Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Amber Light Required When Hauling Ammonia Tanks At Night

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.  

Anhydrous Ammonia Rules Out for Public Comment

The Illinois Dept of Agriculture has published the first notice of proposed changes to Part 215, the Illinois Anhydrous Ammonia and Low Pressure Nitrogen Solutions Regulations.  A copy of the proposed rules along with the official Illinois Register notice is posted on the IFCA website at www.ifca.com.  IDA will accept comments until August 24, 2015.  We encourage our members to review the regulations (the proposed changes are underlined in the document) and send any comments you have to IFCA to help us best represent you as we prepare comments on behalf of the ammonia industry.  IDA did ...

Assessing Your Overall Compliance in Aftermath of Texas Explosion

Yesterday, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the Ag Retailers Association (ARA) sent a memo to their members and to state associations like IFCA announcing the availability of a new Compliance Assessment Tool that ag retailers can utilize free of charge to help them determine if they are meeting all the federal requirements for the storage and handling of agrichemicals.  The government and the public are asking a lot of questions following the tragedy in West, Texas that took the lives of 15 people, most of them local emergency responders.  It is critical that our industry participates in immediate stewardship ...

Class A CDL Not Needed to Transport Ammonia Nurse Tanks

IFCA has received clear guidance from both the Illinois Secretary of State CDL division and the Illinois State Police enforcement division that a Class A CDL is NOT required to transport ammonia nurse tanks.  Ammonia nurse tanks are implements of husbandry and as such, the weight of the nurse tank is not factored into the CDL weight classification.  Ag retail employees need a Class B CDL with hazmat endorsement no matter what the weight or combination of the nurse tanks (1,000 or 1,450 gallon nurse tanks pulled in singles, in tandem or mounted side-by-side on a single running gear). &...

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 ...

Mr. R. Ryan Posten who is the Director of the Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement at USDOT visited IFCA

Last month, Mr. R. Ryan Posten who is the Director of the Office of Hazardous Materials Enforcement at USDOT visited IFCA and asked for our assistance to communicate USDOT's concerns about nurse tank compliance issues.  USDOT conducted numerous inspections of ammonia facilities in the Midwest and found some bad/illegal welds on tanks, many tanks with missing or illegible data plates that are not enrolled in the Nurse Tank Inspection Program and lack of proper marking and maintenance of the tanks.  While it's important to note that the majority of non-compliance issues were discovered at ammonia ...

New CDL Requirements Effective July 1, 2015

New federal requirements for commercial drivers go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the Illinois Secretary of State is implementing these changes for all Illinois CDL holders.  The changes are:   1. After July 1, 2015, anyone applying for, renewing, or upgrading their CDL is required to show the SOS office proof of legal presence in the United States.  To do this you must present a current US Passport or a US Birth Certificate or other legally accepted proof of US citizenship or legal residence.  These documents must be certified with the official raised seal, no photocopies will be accepted.  ...

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To IFCA Retail Members:  At the January 2009 IFCA convention, we featured a session on contracts for pre-paying inputs and the issues surrounding these contracts.  Because of the on-going interest in this issue, IFCA asked the legal firm who spoke at our convention to provide a guidance document covering some of the issues relative to input contracts.  The attorneys at the firm have substantial experience in the agribusiness industry and with commodity contracts.  Please review the attached guidance document.  While this does not constitute legal advice it does seek to educate you about contractual relationships with ...

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The USEPA is seeking public comment regarding proposed changes in language on pesticide labels to address pesticide drift.  In the opinion of our industry, this proposal is more onerous than the attempt the EPA made years ago when they sought to put in a wind restriction of 10 mph for pesticide application.   This new proposal will apply a subjective standard for pesticide application that will increase the likelihood of penalties and frivolous lawsuits against our industry.      In this proposal, USEPA is seeking to abandon existing guidance on the pesticide labels that currently allows the ...

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IFCA learned this afternoon that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it will not review a recent court ruling from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio regarding National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits being applied to pesticide applications.  Crop Life America and a host of agricultural industry allies as well as the American Farm Bureau Federation had filed a petition on November 2, 2009 asking the USA's highest court to re-hear the case.  Several State Departments of Agriculture also signed on to the petition as did 30 members of Congress from both political parties. "The ...

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The deadline to submit comments to USEPA on their proposed spray drift label language is Friday, March 5, 2010. The USEPA is proposing to insert language on the pesticide labels that reads "do not apply this product in a manner that could cause an adverse effect  to people or any other non-target organism."  Currently the USEPA regulations take into account that the use of the product should generally not cause an unreasonable adverse effect. The insertion of the "could cause" language would take pesticide misuse enforcement to an entire new level, making enforcement subjective and essentially your ...

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If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes today to send in comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding their proposal to enact a 2 year waiver from the Hours of Service regulations for the shipments of anhydrous ammonia between the terminals and the retail sites.  The current waiver that the industry has been operating under expired in late June. It is essential that you state in your comments that the waiver must also be extended to liquid and dry fertilizers that are transported from terminals or warehouses to the retail sites.  ...

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You belong to IFCA because you want us to watch out for your best interests to secure a prosperous future.  That is what this message is all about. This year more than ever, we are under the microscope from activist groups who are pressuring USEPA through lawsuits to develop nutrient standards in all water bodies.  They have been successful in Florida and the Chesapeake Bay, and they are threatening to sue Illinois next.  The threat is very real and will be very costly to Illinois agriculture. If we cannot police ourselves with regard to the proper timing ...

NTIP Markings for Anhydrous Ammonia Nurse Tanks

There may be some confusion on markings on nurse tanks that are enrolled into the NTIP program.  The DOT-SP 13554 is no longer required as a marking on the side of the nurse tanks.  Click below for examples of current markings that are acceptable and markings that would be considered a violation. 

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.  ...

Pesticide Applicator Training

Dr. Robert Wolf teaches an excellent Pesticide Applicator Training class, and through our affiliation with the Asmark Institute, the IFCA can offer up to 3 classes in Illinois this year during August and September 2015, but we must book them soon.  IFCA can host one of the classes at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington, but if you have a minimum of 30 applicators in your company who desire to take the course, Dr. Wolf can travel to your location and offer the class at your shop or warehouse.  Click here for a description of the Pesticide Applicator Training Course.  Please ...