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Congress Makes Move to Secure Fertilizer

Bill sets up system to regulate ammonium nitrate.

Before adjourning for the Christmas break, both the House and Senate passed the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act of 2007. The bill provides for a national regulatory system to make sure ammonium nitrate does not fall into the wrong hands.

All facilities and purchasers of ammonium nitrate will be required to register with the Department of Homeland Security. The bill requires all registrations to be checked against the terrorist watch list and producers and sellers must keep two years of records on all sales.

The federal legislation preempts state regulations; however it does allow additional protection measures on the state level. Also, federal law enforcement officials must be notified with in 24 hours of any theft or unexplained losses of ammonium nitrate.

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