Chemical Safety

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The CSB’s mission is to “drive chemical safety change through independent investigation to protect people and the environment.” Sadly, the CSB is failing in its mission. Wrought by cratering morale, personnel issues, industry influence and weak regulations. 

Lax chemical safety monitoring and reporting could result in serious mass casualty events. Massive refinery explosions are a textbook example of dangerous chemicals mixing with lack of oversight and a profits-over-safety approach to management. Politicians and regulatory agencies, however, are blocking critical steps to prevent future plant explosions and to hide the chemical content of plumes that coat communities after explosions. PEER is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), a highly volatile and deadly chemical used at many refineries, we are fighting for the implementation of laws that let communities, firefighters and first responders know what chemicals are released into their communities as the result of fires, explosions and releases.

CHEMICAL SAFETY NEWS FROM PEER

Letter to House Subcommittee – Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act – 10-26-2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Implementation of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act TO: House Energy ...

Webinar | Hair on Fire and Yes Packages!

Second in a series of webinars that examines how risk assessments for new chemicals have been improperly altered ...

EPA Illegally Destroying Internal Records

Assessments and Comments Routinely Overwritten, Obliterating Drafts

Letter to Dr. Michal Freedhoff – Chemicals Division -08-10-2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Dr. Michal Freedhoff regarding the hardships in the New Chemicals Division at the EPA TO: ...

Letter to Representative DeGette – 08-03-2021 (PDF) 

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Representative DeGette regarding the chemical industry’s influence over EPA’s ...

PEERMail | Whistleblowers Making a Difference

On Whistleblower Appreciation Day, we honor those who stand up for strong environmental protections and work for ...

Chemical Safety Board Chair’s Spending Spree – On Herself 

Trump Holdover Consolidates Control to Preempt Biden Appointees

Chemical Safety Board Goes on Crony Binge

Disgraced Ex-Louisiana Official Given Top Job by Trump Holdover 

Federal Industrial Safety Agency Withering Away 

Investigator Ranks and Recommendations Plummet under Absentee Chair  

NRC Stages Swift Sweeping Rollback During Pandemic

Vast Amounts of Rad Waste Slated for Disposal by Unlicensed Operators 

BLOG: Weak Industrial Accident Emissions Rule Final But Not Effective

After more than 20 years of delay and a successful lawsuit by PEER and chemical safety advocacy groups, the ...

PEERMail: Exploding in a Neighborhood Near You

America's industrial infrastructure suffers from aging pipes prone to corrosive leaks leading to ignition that ...

Industrial Accident Emissions Reporting Plan Too Weak

CSB Proposal Would Not Produce Useful, Accurate, or Timely Information

EPA Declines to Avert Mass-Casualty Refinery Accidents

Despite Near Misses, Agency Claims Ignorance on Hydrogen Fluoride Risks

Refinery Fires Needlessly Risk Mass Casualty Events

EPA Action Needed to Ban Chemical Threatening Bhopal-Like Tragedies

Chemical Safety Board Personnel Case Settles

Courthouse Steps Agreement Means Thursday MSPB Hearing Is Cancelled

PEERMail: David Bernhardt and the Banality of Evil

As disturbing Trump appointees go, Scott Pruitt at EPA is hard to top.  Well, somebody else who has that potential ...

Court Orders Disclosure of Chemical Accident Emissions

Chemical Safety Board Shirked Its Clean Air Act Mandate to Protect Communities

Morale Cratering at Chemical Safety Board

Number of Investigators Down by More Than Half as More Employees Depart

Outgoing Chemical Safety Chair Fires Managing Director

Civil Servant Punished for Doing His Job Amidst Shifting Politics and Leadership

Lawsuit to Require Chemical Accident Emission Reports

Hurricane Harvey Chemical Explosions Spotlight Neglected Clean Air Act Mandate

Obamas Timid Chemical Safety Legacy

EPA Plan Limited, Largely Voluntary and Leaves Largest Threats Unabated

Morale Charades at Chemical Safety Board

Managing Director Scapegoated as CSB Stalls Mandatory Morale Survey Analysis

New Transparency Is Opaque at Chemical Safety Board

Basic Information on Investigations, Procurement and Private Emails Still Missing

Chemistry Classroom Flash Fire Should Be Investigated

Chemical Safety Board Dispatches Tweets Not Investigators to Latest School Blowout

No New Chemical Safety Investigations Opened in Seven Months

19 Major Accidents Ignored as Chemical Safety Board Prolongs Internal Probes

Indefinite Leave at Chemical Safety Board Prompts Complaint

OPM Intervention Sought for Merit Violation of Extended Suspension without Cause

Covert Contracts Drain Chemical Safety Board Budget

Sole-Source Payments Piecemealed to Avoid Bid, Affirmative Action and Other Rules

Silent Epidemic of Workplace Chemical Exposures Rages On

New Worker Right-to-Know Database Maps All OSHA Health Inspection Readings

Myopic IG Demand for Total Access Often Misses Mark

Pursuit of Trivial Information Masks IG Lack of Oversight on Serious Matters

Obama Retreats From His Own Chemical Safety Measures

Despite Recurring Disasters, Industrial Plants No Safer Now Than Under Bush

Why U.S. Is Not Embracing Inherently Safer Chemical Plants

Chevron Richmond Refinery Explosion Ignored in GOP Red Herring Oversight

Don’t Drink the Fracking Fluids!

Toxic Well Flowback Pumped for Consumption by Wildlife and Livestock

Vapor Intrusion Standards Relaxed in New Jersey

No Public Review of New Guidance to Industry Consultants on Toxic Cleanups

Jersey Toxic Spill Fiasco Demands Second Look

Review of Evacuation and Health Warnings Confusion, Role of Corporate Consultant

Love That Dirty Water: Romney Water Pollution Record

Hundreds of Corporate Waivers to Dump Toxics into Massachusetts Water Supply

Twenty Seven New Jersey Superfund-Eligible Sites Left off List

EPA Still Reviewing Status of Unknown Number of Garden State Toxic Hotspots

Dupont Pompton Lake Pollution May Be Headed Downstream

DEP Scientists’ Questions Could Prompt Feds to Expand DuPont Cleanup Scope

EPA Corrects Cleanup Standard for Industrial Solvent

Agency Mistakenly Relaxed 1,4 Dioxane Standard by More Than 50-Fold

Grain Elevator Deaths Product of LAX OSHA Enforcement

Summer Plea Bargain Letting Executives off Set up Repeat of Preventable Fatalities

Lawsuit to Uncover Toxic History of New Jersey

U.S. EPA Will Not Release Hazardous Ratings for Pompton Lakes and Other Sites

New Jersey to Deregulate Toxic Vapor Intrusion

Control of Deadly Seepage Put on “Honor System” in Christie Regulatory Rollback

Strong Federal Action Needed Now at Toxic Jersey Dupont Site

Spreading and Uncontrolled Contamination in Hundreds of Pompton Lakes Homes

Chemical Caused Nerve Damage to Military Base Workers

Alaska Health Report Cannot ID Agent, Urges Permanent Paving for Base Site

Pay-To-Players Take Over Jersey Environmental Agency

Corporate Political Donors Control DEP Toxic Clean-Up Oversight and Rulemaking

Spiking Mercury Levels in Coal Ash Pose New Risks

Tougher Pollution Controls Multiply Toxic Potency of Coal Combustion Wastes

Pennsylvania Hazmat Rules Roil Both Industry and Workers

DEP Employees Files Grievances over Higher Toxic Exposure with No Protection

Gas Drilling Divides Another National Forest

Damage to Endangered Bat Caves and Toxic Pits Plague Monongahela NF

Dow Dioxin Deal Flying Under EPA Radar

Contamination Case in Closed-Door Negotiations for “Non-Regulatory” Resolution