Senate joins House in approving budget for CSB
Washington — The Chemical Safety Board is all but ensured of avoiding elimination for another fiscal year after the Senate allocated $11 million for the agency in its Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill for FY 2019.
The legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 14. The amount matches CSB’s FY 2018 budget.
“The Board has the important responsibility of independently investigating industrial chemical accidents and collaborating with industry and professional organizations to share safety lessons that can prevent catastrophic incidents and the Committee expects this work to continue,” the committee states in the bill.
The House Appropriations Committee allocated $12 million for the agency in its Interior and Environment bill, which was approved June 6.
In its past two budget proposals, the Trump administration has advocated eliminating CSB, citing the “relative duplicative nature of [the agency’s] work, and the administration’s focus on streamlining functions across the federal government.”
In its latest proposal, the administration sought to allocate $9 million for the agency to wind down operations. In response, CSB released a Safety Spotlight publication to highlight the “significant” safety improvements made in recent years by states that have incorporated the agency’s recommendations.
This legislation comes weeks after CSB announced in May that Chair Vanessa A. Sutherland would be resigning in the next month. Agency board member Kristen Kulinowski is serving as interim leader. It is unclear when the administration will nominate a permanent replacement.