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Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Video For Farmers

This video is designed to provide farmers with safety information related to handling, transportation, application, first aid and emergency response as it pertains to anhydrous ammonia.

2010 MSDS Books Available From Asmark

There are many good sources of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for pesticides, however the unusual or hard-to-get items such oxygen, acetylene, fuels, fertilizers, welding rods, micronutrients, paints, grain treatments, spray additives and cleaning supplies typically make maintaining a current MSDS File a real chore. The 2010 MSDS Manual, published by the Asmark Institute, is designed especially for agricultural retailers and contains, 1,880 pages of information for more than 1,000 products. OSHA requires each employer to maintain a current file for the MSDS for the hazardous substances used or handled in the workplace. This manual is the best solution to help with this ...

36,000 Pound Reminder

The Illinois Vehicle Code considers floaters an implement of husbandry and therefore exempt from the commercial motor vehicle regulations (including the CDL requirements) but only if the floaters weigh less than 36,000 lbs--loaded or unloaded.  Even if you have a license plate on your floater to enable you to take a load to the field you cannot exceed 36,000 lbs or you lose the exemption and then your driver needs a CDL, pre and post-trip inspection reports, etc.  We realize that floaters get bigger every year but please keep this in mind.  You also cannot exceed 30 mph on public ...

Agrichemical Containment Regulations

Click the document below for the Part 255 Illinois Department of Agriculture containment regulations for the bulk storage and handling of fertilizers and pesticides for commercial, non-commercial and on-farm facilities.  

Agrichemical Facility Response Action Program (Part 259)

Outlines the agchem facility cleanup program and remediation standards for pesticides and fertilizer

Air Injection Not Legal in Illinois in Ammonia Application Systems

You may see advertisements for ammonia application systems that introduce air into anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks to increase tank pressure during cold weather.  The system is mounted on NH3 toolbars equipped with a hose that attaches to the vapor valve on nurse tanks during cold weather ammonia application.  Introducing air into anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks can eventually causes stress crack corrosion compromising the integrity of the metal which could lead to a catastrophic failure.  Additionally, once air is introduced into NH3 nurse tanks, the air can travel from the nurse tank, back to the storage&...

Amber Light Required When Hauling Ammonia Tanks At Night

During the busy anhydrous ammonia application season we sometimes forget regulatory requirements when hauling NH3 nurse tanks.  It's even more difficult this year with the season starting late and the days getting shorter.  If your employees or farmer customers will be hauling ammonia nurse tanks after dusk, the tanks must be fitted with an amber rotating/flashing light on the either the nurse tanks or towing vehicle.  It is a violation of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code to transport NH3 nurse tanks on a public roadway after dark without a rotating or flashing amber light.&...

American Welding & Tank Update

Anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks manufactured between June 2009 and September 2010 by American Welding & Tank, LLC have experienced some defects.  American Welding & Tank has asked the industry to distribute information on the inspection and warranty of these nurse tanks.  Please click on the attachment to this email view the notice and inspection program.  IFCA is here to assist with any issues you have relative to ammonia equipment, operations and safety so please don't hesitate to contact Kevin Runkle. 

American Welding and Tank Safety Advisory

Click on the link to view the American Welding and Tank advisory letter.

Ammonia Cartridges Versus Canisters

The IFCA has recently been notified by the Illinois Department of Ag Bureau of Ag Product Inspection that a company in Illinois is calling on IFCA members to sell anhydrous ammonia cartridges to take the place of canisters.  Cartridges and canisters are different as they allow for certain levels of exposure.  According to the product information on a full face gas mask with a cartridge, they are not to by used in environments that are Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH).  At 400 parts per million (PPM), NH3 becomes immediately dangerous to life and health making the ...

Ammonia Release? Person in Possession Must Make the Report

If a farmer customer is in possession of anhydrous ammonia and a reportable release of 18 gallons or 100 pounds occurs, it is the farmer's responsibility to immediately notify the proper emergency personnel.  There have been several anhydrous ammonia releases in Illinois over last week, many of which occurred while the farmers were in possession of the product and some involving injury.  Although your customers may not want to make the calls, or may ask you to make the emergency notifications to IEMA, LEPC and the NRC for them, it is also their responsibility per federal ...

Anhydrous Ammonia Reminders

Remember if you have a reportable quantity (RQ) release of anhydrous ammonia equal to or greater than 18 gallons/100 pounds you have 15 minutes of knowledge of the release to contact:   The National Response Center at 800.424.8802 Illinois Emergency Management Agency at 800.782.7860 Local Emergency Planning Committee Local Emergency Responders   If you have questions about reporting requirements or need assistance, please contact the IFCA office.   IFCA would also like to remind companies that receive anhydrous ammonia by rail to follow all distributor and Federal Rail Administration (FRA) requirements when shipping rail cars back to the distributor or manufacturer.  According to ...

Anhydrous Ammonia Training Available Online

IFCA and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have made available online anhydrous ammonia training for members.  Employees or new hires who can not attend the regularly scheduled anhydrous ammonia safety schools now have the opportunity to receive an Illinois Department of Agriculture approved anhydrous ammonia training certificate online.  The training consists of a series of power point slides and videos which cover anhydrous ammonia properties, characteristics, safe handling, transportation, unsafe conditions and emergency response.  The training satisfies the Illinois Department of Agriculture requirements for a competent attendant.  Certificates are only valid for ...

Annual HAZMAT Registration Due July 1

If your company offers for transportation or transports a shipment of placarded hazardous material, you must complete the annual HAZMAT registration and pay the registration fee by July 1, 2013.  The 2013-2014 registration fee for a small business (less than 100 employees) has been reduced to $150.  If your company has more than 100 employees the 2013-2014 HAZMAT registration fee is $1300.  The annual fee for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations for registration year 2014-2015 and following years will be $250 and $2,575 for all other registrants.  If your company already paid for the HAZMAT registration prior ...

Bulk Fertilizer & Stewardship Issues

We have received many calls in the past week at the office from our members expressing concern about bulk fertilizers being dumped in the fields.  While Illinois' on-farm containment regulations allow over 50,000 lbs of bulk dry fertilizer or 5,000 gallons or more of liquid to be stored for up to 45 days by farmers, certainly from a stewardship standpoint it is not recommended.  Even when under the 45 days, the product can only be stored at the farm (or in the field of application) by the farmer who owns it and not as a transfer point.  IFCA is working ...

Changes To Nurse Tank Inspection Program

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has informed IFCA that effective immediately, no new company can register for Special Permit (SP) 13554 through TFI’s online Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP). Policy changes within USDOT now prohibit new company requests to be a party to the SP-13554 exemption. Existing companies who have already registered their facility through TFI’s NTIP will continue to use the SP-13554 exemption provided nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plates undergo the proper testing and inspection procedures. Any company that has not previously registered with TFI for exemption status must now submit ...

Coast Guard Port in Chicago Expedites TWIC Compliance

The US Coat Guard Port of Chicago is sticking with the compliance date of September 25, 2008 for river terminals handling hazardous materials to require Transportation Worker Identification Credentials at the facilities in this port district.  This would include the ammonia terminals at Marseilles, Peru , Henry and Seneca.  Ammonia motor carriers who do not have a TWIC card can still be loaded at the terminal, but may experience delays since their will have to escorted by facility personnel the entire time they are on the property.  For information on how to obtain a TWIC card, please go to www....

Comments Due Aug 13 to Secure Exemption for all Fertilizers

For the past year, IFCA has been working with our national organizations, with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with our US Congressmen to restore the Hours of Service (HOS) exemption for the transportation of ag inputs between terminals or warehouses and retail sites.  Last year, the FMCSA instructed the industry that the exemption from HOS only applies for retail to farm and farm to farm delivery of ag supplies within a 100 mile radius.   In 2006, IFCA passed state legislation that enacted the ag HOS exemption for all distribution points (including terminals and warehouses) for ...

Companies Shelling Out Big Bucks To Comply With CFATS

IFCA Manager of Regulatory Services Kevin Runkle recently attended a meeting hosted by The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) to discuss compliance with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).  As a member of the TFI Security Task Force, Kevin has been able to attend several meetings hosted by TFI in order to assist IFCA members with compliance.  Although a majority of IFCA ag retial members fell out of the requirements after registering with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and submitting Top Screen information, there are a few retailers as well as manufacturers and distributors who still must comply ...

Compliance Assessment Tool - by Asmark

Are you meeting your compliance obligations?

Court Ruling Changes Definition of Interstate Commerce

Depending on the type of agricultural movement, farmers may now be subject to USDOT Federal Motor Carrier Regulations from which they were previously exempt.  Previously, shipping a load of grain to the local elevator was defined as intrastate commerce if within the state of Illinois.  Now, USDOT states a farmers' movement of grain from the farm to elevator constitutes the first leg of interstate movement of product because it is assumed the grain will eventually leave the state.  Since hauling grain to the local elevator is now defined as interstate commerce, farmers will now be required to ...

CVI Training Required For Chemical Facilities

Chemical facilities that registered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this year must also complete Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) training.  Any information or correspondence from DHS relating to the Chemical of Interest (COI) at your facility such as anhydrous ammonia or ammonium nitrate, which required facilities to register with DHS must also be marked as CVI and be viewed by persons who also have completed CVI training.  The training is available online and takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete.  Once the training is complete, you can print off a certificate of completion that ...

Department of Homeland Security Delays Sending Letter

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has informed us that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) release of tier ranking letters to Top Screen participants has once again been delayed.  DHS mailed letters to twenty-two of the forty-eight Phase I facilities, however TFI does not expect Top Screen letters for Phase II facilities to be sent until mid or late May 2008.  If this trend continues, letters may not be sent out to the majority of the ag retailers notifying them of their Tier level until late Summer, possibly into Fall.   

Department of Homeland Security Link to CVI

All facilities that register and submit Top-Screen information to DHS must also complete Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) training.  This consists of an an online training module which takes approximately twenty minutes to complete.  Click on this link to access the CVI training module, complete the training and print a certificate of completion.

Department Of Homeland Security Request

By now most IFCA members have received a letter from the Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting each facility to register with DHS and complete a top-screen submission to determine your threat level.  Many facilties completed this requirement in 2007 and 2008.  If the top-screen submission was completed and submitted to DHS you should have a letter from them describing if your facility is a Tier 1-4, or in most cases a facility was notified and not assigned a Tier level after completing the top-screen, opting out of compliance with Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).    If you ...

DHS Notifying Companies of Incomplete Information

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently sent an email to several IFCA members notifying them they did not complete the required information for Top-Screen Submission. IFCA has learned some companies failed to complete the final step of hitting the submit button at the end of the Top Screen process. If your company received an e-mail from DHS earlier this week stating the information was not submitted, then all you need to do is go back into the Top Screen with your user name and password and go to the very last page of the submission process ...

DHS Re-Evaluates Tier Rankings within CFATS Program

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) reports that on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducted a conference call with industry representatives to discuss technical issues with the Risk Assessment methodology used for establishing Tier Rankings in the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.  There was a correction made to the methodology that resulted in a re-evaluation of 360 facilities with final Tier Rankings.  These facilities were originally tiered based on Sabotage or Release-Toxic concerns.  There will be no change for 100 facilities, a reduction in Tier Ranking to another 150, and 100 facilities will drop/tier out of the CFATS program.  ...

DHS Sends Final Tier Letters

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has been notified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that final tier ranking letters have been sent to 544 facilities.  Site security plans will be due to DHS no later than June 1, 2010. DHS also advised it is checking the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) database of Tier II and Risk Management Plan (RMP) facilities for any facilities that may have triggered the reporting requirements under CFATS.  If a facility is on either the Tier II or RMP list, and has not submitted a top screen to DHS, a letter warning of potential enforcement action ...

DHS Sends Letters To Chemical Facilities

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that letters assigned tier rankings for high risk facilities will be sent via Federal Express beginning today.   Of the 32,000 TopScreen submissions, 7006 sites will be spread among Tier1-4 rankings.  The breakout includes: Tier 1:  219 facilities, with a reporting deadline of Sept. 25 Tier 2:  756, reporting Oct. 24 Tier 3:  1712, reporting Nov. 24 Tier 4:  4319, reporting Dec. 31.   The 25,000 sites not assigned a Tier ranking will also receive a FedEx letter notifying them of their non-regulated status. Please contact Kevin if you have questions or concerned once you determine how your facility is ranked.&...

DHS To Send More Letters Next Week

As letters from DHS are received by IFCA members, the consensus seems to be most IFCA members will not fall into a tier ranking by DHS and therefore are no longer subject to CFATS regulations. Although the majority of retailers had to register with DHS and submit TopScreen information due to anhydrous ammonia, this fertilizer alone does not appear to be enough to trigger a facility to be placed in any of the four tier rankings.    One of the Chemicals of Interest (COI) that triggers a preliminary tier ranking by DHS is phosphine which is used in ...

DOT Shipping Paper Requirements

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently notified the industry regarding requirements of a final rule issued by DOT on May 3, 2007.  According to TFI, a provision of the final rule requires shipping papers to have a shipper's signature below a statement certifying a shipment is properly classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled and in proper condition for transportation according to applicable DOT regulations.  This requirement will become effective on May 4, 2009.

Emergency Response Reporting Instructions

Emergency Response Wallet Cards Available 2

This year IFCA printed 15,000 emergency response wallet cards for our members to give to employees and customers in the event of a release of anhydrous ammonia.  If you need a supply of these, give us a call.  USEPA has been very strict this year regarding the 15 minute rule if a reportable quantity release of NH3 occurs.  Some IFCA members are facing fines up to $25,000 for not contacting the National Response Center (NRC) within fifteen minutes of a reportable quantity RQ release (18 gallons or 100 pounds) of NH3.  If a customer is in possession of ...

EPA Updates SPCC Plan........Again

On June 11, 2009 USEPA again extended the compliance date for the Spill Prevention & Control Countermeasure (SPCC) rules for petroleum storage facilities to November 10, 2010.  Facilities must amend or prepare and implement SPCC plans by the compliance date in accordance with the revisions to the rule.  Farms must also amend or prepare their SPCC plans and implement them by that date.  A final rule is expected to be published prior to the previous compliance date of July 1, 2009. 

Fall NH3 Safety Schools Offered 2

This year IFCA is offering four NH3 training classes in the fall to prepare our members for a busy fall ammonia season.  All persons making or breaking ammonia connections at a facility must attend a certified training class such as this IFCA/IDA school.  Registration for all classes begins at 8:30 a.m. and classes start at 9:00 a.m. and go until noon with lunch provided after testing.  Be on the lookout for the registration brochure which will go in the mail tomorrow.  The brochure is also posted at www.ifca.com and can be ...

Farmer Owned NH3 Storage and Nurse Tank Guide To Regulatory Requirements

IFCA, in partnership with Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Corn Growers Association developed a brochure outlining the regulatory requirements farmers must comply with if they own anhydrous ammonia storage tanks or anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks.  Please click on the link to access the regulatory brochure.  

Federal Rail Administration Steps Up Enforcement

This fall, the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) has been to several IFCA member facilities checking for compliance with employee training records and proper bill of lading for rail shipments being sent back.  Make sure your employees receive proper training pertaining to anhydrous ammonia by sending them to one of the eight scheduled IFCA and IDA sponsored NH3 training sessions in February 2009.  The training schedule is as follows.   Carbondale, IL--February 10 Rend Lake--February 11 Champaign, IL--February 13 Rock Falls, IL--February 17 Monmouth, IL--February 18 Quincy, IL--February 19 Springfield, IL--February 20 Bloomington, IL--February 24   If you need to register employees for the 2009 NH3 safety schools, please&...

Fingerprinting Required When Renewing HAZMAT Endorsement

It has been nearly five years since legislation was introduced requiring mandatory fingerprinting and background check prior to receiving a HAZMAT endorsement on a CDL.  Although a person's fingerprint does not change over time, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still requires everyone who renews their CDL with a HAZMAT endorsement to resubmit fingerprints in order to conduct another background check.  Although the process is much quicker than when it was first introduced, it can still take anywhere from two to four weeks for a background check to clear.  A person's license can be ...

Five Year RMP Update Guidance

June 2014 is the deadline to file the Risk Management Plan with USEPA.  Filing the RMP only satisfies a portion of the requirements in order to be in compliance with this regulation.  USEPA emphasizes that you must maintain a copy of the Risk Management Plan along with the Risk Management Program and it must be kept on file at each anhydrous ammonia storage location.  If the NH3 storage facility is two miles from the main office, the RMP must be kept on file at the storage facility, not the main office.    Required Elements of RMP & ...

Good Week To Work On Risk Management Plans

I think most of the state is in the same boat, literally, with all the recent rain.  Now is a good time to blow the dust off your Risk Management Plan (RMP) and start working on the five year update if applicable.  Most IFCA members are receiving letters from USEPA Region 5 reminding them of the five year anniversary date to update your RMP.  If your facility RMP was originally filed in June of 1999, your second five year RMP update will be due to USEPA sometime in June of 2009.  The Asmark ...

HAZMAT Endorsements Up For Renewal This Year

It is hard to believe, but it has been four years since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began conducting background checks on drivers wanting a HAZMAT endorsement on their CDL.  A CDL with HAZMAT endorsement expires every four years in Illinois in which case each time you renew your CDL with HAZMAT endorsement, you will have to submit fingerprints for a background check.  Thats right, even though our fingerprints do not change, each applicant will have to submit a new set of fingerprints and undergo another background check prior to issuance of the CDL/HAZMAT endorsement from the ...

HAZMAT Registration Due July 1

Don't forget that if you offer or transport any amount of DOT placarded hazardous material, you must remit your annual hazardous material registration fee to USDOT by July 1.  You can register and pay the fee online at www.phmsa.dot.gov  and click on "e-payments" to pull up the hazardous materials registration program.  If you have questions please contact Kevin Runkle. 

HAZMAT Registration Due July 1 3

Any company who, between July 1of a year and June 30 of the following year, offers or transports in commerce a shipment of hazardous materials must register for that twelve-month period with U.S. Department of Transportation as an offerer or transporter of hazardous materials. For a copy of the HAZMAT registration application and instructions go to the IFCA website and click on Regulations then DOT.  If you would like to register on-line, go to www.hazmatonline.phmsa.dot.gov/services then click on HAZMAT Registration applications. In addition, companies required to register with USDOT are also required ...

HAZMAT Registration Form and Instructions

Click here to access the site to download the HAZMAT Registration form and instructions.

Hours of Service Rules Update

On October 22, 2013, the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) approved of changes to Part 395 in the Illinois Vehicle Code to expand the air mile radius for the ag input hours of service exemption from 100 to 150 air miles.  This would bring intrastate movements between distribution points for ag inputs in line with the federal law which allows for 150 air miles.  While JCAR has approved the rules, IFCA is still waiting to determine when the rule will become official since the final rule still needs to be published in the Illinois Register.  Until we are certain of the ...

IEMA Requests Most Recent MSDS

Companies that submit a Tier 2 report to IEMA recently received an email from IEMA requesting a copy of the most recent MSDS for products reported in the annual Tier 2 report.  After discussing this request with representatives from IEMA, IFCA learned they are under a court order to make Tier 2 reports available to the public.  You can electronically submit the MSDS at https://tier2.iema.state.il.us/TierIIManager/submit/T2_Menu.asp.  IFCA was able to extend the deadline from August 15, 2011 to the end of the 2011 calendar year.  If you need assistance submitting your MSDS contact ...

If a Farmer Owns A Minibulk

We've been getting calls asking how the new USEPA rules apply to farmers who own their own minibulks.  If this is the case, and the farmer asks you to refill their minibulk, the minibulk must meet all the requirements of the new rule including:  it must be a DOT approved package, the tank must be on the registrant's approved list of packages, it must have a unique identification number, contain one-way valves or tamper evident devices, and retesting is required every 2.5 years from date of manufacture. The tank must also be properly labeled for the product ...

IFCA Clarifies NTIP Addendum Requirements

Recently, IFCA met with USDOT Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) officials to get a better understanding of the addendum required to be added to inspection forms for the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP). Please click on the link to view a copy of the memo that explains how to fill out the addendum and be in compliance with this requirement. If you have any questions about the addendum or have trouble opening the file, please contact Jean Payne or Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office.  For your convenience, we have included a copy of the ...

IFCA Members Receive Tier IV Letters From DHS

This week, the Department of Homeland Security mailed letters, via Federal Express, placing chemical facilities into a preliminary Tier IV ranking. Some IFCA members with large quantities of anhydrous ammonia near populated areas have already received their letter this week informing them their facility is considered a Tier IV, which is the lowest level of tier ranking. Facilities placed in this level must submit a copy of their SVA to DHS by December 31, 2008. The Asmark SVA model has been determined to meet the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) security vulnerability assessment design criteria for conducting security ...

IFCA Offering NH3 Training Video For Farmers

With funding from FREC, IFCA and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have produced an anhydrous ammonia safety video specifically for farmers.  Many NH3 releases and accidents occur on the farm, in transport or while the product is in possession of the farmer; therefore, IFCA sees the need to educate farmers about the proper handling, transportation, application and overall stewardship of ammonia.  To preview the video go to vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf  We will be making this link available to grower organizations and will work with IDA and the media to get ...

IFCA Offering RMP Audits For Members

USEPA Region 5 indicates they will be more diligent in enforcing Risk Management Plan regulations in the near future.  In addition to increased enforcement IFCA has seen a substantial increase in monetary fines imposed on some IFCA members for non-compliance with certain regulations.  In an attempt to help prepare IFCA members for future RMP audits conducted by USEPA, IFCA will be offering a program for members to contact the association and schedule an RMP audit.  Kevin Runkle, IFCA Manager of Regulatory Services, will be available to schedule and conduct the audits with members ...

Illinois Department of Transportation Conducting Audits

IFCA has received several calls pertaining to IDOT conducting audits at ag retail facilitites.  So far the audits are geared toward reviewing security plans, Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA) Security Awareness Training and HAZMAT Training.  While at some IFCA member facilities, IDOT is also inspecting anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks for compliance with the Nurse Tank Inspection Program.  If NH3 nurse tanks have a missing or illegible data plate, they must undergo a series of test to ensure the integrity of the nurse tank by a certified cargo tank inspector once every five years.   Please contact the ...

Illinois Streams & Total Nitrogen

As if we don't have enough challenges, USEPA is pressuring the Illinois EPA to list nearly all streams and bodies of water in Illinois as impaired for total nitrogen.  Despite the fact that research does not indicate that total nitrogen is directly responsible for biological impairment in the waters, USEPA thinks it should be.  If USEPA wins this arguments, thousands of streams and water bodies in Illinois could be required to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load limits subscribed the The Clean Water Act.  This is another step forward by the federal government to regulate non-point ...

Implements of Husbandry Crossing State Lines

Taking implements of husbandry, such as NH3 nurse tanks, across state lines has been a controversial topic over the last few years.  DOT has just recently clarified that implements of husbandry are not commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and therefore not subject to the CMV regulations.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) authority covers persons who operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.  Therefore, when an implement of husbandry crosses state lines in interstate commerce it is not subject to CMV regulations since it is not a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

Is Everyone Paying Fertilizer Tonnage Fees

If you suspect a company is not paying fertilizer tonnage fees to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, please contact the IFCA and we can have IDA follow up on companies suspected of selling fertilizer in Illinois and not paying all the proper fees.  This seems to be a much more common problem this year, so please do not hesitate to contact the IFCA office.  IDA will be more than happy to make sure all companies are paying proper fertilizer tonnage fees.

Is It Time To Update Your Emergency Sign?

Is your company emergency sign faded to the point where you can't read the information anymore?  The Illinois Department of Agriculture anhydrous ammonia regulations require an emergency sign with letters of a minimum height of two inches including at a minimum the name and phone number of the owner, manager or agent of the anhydrous ammonia storage location.  The sign must be located at the entrance to the site property or apart from the storage tanks.  The Asmark Institute emergency sign program goes above and beyond compliance with this regulation.  ...

July 1 HazMat Deadline

If you offer or transport any placarded hazardous materials, don’t forget that your USDOT hazardous materials registration is due by July 1.  The instructions and registration form are available on the IFCA website, just click on Regulations and then DOT. 

Medical Cards Require Certified Medical Examiner

Effective May 21, 2014, interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers can only receive a valid medical certificate from a certified Medical Examiner (ME) listed on the FMCSA's National Registry.  To access the National Registry and locate a certified Medical Examiner click here then enter the city, state or zip code to find a list of MEs.  At this time, intrastate drivers are not required to use a ME on the National Registry.  If you are operating a commercial motor vehicle in a commercial enterprise that crosses state lines, please ensure you are in compliance with this new requirement ...

More Stringent CDL Regulations on the Horizon

The Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has submitted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) requesting more stringent requirements in order for drivers to obtain a CDL.   The NPRM is proposing a Federal requirement for a commercial learner's permit (CLP) as a pre-condition for issuing a CDL in addition to proposing various other changes to enhance the CDL program.   Specifically, proposals that will impact IFCA members include:   1.  New CDL holders must obtain a commercial learner's permit (CPL) for 30 days and only operate a commercial motor vehicle with a ...

mySPCC Program Now Available

Click to read about the mySPCC on-line compliance tool, which is endorsed by USEPA and is free thanks to the Asmark Institute and The Fertilizer Institute.  Click here to access the program http://www.asmark.org/mySPCC

New Law Can Revoke DL

A new Illinois law aimed at reducing motor vehicular fatalities is on the books. From now on if a person is cited for certain traffic violations which resulted in a death, that person's driver's license can be revoked for up to one year by the Illinois Office of Secretary of State. Specifically, the law states action can be taken to revoke a person's license as a result of a violation of any offense regulating the movement of traffic that was the proximate cause of death of any person. Instead of just paying the traffic ticket,which is ...

New Requirement For HAZMAT Endorsement

Now when renewing a CDL with HAZMAT endorsement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is requiring proof of citizenship along with identification.  When you get fingerprinted for the background check to receive a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL, you need to take certain forms of identification in order to complete the fingerprinting and background check requirements.  One primary form or two secondary forms of identification are now required.  An example of a primary form of identification is a U.S. passport or card which shows U.S. citizenship.  Only one primary form of identification is required.&...

New USDOT Regulation Effective October 1, 2008

Effective Wednesday, October 1, 2008, no person may offer a motor carrier any hazardous material specified in FMCSA 385.403 unless that motor carrier holds a safety permit issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  The HAZMAT safety permit requirement took effect back in January 2005.  Anyone hauling a hazardous material such as anhydrous ammonia or hazardous materials listed in FMCSA 49 CFR 385.403 are required to obtain a hazardous material safety permit.  According to the new regulation effective October, 1 2008, the ammonia terminal can not load an NH3 transport semi unless the motor carrier shows proof of possessing a HAZMAT Safety Permit issued ...

New USEPA Rules Require Retailers to Train Pesticide Handlers on WPS

The USEPA issued changes to the decades old Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and the changes now require employers to train any employees who work with pesticides or pesticide equipment.  The changes went into effect on January 2, 2017 and are effective immediately.  Under the previous rules, the training requirements mostly applied to "workers" and not "handlers."  That is no longer the case.  Training of handler employees must be done annually, and prior to any employee starting any pesticide handling activity.  Even farmers who employ persons who are not immediate family members must train ...

NFPA DISAGREES WITH CONVERTING AMMONIA NURSE TANKS TO LP SERVICE

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is backing a new rule that prohibits converting ammonia nurse tanks to LP service. The NFPA recommendations states that except for containers used in cargo tank vehicle service, ASME containers of 3,000 gallons water capacity or less used to store anhydrous ammonia shall not be converted to LP gas fuel service. Keep in mind that this new provision is simply a recommendation by NFPA. Unless the state of Illinois adopts the provisions set forth by NFPA, then it is simply considered a recommendation by NFPA and not a regulation that must be followed. If you ...

NH3 Nurse Tanks & Ethanol Plants

Ethanol plants as well as other petroleum refineries throughout Illinois use anhydrous ammonia in their process.  It is used in ethanol plants as a pH balance.  Many ethanol plants have called upon IFCA members to supply them with anhydrous ammonia.  Some ethanol plants have NH3 storage tanks, but some choose to use nurse tanks as a form of supply to bypass IDA NH3 regulations as well as RMP requirements.  If anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks do not have a MC 330/331 stamped on the data plate, they can not be used to supply ethanol plants.  ...

NH3 Safety Brochure For Farmers

Over the past few years, there have been a substantial increase in the number of farmer owned NH3 storage facilities and farmer owned nurse wagons in Illinois.  IFCA, in partnership with Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Corn Growers Association developed a brochure outlining the regulatory requirements farmers must comply with if they own anhydrous ammonia storage tanks or anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks.  To help ensure the safety and long-term viability of anyhydrous ammonia for agriculture production, please pass this informational brochure and the NH3 safety video for farmers to your customers.  All ...

NH3 Safety Video Availble

IFCA has an anhydroua ammonia safety video availble on the website for employees and customers to view.  All you have to do is go to the website and click on the link to the video or if you are having trouble viewing the video, you can contact the IFCA office and we will send you a DVD copy.  The video is only twelve minutes long and outlines safety and regulatory compliance issues when working around NH3.  IFCA also has emergency response wallet cards available for members.  The cards should be used in the event you have ...

No Need To Reinvent The RMP Wheel

Region V USEPA is sending Risk Management Plan (RMP) five year update letters reminding regulated facilities to resubmit their RMP.  The majority of ag retail facilities are up for the five year renewal June 2009.  Facilities should check their RMP file to determine the anniversary date for resubmission.  2009 is the last year USEPA will accepting diskettes.  After 2009, the RMP must be submitted on-line, similar to the SARA Tier II reports.    Submitting the Risk Management Plan to USEPA is only a small portion of the requirement set forth in the regulation.  Each facility ...

NTIP Permit Expires

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has advised that Special Permit (SP) 13554 has expired.  SP-13554 authorizes nurse tanks with a missing or illegible identification plate to continue in operation so long as they are tested and pass an external visual test using the procedures in 49 C.F.R., Section 180.407(d), a thickness test as specified in 49 C.F.R., Section 180.407(i), and a pressure test as specified in 49 C.F.R., Section 180.407(g).  If you have party status through The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), you are authorized to operate under SP-13554 after the expiration until the Department of Transportation (DOT) acts ...

Nurse Tank Inspection Classes Available

Many IFCA members are interested in certifying their own employees to be able to perform nurse tank inspections to comply with the DOT regulations for pressure testing ammonia nurse tanks that have missing or illegible data plates, or for testing any nurse tanks to assure their integrity.  To respond to that interest, the Asmark Institute is offering classes at the Agricenter in Bloomington, IL to provide the necessary training to qualify your employees to perform these tests in accordance with USDOT regulations.  The classes will be offered the last week of July and first week of August.  ...

Nurse Tank Inspection Program Entering Fifth Year

In 2005, USDOT Office of Pipeline & HAZMAT Safety Administration (PHMSA) began requiring anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plate to enroll in the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP) in which the nurse tanks must undergo and pass hydrostatic pressure testing, thickness testing, and a visual inspection once every five years in order to keep them in service.  The industry is now coming upon year five of the program in which tanks will need to be retested and pass in order to use the NH3 nurse tanks.  If you have any questions about ...

Nurse Tank Inspection Program Reminder

On February 1, 2011 the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), issued it final rule incorporating the special permit SP-13554 into the hazardous materials regulations.  As a result of this final rule, anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible dataplates no longer need to be marked with the special permit sticker, but the requirements outlined in the special permit for continued operation still need to be met.  This means for these tanks, there is a five year testing cycle to continue to keep these tanks in service.  Click here to review the requirements contained ...

Obama Signs Bill Requiring Sleep Apnea Test For Drivers

On October 15, 2013, President Obama signed a bill (H.R. 3095) requiring FMCSA to use a formal rule making process if they wish to require sleep apnea testing for commercial truck drivers.  Although the law was signed just over a week ago, many doctors have been using their discretion to require commercial truck drivers to submit to a sleep apnea test prior to issuance of a medical card.  In order for a sleep apnea test to be a regulatory requirement prior to issuance of a medical card, FMCSA now has to address the issue through the formal rulemaking ...

On-Farm Agrichemical Containment Information

Below is a brochure that describes the parameters for containment of bulk fertilizers and pesticides stored on the farm.  A sample of an on-farm containment permit is also posted.  

Online Anhydrous Ammonia Training Now Available

 IFCA and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have made available online anhydrous ammonia training for members.  Employees or new hires who can not attend the regularly scheduled anhydrous ammonia safety schools now have the opportunity to receive an Illinois Department of Agriculture approved anhydrous ammonia training certificate online.  The training consists of a series of power point slides and videos which cover anhdrous ammonia properties, characteristics, safe handling, transportation, unsafe conditions and emergency response.  The training satisfies the Illinois Department of Agriculture requrements for a competant attendant.  Certificates are only valid ...

OSHA Conducting Audits at Illinois Grain Facilities

Due to some unfortunate accidents resulting in some deaths at some grain facilities in Illinois, OSHA is taking a proactive approach and conducting audits at some Illinois grain facilities. OSHA will be looking at proper employee training, PPE, confined space entry plans just to name a few. With fall harvest just beginning in some parts of Illinois, please take the time to make sure you are in compliance with OSHA regulations. Fines for non-compliance can reach tens of thousands of dollars. 

Pattern Seen on NH3 Releases From Nurse Tanks

The snow has put a damper on a busy two week stretch for ammonia application.  Throughout the state, there were about a half dozen serious releases of ammonia that occurred while the farmer was in control of the tank.  In nearly all cases, the hoses were stretched and pulled from the tank, the hoses worked lose from the tank or the hoses were caught up in the knives and damaged.  We also had several nurse tanks break loose from the running gears while in the field, or even on the roadway while being towed.  While no ...

Plan To Attend 2008 National Safety School

Online registration is now available for the 2008 National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School (NAEHSS) held at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, IL on August 19th and 20th. The national safety school covers a wide variety of industry hot topics including presentations from DHS, USEPA, OSHA, JJ Keller & Associates, USDOT, The Fertilizer Institute and Illinois EPA. Topics of discussion include SPCC, RMP electronic submission, EPA Pesticide Container and Containment Regulations, DOT Drug and Alcohol Compliance, future of NH3 nurse tank testing and Ag-chemical facility fire prevention plan just to name a few.  The safety school ...

Pollution Control Tax Credit Forms

Click here for the rules, application form and instructions to apply for an Illinois pollution control facility property tax credit for your agrichemical containment systems. 

R Stamp Welders & CT Facilities in Illinois/Iowa

Click on this PDF to view R-Stamp Welders and DOT CT facilities that are certified to weld on anyhdrous ammonia nurse tanks in Illinois and perform testing for the Nurse Tank Inspection Program.

Region 5 USEPA Issuing RMP Penalties

Region 5 USEPA in Chicago has informed the IFCA that they have sent 48 letters to facilities in Illinois requesting additional information regarding the required 5 year Risk Management Program (RMP) update for the facility.  We don't know if all of these facilities are agricultural facilities with ammonia, but we expect that many are.    Several IFCA members have responded to the request for information, and subsequently also received an Expedited Settlement Agreement (ESA) from Region 5 with a proposed penalty anywhere from $600 - $1100 for failure to either update or properly update their RMP within the 5 year update timeframe. ...

Regulatory Alert: Large Scales Need NTEP Certificate of Compliance

Last week the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Weights and Measures sent letters to all companies with large scales.  IDA is asking all companies with large scales to submit a National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificate of Conformance (COC) in order to be in compliance with the Illinois Weights and Measures Act.  The weights & measures statute and regulations have always stated that  "For a weighing or measuring device to be certified for use in the State of Illinois, it must have a Certificate of Conformance issued by the National Conference on Weights and Measures."  ...

Renew HMSP Sixty Days Prior To Expiration

A recent change in the hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) application process allows carriers to renew their MCS 150B 60 days before the carrier's HMSP expires. Previously, a renewal application was considered an update if received more than 30 days before the HMSP expiration.   According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, carriers may continue to operate under an existing HMSP until they are required to renew according to the schedule in 49 CFR 390.19. Carriers are encouraged to use the 60-day grace period before the current permit expires to correct any noncompliance issues that may impact their HMSP renewal. This change ...

Restricted Use CDL Does Not Require Fingerprinting

Part time employees without a CDL have the option of submitting an application to the Illinois Secretary of State rather than completing theA fingerprint and background check.  Employees must choose between a CDL with HAZMAT or apply for the Restricted Use CDL.  A person can not have both a full CDL and the restricted license.  The restricted class B license can be used for either two 90 day periods or one 180 day period over a twelve month period.  The cost is $50 for the restricted license which only needs to be paid once every four ...

Risk Management Plan Update

As a reminder, facilities with a Risk Management Plan may be up for the five year renewal in June 2009.  Depending on the year you submitted the initial RMP, some facilities may not need to conduct their five year update.  For facilties that submitted the first RMP in 1999, this year will be the second five year update.  USEPA now has online submission available or the RMP can be submitted by mail.  After 2009, all RMP submissions and updates must be conducted electronically via the internet.  If you need assistance submitting the RMP or updating your facility Risk ...

Risk Management Program Guidance

Click on the attachment to view the guidance document to assist in preparing your Risk Management Plan and Risk Management Program for your facility.

RMP

The deadline has now passed for the majority of facilities to submit their RMP five year update.  If you planned to submit your facility RMP electronically via RMP e-submit and have not received your letter form USEPA, you may not make your deadline.  Submitting an RMP electronically requires each facility submit an authorized company signature allowing personnel to submit electronically.  This process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive final notification and instructions for accessing the e-submit program.  IFCA suggests companies should submit their RMP using the old RMP Submit 2004 ...

RMP Five Year Update

June 2014 is the renewal date for most facilities regulated under the U.S. EPA Risk Management Plan (RMP) requirements.  If your facility RMP is due for the five year renewal in 2014 you should have received a letter from USEPA Region 5 listing the renewal date.  If you store bulk anhydrous ammonia, you must have a RMP.  The RMP documentation and requirements have received a lot of attention over the last year in the wake of the fire and explosion at the West, Texas ag retail facility.  Expect U.S. EPA Region 5 to conduct RMP audits at Illinois ...

RMP Guidance

Click here to download guidance on how to comply with Risk Management Program requirements.

RMP Update Quickly Approaching

June 2014 is the renewal date for most facilities regulated under the U.S. EPA Risk Management Plan (RMP) requirements.  If you store bulk anhydrous ammonia, you must have a RMP.  The RMP documentation and requirements have received a lot of attention over the last year in the wake of the fire and explosion at the West, Texas ag retail facility.  Expect U.S. EPA Region V to conduct RMP audits at Illinois ag retail facilities.  The Fertilizer Institute and Asmark Institute developed the myRMP web-based program to help facilities comply with RMP requirements.  Click here&...

Seasonal, Restricted CDL Option

Part time employees without a CDL have the option of submitting an application to the Illinois Secretary of State rather than completing theA fingerprint and background check.  Employees must choose between a CDL with HAZMAT or apply for the Restricted Use CDL.  A person can not have both a full CDL and the restricted license.  The restricted class B license can be used for either two 90 day periods or one 180 day period over a twelve month period.  The cost is $50 for the restricted license which only needs to be paid once every four ...

SOS Medical Card Requirement

Click on this link for detailed requirements for submitting medical card information to the SOS office.

SOS Office Requiring New Medical Card Certification

According to the Illinois Secretary of State Office, any person applying for a CDL for the first time and/or renewing their current CDL on or after January 30, 2012 must certify, for medical card purposes, with the Illinois Secretary of State's Office no later than January 30, 2014.  In order to self certify, applicants must appear at any of the Secretary of State's CDL facilities and certify one of the following four categories as part of the new medical card requirement.   1.  Non-excepted interstate (NI) 2.  Excepted interstate (EI) 3.  Non-Excepted intrastate (NA) 4.  Excepted ...

SP-13554 Incorporated Into DOT Regulations

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced today the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), issued its long awaited final rule incorporating several long-standing special permits into the federal hazardous materials regulations.  Special permit 13554, held by TFI on behalf of its members is now included into rulemaking.  As a result of the final rule, nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plates enrolled in the NTIP and operating under SP-13554 will no longer need to be marked with the special permit number, but the requirements contained in the special permit for continued operation will still need ...

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SPCC Compliance Deadline November 10, 2010

If a facility stores 1,320 US gallons or more of oil, oil products such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil or animal fat in aboveground containers, the deadline to implement a Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan is November 10, 2010.  The SPCC regulation requires a covered facility to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan which is intended to prevent oil products from reaching navigable waters or shores of the United States.  This regulation will require farm operations to also implement the SPCC plan if they meet or exceed ...

SPCC Plan Compliance Deadline May 10, 2013

On October 18, 2011 the U.S. EPA issued a rule to extend the compliance date by which farms must prepare or amend and implement their Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) to May 10, 2013.  Farm operations now have less than three weeks to comply with the SPCC requirements.  You need an SPCC plan if an oil spill from your farm could reach water and you store oil products (diesel, gasoline, hydraulic oil, lube oil, crop oil, or vegetable oil) in above ground quantities of more than 1,320 gallons or completely buried tanks with more than 42,000 gallons of oil.  You ...

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TFI Requests Information To Renew SP-13554

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently sent out a memo to facilities enrolled in the Nurse Tank Inspection Program (NTIP) to help secure the exemption for the industry.  Every two years TFI is required to apply for Special Permit (SP) 13554 which allows anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible data plates to remain in service as long as they pass a series of tests and inspection.  TFI's request to renew SP-13554 requires that information regarding nurse tank shipping history be contained in the application for renewal.  TFI must provide this information, on behalf of the industry, ...

The First 15 Minutes

It is becoming increasingly clear that USEPA is taking a tough stance regarding the requirement to report a release of a reportable quantity immediately.  In discussions with officials at Region 5 USEPA, they consider 15 minutes the standard guideline for reporting a release to the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency also needs to be notified at this time at 800-782-7860 as well as your local emergency planning committee.  We recommend that facility managers keep these phone numbers in your cell phone because if a fire or other incident prevents you from ...

The Illinois Fertilizer Act

Click on this link for the Illinois Fertilizer Act

Tier 2 reports due March 1

The deadline for submitting Tier II information to IEMA is March 1, 2008. You can begin to submit your Tier 2 information at anytime by going to http://www.state.il.us/iema/disaster/serc_tier2.htm then click on Tier 2 Manager On-Line Submission Program toward the bottom of the page. The username and password to log onto the submission program can be found on your Tier 2 report from last year or by sending and e-mail to ema.tier2mgr@illinois.gov and requesting the facility username and password. Please include your facility name and physical address in the request. If you have ...

Tier 2 Reports Due March 1

The deadline for submitting Tier 2 reports to Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is March 1, 2014.  Although anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate have always been required to be listed on Tier 2 reports, US EPA is now requiring all fertilizer; such as DAP, MAP, UAN and Potash, to be reported on Tier 2 reports.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office. 

Tier II & PPR Due March 1

Tier II chemical inventory reports and Pesticide Production reports are always due on March 1 of each year.  Contact IFCA for assistance.  

Towing NH3 Nurse Tanks At Night

Remember when hauling anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks or other implements of husbandry after sunset,  the towing vehicles or implements of husbandry must be equiped with an amber rotating or flashing light.  The lights can also be operated during daylight hours but they are required between sunset and sunrise. 

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) FAQ

Click on this link to download a FAQ sheet regarding the new TWIC requirements.

TWIC Cards Required For Entry To Designated River Terminals

The Department of Homeland Security, through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the United States Coast Guard, is implementing a mandatory program generally requiring that all workers who have unescorted access to secure areas of a covered facility must obtain and carry a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.   A TWIC is a tamper resistant identification credential issued by theA, containing the worker’s biometric information (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card and the individual.    The TWIC regulation affects every facility covered by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). ...

TWIC Information

TWIC or Transportation Worker Identification Credential is a new identification system required by people entering secure areas at our nations ports.  This may include barge terminals that offload dry or liquid fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia.  Click on this pdf file to get information regarding how and where to apply for a TWIC.

TWIC Poster

This poster contains information for shippers of hazardous materials entering river terminals regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA).

Unified Carrier Registration Form and Instructions

Click on this link to print a copy of the UCR form and instructions for completing the form.

US EPA Conducting RMP Audits

Recently an Environmental Engineer from Region 5 U.S. EPA inspected an ag retail facility in Illinois to review compliance with their Risk Management Program for anhydrous ammonia storage. On August 1, 2013 President Obama issued Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, in response to the tragedy at West, TX.  The executive order designates agencies with regulatory authority, such as U.S. EPA, to further improve chemical safety and security in coordination with owners and operators of chemical facilities.  Since the tragedy at West, TX occurred at an ag retail facility there will be more RMP inspections ...

USEPA Region 5 Reporting Requirements Power Point Presentation

Click on the link to access the Power Point Presentation and interpretive guidance given by Region V USEPA representatives at the 2010 Regulatory Workshop held in Peoria, IL.