Federal agencies

CSB follows through with reforms on transparency, accountability


Washington – The Chemical Safety Board has adopted four reforms intended to increase the agency’s transparency, accountability and effectiveness.

CSB took action June 24 to approve the measures, which had been in the works for months but stalled because of failed efforts to conduct official public meetings. Instead, a non-quorum of two board members – Rick Engler and Mark Griffon – voted to push through the changes as an urgent notation item.

The reforms include:

  • The CSB chairperson must schedule at least four public meetings every year in Washington.
  • Calendared notation votes must be considered at a public meeting within 90 days.
  • Public meetings must feature a review of current investigations and action plans.
  • Other board members (along with chairperson) may add agenda items for public discussion.

The announcement came on the final day of Griffon’s five-year term with CSB. Minus Griffon, the board now has two of five member positions filled, with two other nominations yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

Engler said the changes open the lines of communication to community members, employers and unions.

“I think we should be open to that pressure, to that accountability,” Engler told Safety+Health. “We’ve been far too insulated of a place over the last five years.”