If the West Fertilizer Co. plant had been in Illinois, state regulators there likely would have inspected it annually, making sure that its bins storing tons of ammonium nitrate were still in good shape and that the potentially explosive chemical wasn’t spilling out. Though not charged with fire prevention, had they spotted a fire hazard, officials say, there is a good chance they would have alerted local authorities.
Had the plant been in California, a team of local officials may have inspected the plant, looking at everything from building codes to worker safety.
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Ongoing West coverage
This is the latest in a series of in-depth reports by the American-Statesman on topics surrounding last month’s plant explosion. Previous stories chronicled the disaster’s impact on town residents, provided a detailed look at inspections of West Fertilizer through the years and identified 16 similar plants statewide.