Senators Told of Limited NTSB Operations During Shutdown

Senators Told of Limited NTSB Operations During Shutdown

14-Oct-2013 Source: HAI

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing October 11, receiving testimony from the Chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), learning that the NTSB has had to suspend activities for 1,300 active investigations, including several high-profile probes.

NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman urged Senators to take action to permit the NTSB to resume its critical safety mission. In addition to investigations that have been skipped or halted, the agency has had to refuse to help other countries while the vast majority of the NTSB’s employees are furloughed.

Hersman told Senators that the NTSB is ready to respond in the event of a “major transportation accident,” but warned that if an accident was bad enough to meet the legal criteria for recalling employees during a shutdown, the team NTSB launched would be limited. Hersman said the agency could perform only functions that are related to heading off “imminent threat to life or property.” Other services would be unavailable, including providing support to survivors and victims’ families and providing updates to the public on the progress of investigations.

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