Durbin Asks for Meeting With Consumer Product Safety Chairman to Discuss Faulty Pool Drain Covers

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–February 9, 2011.  Prompted by a Chicago Tribune investigation, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to the Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Inez Tenenbaum, to request a meeting to discuss existing rules and regulations regarding pool safety, specifically steps taken to prevent entrapments due to pool and spa drains and drain covers.

“The issues highlighted by the Tribune story are very concerning and raise serious questions, not only about dangerous drains but also about accreditation of testing facilities on products generally,” wrote Durbin. “In light of the current issues and previous CPSC decisions regarding pool safety, I would appreciate meeting with you to better understand the status of regulations and the steps you are taking to resolve the issues highlighted in the Tribune story.”

An article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune yesterday, called into question whether the rules and regulations put forward by the CPSC to regulate pool and spa drains and drain covers are being followed or constructed in a way that accreditation and testing of products is adequate.

Durbin chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government – the subcommittee which oversees the CPSC’s budget – and has been a leader in strengthening the beleaguered consumer watchdog agency. In 2008, Durbin was instrumental in passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and was responsible for providing the largest funding increase in the history of the agency to help address critical staffing shortfalls, technology upgrades, and laboratory space needs.

[Text of the letter is below]

February 8, 2011

The Honorable Inez Tenenbaum
Chairman
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814

Dear Chairman Tenenbaum:
I am writing to request a meeting regarding the status of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s rules and regulations regarding pool safety, specifically steps taken to prevent entrapments due to pool and spa drains and drain covers.

As you well know, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, inspired by a 7-year old girl who lost her life, was intended to help eliminate drowning due to entrapments caused by drains, broken drain covers, and inadequately designed drain covers. Following the passage of the legislation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has on several occasions made decisions which many believe have undermined the purpose and intent of the original legislation.

Also, according to a Chicago Tribune article of February 7th, even the rules and regulations put forward by the CPSC are either not being followed or are constructed in a way that accreditation and testing of products is inadequate. This appears to have allowed dangerous drain covers to continue being sold and distributed. The issues highlighted by the Tribune story are very concerning and raise serious questions, not only about dangerous drains but also about accreditation of testing facilities on products generally.

In light of the current issues and previous CPSC decisions regarding pool safety, I would appreciate meeting with you to better understand the status of regulations and the steps you are taking to resolve the issues highlighted in the Tribune story. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Respectfully,
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

cc: The Honorable Thomas Moore
The Honorable Robert Adler
The Honorable Nancy Nord
The Honorable Anne Northup

Source: durbin.senate.gov