“So at West, these fire code provisions were strictly voluntary, and West Fertilizer had not volunteered,” he said. Ammonium nitrate is a widely used fertilizer with a notorious reputation as an explosive. The bomb used to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people, was made mostly ammonium nitrate. Moure-Eraso said the Chemical Safety Board urged the Environmental Protection Agency in 2002 to require non-combustible storage bins for reactive chemicals like ammonium nitrate, but the EPA hasn’t done that. The committee’s chairwoman, California Democratic Sen.
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For years, legislators have used federally mandated chemical inventory reporting as a cash cow, collecting about $1 million a year in companies filing fees, but then appropriating only about $600,000 a year to run the program. That decade-long practice has bolstered the states books, building up a stockpile of unspent chemical reporting fees that totaled $3.98 million as of Aug. 31, 2012. The 2013 figure will be higher. Meanwhile, E-Plans managers at UTD hope Obamas executive order on chemical emergencies might at least save their program and perhaps improve and expand it. Suggesting that better sharing of information might have reduced deaths, injuries and damage from the April 17 ammonium nitrate fertilizer plant explosion in West, Obama commanded federal agencies to find a better way by years end. When I look at this executive order, this is perfect thats exactly what E-Plan does, said Ron Bose, director of a UTD center that affordable landscape design runs E-Plan and does complex, confidential performance data analysis for clients including telecom companies.
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Fertilizer logistics strained as US farmers plant at record pace
The problem was not the global supply of fertilizer, which is ample; it was getting it to the right place at the right time. The logistical strain helps explain why it took farmers longer than usual to get their crops fully planted, despite an unprecedented pace in certain weeks. It also fuels doubts about yields, which can be hurt when crops are planted late. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday lowered its outlook for the autumn corn harvest 1 percent from last month due to reduced yield expectations.
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