"Chemical Board Under Fire Amid Investigation Backlog"

"A key federal agency that is investigating the January’s Elk River chemical spill is in turmoil.

Top leadership at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are being harshly criticized by a board member, a former board member and several former agency staffers. Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have seized on the issue, issuing a blistering staff report and holding a hearing last week on the controversy.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are not proposing significant new funding or resources for the CSB, a small agency that continues to struggle with a limited budget and with the huge job of trying to pinpoint causes of major industrial accidents and recommend reforms that could help eliminate such incidents.

'The CSB faces certain challenges in fulfilling its mission that are beyond its control,' former CSB member Beth Rosenberg told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 'With current staffing and resources, it cannot possibly investigate all the incidents and deaths that it should.'"

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette June 21, 2014.

Monday, June 23, 2014