LINCOLN, NEB. – “Today’s action by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit forcing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to go through a formal rulemaking process before applying stricter standards to retailers of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer is a mark on the win column for Nebraska farmers and fertilizer suppliers.”
“Since OSHA reversed its long-standing policy of exempting anhydrous ammonia retail facilities from extensive federal regulations in July of 2015, Nebraska Farm Bureau and others have challenged the flawed logic OSHA used to justify additional regulations on fertilizer suppliers which ultimately would drive up fertilizer costs for Nebraska farmers and could possibly limit access to anhydrous ammonia fertilizer product.”
“OSHA initiated the changes as a direct result of an explosion at a fertilizer facility in West, Texas in 2013. While Anhydrous ammonia was present at the facility, it’s presence was not a contributing factor to the explosion and investigators later found the explosion was the result of an intentional criminal act.”
“Despite these facts, OSHA has continued to push forward with this needless regulation on agriculture. The fertilizer industry estimates the rule could cost fertilizer suppliers in the neighborhood of $100,000 per facility which would ultimately translate to higher costs for farmers. Today’s court action will force OSHA to go back to the drawing board to justify their actions, and hopefully mark the beginning of the end for this unwarranted regulatory burden.”
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.