Today I am pleased to announce that the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has approved a final rule on accidental release reporting. The CSB has posted a prepublication version of the final rule available HERE. The official version should be published early next week in the Federal Register.
The rule requires prompt reports to the CSB from owners or operators of facilities that experience an accidental release of a regulated substance or extremely hazardous that results in a death, serious injury or substantial property damage. The CSB anticipates that these reports will provide the agency with key information important to the CSB in making prompt deployment decisions.
I would like to thank the many organizations and individuals that submitted comments to the CSB concerning the proposed rule. These comments were important to understanding concerns and making appropriate revisions to the final rule.
The rule is required by the CSB’s enabling legislation but was not issued during the first 20 years of CSB operations. Last year, a court ordered the CSB to finalize a rule within a year. This was a daunting task, and I want to express my appreciation to CSB staff who worked tirelessly on the effort to complete the rule on a tight schedule.
I am confident that the rule will achieve its intended purpose in a manner that will help improve the CSB’s safety mission. The CSB intends to work cooperatively with various stakeholders to ensure that affected parties understand and comply with the rule.