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April 22, 2013

Thompson Statement on Texas Chemical Facility Explosion

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the chemical fertilizer facility explosion that occurred in West, Texas last week:

Although it's still early, it seems this operator was willfully off the grid. This facility was known to have chemicals well above the threshold amount to be regulated under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Act (CFATS), yet, we understand that DHS did not even know the plant existed until it blew up. The fact that DHS was not regulating this plant calls into question the fundamentals of the program. I strongly believe that had DHS personnel worked with the plant owners to identify vulnerabilities and put the proper safeguards were in place, as DHS does at thousands of CFATS-regulated plants across the country, the loss of life and destruction could have been far less extensive.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978