The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has become the target of a lawsuit for not creating national reporting system for safety incidents.
The CSB proposed an incident reporting requirement in 2009, but later backed off from the proposal due to the costs of implementation and industry opposition. Now, a group of environmental and safety nonprofit organizations are asking a federal court in Washington D.C. to require the CSB to issue the reporting mandate. The groups said that recent accidents like the fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Texas show the importance of tracking chemical-related incidents.
Currently, the CSB collects data through the news and reports from the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center.
The CSB is an independent federal agency that was created under the Clean Air Act in 1990 and is tasked with investigating chemical accidents. Typically the CSB issues recommendations for regulators but does not create binding rules for stakeholders in the industry.
A budget proposed by President Trump earlier this year eliminated the $11 million agency all together but has yet to be passed.