Buerkle Named Acting Head of Product Safety Commission
Ann Marie Buerkle, who has served as a commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission since August 2013, was named the CPSC’s acting chairman Feb. 9. Elliott Kaye, who had been appointed chairman by former President Obama, stepped down from that position after the election of Donald Trump but will continue to serve as a commissioner.
Buerkle said that despite the change in leadership the CPSC’s “mission remains the same.” She vowed to “enhance relationships so that CPSC can leverage the knowledge, insight, and expertise of the entire consumer product safety community” and called for “a thoughtful, collaborative approach” to product safety issues.
Buerkle made news in May 2016 after raising concerns about an increase in the CPSC’s civil penalties, the fact that they were largely being imposed for violations of what she called a “remarkably vague” defect reporting requirement that companies have difficulty complying with, and the lack of consistency in how the CPSC considers various factors in determining penalty amounts. Press reports note that Buerkle has advocated for reducing federal regulations and easing the regulatory burden on small businesses, both major emphases of the new Trump administration.