Chairman Waxman and Chairman Markey Join Rep. Gene Green in Requesting Houston Region CSB Office
March 24, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Gene Green, Chairman Henry Waxman, and Chairman Edward Markey today sent a letter to Chairman David Obey and Ranking Member Jerry Lewis of the Committee on Appropriations. They are requesting the inclusion of funds within any Fiscal Year 2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill to establish a new regional office of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) in the Houston-area.
The letter requesting the new regional office in the Houston-area is in response to the increasing number of chemical accidents in Texas and across the region. Currently, the CSB has insufficient resources and is straining to respond to these incidents. In 2009 only 15 of 237 high consequence chemical accidents received a CSB investigation team.
“Our area is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the country,” Rep. Green stated. “We’ve built a strong economy on these industries, but we also have greater responsibility to ensure the safety of our workers and residents.”
Currently, investigative teams are deployed from Washington, D.C. However with the establishment of a Houston office, chemical accidents in the region could be responded to with greater speed and localized knowledge and experience. Since 1998, Texas was the site of 20% of chemical accidents investigated by the CSB, many within a 500-mile radius of Houston.
“With a Houston regional CSB office, workload on all the investigative teams will be alleviated to allow the CSB to continue to conduct timely investigations and provide recommendations to prevent future accidents,” Rep. Green said.