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Sen. Jay Rockefeller asks to boost funding request for the Chemical Safety Board investigation

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On Jan. 13, House and Senate Appropriators announced in the omnibus spending package a proposed half million dollar boost for the Chemical Safety Board, coming on the heels of Senator Jay Rockefeller's, D-W.Va., request on Sunday to Senate Appropriators to expand funding for the agency.

The agency is leading an investigation into the root cause of last week's Freedom Industries chemical spill in Charleston.

As officials from the Chemical Safety Board arrived in Charleston to investigate the cause of the massive chemical spill last week, Rockefeller asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to boost the funding request for the Chemical Safety Board investigation. With the Senate and House appropriators working to finalize the 2014 spending package, Rockefeller said he is pleased with this funding boost and remains dedicated to making this part of the final 2014 spending package.

Rockefeller called for a CSB investigation immediately following the spill. The Senate and House Appropriations Committees are now working on a compromise spending measure that Rockefeller hopes will strengthen funding for the agency.

"I'm grateful for the Chemical Safety Board's quick response to my call for an investigation despite serious strains on their budget and resources as a result of the sequester," Rockefeller said. "The agency has served West Virginia well and, sadly, we are relying on their help and expertise now more than ever in the wake of last week's chemical spill in Charleston.

"It's a time like this when we need the federal government step in and help, but like all federal agencies, they're struggling to meet demand because of horribly misguided budget cuts. West Virginians are looking to the federal government to help get answers to the root cause of the chemical spill, so it's critical that this agency has the necessary resources to conduct their critically important work."

Rockefeller asked that the Senate Appropriations Committee consider boosting the CSB's bottom line from $10.5 million to nearly $11.5 million.

"No community should ever have to experience an emergency of this magnitude again," Rockefeller wrote. "It is my strongest hope that the (Committee) will be able to adhere to its Senate mark for the CSB so that it can fully carry out its investigative and advisory missions for the Freedom Industries event and other chemical disasters across the country."