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Industrial Safety

Trump nominates new member to US Chemical Safety Board

Katherine Lemos comes from Northrop Grumman, the FAA, and the NTSB

by Jeff Johnson, special to C&EN
June 14, 2019

President Donald J. Trump has nominated Katherine Andrea Lemos to be a member of the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board for a five-year term.

Lemos has previously served in the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, according to the announcement. She is currently the director of autonomous systems for Northrop Grumman’s aerospace sector. According to the announcement, she has a background in system safety, accident investigation, human factors, and advanced technology research and integration.

The independent board investigates chemically related industrial accidents and has been operating for 20 years. Nominations to the CSB must be confirmed by the Senate.

Lemos’s nomination comes as a surprise because Trump has three times tried to eliminate funding for the board. The board currently has only three of its five member positions filled; the current members’ terms expire in December, February 2020, and August 2020. The board has been operating with an interim chair for the past year after the previous chair resigned.

Despite the president’s request to eliminate the CSB, Congress has continued funding support. Several members of Congress and industry representatives have urged the president to nominate new members.

“Given the President’s previous attempts to zero out the board, it’s interesting that he has decided to nominate a new board member,” says Michael Wright, director of health, safety, and environment for the United Steelworkers union. “We hope this signals that he now sees CSB’s value. The nominee has an impressive résumé and if confirmed, we look forward, as a stakeholder, to her service.”



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