Issue Date: October 29, 2007
House Votes To Regulate Ammonium Nitrate
The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation last week requiring the Department of Homeland Security to create a regulatory system to help keep ammonium nitrate fertilizer out of the hands of terrorists and others with criminal intent. Under the bill (H.R. 1680), all producers, sellers, and purchasers of ammonium nitrate would be required to register with DHS. Producers and sellers would have to maintain records of all sales for two years, including the date and quantity sold. DHS could issue fines of up to $50,000 if sellers distribute the chemical without first registering. The department would also be required to check all registrations against terrorist watch lists. The Philippines, Colombia, and a few European countries have banned the sale of ammonium nitrate, which has been used by terrorists to build bombs. "It's either regulate it, or lose it. Those are our choices," says an official with the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Senate approved a similar measure (S. 1463) in July.
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