Chemical Safety Board: Improvements in Management and Oversight Are Needed, Congressional Committees, United States Congress   [open pdf - 1MB]

The GAO report examines the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) management structure and examines how the CSB responded to GAO recommendation made during a study in 2000. More specifically, "in response to a mandate in the Joint Explanatory Statement that accompanied the fiscal year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, we examined (1) how CSB has responded to GAO and IG (Inspector General) recommendations regarding CSB's investigative gap, data quality problems, human capital problems, and accountability and management problems for meeting its mission requirements and (2) the merits of the current oversight approach using an existing office of inspector general and other alternative approaches to oversight. On April 17, 2008, we briefed staff from the House and Senate Appropriation Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and on May 20, 2008, we briefed the Chairman of the House subcommittee. This letter summarizes the main points from our presentation. See enclosure II for a copy of the briefing slides from that presentation. [...] The principal role of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is to investigate accidental releases of regulated or extremely hazardous substances to determine the conditions and circumstances that led to the accident and to identify the cause or causes so that similar accidents might be prevented. Accidental releases of these toxic and hazardous chemicals occur frequently and often have serious consequences. CSB reported to Congress that the agency received notification of approximately 900 chemical accidents in calendar year 2007, and that 31 of these accidents were serious or even fatal events that warranted the commitment of CSB investigators."

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