Following the release of a Reuters news service map showings locations throughout the U.S. where ammonium nitrate (AN) is supposedly stored, Agricultural Retailers Association President and CEO Daren Coppock contacted the Reuters reporter to note the potential for many mistakes in companies listed as storing AN when they don’t store or sell the product.
"Setting aside the issue of showing everyone (including potential terrorists) where AN is stored, it appears the map may be including both dry ammonium nitrate and liquid urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) in its tabulation of which facilities store ammonium nitrate,” Coppock explained to the reporter. “These two products are very different and only the dry product is a detonation concern."
Coppock also asked Reuters to check their data and make the appropriate distinction between UAN and AN. The source of Reuters’ information is listed as the Census Bureau and state environmental, public safety and emergency response agencies.
Reuters is AgProfessional’s national news service, but we did not link to the article on our website. Many other publications and websites did reference the map on the Reuters website and wrote about danger of homes, schools, etc. located near AN distribution centers.
ARA received information that an agricultural retailer in Michigan noticed there was incorrect information posted about their facility on the map. Specifically, their facility stored UAN, but it was reported on the map as storing AN. The retailer contacted Reuters and asked them to remove their facility from the map. Within 5 minutes, Reuters pulled their facility off the map.
Because corrections can be made to archived articles and website content, ARA and AgProfessional suggest that ag retailers review the map by clicking here. And an e-mail can be sent to Reuters by clicking here requesting a correction if a facility is designated as storing AN and does not.
Our position at AgProfessional has moved from not publicizing the map to trying to have the right information posted, if Reuters is set on having the website map available. At AgProfessional, we are confident that ag retailers who do store AN are completely alert to security and safe handling, especially since the West, Texas, fire and fertilizer explosion.