Trump Wants to Eliminate Chemical Safety Board

Trump Wants to Eliminate Chemical Safety Board March 19, 2017

Another appalling item in Trump’s proposed budget is the elimination of the Chemical Safety Board, a federal commission that investigates chemical spills and accidents of toxic chemicals. Because why worry about things that endanger public health, amirite?

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President Donald Trump’s proposal to do away with the federal agency that investigates chemical accidents drew sharp criticism from environmental, labor and safety advocates, who said that eliminating the watchdog would put American lives at risk.

Christine Todd Whitman, the former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head, on Thursday called the proposal to get rid of Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and cut EPA funding short-sighted, saying both have long been an industry target for advocating greater public information on chemicals.

“If you want to put the American people in danger this is the way to do it,” she said of the president’s proposal to cut the CSB’s funding entirely from the 2018 federal budget. “The chemical industry has fought back from the beginning.”

The CSB investigates major chemicals accidents to search for their causes and makes recommendations that could prevent a recurrence. It has no regulatory power, but is influential because its recommendations are often adopted by industry, labor, government officials, the EPA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The total cost of the CSB? $12 million a year. Out of a $4 trillion budget. That’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. But again, we see the same pattern: If it helps people or protects public health and safety or the environment, it has to go. Too expensive, we simply can’t afford it. But $50 billion more to enhance our ability to kill people? An absolute necessity! We can’t survive only taking up half the world’s entire spending on the military, we must go higher!

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