Appeals court halts OSHA's anhydrous ammonia rule change

Chip Bowling said those in agriculture have a responsibility to come to the table with constructive solutions. | File image
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violated the law by changing the interpretation of regulations affecting agricultural retail facilities that supply anhydrous ammonia, according to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and thanks to a challenge led by The Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute.
   
An enforcement memorandum in July 2015 redefined the retail facility exemption to the Process Safety Management Standard. Without the Circuit Court of Appeals decision, almost 4,000 agricultural retailers would have to abide by regulations intended for chemical manufactures, costing retailers over $100 million.
  
“This court decision is a big win for farmers and the ag community,” National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chip Bowling said. “Not only does this ruling protect farmers’ safe and affordable access to an important crop nutrient technology, but it also affirms that OSHA and other regulatory agencies must follow proper rulemaking procedures. That includes allowing for public notice and comment. When government agencies are making rules that affect day-to-day farming operations, farmers should be invited to the table to have input on those decisions."

Bowling said those in agriculture have a responsibility to come to the table with constructive solutions that can work for everyone, and that NCGA is committed to working with OSHA on how anhydrous ammonia and other technologies are regulated.

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