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Government/Politics

Greg Abbott Says State Should Not Disclose Location Or Contents Of Chemical Plants

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott explained his opinion on why the state should not disclose sensitive information about chemical plants like the one in the city of West, Texas that exploded one year ago.

In a legal opinion released this week, Abbott said the state should withhold the addresses and list of substances at chemical plants storing dangerous chemicals. While the state will not provide this information openly, Abbott said the public still has the ability to get the information themselves.

"You as a community member can go to any chemical facility in the entire state of Texas and say, 'Identify for me all chemicals you have on your facility,' and you are entitled to get that information within ten days,” Abbott said.

Under the Community Right to Know Act, anyone can request this type of information through the Department of State Health Services.

Citing the possibility of terrorism, Abbott said in some cases the chemicals can be used as weapons.

“Information that is gathered by the state of Texas [and] if it contains information that falls in the category of homeland security, that type of information cannot be received by the public," Abbott said. "There’s a clear reason why that law exists that was demonstrated in Austin, Texas last week.”

Abbott was referencing the two Round Rock men who were arrested by federal officials on terrorism-related charges. The two men, who both pleaded guilty, were attempting to provide support for terrorist in the Middle East and were not engaging in domestic terrorism in Texas.