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Government Entities No Longer Required to Release Information Regarding Storage of Hazardous Chemicals

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In a recent decision regarding information of chemicals used and stored in local areas and plants, Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, ruled that state agencies would no longer be required to release such inventories.

Under the Texas Homeland Protection law and the Communities Right to Know Act, reporters, local emergency stations, entities, and any community member may request to gain access to the chemical information which private plants, chemical stations, and storage facilities much relinquish or face penalties. State owned facilities, however, are immune from divulging such information under the new laws.

Such decisions come at the alarm of local chemicals potentially being used in the development of detonable materials. These hypothetical concerns, however, are overshadowed by the real-life impact of hazardous materials upon individuals and families housed within close vicinity to such facilities.

Previous inadequate disclosures of such materials, also known as Tier II reports, released to local fire stations in the West explosion, "lack(ed) knowledge of where these chemicals are stored," according to the mayor of West. While the West facility was a privately owned facility, lack of knowledge regarding these chemicals owned and stored by state entities could also prove deleterious in assisting other potential chemical-related incidents.

The availability, or lack-thereof, of such information could also hinder prospective homebuyers in the area from understanding the probable risk and effects of locally stored chemicals in addition to hindering those who believe they have been injured from local chemicals to having access to research such inclinations.

Here at Abraham Watkins we strive to investigate injurious claims, no matter the origin, to the best of our capabilities. If you believe yourself or a loved one has been injured due to the unlawful or improper storage of chemicals in local state or private facilities, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, and Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

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