EPA, OSHA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have issued a chemical advisory that provides information about the safe storage, handling, and management of ammonium nitrate. The advisory, which was developed by members of the recently established Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group, includes additional information about lessons learned from recent ammonium nitrate explosions, including the West, Texas, incident; steps that facility owners and operators should take to reduce the hazards of ammonium nitrate; community emergency planning for ammonium nitrate-related risks; and other resources such as references for relevant codes, standards, and regulations. Facility owners and operators, emergency planners, and first responders make up the primary audience for the advisory.
“Ammonium nitrate can be very dangerous, and it’s imperative that employers, workers and first responders all understand the hazards,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “With this understanding, together they can control these hazards and save lives and limbs.”
In April, an explosion at a fertilizer plant that housed ammonium nitrate devastated the town of West, Texas, and resulted in 15 deaths.
View the chemical advisory. For more information, read EPA's press release.