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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, DEC. 21, 2007

CONTACT: Richard Fredenburg, LP-gas engineer                              
NCDA&CS Standards Division
                       
(919) 733-3313

New federal rules regarding chemicals may affect farmers;
NCDA&CS urges farmers to review guidelines soon

RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler reminds farmers and agribusinesses that store certain chemicals that they may be affected by a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulation. The new rule requires facilities that fall under the guidelines to fill out an assessment form or face possible penalties.

“North Carolina farmers and agribusinesses storing fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals might be affected by this regulation. We want farmers to be aware of this change and review their materials to see if they need to complete an assessment form or not,” Troxler said. “The deadline for filling out the required form is Jan. 19, so every farmer needs to look at the list and quantities of chemicals involved as quickly as possible to be sure they are in compliance. Farmers with questions about the requirements should contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

In an effort to increase the security of high-risk chemical facilities, the Department of Homeland Security recently released a list of chemicals that, if possessed by a facility in a specified quantity, would require them to complete a Chemical Security Anti-Terrorism Top-Screen assessment.

Information on how to register in order to complete the assessment is available on the Department of Homeland Security’s Web site at www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity.  The first step is to register with DHS, including providing a secure e-mail address (not a Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL address).  The registration form must be printed and mailed or faxed to DHS. DHS will then issue a user name and password. The registrant can then go online to complete the Top Screen assessment.  The registration is not complete until the Top Screen is completed.

“We urge farmers and agribusiness officers to get started on this right away,” Troxler said.  “We are concerned that DHS may be overwhelmed by the response as the deadline approaches.”

Chemicals of interest and quantities that are most likely to affect agriculture include, but are not limited to:

  • Propane--60,000 pounds (14,286 gallons) (apparently amount stored, not capacity)
  • Chlorine--2,500 pounds (bulk, not bagged or in some other transportation package)
  • Chlorine--500 pounds (bagged, on a trailer or in some other transportation package)
  • Anhydrous ammonia--10,000 pounds (four typical pull behind tanks, completely loaded)
  • Ammonium nitrate--2,000 pounds (bagged, on a trailer or in some other transportation package)
  • Potassium nitrate--400 pounds (bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package)
  • Sodium nitrate--400 pounds (bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package)

For more information on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or to view the chemicals of interest list, go to www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity.  For questions when completing the Top Screen, call the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards help desk at (866) 323-2957.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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