CSB's current annual budget, which covers the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2008, is $9,263,000. The requested increase of more than $920,000 could accommodate three investigative positions that were recommended, but not funded, by the House for FY 2008.
Additionally, the budget would support a new knowledge manager position to coordinate the handling of extensive electronic records and address information security and privacy requirements. The remainder of the additional personnel funding will finance an anticipated January 2009 cost-of-living increase, as well as other payroll and expense adjustments.
“The new funds will allow the Chemical Safety Board to respond to more of the serious chemical accidents that occur in the U.S. each year,” said CSB board member William E. Wright, the agency's interim executive. “Currently, the CSB lacks enough staff to investigate more than a fraction of those accidents.”
The budget request also includes $250,000 to fund CSB’s safety video program. Wright explained that CSB needs “a stable funding line for safety videos in order to continue this successful and innovative program that is helping inform businesses around the world.”