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Update about the US Chemical Safety Board (the CSB)
Presented by Eric J. Conn, Micah Smith and Beeta B. Lashkari

For a small agency, a lot happened at the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (the CSB) last year – and not all related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in February, the CSB promulgated its long-anticipated accidental release reporting rule, creating broad new requirements for employers to report chemical incidents to the CSB. Although the rule went into effect in March of last year, the CSB set a one-year enforcement “grace period” to provide time for the regulated community to become familiar with the rule, and for the Agency to develop explanatory guidance about the new rule. With the grace period approaching its end on March 23, 2021, it is critical for employers to understand their compliance obligations to avoid violations, which may include administrative penalties, and civil or criminal actions.

Additionally, with expired terms, early departures, and the swearing in of a new Chairperson (but no other Board members), the CSB’s Board became a “quorum of one” for the first time in its history, begging questions about its authority to vote on mission-critical work product, such as investigation reports, and its ability to conduct business generally. Although President Biden will likely nominate new candidates early in his term, the Senate confirmation process can be a slog, especially for lower priority agency nominations, meaning the Board may maintain a quorum of one for an extended period.

Participants in this webinar will learn:

• Requirements of the CSB’s Accidental Release Reporting Rule
• Board governance with a quorum of one
• Impact of new Board member nominees
• Status of staffing and hiring efforts
• New investigation reports, case studies, and other work product

Mar 16, 2021 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Eric J. Conn
Chair, OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice @Conn Maciel Carey LLP
Eric J. Conn is a founding partner and Chair of the national OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group at the law firm Conn Maciel Carey LLP, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of occupational safety & health law. Mr. practiced for more than a decade alongside the former first General Counsel of the OSH Review Commission. He represents employers in inspections, investigations and enforcement actions involving OSHA, the CSB, MSHA, EPA and state and local safety related agencies. He also handles all aspects of OSHA litigation, from criminal prosecutions to appeals of citations. Mr. Conn also conducts and directs attorney-client privileged workplace safety audits, delivers safety training, and helps employers develop and implement compliant safety and health programs. He writes and speaks extensively on safety & health law issues, including authoring chapters in multiple OSHA Treatises.
Micah Smith
Partner, OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice @Conn Maciel Carey LLP
Micah Smith is a Partner in the national OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group of Conn Maciel Carey LLP. He focuses his practice in the areas of occupational safety and health (OSHA) law. Mr. Smith represents clients in the full range of OSHA-related matters across a wide range of industries, and works with his clients to identify safety and health strategies that both increase employee safety and improve business performance.
Beeta B. Lashkari
Associate, OSHA and Labor & Employment Practices @Conn Maciel Carey LLP
Beeta B. Lashkari is an associate in the Washington, DC office of Conn Maciel Carey LLP working in both the OSHA and Labor and Employment practice groups. Ms. Lashkari advises and represents clients in a wide-range of inspections, investigations, and enforcement actions. Additionally, in support of the firm’s Employment and Labor practice group, Ms. Lashkari manages workplace investigations, including whistleblower and retaliation claims, defending employers in EEOC discrimination and harassment charges, and counseling clients on myriad legal issues employers face in the workplace.