On Thursday, Dec. 7, several environmental groups, including Air Alliance Houston, sued the U.S. Chemical Safety Board in an effort to get the agency to communicate to the public when accidental chemical releases take place. The groups maintain that such action is required according to the Clean Air Act amendments made in 1990.
Although the CSB issued a noticed of proposed rules on chemical release reporting during the Obama administration, it has not taken any further action since 2009. The lawsuit claims that silence from the CSB has negatively impacted accidental release investigations and responses, such as during the Arkema chemical plant fires and explosions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The CSB has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Other groups involved in the lawsuit are the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities, as well as Neil Carman, a chemist and the clean air program director for the Texas Sierra Club.
“The CSB needs to do its job and protect communities, particularly those that put their lives in harm’s way to keep our communities safe,” said Bakeyah Nelson, executive director, Air Alliance Houston.