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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Farmers urged to review new Homeland Security chemical guidelines

Farmers and agribusiness operators should review chemical guidelines and determine whether they will be affected by a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulation, according to Billy Dictson, director of the office of bio-security at the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center at New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture and Home Economics.


"In an effort to increase the security of high-risk chemical facilities, the Department of Homeland Security recently released a list of chemicals that, if possessed by a facility in a specified quantity, would require them to complete a Chemical Security Anti-Terrorism Top-Screen assessment," Dictson said. "Those required to go through this initial screening must do so before Jan. 21."

Failure to comply with the regulations could result in civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day or the shutdown of the facility.

"New Mexico farmers and agribusinesses storing fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals might be affected by these new regulations, so it is important that they quickly determine if they meet the new federal requirements," said Jeff Witte, New Mexico Department of Agriculture's director of the office of agriculture bio-security at the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center. "I urge all producers and businesses to review the requirements and contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security if they have any questions."

Chemicals of interest and quantities that are most likely to affect agriculture include, but are not limited to:
- Chlorine: 2,500 pounds bulk, not bagged or in some other transportation package.
- Chlorine: 500 pounds bagged, on a trailer or in some other transportation package.
- Anhydrous ammonia: 10,000 pounds in typical pull behind tanks, completely loaded.
- Ammonium nitrate: 2,000 pounds bagged, on a trailer or in some other transportation package.
- Potassium nitrate: 400 pounds bagged, on a trailer or in some other transportation package.
- Sodium nitrate: 400 pounds bagged, on a trailer, or in some other transportation package.

For more information on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or to view the chemicals of interest list, visit http://www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity.

For questions when completing the top screen, call the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards help desk at (866) 323-2957.