Texas Lawmakers Inquire Into Plant Explosion

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AUSTIN, Texas - - Two Texas lawmakers have launched inquiries into what oversight the state does on hazardous materials.

The inquiries come in the wake of the April 17 explosion at a Central Texas fertilizer plant that killed 14 people.

In a letter, Democratic Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston asks the Texas Environmental Quality Commission how the state can improve its oversight and suggests creating "buffer zones," the Houston Chronicle reports.

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Joe Pickett of El Paso has called eight state agencies with have oversight on the plant or the explosion. The House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee chairman wants a count of Texas facilities like the West Fertilizer plant to determine if a need exists for a database of such facilities.