr. Bresland was the president of Environmental and Safety Risk Assessment LLC, a chemical process safety consulting company based in Morristown, New Jersey. In addition he was a consultant to the Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, working as a project manager on two committees writing books on dust explosions and the management of reactive chemical hazards. From 1966 to 2000, Mr. Bresland served in variety of line management and corporate safety roles for Honeywell (formerly Allied Chemical) at multiple U.S. locations. A native of Northern Ireland, Mr. Bresland holds degrees in chemistry from Londonderry Technical College and from Salford University in the United Kingdom.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov. For more information, contact Communications Director Hilary Cohen at 202.446.8094.