Farley and Downs Offer Insight on New CSB Initiative

March 23, 2021

Farley & Partners routinely work with clients in connection with investigations by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). Partner Mark Farley has directed the response to more CSB deployments than any other attorney in the United States.

Recently, we have seen an apparent effort by the CSB to respond to a long-standing criticism of the agency—its relatively limited number of investigations. In a Bloomberg Law article, Partners Mark Farley and Devon Downs attorneys discuss key issues companies should consider as the frequency of these limited scope investigations increase.

The CSB continues to implement its reporting requirements for accidental releases of hazardous chemicals into the air and has implemented a new program of limited scope investigations. Informally referred to as “desk investigations” by the agency’s professional staff, this new effort seems based on a sequential, and prioritized, review of incidents reported to the agency under the incident reporting rule.

It is important to acknowledge that this effort is playing out against the backdrop of the new presidential administration that certainly will be more supportive of the CSB as compared to the previous administration. It is likely that these desk investigations will continue and perhaps become more formalized and expanded. The scope and conduct of a company’s post-incident internal investigations, therefore, will become even more important given the potential for external scrutiny.