WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Fertilizer Institute is undertaking efforts to promote industry guidelines designed to ensure the safety of aboveground storage tanks of liquid fertilizer.

The Aboveground Storage Tanks of Liquid Fertilizer - Recommended Inspection Guidelines, were developed by TFI in 2001 following several failures of large, non-pressurized liquid fertilizer tanks.

TFI's current efforts to enhance awareness of its guidelines are in response to a recommendation by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board that was issued in its May 2009 investigation report regarding a large liquid fertilizer tank failure that occurred in Chesapeake, Va., in November 2008.

"TFI is strongly committed to product stewardship, such as the aboveground storage tank guidelines, that enhance the safe handling and storage of fertilizers," stated TFI President Ford B. West. "We are pleased that the CSB has recognized the value of our guidelines by recommending that we continue to promote them as an industry best practice among our members."

TFI's guidelines, which were developed by the Tank Integrity Working Group comprised of TFI's membership, provide a suggested uniform program to evaluate the condition of large, aboveground storage tanks of liquid fertilizer. Specifically, the guidelines suggest that storage tanks meet two standards developed by the American Petroleum Institute to ensure adequate safety measures in the construction, inspection, repair and alteration of large storage tanks.

"The guidelines incorporate the knowledge and experience of fertilizer industry members, as well as expertise from technical personnel that are responsible for creating standards that apply to all industries that utilize large storage tanks," said West. "TFI is confident that these guidelines, used in conjunction with site specific considerations, provide the tools necessary to ensure the safe storage of liquid fertilizers within aboveground storage tanks."

In addition to complying with the CSB's recommendation to promote the guidelines among its members, TFI will utilize its partnerships with state and regional agribusiness associations to further increase awareness of the guidelines throughout the agricultural sector. TFI will also pursue additional opportunities to educate the fertilizer industry on this matter by inviting the CSB to conduct presentations at meetings attended by industry members, including the National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School.

The Fertilizer Institute represents the nation's fertilizer industry. Producers, wholesalers, retailers, trading firms and equipment manufacturers which comprise its membership are served by a full time Washington, D.C., staff in various legislative, educational and technical areas as well as with information and public relations programs.