Senator's request for more funding for CSB included in FY 2014 spending package

Updated 4 years ago From Press Release
Now that Congress has approved his request for a boost in the Chemical Safety Board’s budget, Senator Jay Rockefeller  said the CSB is now better equipped to investigate the cause of last week’s Elk River chemical spill—and make key recommendations to prevent another water crisis from happening.

“The Chemical Safety Board has been strained in recent years by slashed budgets, small staffs and the difficulty of responding to incidents across the country,” Rockefeller said. “That’s why I pushed my colleagues to boost the CSB’s budget and give the agency the resources it needs to do its job. That’s more important now more than ever, as people all across West Virginia are demanding answers in the wake of the
ongoing water crisis.”

Rockefeller on January 11 called for a Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigation immediately following a January 9 spill of 7,500 gallons of crude methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, tainting the water supply for 300,000 West Virginia American Water customers in the Kanawha Valley. But Rockefeller worried about the over-worked and under-staffed agency’s ability to work quickly in discovering the spill’s cause.

With that in mind, Rockefeller wrote a letter to colleagues working on a fiscal year 2014 government funding package seeking $11 million for the CSB’s operations. The
Republican-controlled House of Representatives earlier this year sought just over $8 million for the CSB, threatening the agency’s ability to respond to the ongoing crisis in West Virginia.

This week, Congress passed a 2014 spending bill that included Rockefeller’s request for full CSB funding.

“The CSB is so important to West Virginia, which has unfortunately had to rely on its assistance many times in recent years, so I’m enormously pleased that my colleagues agreed to my funding request,” Rockefeller added.

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