White House Moves to Fill Last CSB Vacancy

At the beginning of June, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) had two empty board positions and it lacked a permanent chief operating officer (COO). A couple of weeks later, everything has changed.

With the June 17 nomination of John Bresland of New Jersey to serve a five-year term on the CSB, the board could soon have its full complement of five members, and the CSB itself announced earlier this week that former OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress would be the new permanent COO, a staff position.

The White House earlier named Carolyn Merritt to be the CSB's chair and chief executive officer.

The two White House CSB nominations must be approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, whose chairman, James Jeffords, I-Vt., broke from the Republican Party largely because of differences with the Bush administration's environmental record. The committee has not yet set a date for confirmation hearings on the two CSB nominees.

Like Merritt, Bresland will bring to the CSB considerable business experience with chemical safety. He is currently president of Environmental and Safety Risk Assessment LLC, a New Jersey-based process safety consulting firm. In addition, Bresland is a staff consultant with the Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. From 1966 to 2000, he was employed by Honeywell International (formerly Allied Signal) as operations manager, plant manager and director of environmental risk management.

Most recently, Bresland was responsible for Honeywell's program of compliance with Environmental Protection Agency chemical risk management regulations. Bresland chaired two committees of the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade association, and also served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council.

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