OTTAWA, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Police have determined that a recent fertilizer sale in Southern Ontario in late May posed no security threat. Despite this, the incident does offer an opportunity for the fertilizer industry to audit current security programs for ammonium nitrate.
"This indicates that the current federal regulations and extensive industry security awareness programs are working," said Dave Finlayson, executive director of the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council. "But, the prudent thing to do is to review the incident and see if there are ways we can improve the system."
The recent sale was apparently made without legally-required documentation at an agri-retail outlet supplying farmers. As required by the regulations, the error was promptly reported to government authorities. Consequently, the purchaser, a gardener, was located by police.
Ammonium nitrate is a valuable fertilizer product used by farmers to grow wholesome food. However, it can also be used as a component in explosives. This is the reason the industry treats any possible misuse of ammonium nitrate very seriously.
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute and the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council support current federal regulations managed by the Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada. It is important that the rules be clearly communicated and understood by all those involved.
The Restricted Components Regulations require that anyone selling ammonium nitrate fertilizer:
- Enrol with Explosives Regulatory Division as an authorized seller of
- Take security measures to protect ammonium nitrate supplies and all
related documentation from theft and unauthorized access
- Request from customers proper identification (e.g. government photo
ID) and intent for purchasing the ammonium nitrate
- Inform end users and transporters about how to protect ammonium
nitrate from theft
- Provide the Explosives Regulatory Division Chief Inspector of
Explosives with annual inventory reports, and
- Report any suspicious activity to appropriate authorities.
Before 2008, agri-retailers operated under a voluntary Fertilizer Safety and Security Council industry code of practice. Agri-retailers selling ammonium nitrate have been diligent in meeting or exceeding the regulations since they were introduced in 2008.
The industry-sponsored On Guard for Canada education program was developed to inform agri-retailers and farmers about the need to be vigilant in selling, storing or using ammonium nitrate.
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute launched the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council in 2003.
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute is an industry association representing manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. Our mission is to be the unified voice of the Canadian fertilizer industry by promoting the responsible, sustainable and safe production, distribution and use of fertilizers. Our industry employs 12,000 Canadians and contributes $7 billion annually to Canada's economy. Our products contribute to the supply of safe, nutritious food in Canada and around the world.
SOURCE Fertilizer Canada
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