Frequent Questions

What has EPA done to further the safe storage and handling of Ammonium Nitrate?

The EPA has taken a number of actions to further the safe storage and handling of AN.

  • Under Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities storing AN must submit a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and annually report inventories to state and local entities and first responder organizations for emergency preparedness and planning. Facilities, local entities (such as LEPCs), and first responders are obligated to work together to understand facility hazards and to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies in that community.
  • Under Executive Order (EO) 13650 Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, EPA is actively working to enhance local emergency preparedness and first responder capabilities.
  • EPA, OSHA, DHS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a comprehensive safety advisory August 2013, and a follow-up Advisory June 2015 on safe storage and handling of AN with additional details on emergency response practices. These advisories detail AN’s physical and chemical properties, hazards, recommended bulk storage practices, hazard reduction, pre-incident and emergency action planning, and appropriate fire emergency response. 

    The advisories, along with:

  • Chapter 11 of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 400-2016 Hazardous Materials Code which contains comprehensive information on AN hazards and hazard mitigation techniques;
  • Safety and Security Guidelines for AN from the Institute for Makers of Explosives (IME); and
  • Safety and Security Guidelines for the Storage and Transportation of Fertilizer Grade AN at Fertilizer Retail Facilities from the Agricultural Retailers Association and the Fertilizer Institute;

serve to make facility owners and operators; emergency planners and first responders; and communities aware of AN’s hazards, appropriate storage and handling practices, and appropriate emergency response.

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