The Institute of Makers of Explosives (“IME”) was founded on the principle to ensure the safety and security of the explosive products that we manufacture, transport, distribute and use. As the largest consumer of ammonium nitrate (“AN”), IME and its members have reached out to offer our experience, technical knowledge, and unprecedented record of safety to address issues associated with the safe storage and handling of this material after the tragic April 2013 explosion at a fertilizer distribution facility in West, TX.
Leading up to the release of the Report to the President on Executive Order 13650 (“Report”), the IME has provided the Interagency Working Group (“IWG”) best practice guidelines for handling AN, participated in listening sessions organized by the IWG, engaged in a number of face-to-face meetings with regulators, submitted comments as requested, and provided detailed recommendations related to the safety and security of the chemicals we handle and use.
We are now studying the findings and recommendations in the Report. “As experts in commercial explosives safety, we are pleased to see some of our recommendations reflected in the Report,” stated Deb Satkowiak, IME’s President.
“In the decades since IME members began using AN for the manufacture of explosives, there have been no accidental detonations due to adherence to IME endorsed industry safety standards,” stated Tim O’Brien, Chairman of IME. Mr. O’Brien further added, “Given the significant economic impact of new regulation on our industry members, IME strongly encourages the EO Working Group to ensure that safety benefits beyond what the commercial explosives industry has already self-imposed would be realized prior to pursuing further costly regulation of AN.”
IME supports practices that contribute to the safety of employees and the public, such as training and exchanging information sharing with first responders and sharing successful best practices, such as IME’s Safety Library Publications. We extend our appreciation to IWG representatives for their outreach efforts to stakeholders, and we are committed to fully respond to the ongoing efforts outlined in the Report and to future initiatives of the IWG.
More information on IME can be found at www.IME.org.