Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

NH3 Compliance & Safety

Let's review the main points to keep in mind as fall ammonia season approaches.  A few minutes of preparation can prevent a lot of headaches and expense that occurs if accidents happen.
1.  For ag retailers, you need either a Class B CDL with hazmat endorsement to pull nurse tanks or a Class B Restricted Farm Service CDL.  You DO NOT need a Class A CDL or a tanker endorsement.  Nurse tanks are implements of husbandry and therefore the Illinois Vehicle Code does not count them as commercial units and their GVWR does not count in the total weight combination.  To apply for the restricted CDL that is good for either 90 or 180 days, you can download the Secretary of State's application form for this license here.  Please note that if you already have a CDL, you would have to forfeit it in order to obtain this restricted CDL license.  We don't advise you to do that.  

2.   IFCA offers an online training program for those employees that are hired prior to the ammonia season and have not gone through any ammonia training.  This training is only good for 90 days but does meet the training requirements for a “Competent Attendant."  Click here to access the training.

3.  If you have a reportable release of 18 gallons (or 100 lbs) or more, the person in possession of the ammonia must call the proper authorities within 15 minutes of the release.  It is imperative that emergency responders know what they are coming upon when an accident occurs.  This did not happen in the Beach Park, IL release near Chicago last April, and several emergency responders were seriously injured thinking they were headed to a car fire, not an ammonia release.  Click here for the Illinois Emergency Response Notification requirements.  Please contact IFCA for assistance if you have any questions about proper reporting procedures if an accident occurs.  

NH3 Emergency Response Wallet Cards
Every year at both spring and fall NH3 safety schools IFCA and the IDA have provided “wallet cards” to attendees. These cards list all of the emergency contact numbers mentioned above (a blank space is provided for you to write down your local LEPC number). This year IFCA purchased new cards to be handed out. Given the seriousness of these calls being made, we wanted to invest in even thicker, more durable cards for those working with anhydrous. If you are in need of wallet cards, please contact our office.
►  No more than two ammonia trailers in tandem behind a truck or one ammonia trailer behind a tractor and tool-bar.
►  No more than 25 mph when pulling ammonia tanks.
►  When hauling anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks or other implements of husbandry after sunset, the towing vehicles or implements of husbandry must be equipped with an amber rotating or flashing light.  The lights can also be operated during daylight hours but they are required between sunset and sunrise. 
►  Always perform a walk around inspection of the towing vehicle, toolbar and ammonia tank prior to transit.
►  When transporting ammonia tanks on any roadway, always shut off ALL valves on the ammonia tanks and disconnect any transfer hoses between the toolbar and ammonia tank.  Secure all hoses to the parking plug on the toolbar.
►  Always utilize proper PPE and make sure each nurse tank has 5 gallons of fresh clean water.