thesynergist | COMMUNITY

AIHA to President, Senate: Nominate a CIH to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board
On June 1, AIHA President Cynthia A. Ostrowski, CIH, FAIHA, sent a letter to President Trump and all members of the U.S. Senate urging them to nominate and confirm two members of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. CSB investigators examine all aspects of chemical incidents, including both physical causes such as equipment failure and inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The agency is headquartered in Washington, DC, and its board members are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. AIHA’s letter recommends that at least one of the new board members be a certified industrial hygienist. According to AIHA, the expertise and skills of CIHs align with the mission of CSB.  “Such expertise is essential, given that the Board’s deliberations and actions have far-reaching implications for businesses, workers, and the communities that surround facilities,” the letter reads. “For these same reasons, AIHA believes that providing the Board with a full complement of five members will improve the quality of its deliberations.” AIHA’s letter was spurred by the resignation of Vanessa Allen Sutherland, former chairperson of CSB, who left her position last month. On June 12, the agency announced that current board member Kristen Kulinowski will serve as the agency’s interim executive authority. In 2015, AIHA supported Kulinowski’s confirmation to serve as a CSB board member (PDF). She previously served as a member of AIHA’s Nanotechnology Working Group. Sutherland was nominated to lead CSB by President Obama in March 2015 and was confirmed by the Senate in August of the same year. She left her position with more than two years remaining on her five-year term as CSB chairperson. CSB’s press release provides no reason for Sutherland’s departure, which leaves the agency with only three current board members. CSB is supposed to comprise five board members who serve fixed terms of five years.  Read a PDF of AIHA’s letter. AIHA members can take action on this issue by writing their elected officials via the association's Government Relations Action Center. For additional information, email Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of Government Relations.