Washington, D.C. - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the statement below regarding President Obama's executive order to help strengthen safety and security at chemical facilities across the nation. Senator Boxer called for action on this issue following the explosion in West, Texas, and urged the White House to act quickly to address the security and safety risks of explosive chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate, which fueled the explosion in West, Texas.

Senator Boxer said: "Knowing the President's deep commitment to the people of West, Texas after the tragic explosion of ammonium nitrate, I informed him last week of specific ideas that emanated from a hearing I chaired at the Environment and Public Works Committee. I couldn't be more gratified to learn today that he is taking executive action to follow through on the very solutions that were discussed and that I promised to pursue.

"As I told the President, the EPA has not updated its alert since 1997, and the best practices recommended by other federal agencies such as OSHA are not being uniformly followed.

"This progress shows that when we use our mandated oversight role to solve serious problems facing the American people - and the President agrees with our solutions - we can move forward without changing laws to protect our families and communities."