January 9, 2008 | By: Aimee Nielson

In November, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a list of chemicals of concern, known as “Appendix A.” Appendix A includes such chemicals as ammonium nitrate, anhydrous ammonia, potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate. Kentucky farmers might use one or all of these common chemicals in their operations. Initially the standards included farmers if they possess the chemicals above specified quantities and required them to register with DHS and complete what’s known as a “Top-Screen” assessment by Jan. 21. However, recent changes to the standards will exempt most farmers from those requirements.

Greg Schwab, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture extension soils specialist, said farmers and other end users such as horticulture users and parks may not have to complete the “Top-Screen” as long as users possess these chemicals solely to use for treatment of crops, feed, land, livestock or other areas of agricultural production facilities.

This exemption does not apply to chemical distribution facilities or commercial chemical application services, Schwab said.

The following is a partial list of common agricultural chemicals and quantities specified in Appendix A:

• Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer – 2,000 pounds in a shipping package (bags, truck, fertilizer buggies – basically anything except bulk storage) 
• Anhydrous Ammonia – 10,000 pounds total (Add all quantities in nurse tanks and bulk tanks to get possession quantity.) 
• Potassium Nitrate – 400 pounds in a shipping package 
• Sodium Nitrate – 400 pounds in a shipping package 
• Some common fumigants and insecticides. (Check Appendix A for specifics.)
• Propane – 60,000 lbs (not counting tanks 10,000 pounds or less).

The new DHS requirements were put into play when Congress passed and President Bush signed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007. A section of the act authorizes DHS to require high-risk chemical facilities to complete security vulnerability assessments, develop site security plans, and implement risk-based measures designed to satisfy DHS-defined risk-based performance standards. The act also authorized DHS to enforce compliance with the security regulations, including conducting audits and inspections of high-risk facilities, imposing civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day, and shutting down facilities that fail to comply with the regulations.

Schwab said those who meet the criteria should log onto the DHS Web page at 
http://dhs.gov/xprevprot/programs/gc_1169501486197.shtm and complete the Chemical Security Assessment Tool. 

For more information about the DHS’ Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards visit the DHS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity or call the CSAT Helpline at 866-323-2957 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday.


Greg Schwab, 859-257-9780