Lots of tough questions from state lawmakers--who have held their first hearing on last month's deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West.
Many of the toughest questions came from House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee Chairman Joe Pickett.
"Do you as far as a Homeland Security branch try to identify where there are concentrations of chemicals like this?" Pickett asked Texas Department of Public Safety Chairman Steven McCraw, who responded "Yes sir. We do, and of course there is a federal reporting requirment that's in place."
McCraw said a big part of his agency's job is the response to such a disaster. Another witness, State Chemist Tim Hermann said there are about 115 such facilities holding amonium nitrate across Texas.
"Those facilities would be inspected prior to the issuance or renewal of their permit" Hermann said, adding however those conducting the inspections are not neccesarily chemists--with the main focus of such inspections being the security of what's being stored.
Officials said they have a difficult balancing act to maintain in terms of what can and can't be disclosed to the public about such facilities--but planning for what might go wrong begins at the local level--with local officials as aware as anybody of what's inside.