Ag Retailers: Showing Commitment To Safety To Everyone

Less than a month into the New Year, my travel has already spanned a large section of the country. From the heart of the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, I am working on a project that has allowed me to visit several retail dealers to hear first-hand about the good work that they are doing to educate and further engage with emergency responders. The evidence and strength of those relationships throughout the entire industry will be critical in 2014.

In the wake of last April’s explosion at the West Fertilizer facility, this is an issue of increasing importance for the nation’s retailers. The loss of 15 lives on April 17, 2013, caused policymakers, members of the media and the general public to question our commitment to the safety and security of those individuals who will respond in the event of an accident at a retail facility. Each of these audiences can have significant influence on your business; together they can serve as an extremely powerful voice for change.

In response to the West explosion, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in August calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the EPA and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to review safety and security regulations that apply to ammonium nitrate and other chemicals. The order directed these federal agencies to better coordinate developing and enforcing regulations and to review certain regulations to determine if they should be amended.

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has responded to the Exe­cutive Order by expressing support for additional coordination between state and federal agencies, cross referencing databases and federal coordination on inspections to minimize the time that retailers like you spend on regulatory compliance. We are participating in listening sessions during which we have told the agencies that we support finalization of the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program at DHS and long-term reauthorization of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.

Due to a regulatory exclusion, fertilizer retailers are not required to report to emergency planners under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). Since the West explosion, we have gone on record in support of removal of this exclusion and we believe there should be comprehensive reporting of hazardous chemicals stored on site to local emergency planning commissions and that all in the industry should work with local fire departments. We have, however, requested that this reporting requirement should be limited to hazardous chemicals.

Reaching Out

As I just noted, an integral part of compliance with EPCRA is outreach to local emergency responders. Most retailers know that when you invite firefighters, HAZMAT teams, EMTs and others into your facilities, they acquire a clear understanding of the products you handle and store, the physical layout of your facility and best practices for emergency response. If my retail visits are any indication, this activity is built into the DNA of many retail businesses. In fact, several of the retailers I spoke to either were emergency responders or had one or several volunteer firefighters on staff. I was tremendously impressed to see the conviction and sincerity with which they spoke about this dual role.

Over the past nine months, retailers’ concern for first responders has been questioned and our perceived efforts have been criticized by lawmakers and the media. It’s likely that this criticism does not come from ill will but rather from unfamiliarity with your business and the strength of your outreach efforts. In most instances, correcting this misperception can be easily accomplished. When you hold an open house for emergency responders, be sure that your community, local regulatory officials and elected officials know about it. Invite local emergency responders, newspaper reporters and bloggers to attend an open house, take photos to get a firsthand account about your commitment to safety and security. Pick a strategy that works best for you, your business and your community.

Given the legislative and regulatory environment in Washington, DC, and a public that is questioning our commitment to worker and community safety, we need retailers to speak out. You have a tremendous story to tell.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More

Trending Articles

CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More
HerbicidesValent’s Fierce XLT Herbicide Receives EPA Approv…
September 8, 2014
Valent U.S.A. Corp. announced today that Fierce XLT Soybean Herbicide is now federally registered for preemergence weed control in soybeans Read More
Eric SfiligojIndustry Consolidation Set To Increase Going Forward
September 8, 2014
As the agricultural marketplace moves into fall, one observer predicts the pace of consolidation will grow at all levels. Read More
LegislationCropLife America Leaders Address Regulatory Landscape, …
September 8, 2014
As CropLife America enters its 81st year, the organization’s leaders have seen another period of rapid and visible policy and public issue activity. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More