The U.S. Senate confirmed President Biden’s nomination of CTN Peer Mentor and Board Member, Catherine Sandoval, as a Member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) which investigates and makes recommendations to forestall chemical safety incidents.  

In her statement to the Senate in support of her confirmation, she pays tribute to her great uncle Ishmael Martinez. In the decades before the CSB was founded, prior to the Clean Air Act, and before the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, my great uncle, Ishmael Martinez, was killed in a chemical explosion at the Apache Powder Company near Benson, Arizona. Apache Powder made nitroglycerin-based dynamite used in the mines near my mother’s hometown, a small town served by a rural electric company. My mother, Maria Elena Martinez Sandoval-Kissée, who watches this hearing from heaven, my uncle Juan and Aunt Tina often talked about the fear and dread they felt as the explosion rocked the town. Fear quickly turned to shock and sadness as they learned that several workers were killed in the blast including Tio Ishmael, who lived with their family. A joint funeral mass, and the birth and naming of my cousin Ishmael, better known as Smiles, in memory of my great uncle, began the journey toward community healing. That company operates today as Apache Nitrogen Products, manufacturing ammonium nitrate-based products through safety management systems now required by OSHA and EPA rules.”

“That and many other incidents underscore the importance of laws and standards to prevent harms to workers, communities, the environment, and the economy,” Sandoval stated.

As required by federal service rules, Sandoval will resign from the Catch the Next Board of Directors. 

Related Posts

Our Training Has Helped Professors Close the Opportunity Gap

Students taught by CTN-trained faculty earn more degrees and spend less on their education.