Texas Gov. Rick Perry touring the disaster zone in West, Texas on April 19. He met with local officials and state and local emergency responders about relief and recovery efforts underway.

<![CDATA[ ]]> The first of what probably will be many state and federal hearings on the West Fertilizer Co. explosion is scheduled for May 1. The Texas House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety will hear invited testimony from state resources that may have jurisdiction or oversight in the regulation, operation, security, licensing, inspection, reporting, location and any other relevant information relating to the operation of facilities such as the fertilizer plant involved in the West, Texas disaster as it relates to public safety. 

Some of the state agencies that might provide testimony include the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Emergency Management Council, the Office of the Texas State Chemist, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Department of State Health Services and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office.

In recent days, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said the state is not to blame for the explosion at West, suggesting that no regulations could have prevented the tragedy,

Perry’s suggestion runs counter to investigations by existing reports that found that lax state and federal regulation allowed for 270 tons of ammonium nitrate at the facility to go unreported to the Department of State Health Services – 1,350 times the amount that normally triggers an alert.

Texas House Holds First Hearing on West Explosion
EHS Today