Four Years Later, The Explosion In West, Texas Still Raises More Questions Than Answers

The conversation around chemical safety in fertilizer plants continues to shift, and start dates for new risk management rules have been delayed.

By Rhonda Fanning & Rachel Osier LindleyAugust 2, 2017 11:46 am,

It’s been more than four years since a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas killed 15 people and injured more than 160. The blast is still causing waves. The West Fertilizer Company explosion prompted then-President Barack Obama to issue an executive order calling for new rules to reduce chemical plant dangers.

But this summer, the EPA announced they’d be delaying the effective date for some of those new risk management rules, by almost two years. Part of the reasoning – the fire that caused the West explosion was an act of arson.

Mark Collette, an investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle, has reported extensively on Texas’s chemical facilities, and he shares his findings on what happened in West.


Written by Taylor Jackson Buchanan.