Washington, D.C. - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the statement below in connection with the Obama administration's updated recommendations on the safe handling and storage of ammonium nitrate, as well as emergency planning procedures.

Senator Boxer said: "I am very grateful that the Obama administration has issued an updated safety advisory on a dangerous chemical, ammonium nitrate, which was the cause of the tragic explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer plant. I am also grateful to the Chemical Safety Board, which called attention to the fact that the last alert on ammonium nitrate was issued in 1997. After the terrible explosion in West, which took the lives of at least 14 people including first responders, I pledged that the EPW Committee would focus on how to prevent such needless tragedies in the future. If ammonium nitrate is stored safely or if alternatives are used, explosions could have been prevented in the past and more explosions could be prevented in the future."

Senator Boxer also noted the cooperation of three agencies, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to develop this updated chemical safety advisory.