Federal agencies

CSB escapes chopping block in House appropriations bill

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Washington — The House Appropriations Committee is proposing a $1 million increase to the Chemical Safety Board’s fiscal year 2019 budget despite the Trump administration’s repeated attempts to eliminate the federal agency.

The committee’s Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill allocates $12 million to CSB, which has been on the chopping block in each of the current administration’s first two budget proposals.

“The Interior Subcommittee has made every effort to balance a host of competing needs and provided the Interior Department, EPA and other agencies under our jurisdiction with the resources necessary to carry out their mission,” Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), subcommittee chairman, said in a May 14 press release.

CSB, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, issued its inaugural Safety Spotlight publication Feb. 21 to highlight its recommendations to state governments after the Trump administration released its latest proposed budget on Feb. 12.

The administration sought to allocate $9 million for the agency to wind down operations. The budget proposal once again stated that CSB was up for elimination because of the “relative duplicative nature of [the agency’s] work, and the administration’s focus on streamlining functions across the federal government.”

The Senate has to weigh in with its Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill, likely to be released during the week of June 11.

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