Online database of hazardous materials emerges after industrial accident

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The fertilizer plant explosion in West, Tex., has inspired the development of an online database that will show what local facilities have hazardous materials, according to CNN.

The database’s creation was announced by State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, chairman of the state legislature’s Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, and doesn’t require a legislative vote.

Dallas News said that this online database is one of a number of proposals brought forward at a  House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee hearing earlier in the month. Legislators said it wouldn’t involve any new laws or regulations and wouldn’t increase state spending.

Pickett told CNN that he expects he’ll call more committee meetings this year as well as in 2014 to hear from state agencies, but he isn’t worried that anything will have to wait the 18 months until the next legislative session.

Pickett explained that residents could see what potentially hazardous sites are nearest them by inputting their ZIP code into the database.

According to CBS, there are 16 fertilizer mixing plants across Texas and they each store at least 10,000 pounds of the chemical that caused the West plant explosion, ammonium nitrate.

Pickett told CNN that the custom online database will not only list the 16 sites, which are mostly in unincorporated areas, but as many as 129 other sites with varying risk levels and other dangerous chemicals. The database will also provide authorities information about concerns on a particular facility.

Pickett noted that the database is set to be launched in about two weeks.