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Safety

CSB nominee has strong industry ties

by Jeff Johnson, special to C&EN
December 5, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 48

Rachel A. Meidl was nominated by President Barack Obama last month to serve on the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). Meidl is currently deputy associate administrator for policy and programs in the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the Department of Transportation, a position she has held for a year. From 2012 to 2015, she was director of regulatory affairs for the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade association. As an industry advocate, Meidl was frequently at odds with CSB safety recommendations. For instance, in her comments on proposed regulations that had been advanced by CSB, she opposed application of inherently safer technologies and overhauls of federal regulations on process safety management and industrial facility risk management. She also argued against greater regulation of highly reactive chemicals. According to the White House, Meidl’s past experience includes several environmental health and safety positions at the University of California, San Diego. If confirmed by the Senate, Meidl would bring the board to its full complement of five members for the first time since September 2011.

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