Arson is the cause of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people, including 12 first responders, in April 2013. That’s what the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Houston division announced today.
The ATF is now offering a $50,000 reward for information on the supposed criminal act. No arrests have been made, and the ATF is still looking for those responsible. The announcement comes roughly three weeks after the third anniversary of the disaster.
(A law enforcement vehicle drove through the blast area from the fertilizer plant explosion April 18, 2013, in West, Texas. Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is about to wrap up the comment period on its chemical security proposal on Friday. That proposal aims to comply with a White House executive order issued after West explosion. I wrote a recent story on the proposal, and it’s available for subscribers, EPA Rejects House Plea to Extend Chemical Security Outreach.
The Texas Attorney General opposes the proposal, which would boost chemical information sharing and force companies to explore safer manufacturing and housing methods.
Industry members and some lawmakers also oppose it. Those critics say the rule will actually raise the risk of terrorism by making public the details of their chemical storage.
Critics also say the EPA proposal wouldn’t have prevented the West explosion, because it doesn’t cover ammonium nitrate, the chemical stored at that facility.
The Labor and Homeland Security departments are pushing forward with similar rules.
(The remains of an apartment complex next to the fertilizer plant that exploded in West, Texas. Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
An ATF spokeswoman said the investigation took this long, because it involved about 400 interviews, extensive screening of available videos and a recreation of the environment.
By Brian Dabbs, @briandabbs
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)