PHMSA General Counsel (Vanessa Sutherland) is Nominated to Become Chair of CSB

The White House has named Vanessa Sutherland its nominee to succeed the embattled Chair of the Chemical Safety Board after his term expires in June. Sutherland is currently serving as the Chief Counsel at DOT PHMSA.

New chairwoman for CSB ... President Obama said Tuesday that he would nominate Vanessa Allen Sutherland to be the new chairwoman of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB).

Sutherland is current chief counsel at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

She would replace Rafael Moure-Eraso, whose term at the troubled agency is due to expire in June.

Moure-Eraso has been accused by colleagues and lawmakers of being a polarizing leader, intimidating whistleblowers, interfering with Inspector General investigations and violating the Federal Records Act, among other problems that the House Oversight Committee plans to discuss Wednesday.

Sutherland has worked at PHMSA since 2011. Prior to that, she worked for seven years at tobacco company Philip Morris USA and its parent company Altria Group Inc.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the Chemical Safety Board. The panel will hear from all five members of the board. In a preview Tuesday, the committee said it will examine allegations that Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso and two employees violated the Federal Records Act by using private email accounts, took unprecedented steps to consolidate the board's power and that leaders at the agency are hostile toward employees.

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