Fertilizer industry responds to Texas incident

Published on: Apr 18, 2013

The Fertilizer Institute extended its thoughts and prayers to all of the people who have been impacted by the tragic event at the Texas fertilizer facility April 17. TFI said the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) was deployed to the accident scene. The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has worked closely with the CSB and will "serve as a resource should we be asked to do so," TFI said.

TFI is an active member of the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response program (TRANSCAER). Through this initiative, emergency response personnel in 27 states, including Texas, have received training on responding to accidents involving anhydrous ammonia.

TFI said, "We are carefully monitoring the situation and will work with the industry to apply any lessons learned."

Fertilizer is regulated at both the federal and state levels. Federal agencies of jurisdiction include the Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation. At the state level, fertilizers are regulated by state department of agriculture office of fertilizer control.

According the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Standard for Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia, ammonia is extremely hard to ignite and is a relatively stable compound. The conditions favorable for ignition are seldom encountered during normal operations due to the high ignition temperature required. Most states have adopted the ANSI Standard, including Texas.