Monday, July 19, 2021

Advocates send letter on CSB

Via, this news:  
While President Joe Biden has nominated three people to the independent board that investigates chemical accidents, supporters of the Chemical Safety Board said other steps also must be taken so the agency properly can do its job.

A letter from 22 unions, environmental groups and other advocacy organizations to Chair Katherine Lemos, the last remaining member of the board, called for more investigators, addressing the backlog of probes, publishing the names of those killed in accidents, and protecting unauthorized workers, who can provide needed details, from the threat of deportation.

“The information that they put out is used by the entire universe from industry to advocates,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, one of the groups signing the letter. “That’s why it’s still critically important that they’re able to fulfill their mission.”

The board is important to New Jersey, the 10th largest chemical producer in the U.S., whose $13.4 billion chemical industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the state, according to the American Chemistry Council.

A board spokeswoman, Sabrina Morris, said the agency was reviewing the letter.

The groups were not alone in expressing concern about the chemical board. Both Democratic and Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by its chair, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-6th Dist, asked Lemos in May whether a lack of staffing and board members has interfered with the chemical safety board’s operations.

Advocates said the changes they recommended could be made within the board’s existing $12 million budget. For example, the board now has only 12 investigators, the lowest number in recent years, according to the groups signing the letter, which also include United Steelworkers Union, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Union of Concerned Scientists, AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club.

 12 investigators seems a little low...

No comments:

Post a Comment

looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20