March27,2015– The Chairman of the US Chemical Safety Board, Dr. Rafael Moure Eraso has resigned, according to the CSB website and twitter feed. In a prepared statement Friday morning, Moure-Eraso said, “It has been a privilege to serve the agency since June 2010. My wishes are for the continued success and productivity of the Board.” Moure-Eraso’s five-year term as chairman was to have ended in June. He will remain on the board as a regular member until mid-April, a spokeswoman said.
Though the immediate reasons for the resignation were not clear, there have been bipartisan calls from membrs of Congress in Washington for his resignation since June. It is not clear what prompted this, but some of the issues were apparently the slow pace of industrial accident investigations, the reluctance to share information with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the use of private email for official communications. However nothing of this could be confirmed from sources.
It appears now that the new Chairman in his place would be likely to be Vanessa Allen Sutherland, who currently serves in the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
It should be noted that unlike EPA or OSHA, the Chemical Safety Board does not have the power to fine or regulate the industry, it only issues advisories and conducts accident investigations that result in recommendations.