From: Erik A Talley <ert2002**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSB Public Meetings - input?
Date: Fri, 29 May 2015 17:47:01 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: BY2PR0601MB15583A10DDEE88D22BE43DE4F4C90**At_Symbol_Here**

Hi Debbie,

NTSB was created in 1967 and NHTSA in 1970. DOT was only created in 1966. These organizations have always had to work together, and "grew up" together over many decades when transportation safety was also taking off. The political environment was also much different. CSB was created many decades after OSHA, EPA, etc. and is now trying to show jurisdiction but being seen as a new organization that is also tiny when compared to others. If I ask 10 people on the street who NTSB is, most will not know the exact acronym but will remember they are the group investigating transportation accidents. I think there is probably a lot CSB can learn from these other organizations, but we need to be careful and not say they should already be at the same level.



-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Debbie M. Decker
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2015 11:53 AM
To: DCHAS-L Discussion List
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSB Public Meetings - input?

We have strayed from my original request but the discussion is fascinating.

I'm wondering, though - the CSB, NTSB, and NHTSA are similarly organized. But yet these other two agencies don't seem to suffer the same political issues as does the CSB. In the West, TX investigation, there was a very visible struggle over jurisdiction and access. The CSB complained that evidence had been either destroyed or removed before they had a chance to investigate. In the same year, there was a train derailment with 4 fatalities the NTSB investigated which then led to a study on sleep deprivation and its effects in the transportation industry. Why is it that when NTSB shows up, other agencies defer to NTSB but the same doesn't appear to happen for the CSB?

Just musing ....


Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety University of California, Davis

Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions, can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2015 7:33 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSB Public Meetings - input?

From: "Reinhardt, Peter"
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] CSB Public Meetings - input?
Date: May 29, 2015 at 7:34:46 AM EDT

Ralph's comment below is dead on. Be aware that every time the CSB issues a report the firm under investigation complains to their congressional delegation, who then attack the CSB for every reason they can think of: the report was flawed because of "technical reasons," the process was bad, the investigation was bad, the report went beyond the CSB's legislative mandate, lack of CSB expertise, poor CSB management and leadership, or that the report/process was just too public. The are plenty of members of congress who don't think the federal government should have a CSB of any kind. Few members of congress come to the defense of the CSB and their staff. -- Pete Reinhardt ________________________________________
From: Ralph Stuart [rstuartcih**At_Symbol_Here**ME.COM]
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2015 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] CSB Public Meetings - input?

it's apparently the leadership that's been at issue for some time.

I‰??m not sure if it‰??s the CSB leadership that‰??s been the issue, but that its status as an independent federal agency means that it‰??s in a very awkward political situation, which doesn‰??t seem to be a high priority for federal leadership. It took 8 years for the Board to start up after it was established in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and it has not had the legislated 5 members for much of it existence. And its investigation agenda is more often Congressionally driven than strategic, based on the resources available to conduct the investigation.

Given these political limitations, the work that it has produced has been remarkable, which is why DCHAS recognized it with the 2008 Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart

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