Frozen out Chemical Safety Board puts in own budget request

The United States Chemical Safety Board (CSB), which carries out independent investigations of industrial chemical accidents, submitted its own budget request separate from the administration’s after it became apparent that President Trump planned to eliminate the board in his 2018 budget. ‘Congress provided the CSB with concurrent authority to submit its annual budget requests directly to the Congress, as well as to the Office of Management and Budget,’ said CSB chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland in a statement. ‘In our safety investigations of high consequence chemical accidents, we routinely examine the adequacy of the existing regulations and standards,’ she added. ‘No other federal agency, or private entity for that matter, provides this comprehensive safety role.’ The CSB requested $12 million (£9 million) for 2018, which would represent an increase of about 5.7% above its current budget. In contrast, the White House had proposed to give the board just $9 million to phase it out. However, Congress is not expected to approve the budget put forward by the president. Last month, Congress rejected significant and immediate cuts that Trump had proposed for research agencies under the president’s budget reduction plan for 2017. In the end, lawmakers produced an omnibus spending package that increased federal R&D by 5% for the remainder of 2017.

Chemistry World, 31 May 2017 ;https://www.chemistryworld.com