US Chemical Safety Board drops flawed policy following criticism from Embargo Watch
On Thursday, I wrote about a troubling embargo policy at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) that forced reporters to agree not to seek outside comment on an investigation report before the embargo lifted, meaning only the CSB’s side of the story would make it into those first pieces.
To their credit the CSB heeded my criticisms, and they’ve decided to change their policy. Managing Director Daniel Horowitz responded Saturday with a comment:
Thanks for raising this. We hadn’t given it much thought but will review those embargo policy statements in light of this critique. We developed the statement a few years ago in response to various media outlets breaking embargoes on reports, on the theory that this would provide a more orderly process. Happy to give it a second look.
Horowitz gave me more detail when I emailed him:
…we discussed it and we are going to drop the policy in its entirety for future reports. Thanks for bringing to our attention. It was really just a response to some broken embargoes in the past, rather than any effort to restrict discussion (which we welcome).
The CSB also discussed the matter on Twitter.
Kudos, US Chemical Safety Board, you’ve joined the Embargo Watch Honor Roll.