Richard J. Engler, founder and director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, was nominated by President Barack Obama last week to the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). The board investigates the root cause of chemical plant accidents and has been short of a full complement of five members since September 2011.
Currently CSB has only two board members, and with Engler’s nomination, two nominees await Senate approval. Beth J. Rosenberg, a public health professor at Tufts University School of Medicine was nominated in September.
The nominations are pending before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.
“It is critically important that we fill these CSB vacancies so the agency can continue its important work to protect communities and workers from dangerous chemical plant accidents,” says committee member Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.).
The New Jersey council Engler heads has, since 1986, been an advocate for worker safety and a clean environment, as well as chemical plant security and the elimination of toxic chemicals when possible.
From 1986 to 1996, Engler was legislative director for the New Jersey Industrial Union Council, AFL-CIO. From 1975 to 1985, he directed a Philadelphia area project on occupational safety and health. He began his labor career with the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers International Union, an affiliate of AFL-CIO.