Issue Date: May 7, 2007
Fertilizer Security Measure Advances
The government will have to regulate all sales and purchases of ammonium nitrate fertilizer under a House bill that could be on a fast track toward passage. The Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act of 2007 (H.R. 1680) gained unanimous approval from the House Committee on Homeland Security on April 26. The measure requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a regulatory system to help keep ammonium nitrate out of the hands of those with criminal intent. The fertilizer was the main ingredient in the truck bomb that blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people. The bill would require all ammonium nitrate producers, sellers, and purchasers who take custody of the material to register with DHS. All registrants would be checked against terrorist watch lists, and producers and sellers would be required to maintain records of all sales for two years. The bill also requires all thefts or unexplained losses be reported to federal law enforcement within 24 hours. A companion measure is expected to be introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).
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