Texas lawmakers approve fertilizer safety bill

FILE - In this April 18, 2013 file photo, firefighters conduct a search and rescue of an apartment building destroyed the night before by an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott a bill meant to strengthen regulations for storing the chemical fertilizer that caused a fatal explosion in West in 2013.

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to requiring ammonium nitrate be kept separate from combustible material. The bill also grants the state fire marshal new powers to inspect businesses that store the chemical and issue citations.

Businesses would have 10 days to fix problems or face penalties.

Companies also would be required to give multiple state agencies and local emergency officials reports on what chemicals they store. The Texas Commission on Environment Quality would make those records public.

Fifteen people were killed in West explosion.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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