News

SENATORS WEIGH IN ON AMMONIUM NITRATE SECURITY

05/31/2015

Sens. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jerry Moran (R-KS) sent a letter to DHS requesting that a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) published on the Department’s Ammonium Nitrate Security Program proposal before finalizing the rulemaking. The rulemaking was proposed in 2011 to implement legislation enacted in 2007. The legislation was aimed at regulating the sale and transfer of ownership of ammonium nitrate used as fertilizer to ensure before the transfer of the material that the individual taking ownership was determined not to present a terrorist threat. However, the proposal swept in all who handle ammonium nitrate, imposing a draconian chain-of-custody regulatory scheme that pulled in truck drivers, train crews, dock workers, miners, and workers for explosives companies. All of these individuals are subject to federal vetting requirements and have already been determined not to present a terrorist threat. If finalized as proposed, there was a risk that rail carriers would no longer be able to accept the thousands of railcars used to move 80 percent of the nearly 7 billion pounds of this chemical used in the explosives industry. The Spring 2015 Semi-annual Regulatory Agenda indicates the this rule is to be finalized in October. DHS has asked Congress not to do anything to slow finalization of this rule. We have said that the best way to speed it up is to publish a SNPRM to show stakeholders that the agency as addressed deal-breaker issues in the proposal. This is a huge victory for IME.