Report calls for protection of chemical workers

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is vowing to take a stronger role in protecting chemical-industry workers and local residents from accidents and explosions.

The new pledge comes in the aftermath of an explosion last year in Texas that killed 14 people and leveled an entire neighborhood.

The federal government says it will create more safeguards around chemical plants, improve first-responder training and emergency-preparedness measures, and upgrade computers at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The recommended steps were outlined in a report to President Barack Obama from an inter-agency group that was created after the April 2013 explosion in West, Texas.

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