Nearly 1500 Texas Schools Near High-Risk Chemical Facilities
by JOHN MICHAELSON, Texas News Service
Apr 28, 2014 | 716 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

 

Nearly 1500 Texas Schools Near High-Risk Chemical Facilities

Report Calls for Greater Oversight, Preparedness

John Michaelson

AUSTIN, Texas - A year after the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, a new report has found that nearly one in five public school students in the state attends classes near a so-called "high-risk chemical facility." The analysis comes from the Center for Effective Government. 

Center spokesman Sean Moulton said Texas is one of the states with the largest number of schools and students within a mile of such facilities.

"Texas has a total of 1,445 schools, which 883,000 students attend. For the state of Texas, that's about 18 percent of the student population," Moulton said.

An interactive map showing which Texas schools are located near chemical facilities is available on the Center for Effective Government website.

Moulton said ensuring that students near these facilities are safe requires stronger disclosure rules and greater oversight, as well as better emergency response plans.

"Students do fire drills every day," he said, "but I don't think many of these schools have ever really talked about what their plan would be if one of these facilities had a major accident while school was in session."

It was one year ago this month that an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, left 15 dead, hundreds injured and several schools damaged or destroyed.

An interactive map is online at http://tesla.foreffectivegov.org/.

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