CSB Cuts Report Back-Log by Two-Thirds in Just the Last Twelve Months


Washington, D.C. July 20, 2023Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it has released twelve final investigation reports since July 2022, thereby eliminating two-thirds of the agency’s backlog during the last twelve months.  

CSB Chairperson Steve Owens said, “When I became the Interim Executive in late July 2022, the CSB had an enormous backlog of seventeen open investigations, some dating as far back as 2016. Reducing the backlog so significantly as we have done so quickly has taken an extraordinary effort by every employee at the CSB, working together as a team. The CSB has never before issued so many reports in such a short period of time.”  

Owens became the CSB Interim Executive when the former CSB Chairperson resigned last year.  He was nominated at that time by President Biden to be the new Chairperson and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2022.

CLICK HERE to view a list of the twelve recently closed investigations.  

Additionally, the CSB is on track to close and issue final reports for the remaining five open investigations by the end of this calendar year. This would completely eliminate the long-standing backlog. 

CLICK HERE to view the investigation closure plan. 

Board Member Sylvia Johnson said, “I look forward to our continued productivity. As a team, we have worked extraordinarily hard to meet our deadlines and I know that we will continue to issue reports, safety videos and onboard new staff as we close out this year.”

Board Member Catherine Sandoval said, “This has truly been a landmark achievement for the CSB. I am honored to work with such a dedicated group of people and looking forward to continuing to advance chemical, environmental , worker, and public safety.”

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating incidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency’s core mission activities include conducting incident investigations; formulating preventive or mitigative safety recommendations based on investigation findings and advocating for their implementation; issuing reports containing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations arising from incident investigations; and conducting studies on chemical hazards.

The CSB’s board members are appointed by the president subject to Senate confirmation. The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.

Please visit our website, www.csb.gov. For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at [email protected]

Back to news