CSB on the budget chopping block
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is one of the federal agencies slated for elimination under the 2019 budget proposal unveiled by President Trump today.
The CSB is an independent agency whose mission is to investigate industrial chemical accidents, determine their causes and make recommendations to plants, regulatory agencies such as OSHA and the EPA, industry organizations, and labor groups about ways to reduce the risk of similar accidents in the future. The CSB investigative staff includes chemical and mechanical engineers, industrial safety experts, and other specialists who conduct detailed interviews of witnesses such as plant employees, managers, and neighbors, collect chemical samples and equipment from accident sites and examine company safety records, inventories, and operating procedures.
Among the incidents investigated by the CSB: an oil well explosion in Oklahoma that killed five workers, a toxic release in Kansas that sent 140 people to the hospital, the devastating 2013 chemical facility explosion in West, Texas and the 2016 ExxonMobil fire in Louisiana that seriously injured four workers.
Trump also proposed abolishing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which researches ways to enhance the effectiveness of health services as well as the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), which is tasked advancing clean energy, investing in adaptation to climate change and integrating climate change resilience into approaches for food security, health, governance, disaster risk reduction.
The cuts are part of an effort to slash the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.