Montana's agricultural producers use an average of 30,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia each year for the production of agricultural crops. It is the department's responsibility to ensure that each facility handling this agricultural fertilizer is in compliance with the Anhydrous Ammonia Facilities Safety Act section of the Montana Commercial Fertilizer Act and Administrative Rules as they apply to storage and handling at dealer locations.
There are approximately 18 retail agricultural sites in Montana registered with the EPA's Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office. The department's goal is to visit each facility within a three-year inspection cycle.
Accidental spills of anhydrous ammonia shall be reported to the National Response Center, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services as well as the Department of Agriculture.
Licensing for anhydrous ammonia dealers is a part of the annual Fertilizer/Soil Amendment Dealer License effective January 1st of each year.
Anhydrous Ammonia Inspections
The anhydrous ammonia program conducts inspection of anhydrous ammonia facilities and equipment when this product is used as an agricultural fertilizer. The inspection verifies compliance with equipment safety standards to protect lives, the environment, and to assure the continued availability of this valuable agricultural fertilizer.
Storage Tank & Farm Wagon Inspection
Tank inspections focus on site locations, condition of tanks, piping and valves, transfer hoses, and required safety equipment.
Farm wagon inspections focus on tank identification, labeling, protective guards and valves, gauges, hoses, safety relief valves, required personnel protective equipment, and maintenance logs. The Motor Vehicle Inspection Bureau regulates highway safety of farm wagons used to transport anhydrous ammonia from the dealer to the producer.
Anhydrous Ammonia Sites
The anhydrous ammonia program also approves new or relocated sites through its application for new site and environmental review questionnaire process. The department is also working with the agriculture community to develop an ongoing training and education program for anyone interested in learning about anhydrous ammonia.