SF Chronicle: U.S. Chemical Safety Board in disarray


The San Francisco Chronicle highlights strife within the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) – a 40-person authority charged with investigating industrial accidents and recommending ways to improve safety.

Many of the problems can be traced back to the August 2012 fire at Chevron, writes Jaxon Van Derbeken, which prompted the CSB to launch a crusade into how refineries are regulated and maintained.

Leading the charge was Rafael Moure-Eraso, a longtime scholar with the University of Massachusetts, chemical engineer and worker-safety advocate whom President Obama named the safety board’s chaiman in 2010.

Moure-Eraso’s strategies soon came under fire and prompted a congressional investigation, which eventually led to Moure-Eraso’s ouster. Personnel issues within the agency followed – meanwhile, critics have blamed the infighting from preventing change or progress.

“All that is going on at the Chemical Safety Board is people fighting over deck chairs on the Titanic,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a group that advocates for government workers.

To read the full article, click here.