02 August 2011 20:32 [Source: ICIS news]
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its proposed “Ammonium Nitrate Security Program” for 60 days of public comment, saying the regulations are critical “to ensure the security of potentially dangerous amounts of ammonium nitrate while still facilitating legitimate everyday use”.
Ammonium nitrate is widely used, chiefly in fertilizers but also in first-aid products and some retail mixtures for home and garden use.
But AN also is a powerful explosive and was the principal component in the April 1995 bomb that destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people. That bomb used one tonne of AN mixed with fuel oil.
Under the proposed AN security rules, anyone who sells, transfers or uses ammonium nitrate in volumes of 25lb or more would be required to register with the department and keep accurate records of every transaction, distribution or use.
They would have to maintain those records for two years, and the recordkeeping would be subject to department inspection and audits.
In addition, the loss or theft of any AN volume in excess of 25lb would have to be reported to the department within 24 hours.
US chemical industry operators who manufacture, distribute, store or use AN in commercial volumes already are regulated under the department’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).
However, the department said, those standards are aimed at the security of high-risk chemical facilities where large volumes - ranging from 400-5,000lb depending on the type of AN - are produced, stored or distributed.
“The CFATS rule does not, however, impose any limitations on the sale or transfer of ammonium nitrate,” the department noted.
In contrast, while the proposed Ammonium Nitrate Security Program “does not address the physical security of ammonium nitrate facilities, it does impose certain conditions on the sale or transfer of ammonium nitrate”.
Essentially, the proposed rules provide that quantities of AN weighing more than 25lb “may only be transferred between registered ammonium nitrate sellers and registered ammonium nitrate purchasers or purchasers agents”.
According to the US Commerce Department, the
The department’s proposed AN security rules, required by legislation passed in late 2007, are estimated to cost
For complete details on the proposed 200-page regulation, see the department’s web site.
($1 = €0.70)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections