Top “Chemical Safety Board” Chair Resigns Amid Controversy

( A government agency that examines accidents involving chemicals has just lost its chairperson. The agency is known as the Chemical Safety Board (CSB).
According to their spokesman, Shauna Lawhorne, the agency has accepted the resignation of Katherine Lemos.

Lemos was appointed to her position during the Trump administration. Her resignation will end a 2-year period in which she was the leader and sole member of the board.

Lawhorne did not provide the reasons behind Lemos’ resignation. But, in a resignation letter that Lemos sent to the White House on Friday, she cited “eroded trust” in the board’s ability to focus on its goal based on its “recent priorities.”

According to several people familiar with the CSB, the Lemos resignation followed disagreements with the two new board members over leadership direction and board management decisions. Bruce Walker, Lemos’ principal advisor, also left his position. Lemos and Walker both came from the aerospace sector; neither had any prior academic or professional expertise directly relevant to the chemical sector.

Since the late 1990s, when the board was initially given funding, it has struggled with various complex management issues. Officials from the CSB declined to comment on the most recent happenings.

Lemos is the only member of the board to have been appointed by Trump. After her departure, the only members who will remain are the two people that Biden appointed.

Last week, President Biden nominated Catherine J.K. Sandoval as a candidate for the vacated board of directors seat.

Lemos has relocated her duty station. She will make a move from DC to San Diego. According to the agency, this modification was created to be more matched with where she is working remotely as the agency continues to implement telework.

Lemos’s resignation letter says that she will leave on July 22.
Lemos hired Susan Kantrowitz, also from the NTSB, as managing director just before she resigned. She hired two others as the directors of human resources and information technology. These three individuals recently sent in their resignations as well.

It sounds like there is bad chemistry at the Chemical Safety Board.