House Committee Directs OSHA not to add Ammonium Nitrate to the PSM Program
The House Appropriations Committee sent strong language to OSHA today when reporting the House version of FY 2017 Labor appropriations legislation that the directive to the agency in the Committee’s report on its FY 2016 bill concerning the storage and handling of ammonium nitrate (AN) still stands. If OSHA determines to make any changes to AN safety standards, it should use existing regulations established for that purpose at 29 CFR 1910.109(i) and not add AN to the list of chemicals regulated under the agency’s PSM program. The House directives come shortly after the Senate Appropriations Committee approved similar language in June (see article). Citing both the CSB report and ATF findings regarding the West Fertilizer explosion and fire as reasoning, the report language is the strongest to date and should give OSHA serious concern if they choose not to follow the directive. Special thanks to Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), and follow subcommittee members Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Evan Jenkins (R-WV) for their leadership on this important issue. More information will be available in the Washington Update for the week of July 11-15.