[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 92 (Wednesday, May 13, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27276-27278]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-11422]



40 CFR Part 1600

Organization and Functions of the Chemical Safety and Hazard 
Investigation Board

AGENCY: Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

[[Page 27277]]

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: This proposed rule augments 40 CFR part 1600, which governs 
the administration of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation 
Board (CSB). The proposed rule adds a requirement for the chairperson 
to add notation votes that have been calendared for public discussion 
to the agenda of a public meeting within 90 days of the calendared 
notation vote. The proposed rule also adds a requirement for the 
chairperson to conduct a minimum of four public meetings per year in 
Washington, DC. Following publication of this proposed rule, the CSB 
welcomes and will consider public comment, and then proceed to a final 

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 12, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments concerning this proposed 
rule via U.S. mail or email. Written comments may be sent by U.S. mail 
to Kara Wenzel, Assistant General Counsel, Chemical Safety and Hazard 
Investigation Board, 2175 K Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC, 
20037. You may submit electronic comments to: [email protected].

Counsel, 202-261-7625.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule will promote increased 
transparency and accountability for Board activities. It aligns with 
the Open Government principles of transparency, participation, and 
collaboration, as outlined in the Memorandum on Transparency and Open 
Government (74 FR 4685, Jan. 26, 2009). The Board conducts some of its 
business through a process of notation voting. In notation voting, 
Board Members may vote to approve, disapprove, or calendar a notation 
item for discussion at a public meeting. The addition of a rule for the 
consideration of calendared notation votes within 90 days of the 
calendaring action will ensure that calendaring is used in the way it 
was intended. The addition will allow Board Members to use calendaring 
to prompt timely public discussion on a topic before they vote on it, 
at their discretion. It has the added effect of providing an additional 
opportunity for stakeholder input on Board activities.
    The other portion of the new proposed rule will require the CSB 
chairperson to schedule at least four public meetings in Washington, 
DC, each year. It will permit other Board Members to add items for 
discussion to the agendas of such CSB public meetings. It will also 
ensure that these meetings consider, at a minimum, calendared notation 
votes, current investigations and other important mission-related 
activities, and quarterly agency action plan progress. This portion of 
the proposed rule is intended to increase the transparency of Board 
actions, to promote the Board's accountability to the public, and to 
ensure regular, relevant feedback is received from stakeholders related 
to the agency's mission work.

    Statutory Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552(a)(1); 42 U.S.C. 

Regulatory Impact

    Administrative Procedure Act: 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A), provides that 
when regulations involve matters of agency organization, procedure, or 
practice, the agency may publish regulations in final form. Because 
this proposed rule is intended to promote public participation and 
transparency for Board activities, the Board will accept and consider 
public comments up to 30 days before issuing a final rule.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act: The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a rule that has a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small 
businesses, or small organizations must include an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis describing the regulation's impact on such small 
entities. This analysis need not be undertaken if the agency has 
certified that the regulation will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). The 
CSB has considered the impact of this rule under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, and certifies that a final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: The CSB reviewed this proposed rule to 
determine whether it invokes issues that would subject it to the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). While the PRA applies to agencies and 
collections of information conducted or sponsored by the CSB, the Act, 
44 U.S.C. 3518(c), exempts collections of information that occur 
``during the conduct of . . . an administrative action, investigation, 
or audit involving an agency against specific individuals or 
entities,'' except for investigations or audits ``undertaken with 
reference to a category of individual or entities such as a class of 
licensees or an entire industry.'' The rule proposed below fits 
squarely within this exemption, as it deals entirely with 
administrative matters internal to the agency. Therefore, we have 
determined that the PRA does not apply to this rule.
    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995: The proposed rule does not 
require the preparation of an assessment statement in accordance with 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531. This proposed 
rule does not include a federal mandate that may result in the annual 
expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or by the private sector, of more than the annual threshold established 
by the Act ($128 million in 2006, adjusted annually for inflation).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 1600

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    Dated: May 6, 2015.
Mark Griffon,
Board Member.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the 
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board proposes to amend 40 CFR 
part 1600 as follows:


1. The authority citation continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552(a)(1); 42 U.S.C. 7412(r)(6)(N).

2. Amend Sec.  1600.5 by revising paragraph (b) and adding paragraph 
(c) to read as follows:

Sec.  1600.5  Quorum and voting requirements.

* * * * *
    (b) Voting. The Board votes on items of business in meetings 
conducted pursuant to the Government in the Sunshine Act. 
Alternatively, whenever a Member of the Board is of the opinion that 
joint deliberation among the members of the Board upon any matter at a 
meeting is unnecessary in light of the nature of the matter, 
impracticable, or would impede the orderly disposition of agency 
business, such matter may be disposed of by employing notation voting 
procedures. A written notation of the vote of each participating Board 
member shall be recorded by the General Counsel who shall retain it in 
the records of the Board. If a Board member votes to calendar a 
notation item, the Board must consider the calendared notation item at 
a public meeting of the Board within 90 days of the date on which the 
item is calendared. A notation vote to schedule a public meeting may 
not be calendared. The Chairperson shall add any calendared notation 
item to the agenda for the next CSB public meeting if one

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is to occur within 90 days or to schedule a special meeting to consider 
any calendared notation item no later than 90 days from the calendar 
    (c) Public Meetings and Agendas. The Chairperson, or in the absence 
of a chairperson, a member designated by the Board, shall schedule a 
minimum of four public meetings per year in Washington, DC, to take 
place during the months of October, January, April, and July.
    (1) Agenda. The Chairperson, or in the absence of a chairperson, a 
member designated by the Board, shall be responsible for preparation of 
a final meeting agenda. The final agenda may not differ in substance 
from the items published in the Sunshine Act notice for that meeting. 
Any member may submit agenda items related to CSB business for 
consideration at any public meeting, and the Chairperson shall include 
such items on the agenda. At a minimum, each quarterly meeting shall 
include the following agenda items:
    (i) Consideration and vote on any notation items calendared since 
the date of the last public meeting;
    (ii) A review by the Board of the schedule for completion of all 
open investigations, studies, and other important work of the Board; 
    (iii) A review and discussion by the Board of the progress in 
meeting the CSB's Annual Action Plan.
    (2) Publication of agenda information. The Chairperson shall be 
responsible for posting information related to any agenda item that is 
appropriate for public release on the CSB Web site no less than two 
days prior to a public meeting.

[FR Doc. 2015-11422 Filed 5-12-15; 8:45 am]