May 4—Last week, President
While that may sound pretty routine or mundane, this is the board for the agency responsible for investigating the
Biden's nominations came three years, almost to the day, of the Husky explosion — and less than one week after
While nominating and appointing new board members can be an important first step toward addressing all the can't-be-left-unfinished work, much more demands to happen to restore the board and agency, its funding, and its critical public-safety watchdog role.
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation agency, or CSB, has 20 outstanding investigations right now, dating as far back as 2016, according to the
The CSB also has 108 open recommendations, has not released a final investigation report since
"Having only one member impairs the function of the CSB, as all functions rest with that one member," a
So pressure has been aplenty on Biden and his administration to sufficiently fund the agency and restore its board. That includes from
"This is especially concerning given that the core mission of the agency is to provide for chemical safety changes through lessons learned from previous incidents," the senators wrote. "The CSB cannot effectively accomplish that mission with only a single board member in place."
Even the usually head-butting
"While our respective organizations sometimes have alternative perspectives on given issues, a superseding common goal throughout both organizations is safety in the workplace," their letter said. "We believe that a fully constituted CSB, properly funded and managed, greatly contributes to this shared objective. ... Finally, in order to be successful in its mission, the CSB must have adequate funding to attract, train and retain qualified staff investigators."
As Lovrien importantly pointed out, although the
In order for the agency to do its work effectively and with urgency, a fully appointed board, an adequate number of investigators, and an appropriate level of funding are needed. Look no further than those of us still waiting for the final investigative report into one of the scariest days in Twin Ports history — so we can know not only what happened and how but also how it can be prevented — for the need for Biden's appointments last week to just be the start of restoring the
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