It’s been almost three months since the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West killed 15 people, injured some 200 others and destroyed or damaged 200 homes and three schools. Slow movement is underway to rebuild the devastated community. Unfortunately, attempts to try to ensure that similar disasters don’t happen elsewhere have met resistance.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is trying to bring greater order to the muddled and fractured regulatory system that governs fertilizer plants, while Gov. Rick Perry and other state officials stand still. Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent letters Tuesday to Perry and the nation’s other governors encouraging them to do what they can at the state level to better safeguard the handling and storage of ammonium nitrate, the fertilizer that exploded April 17 at the West Fertilizer Co. while volunteer firefighters fought to put out a fire at the facility.
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