Legislators hear latest about Texas fertilizer blast
Local fire officials are largely responsible for ensuring materials like ammonium nitrate are stored safely, said W. Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
Liberal groups have used the explosion to pound Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has stressed limited regulation of business as a centerpiece of his economic development plan.
Phillip Martin, political director of the liberal activist group Progress Texas, said the hearing made clear that the state lacked regulation of industrial plants and dangerous chemicals.
"Governor Perry and the Republican-controlled Legislature should heed the warnings from today's hearing and pro-actively pursue proper regulations that can mitigate future disasters like West," Martin said.
(Editing by David Bailey and Andrew Hay)