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Chemical Safety Board Chair Vanessa Sutherland announces resignation

Vanessa Sutherland
Photo: Chemical Safety Board

Washington — Chemical Safety Board Chair Vanessa A. Sutherland has submitted her resignation and will be stepping down in June, the agency announced May 21.

Sutherland has led the board since August 2015. She is leaving with more than two years remaining on her five-year term. A CSB press release gave no reason for her departure.

“I am saddened to leave the wonderful mission and incredible work of the CSB,” Sutherland said in the release. “This mission is unique and critically important because we are the only agency conducting independent, comprehensive root cause chemical incident investigations. As we continue to recognize the agency’s 20th anniversary of operations, we still have much work to do to achieve our vision of a nation safe from chemical disasters. And I am absolutely certain that this team, and future hires, will both excel in execution and outshine our prior efforts. I’m fortunate to have been a part of the work.”

A frequent target for elimination under the Trump administration, the agency recently received backing from the House Appropriations Committee, which proposed a $1 million increase to CSB’s fiscal year 2019 budget.

The agency states that it has closed 13 incident investigations during Sutherland's tenure. She succeeded Rafael Moure-Eraso, who resigned under pressure in March 2015 amid congressional allegations of mismanagement.

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