The federal agency whose mission it is to improve safety in the chemical industry would vanish if the budget proposal unveiled by President Trump this week takes effect.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), which is charged with investigating accidents in the chemical industry and to making recommendations to prevent future accidents, is one of the agencies slated for elimination under Trump’s plan, which includes a substantial increase for military spending.
CSB Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said she was “disappointed” in the proposal.
“For over 20 years, the CSB has conducted hundreds of investigations of high consequence chemical incidents, such as the Deepwater Horizon and West Fertilizer disasters,” Sutherland said. “Our investigations and recommendations have had an enormous effect on improving public safety.”
CSB recommendations have resulted in banned natural gas blows in Connecticut, an improved fire code in New York City, and increased public safety at oil and gas sites in Mississippi.
“The CSB has been able to accomplish all of this with a small and limited budget,” Sutherland said. “The American public is safer today as a result of the work of the dedicated and professional staff of the CSB.”
She added that, as the budget finalization process moves forward, she hopes the CSB’s mission will be preserved.