Perry: State Oversight Not To Blame For West Blast
AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Gov. Rick Perry says a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas wouldn’t have been prevented if the state earmarked more money for industry inspections.
Perry told The Associated Press on Monday that he remains comfortable with the level of state oversight following last week’s blast at the West Fertilizer Co. He says Texas residents have sent the same message through their elected officials.
Small fertilizer plants nationwide are part of a regulatory system that focuses on large installations and industries. Inspections at smaller facilities, like the one in West, are usually “complaint driven,” says Ramiro Garcia, the head of enforcement and compliance at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Investigators say they have yet to determine what caused the explosion that killed 14 people and injured 200 others, though a state official says that criminal activity is not suspected. Industry experts are calling the massive explosion the result of “the perfect storm.”
State environmental regulators last inspected the plant in 2006.
Perry has long heralded the state’s low regulatory climate as an incentive for companies to relocate to Texas and bring jobs.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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