WEST FERTILIZER EXPLOSION LEADS TO LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

The West fertilizer plant explosion in April of last year has the attention of the Texas House Homeland Security Committee.

The Committee held hearings on the possible new regulations for chemical fertilizer Tuesday to seek out legislation that could prevent such deadly explosions. In the future.

Committee Chair Joe Pickett of El Paso says he will take his chances on whether they will over regulate or under regulate.  He did say it was an important issue.  Pickett distributed a draft of legislation that would require ammonium nitrate storage facilities to live up to stricter fire protection or pay fines and penalties of up to $5000 a day.  The legislation, which Pickett filed in November of last year, would also shift federal reporting requirements from the Department of State Health Services to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  It would also give the state fire marshal  the power to enforce such regulations.

The small town of West, near Waco was nearly obliterated  and many were killed in an explosion of a fertilizer plant in April of last year,