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U.S. Senate to Probe West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

KP Tripathi/Flickr

The United States Senate will hold a hearing into thefertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) announced Monday. Sen. Boxer chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee.

“I cannot rest until we get to the bottom of what caused the disaster in West, Texas and the tragic loss of life," Sen. Boxer said in a statement. "We must ensure that facilities like the one in West are complying with chemical safety laws. We will look at how the laws on the books are being enforced and whether there is a need to strengthen them."

Boxer has written to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and the Environmental Protection Agency to request that they investigate the blast. You can read her letters to those agencies.

Meanwhile, at the Texas Capitol, the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee meets Wednesday morning to hear testimony from state agencies that were involved with the plant. Those agencies include the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Office of the Texas State Chemist.

The explosion on April 17 claimed 14 lives, 12 of them first responders. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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