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December 20, 202142 labor environmental, community and scientific organizations support Dr. Jennifer Sass’s nomination to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board


The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader of the Senate
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Majority Leader Schumer,

We write to you on behalf of the 42 undersigned labor, environmental, community and scientific organizations from across the country who strongly support the nomination of Dr. Jennifer Sass to serve as a Board Member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). We urge you to swiftly bring her nomination to a vote in the Senate at the earliest possible time. Delaying this vote any further postpones critical work needed to prevent over 180 chemical disasters that occur on average each year and put more than 177 million Americans in harm's way. 

Dr. Sass’ educational and professional background make her exceptionally well qualified to serve as a board member on the CSB, which is charged with investigating chemical disasters and making recommendations to industry and government on best ways to prevent future incidents. Chemical disasters can result in releases and explosions that injure or kill workers, lead to disease and death in fenceline communities, and poison waterways and ecosystems, often beyond repair. They can also reduce the economic stability of impacted communities, local businesses, and infrastructure, causing even more suffering to already hard-hit communities. As such, CSB board members should have expertise across a breadth of fields that recognize the root causes and consequences of chemical disasters, and be able to offer meaningful regulatory approaches to prevent them. 

Dr. Sass has two decades of experience as an environmental health scientist with specialized policy expertise in U.S. chemical management regulatory systems. She holds advanced degrees in anatomy and cell biology, and completed postdoctoral work in toxicology. In addition to her role as senior staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, she is a faculty member in the department of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health and serves as a board member of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors, where she works cooperatively with other members from diverse backgrounds, including business and industry. 

From workers to businesses to fenceline committees, the health and safety of millions of Americans depend on a fully functioning CSB. Dr. Sass is exactly the kind of expert that is needed on the CSB and throughout the federal government. She is highly adept at bringing together diverse perspectives into productive collaborations, and has the proven ability to rapidly and reliably analyze technical information, and effectively communicate it for diverse audiences, including communities, reporters, businesses, scientists, regulators, and lawmakers. She is guided by science and has proven her ability to work in a principled manner with communities, workers and industry. All of these skills are critical for a well-functioning federal agency.

The CSB is most productive when it has the support of labor unions, businesses, community leaders, environmental justice leaders, environmental groups, and scientists, such as the undersigned, who stand in full support of Dr. Sass. Her nomination is in line with the Biden administration’s stated goal of restoring trust in science and promoting environmental justice. We are deeply disappointed that her nomination has not yet been confirmed, and respectfully urge you to bring her confirmation vote to the floor as soon as possible. 



913 All Civics, New Castle, DE

American Public Health Association, National

American Sustainable Business Network, Ancram, New York

BlueGreen Alliance, National

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, National 

Catskill Mountainkeeper, Livingston Manor, NY

Center for Food Safety, National

Clean and Healthy New York, New York

Clean Water Action, National

Coming Clean, National

CRLA Foundation, Sacramento, CA

Delaware Concerned Residents for Environmental Justice, Wilmington, DE

Earthjustice, National 

Environmental & Public Health Consulting, National

Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, National

Environmental Justice Leadership Team, Friends of Valle de Oro, Albuquerque, NM

Farmworker Association of Florida, Florida

Friends of the Earth, National 

Green America, National 

Greenpeace USA, National

Harambee House, Inc. / Citizens for Environmental Justice, Savannah, GA

Healthy Schools Network, National

International Center for Technology Assessment, National 

Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, National

Just Transition Alliance, San Diego, CA

Learning Disabilities Association of America, National

Locust Point Community Garden, Baltimore MD

Moms for a Nontoxic New York, New York

National Center for Health Research, National

New Castle Prevention Coalition, Delaware

Pesticide Action Network, National

Public Citizen, National

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, National

Rubbertown Emergency ACTion — REACT, Louisville, KY

Sciencecorps, National

Sierra Club, Washington, DC

Toxic Free NC, Durham, NC

Union of Concerned Scientists, National

United Steelworkers, National

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Salt Lake City, UT

Wigmorising, Kitchener, Canada

Women's Voices for the Earth, Missoula, MT


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