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After Fertilizer Explosion, Concern Over Safety, Regulation & Zoning

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Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The investigation into what caused the fire at the West Fertilizer Plant that led to Wednesday's explosion is still ongoing. But officials say they’ve found no sign of criminal activity.

Investigators will also look into any safety or regulatory issues at the plant. But even at this early stage, there are signs that not all was right with the plant. The disaster has also brought up questions about how well regulation of facilities like these works in Texas.

KUT's Terrence Henry Reports for StateImpact Texas.

Yet another question after the explosion is whether or not industrial facilities should be right next door to schools and residences like the one in West. “In Texas, counties have almost no regulatory authority. And we kind of don’t like land use in Texas. So we’ve ended up where facilities are very close to people,"Kelly Haragan, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, said.

You can find this complete story on StateImpact Texas.

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