Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, will not seek renomination for her post.
Tenenbaum’s term expires in October 2013, but she plans to remain until her successor is confirmed. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009.
Tenenbaum led the agency as it oversaw implementation of the first federal pool and spa safety law. Under the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, all commercial pools and spas were required to have anti-entrapment drain covers, as well as dual main drains and other safety measures by the end of 2008. The law also called for programs promoting water safety, and grants for states that enacted their own safety legislation.
As one of three Democrats on CPSC’s voting panel of five, Tenenbaum often stood in opposition to opinions held by the majority of the pool and spa industry. In addition to supporting a controversial drain cover recall, she also voted to make the requirements for unblockable drains more stringent than they had been, thereby forcing some facilities to undergo another retrofit.
This seems to be a time of high turnover for the agency. Of the five voting commissioner positions, two currently are unfilled. Republican Anne Northup, who often championed the small businessperson’s needs and perspective, left last fall. Democrat Thomas Moore retired in October 2011.
Republican Nancy Nord also will leave in October, after extending her term by a year to avoid another vacant seat.