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Federal Agency Offering Recommendations in West Plant Explosion

Federal Agency Offering Recommendations in West Plant Explosion

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says its options are limited to making recommendations after an event like the West Fertilizer Plant explosion.

 

It’s eight months later and there are no new laws or regulations on the books in Texas -- or nationwide.  The April 17 explosion and fire left 15 people dead.  Johnnie Banks is heading the West investigation for the CSB. 

 

Banks says his office will make recommendations, but it doesn’t have enforcement power.

 

“We look at where the pieces (new laws) are best-suited to be plugged in,” Banks says, “or, to remediate, or prevent something like this from happening again.

 

He says a final report is due on the anniversary of the explosion.  Some recommendations have already been made.

 

Banks has spent a lot of time on the scene of the blast.

 

“In my experience, this is one of the farthest-reaching events, to affect the residences and schools outside the fence line of the plant,” he explains.

 

Banks was involved in BP plant explosion in 2005.  The death toll was just as high, but it didn’t involved fatalities outside the plant’s fence line.

 

 

 

 

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