The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Department of Homeland Security FY17 spending bill on May 26 addressing IME key concerns about ammonium nitrate security rulemaking. Senators Roy Blunt, Shelley Moore Capito, and John Barrasso are to be applauded for their work on this issue. The report on the bill included the following text concerning ammonium nitrate:
“As requested, no funds are provided for the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program. The Committee encourages NPPD to continue working with stakeholders that manufacture, sell, and transport explosive precursor chemicals to achieve the objectives of the ammonium nitrate rulemaking process taking into consideration the costs and benefits of any recommendations.”
It is critical that DHS work with industry stakeholders in order to develop a rule that will be efficient and effective. The Department’s 2011 proposed rule would have delivered a devastating blow to the explosives industry, if rail carriers seeing the burden of their compliance requirements opted to self-embargo this commodity. Given other readily available explosive precursor chemicals, removing ammonium nitrate from the marketplace would not enhance security.
The House’s version of the Homeland Security spending bill is expected next month. IME will continue to work with that chamber to ensure that DHS continues to get strong support to study the precursor issue and bring to Congress recommendations about how to modify or otherwise address threats to the homeland from homemade explosives and improvised explosive devices in a way that does not harm legitimate industry uses and operations