OIG report highlights ‘management challenges’ at CSB
Washington — The Chemical Safety Board faces two significant managerial challenges, the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General contends in a report released June 4.
The first challenge detailed in the report is the CSB chairperson’s lack of authority to hold board members accountable. The report suggests that CSB take steps internally to aid that cause while seeking help from Congress to “provide the chairperson with the authority to correct inappropriate or destabilizing behaviors by board members.”
Outgoing CSB Chair Vanessa A. Sutherland said the agency plans to finalize an official policy on board members’ roles and responsibilities, as well as internal enforcement guidelines on behavior.
Sutherland, slated to step down this month for undisclosed reasons, has led CSB since August 2015 after Rafael Moure-Eraso’s resignation amid congressional allegations of mismanagement.
The EPA OIG report gives examples of recent inappropriate actions by board members. According to the Clear Air Act Amendments of 1990, only the president can remove a board member for “inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.”
CSB’s other challenge, EPA OIG claims, is overcoming the negative effect of the Trump administration’s repeated attempts to eliminate the agency – specifically in terms of attracting, hiring and retaining staff.
Congress has agreed to keep funding the agency with the House Appropriations Committee allocating $12 million for fiscal year 2019 – $1 million more than in FY 2018.
According to EPA OIG, the challenges – if not addressed – “may seriously impede the agency’s ability to achieve its mission efficiently and effectively.”