Bush Nominates Bresland to Chair CSB

President Bush on July 11 nominated John S. Bresland to chair the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board for a five-year term in place of Carolyn Merritt, the highly visible CSB chairperson who will retire in August. Bresland is a current member of the five-member board, an experienced environmental risk and emergency response professional, and an emergency medical technician, according to CSB's online biography for him.

Bresland's nomination is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation, as is a second nomination to a five-year term on the board that Bush also announced July 11: Charles Russell Horner Shearer, who is currently deputy chief for Enforcement and Technical Matters in the Office of Health, Safety and Security at the Department of Energy.

"We are happy that the president is advancing the process of succession at the board by planning to nominate members to fill the vacant positions," Merritt said in a July 11 news release posted by CSB. "In the event the Senate has not acted on the nominations prior to August 2, the board has appropriate procedures in place to continue its operations under an interim executive." Merritt has been the board's leader in congressional testimony and public hearings about the causes of the March 2005 BP refinery explosion in Texas City and recommendations for ensuring process safety at such facilities.

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