West tragedy sparks safety plan from US Senator - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

West tragedy sparks safety plan from US Senator

WEST, TX (KXXV) -

A US Senator has strong words about the West fertilizer plant explosion.  Senator Barbara Boxer demanded action a press conference in Washington this morning.

Boxer is the Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.  She says, "There's a lot of things we can't control. We can control this. You all know that. We have the information, we know what has to be done."

Boxer learned a lot at a hearing last month, held to discuss the events leading up to the West blast.  Now she has a plan that's getting a stamp of approval from West Mayor Tommy Muska.

Muska says, "That's the least that should happen. With the number of deaths that have occurred, at least they won't be in vain and this won't happen to somebody else."

Boxer wants Governors and the Environmental Protection Agency to do a better job regulating ammonium nitrate storage, alerts and risk management policies. 

She says, "The federal government isn't doing enough right now and I'm going to lay out what I think we should do.  But until that time, if there's even one more tragic death from improper storage of ammonium nitrate, we'll have lost this opportunity."

Muska thinks Boxer has the right idea.  But he does question how it will work.

"Who's going to be monitoring these sites? For whatever reason, they haven't been looking at them before. So hopefully they'll have the manpower to do that. Because any regulation is only as good as the enforcement."

Boxer promises to hold a follow-up hearing on the West explosion, and her plan, this Fall.

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