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|Publication ID: Fall 2009
|Title: Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Program
|Abstract: This rulemaking will implement the December 2007 amendment to the Homeland Security Act entitled the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate. The amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security to regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate by an ammonium nitrate facility to prevent the misappropriation or use of ammonium nitrate in an act of terrorism.
|Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)
|Priority: Other Significant
|RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda
|Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage
|Unfunded Mandates: No
|CFR Citation: 6 CFR 31
|Legal Authority: Sec 563 of the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Subtitle J--Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate, PL 110-161
Statement of Need: Pursuant to section 563 of the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act, P.L. 110-161, the Department of Homeland Security is required to promulgate a rulemaking to create a registration regime for certain buyers and sellers of ammonium nitrate. The rule, as proposed by this NPRM, would create that regime, and will aid the Federal Government in its efforts to prevent the misappropriation of ammonium nitrate for use in acts of terrorism. By preventing such misappropriation, this rule will limit terrorists abilities to threaten the public and to threaten the Nations critical infrastructure and key resources. By securing the nations supply of ammonium nitrate, it will be much more difficult for terrorists to obtain ammonium nitrate materials for use in improvised explosive devices (IEDs). As a result, there is a direct value in the deterrence of a catastrophic terrorist attack using ammonium nitrate such as the Oklahoma City attack that killed over 160, injured 853 people, and is estimated to have caused $652 million in damages ($921 million in $2009).
Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 563 of the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Subtitle J Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate, PL 110-161, authorizes and requires this rulemaking.
Alternatives: The Department of Homeland Security is required by statute to publish regulations implementing the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act. As part of its notice of proposed rulemaking, the Department will seek public comment on the numerous alternative ways in which the final Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Program could carry out the requirements of the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act.
Anticipated Costs and Benefits: There will be costs to ammonium nitrate (AN) purchasers, including farms, fertilizer mixers, farm supply wholesalers and coops, golf courses, landscaping services, explosives distributors, mines, retail garden centers, and lab supply wholesalers. There will also be costs to AN sellers, such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer and explosive manufacturers, fertilizer mixers, farm supply wholesalers and coops, retail garden center, explosives distributors, fertilizer applicator services, and lab supply wholesalers. Costs will relate to the point of sale requirements, registration activities, recordkeeping, inspections/audits, and reporting of theft or loss. DHS plans to provide an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, which covers the populations and cost impacts on small business. Because the value of the benefits of reducing risk of a terrorist attack is a function of both the probability of an attack and the value of the consequence, it is difficult to identify the particular risk reduction associated with the implementation of this rule. When the proposed rule is published, DHS will provide a break even analysis. The program elements that would help achieve the risk reductions will be discussed in the break even analysis. These elements and related qualitative benefits include point of sale identification requirements and requiring individuals to be screened against the TSDB resulting in known bad actors being denied the ability to purchase ammonium nitrate.
Risks: Explosives containing ammonium nitrate are commonly used in terrorist attacks. Such attacks have been carried out both domestically and internationally. The 1995 Murrah Federal Building attack in Oklahoma City claimed the lives of 167 individuals and demonstrated firsthand to America how ammonium nitrate could be misused by terrorists. In addition to the Murrah Building attack, the Provisional Irish Republican Army used ammonium nitrate as part of its London, England bombing campaign in the early 1980s. More recently, ammonium nitrate was used in the 1998 East African Embassy bombings and in November 2003 bombings in Istanbul, Turkey. Additionally, since the events of 9/11, stores of ammonium nitrate have been confiscated during raids on terrorist sites around the world, including sites in Canada, England, India, and the Philippines. The Department of Homeland Security aims to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States and to reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. By preventing the misappropriation or use of ammonium nitrate in acts of terrorism, this rulemaking will support the Departments efforts to prevent terrorist attacks and to reduce the Nations vulnerability to terrorist attacks. This rulemaking is complementary to other Department programs seeking to reduce the risks posed by terrorism, including the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards program (which seeks in part to prevent terrorists from gaining access to dangerous chemicals) and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program (which seeks in part to prevent terrorists from gaining access to certain critical infrastructure), among other programs.
|Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No
|Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal
|Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes
|RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov
|Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov
|RIN Data Printed in the FR: No
Infrastructure Security Compliance Division
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528