U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

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Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Agency overview
FormedJanuary 1998
Headquarters1751 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Washington, D.C.
Agency executive
  • Katherine Lemos, Chairperson

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, generally referred to[1] as the Chemical Safety Board or CSB, is an independent U.S. federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the United States Senate. The CSB conducts root cause investigations of chemical accidents at fixed industrial facilities.[2]


The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is authorized by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and became operational in January 1998. The Senate legislative history states: "The principal role of the new chemical safety board is to investigate accidents to determine the conditions and circumstances which led up to the event and to identify the cause or causes so that similar events might be prevented." Congress gave the CSB a unique statutory mission and provided in law that no other agency or executive branch official may direct the activities of the Board. Following the successful model of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transportation, Congress directed that the CSB's investigative function be completely independent of the rulemaking, inspection, and enforcement authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Congress recognized that Board investigations would identify chemical hazards that were not addressed by those agencies.[3]


Following criticism from lawmakers and allegations of mismanagement, the former chairman of the CSB, Rafael Moure-Eraso, resigned in March 2015.[4][5][6] He was replaced by Vanessa Allen Sutherland in August 2015.[7] Sutherland resigned with two years left in her five-year term after the Trump administration proposed shutting down the CSB as part of the 2019 United States federal budget.[8]

Notable investigations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Media Resources". U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Archived from the original on Jul 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Website - Mission
  3. ^ U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Website - History
  4. ^ "Oversight Committee Members Call on Chemical Safety Board Chairman to Resign". United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mar 4, 2015. Archived from the original on Aug 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Trager, Rebecca (Mar 10, 2015). "US chemical safety board in turmoil". Chemistry World.
  6. ^ Gunther, Matthew (Mar 31, 2015). "US Chemical Safety Board chairman resigns". Chemistry World.
  7. ^ "PN278 - Nomination of Vanessa Lorraine Allen Sutherland for Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, 114th Congress (2015-2016)". www.congress.gov. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  8. ^ "Chemical Safety Board Chair Vanessa Sutherland announces resignation". Safety+Health. National Safety Council. May 23, 2018. Archived from the original on 2020-03-05. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  9. ^ Chevron Refinery fire, August 6, 2012
  10. ^ West, TX, Fertilizer Fire and Explosion, April 17, 2013

External links[edit]