Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, said Texans still have a right to find out where the substances are stored. As long as they know which companies to ask. "You know where they are if you drive around," Abbott told reporters Tuesday. "You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, 'Well we do have chemicals or we don't have chemicals,' and if they do, they tell which ones they have."
Abbott said the law requires private companies to tell citizens within 10 days whether they have chemicals. When asked if that meant citizens had the right to go onto their private property to demand the information, he initially said "absolutely." Abbott corrected himself seconds later. "Just to make clear, you may not be able to walk on private property. But you can send an email or letter or notice to anyone who owns any kind of private property or facility, saying that under the community right to know law, you need to tell me within 10 days what chemicals you have," Abbott said. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, you are obligated under that law to respond."