ARA: ARA Testifies at Hearing on West Fertilizer
Paul Derig, environment, health and safety (EHS) manager with J.R. Simplot, testified on behalf of the Agricultural Retailers Association at a House Subcommittee hearing titled, “West Fertilizer, Off the Grid: The Problem of Unidentified Chemical Facilities.”
House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman, Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pa.) meets with IRM’s Tip O’Neill, J.R. Simplot’s Paul Derig, and Richard Gupton and Michael Kennedy of ARA. Witnesses at the hearing presented their testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. ARA appreciates the additional agricultural industry representation provided by Donnie Dippel, president of the Texas Ag Industries Association, who also testified at the hearing.
Derig brought a unique perspective to the hearing as an EHS manager responsible for oversight of regulatory programs for J.R. Simplot’s agricultural retail operations and his more than 30 years of past experience in fertilizer handling and security. This past experience also includes his work as a first responder, firefighter and National Fire Academy Instructor. “Because of the many roles that I have been able to play, I understand the importance of safety and security in the public and private sectors,” Derig stated in his testimony.
Derig made the following key points in his testimony on behalf of ARA and the ag retail industry.
1. He explained ResponsibleAg, a new member-led performance management system that will establish foundational Environmental, Health and Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) practices with a third-party inspection program.
2. Derig also emphasized the need for permanent Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) or long-term reauthorization of the CFATS program needed for regulatory certainty.
3. On behalf of ARA, Derig also recommended the following enhancements to both the CFATS program and the Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer Registration Program:
A. Re-evaluating the Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer Registration Program
B. Targeting unidentif ied chemical facilities through intergovernmental and industry cooperation.
C. Re-evaluating its “partnership” model to develop better cooperation between the public and private sector. The Executive Order issued by President Obama clearly shows this need.
D. Raising “partnership” outreach with industry. ARA’s past industry outreach efforts coordinated with other organizations, including the FBI, EPA, DOD, the National Fire Protection Association and the First Responders Organization.
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