New Chemical Board Budget Request Seeks Increase

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has requested an appropriation of $9 million to support board operations during fiscal year 2002.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has released its annual budget justification and performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 2002.

CSB is an independent federal agency whose mission is to ensure the safety of workers and the public by preventing chemical incidents.

The new budget, transmitted to Congress and President Bush, requests an appropriation of $9 million to support board operations during the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Congress appropriated $7.5 million for CSB operations in FY 2001. More than $1 million of the requested increase is slated for personnel costs, due largely to CSB''s hiring program over the last 12 months.

The balance of the increase will fund additional training, contract support and office space rental. By law, the board prepares and submits its budget to Congress independent of the Executive Branch.

Commenting on the new budget, Board Member Dr. Andrea Kidd Taylor said, "The board''s requested increase will support our dramatically strengthened investigations and safety program and will result in heightened productivity. We''ve rebuilt this program from the ground up, responding to the directions of Congress. We have worked closely with Congressional auditors and established the basis for solid organizational development."

Taylor said she was pleased with the agency''s record of achievement over the past year, including the completion of three accident investigation reports and a five-year strategic plan.

CBS also began work on a much-anticipated special investigation on reactive chemical hazards, and so far this year launched two new investigations of incidents in Georgia and Indiana.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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