Thursday, August 4, 2011

DHS Issues Ammonium Nitrate NPRM

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate.

Under the NPRM, certain ammonium nitrate sellers and prospective ammonium nitrate purchasers must apply for ammonium nitrate registration numbers from DHS in order to sell, transfer, and/or purchase the chemical. DHS will use the Terrorist Screening Database to vet each applicant, and must generally issue an ammonium nitrate registration number or deny the applicant’s registration within 72 hours of receipt. At the point of sale, ammonium nitrate sellers will be required to verify each potential ammonium nitrate purchaser’s identity and registration before completing the sale.

Ammonium nitrate facilities will be required to keep records of sales or transfers of ammonium nitrate for at least two years after each transaction. The NPRM defines an ammonium nitrate facility as “[a]ny person or entity that produces, sells, or otherwise transfers ownership of, or provides applications services for, ammonium nitrate.” The NPRM will also require ammonium nitrate sellers to report the theft or loss of ammonium nitrate to Federal authorities within one calendar day of discovery of the theft or loss.

In order to ensure compliance, DHS will conduct on-site and remote regulatory compliance inspections and audits of ammonium nitrate facilities’ records. DHS may assess a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation for non-compliance with the rule.

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