Texas House committee holding explosion hearing
The Texas House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety will host the first state or federal hearing on the explosion at West Fertilizer Co. Wednesday, May 1, starting at 8 a.m., according to the Progress Texas PAC.
The formal notice of the hearing, posted on the Texas House website, says:
The Committee will hear invited testimony only from state resources that may have jurisdiction or oversight in the regulation, operation, security, licensing, inspection, reporting, location, and any other relevant information relating to the operation of facilities such as the fertilizer plant involved in the West, Texas, disaster as it relates to public safety. State resources that may testify:
- Department of Public Safety
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Emergency Management Council
- Office of the Texas State Chemist
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
- Texas Department of Agriculture
- Department of State Health Services
- Texas State Fire Marshal's Office
The PAC directors who issued the announcement of the committee meeting say an online live-stream of the Homeland Security & Public Safety’s Committee hearing is available here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/. Real Player will be required to view.
State regulators and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have been cornered by the media asking if the state held some responsibility for the accident and unreported large volume of ammonium nitrate that apparently was stored at the fertilizer facility. Of course, no state or federal agency wants to be cited as implicit in the explosion.