New Safety and Security Standards for Fertilizer



    OTTAWA, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Safety and security measures for anhydrous
ammonia fertilizer will be taken to an even higher level by a mandatory code
of practice that was published today by the Fertilizer Safety and Security
Council.
    Anhydrous ammonia is a cost-effective nitrogen fertilizer used by farmers
in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies to grow food. Ammonia is a naturally
occurring crop nutrient, but when transported or applied as a compressed gas,
anhydrous ammonia is corrosive until it binds with the soil. Public and worker
safety and security were top priorities in writing the code, so the prevention
of theft and accidental release are its primary objectives.
    The Canadian Fertilizer Institute's Fertilizer Safety and Security
Council developed the code to provide uniform standards for the handling and
storage of anydrous ammonia at agri-retail facilities in Canada.
    While existing regulations, safety programs and training have greatly
reduced the incidence of accidents involving anhydous ammonia, the code will
further reduce this risk.
    "The safety and security of Canadians is important to us and we want to
ensure our products are responsibly cared for in communities across the
country," said Dave Finlayson, Executive Director of the Fertilizer Safety and
Security Council. "Test audits have shown that many agri-retailers are already
in compliance in most areas of the code, so becoming 100% compliant should not
be too onerous - but does require some advance planning."
    The code was drafted by fertilizer manufacturers, distributors and
agri-retailers, with help from government agencies and the first responder
community. The principle of equivalency is incorporated into the code in
recognitition that there may be several ways to meet a code requirement. If
someone has found an alternate way to meet or exceed a code requirement, this
will be accepted.
    To assist retailers with compliance a hotline has been established.
Retailers can call toll-free (866) 311-0444 or direct (416) 260-2432 to speak
with a representative about technical details of the code, the program's
implementation schedule and auditing program.
    "Agri-retailers are committed to the safety of their employees and
customers in communities across the country," said Dave MacKay from the
Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers (CAAR). "The ammonia code sets a
measurable standard of security and safety for retail operations that is
rigourous but attainable."
    All anhydrous ammonia retail sites in Canada will need to be fully
compliant with the standards outlined in the ammonia code of practice by the
end of 2010. By January 1, 2011, retailers will need to have successfully
passed an audit to continue receiving ammonia from Canadian suppliers.
    The ammonia code, accompanying implementation guide and Frequently Asked
Questions are posted to the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council's website
at: (www.fssc.ca).




For further information:

For further information: Dave Finlayson, (613) 762-0145,
dfinlayson@cfi.ca

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FERTILIZER SAFETY AND SECURITY COUNCIL

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