DHS Setting Up Ammonium Nitrate Regulatory Program

The National Protection and Programs Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is following Congress' direction and setting up a system to regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate, which is widely used in explosives and in agriculture. AN in explosive form is one of more than 300 chemicals covered by the existing DHS rule intended to ensure the security of high-risk chemical facilities, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), but this program is different because CFATS does not control sales or transfers.

DHS said in today's advance notice of proposed rulemaking that it expects to include these items in its regulatory program:

  • AN facilities and prospective AN purchasers will apply for registration numbers from DHS in order to sell, transfer, and/or purchase AN. Prospective registrants would have to provide specific identifying information to DHS, which will conduct Terrorist Screening Database checks and issue or deny registration numbers within 72 hours of receipt of the application, ideally.
  • Verification of the purchaser's registration and identity by a seller at the point of sale.
  • Sellers required to maintain records of sales or transfers of AN for at least two years after each transaction, with penalties for failing to maintain records appropriately.
  • AN facilities and purchasers required to report the theft or loss of AN to federal law enforcement authorities within one calendar day after discovery of the theft or loss.
  • DHS regulatory compliance inspections and audits of AN facilities' records.

Comments are being accepted until Dec. 19 via this site. Search for RIN 1601-AA52.

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