Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott explained his opinion on why the state should not disclose sensitive information about chemical plants like the one in the city of West, Texas that exploded one year ago.
In a legal opinion released this week, Abbott said the state should withhold the addresses and list of substances at chemical plants storing dangerous chemicals. While the state will not provide this information openly, Abbott said the public still has the ability to get the information themselves.
After a year of investigating the lead up to the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, one state lawmaker announced his intention to author a bill to make such chemical facilities safer.
State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, chairman of the Texas House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, made the announcement during a committee hearing Tuesday.
When firetrucks blew through the small town of West, Texas, on the evening of April 17, 2013, sirens screaming, naturally everybody was curious. People got in their cars and went to see the fire at the West fertilizer plant. For 10 minutes, they watched from cars and backyards as the fire grew ever bigger. A few moved as close as they could because they were filming on their smartphones. At no time did it occur to anybody that they might be in danger.
House lawmakers charged with investigating what went wrong during the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas heard from state officials this week that 46 “at-risk” chemical facilities similar to the one in West are still operating.
Texas Matters: An update on the Texas state fire marshal's online tool to locate ammonium nitrate facilities in the state like the one that exploded in the town of West. Are communities safer from this kind of a disaster? Also on this show: Texas libraries are set to lose federal funding, author Beverly Donofrio on her new memoir.
Ammonium nitrate storage in Texas after the West explosion
On April 17, the town of West, Texas, was leveled by an explosion at the local fertilizer plant.
Early this morning the Westside Preservation Alliance obtained an injunction against developers wanting to destroy an aging downtown TV studio.
After a city board declined to overturn a Historic and Design Review Commission decision, demolition began on the site of the former TV station, KWEX. Greystar Properties has stated their intention to build condominiums on the site.
Teachers and administrators at West ISD are nervously optimistic about this week’s start of a new school year four months after a massive fertilizer plant explosion leveled much of the town and left West ISD a hollow shell.
The new school may only be a series of portable buildings, but the faculty are proud to be back.
Dr. Jan Hungate is one of the chief administrators for West ISD and said sections of town are still unrecognizable, partially because of the blast, and partially because of new growth.