Texas lawmakers hope to prevent another chemical explosion - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Texas lawmakers hope to prevent another chemical explosion

Posted: Updated:

Texas - State officials are now urging that oversight of chemical plants be improved.

This is all in an effort to prevent future catastrophes.

Since the West Fertilizer Plant explosion, many questions have been raised.

That's why two Texas lawmakers are now presenting ideas that aim to better monitor hazardous sites across the state.

Democratic Representative Joe Pickett of El Paso, chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, has invited eight state agencies that have oversight on the West plant or the explosion to testify at a hearing on Wednesday.

They hope to obtain information on how the operation of facilities relates to public safety.

The committee also wants a count of all Texas facilities to then determine if a database is needed.

Democratic Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston is asking the Texas Environmental Quality Commission whether they would support assessing new fees on Texas industries to pay for increased inspections.

The agency's budget was cut from $554 million in 2008 to $340 million this year.

Ellis is also asking whether new fees may be considered to create new "buffer zones" to protect neighboring areas; such as schools or homes near chemical facilities.

  • Local HeadlinesMore>>

  • Management, Safety Cited for Radiation Release at WIPP Plant

    Management, Safety Cited for Radiation Release at WIPP Plant

    Department of Energy investigators say a radiation release from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of safety at the 15-year-old site.
    Department of Energy investigators say a radiation release from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico was the result of a slow erosion of safety at the 15-year-old site.
  • Authorities Apprehend Wanted Man in Odessa

    Authorities Apprehend Wanted Man in Odessa

    A man who had been on the run from authorities is now behind bars.Officials found Delton Jones around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the 300 block of Pecos Street in Odessa. 
    A man who had been on the run from authorities is now behind bars.Officials found Delton Jones around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the 300 block of Pecos Street in Odessa. 
  • Man Killed by Texas Trooper Wanted on Warrants

    Man Killed by Texas Trooper Wanted on Warrants

    Authorities say a driver who was fatally shot by a Texas trooper after falsely identifying himself during a traffic stop was wanted on felony warrants out of California and was a gang member.
    Authorities say a driver who was fatally shot by a Texas trooper after falsely identifying himself during a traffic stop was wanted on felony warrants out of California and was a gang member.