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Lawmakers Consider New Safety Mandates After Deadly Natural Gas Explosion In Dallas

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) - Today, Texas lawmakers will hear three proposals that would force natural gas companies to be more accountable for safety and transparency.

Some West Dallas neighbors who live near the site of a deadly home explosion are supportive of making changes.

"It was very hard because we had to move out of our homes. A couple of the neighbors moved, and of course we had a life that was taken," says neighbor Deanna Ward.

All that remains of the Rogers family home is an empty lot.

It was in February of 2018 when a natural gas explosion leveled the house and killed 12-year-old Linda Rogers.

District 103 Representative Raphael Anchia represents the neighborhood, and has authored three bills aimed to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

House Bill 864 would ensure gas companies notify the Texas Railroad Commission within an hour of incidents that result in injury or damage.

House Bill 866 would require all cast iron pipeline be replaced by the end of 2021.

House Bill 868 would require interactive mapping on gas company websites so consumers can look for information about leaks within their own neighborhoods.

The Texas House Energy Resources Committee meets at 2 p.m.

The gas company, Atmos Energy, has blamed shifting soil and heavy rain for the leak in the pipe that led to the 2018 explosion. Federal investigators are testing that claim.

In March of this year, the US Army Corps of Engineers sent off soil samples for testing. Those results should be available to the NTSB in a final report by the end of this month.

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