The US Chemical Safety Board’s budget justification requests $12.25 million for fiscal year 2015. The requested funds will continue to allow the CSB to investigate high consequence chemical accidents, perform chemical safety studies, and advocate for effective safety recommendations.
I thank the administration for its support of this request. Funding the Board at its full requested level will also enable the agency to hire additional investigators, help complete ongoing cases, and take on new investigations into other fatal accidents that continue to occur throughout the country every year.
The 2015 budget justification highlights a number of important successes for the CSB over the past year including a detailed report and recommendations released in April 2013, on the August 6, 2012, fire and explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. Other accomplishments include the release of a final report on an explosion at a fireworks storage facility near Honolulu, Hawaii; a public meeting to release the CSB’s report on a combustible dust accident that killed two workers at the Carbide Industries facility located outside of of Louisville, Kentucky, and a public meeting to release the final report on a large explosion at the NDK America Inc. plant which launched debris 300 yards fatally injuring a member of the public.
In 2013, the CSB deployed to a number of high consequence accidents including the fire and explosion at West Fertilizer in West, Texas, that fatally injured twelve emergency responders and at least two members of the public. And most recently the agency lauched an investigation into the release of thousands of gallons of chemicals from a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston, West Virginia, which impacted the water supply to hundreds of thousands of residents.
The CSB plans to complete many of its open accident investigations and hold a number of public meetings in 2014. The board anticipates a highly productive year and looks forward to working with its stakeholders across the country.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial 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 Manager Hillary Cohen at 202.446.8094.