Fixing the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program
During markup of HR 4007, Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) joined in a request to House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) to address serious concerns with the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed ammonium nitrate security program (ANSP). Upwards of 75% of all ammonium nitrate is destined for the manufacture of explosives and is the feedstock chemical for 90% of commercial explosives by weight. Industry supported legislation to ensure that those with terrorist ties are not allowed to purchase this product. However, DHS has proposed rules the overstep congressional intent, especially with regard to common carriers, and that fail to fully exercise discretionary authority to leverage vetting and information collection requirements already imposed on persons that manufacture or purchase this commodity, such as workers at ATF-regulated sites. Both Thompson and Chaffetz recognized the importance of ammonium nitrate to the explosives industry and the economy. Chairmen McCaul and Meehan pledged to work to address industry needs and concerns, and to make this the next project of the Subcommittee. The ANSP proposal is supposed to be forwarded to OMB for final review in June.