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Safety

Troubled Safety Board Has Difficulties Anew

by Andrea Widener
June 29, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 26

The Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is facing new problems in the wake of controversy that earlier this year led to the resignation of its chairman. CSB membership fell to two people last week when the term of Mark Griffon expired. Two nominees to the board—including a new chair—are awaiting confirmation by the Senate. In addition, CSB member and temporary chair Rick Engler suspended the board’s general counsel and managing director. CSB’s acting general counsel, Raymond C. Porfiri, is also suing the agency, the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) revealed. This means Porfiri is now overseeing the lawyer who is helping defend CSB against Porfiri’s case, which alleges the agency did not make the necessary accommodations after he suffered a back injury, PEER says. Meanwhile, in a reform effort, CSB adopted new policies last week that members say will make the agency more transparent. They include holding more public meetings and increasing openness about ongoing investigations.

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