The Agricultural Retailers Association submitted written comments to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging the agency implement a more streamlined, simplified ammonium nitrate (AN) security program. The ARA comment letter was sent Dec. 1, and as the year ends, ARA is hopeful the letter will have a positive impact on rulemaking in 2012.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, in early August 2011, announced the publication of the DHS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register for the creation of this new program as part of the Department's ongoing efforts to "regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate by an ammonium nitrate facility...to prevent the misappropriation or use of ammonium nitrate in an act of terrorism." 

ARA recommends DHS focus on solid AN fertilizer and drop the proposed AN mixture definition since it is overly vague and has the potential to cover a wide range of additional fertilizer products not intended to be included in this registration program. 

In addition, ARA recommends that the agency not include any requirements for “independent transporters” from having to register for the program since they already are required to submit to fingerprint and background checks under the CDL HME program administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).