CSB Asking Congress for FY 2007 Budget Increase

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board proposed its fiscal year 2007 budget earlier this week, asking Congress for $9.5 million, an increase of $440,000 above the FY 2006 enacted level of $9.06 million.

"The past year has been one of remarkable impact for the agency, marked by the initiation of the most complex and expensive investigation in CSB history," CSB Board Member John Bresland said. "The March 23, 2005, explosion and fire at the BP America Texas City refinery was the worst chemical accident in 15 years, causing 15 fatalities, more than 170 injuries and almost $2 billion in economic losses. The CSB is committed to working for the prevention of such tragedies, and our budget request will allow further progress in this life-saving mission."

CSB says the budget provides for continued funding of current staff and programs, as well as filling two vacant seats on the agency's five-member board.

The budget proposal points to seven serious chemical accidents that occurred in FY 2005 that the board did not investigate due to "a lack of available personnel or resources" and states that "the board believes that the public interest would be served by conducting root-cause investigations of a greater proportion of such serious accidents."

The budget request was transmitted to the House and Senate Appropriations committees on Feb. 6.

CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. By law, CSB submits its annual budget request independently from other executive branch agencies.

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