Delay possible for rules affecting anhydrous ammonia retailers

BISMARCK – A rule amending the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Program (RMP) that was scheduled to go into effect in March could now be delayed.

On April 3, 2017, the EPA published a proposed rule to delay the effective date of the RMP rule amendments until February 19, 2019, in order to allow them time to consider several petitions for reconsideration of the amendments that would have modified regulatory requirements. A public hearing was held on April 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C., and written comments will be accepted until May 19, 2017.

As currently written, the new rule will affect all of the approximately 260 anhydrous ammonia retailers in North Dakota. It includes several changes in the areas of accident prevention, emergency response and public availability of chemical hazard information. It also clarifies a number of existing RMP requirements.

“It is important for the EPA to receive comments from those who are affected most,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “It is beneficial for anhydrous ammonia retailers to detail their concerns with the new regulations when submitting comments.”

Comments must be submitted by May 19, 2017 at www.regulations.gov, docket ID EPA-HQ-OEM-2015-0725-0760.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture will continue to closely follow the rule change process, and provide updates and compliance information to the anhydrous industry as needed.