Saturday, July 30, 2022

Review - CSB Releases Chemical Incident Data from Reporting Rule - 7-29-22

Yesterday, coincident with their July 2022 quarterly meeting, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released the latest tranche of data resulting from their Chemical Incident Data reporting rule. The spread sheet released by the Board shows an additional eight serious chemical release incidents since the Board last made this information public in May. The new data brings the total to 162 reported incidents since March 2021 with 25 involving at least one fatality, 92 involving serious injury, and 68 involving substantial property damage.

An interesting difference between the two data releases is how the announcement was made. The first data release was done with a very limited press release; just a couple of dry explanatory paragraphs and the link. Yesterday’s press release is bit more of an activist announcement. It includes separate quotes from both Board Members, Steve Owens (recently nominated to fill the Chair position) and Sylvia Johnson.

Both comments pointed to community’s right to know about chemical incidents in their backyard. Unfortunately, I do not think that the information provided to the Board is generally much more useful for communities than that found in the local press. That is not what the reporting rule was intended to do after all. What will be more important as these two new Board members put their mark on the CSB will be how they allocate their investigation resources. If they want to help chemical facility neighbors, they will be concentrating on more incidents with off-site consequences.


For more details about the new information included in the data release, see my article in CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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