"The key thing is integration of that oversight," said Hester.
Houston attorney Anthony Buzbee said while he has been contacted by victims of the West explosion he has not yet decided whether he will file any lawsuits on their behalf. Buzbee, who has successfully handled many lawsuit involving large scale industrial accidents, said facilities as small as West rarely draw consistent federal or state scrutiny.
"It's not that regulators are out there like policemen, watching as things happen as the business is conducted, that's not how things are done in this state, or frankly, most states in the country," said Buzbee. "They only visit a site, for the most part, if there's been a complaint."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is tasked with regulating and overseeing workplace safety. A check of government records showed OSHA had not visited the West facility since 1985.
Cornyn said all of the questions lingering over the company need to be answered.
"What you've described is something I certainly hope that the state and local and federal investigatory bodies will look into and get to the bottom of," said Cornyn.