Washington, DC - In recognition of the one-year anniversary of the chemical explosion in West, Texas, which occurred on April 17, 2013, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the statement below. The explosion resulted in fifteen fatalities, including 12 first responders, hundreds of injuries, and damage to homes, schools, a nursing home, businesses, and the adjacent rail line.
Senator Boxer said: "As we remember the devastating chemical explosion that happened one year ago in West, Texas, we must not forget that more needs to be done to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. President Obama has taken initial steps to address chemical safety, including issuing an updated safety advisory on ammonium nitrate, which was the cause of the tragic explosion in West. The Obama administration also established a Working Group to conduct a comprehensive review of federal chemical safety and security programs and develop recommendations for improving these programs, and a report from the Working Group is expected soon. We must do everything we can to make chemical facilities safe for communities across the nation."
The Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, worked together to develop the chemical safety advisory for ammonium nitrate, which was issued on August 30, 2013.