SANTA CLARA, Calif., January 5, 2023— Santa Clara Law Professor Catherine Sandoval was confirmed to

Professor Cathy Sandoval

serve as a member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) by the United States Senate on December 13. Sandoval is a widely respected expert in energy, telecommunications, antitrust, and contract law.

The CSB investigates industrial chemical accidents and is charged with issuing safety recommendations to plants, standard-setting organizations, or regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “I am deeply honored by the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of my nomination by President Biden to serve as a CSB member,” said Sandoval. “The CSB’s work is critical to the safety of America’s workers and communities, and to our environment and economy.”
Sandoval has previously served as a commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission which regulates energy, water, rail services, and telecommunications for the state. In the Spring 2022 edition of Santa Clara University School of Law’s magazine, Discern, she wrote an op-ed arguing  that PG&E’s board, executives, employees, and contractors should be required to undergo training to prevent “criminal thought patterns.” The work, which included research by Santa Clara Law students, referred to consistent patterns of distorted thinking that foster dangerous conduct.

She also served as director of Santa Clara Law’s Insurance Law Institute, where she represented pro bono ratepayers in PG&E’s federal criminal probation proceeding.

Cathy Sandoval

“I am beyond pleased that the Chemical Safety Board now has a new chair to conduct its business,” said Senator Tom Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, who added that Sandoval’s confirmation comes “at a time when the CSB desperately needs leadership that can help the agency deliver on its important mission for the American people.”

Sandoval will take the oath of office after President Biden signs her commission. She will take a leave of absence from Santa Clara to fulfill the five-year term on CSB.  

“I appreciate Santa Clara University’s support for my research into safety practices and SCU’s support for and commitment to community service,” she said.

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