Anhydrous ammonia storage and release reporting requirements
Farmers can easily meet their legal reporting requirements by using MSU Extension’s bulletin.
Anhydrous ammonia agricultural fertilizer is classified as an extremely hazardous substance (EHS) and subject to SARA Title III reporting requirements for storage and spills or releases.
The threshold planning quantity (TPQ) for anhydrous ammonia is 500 pounds, or approximately 91 gallons – a typical nurse tank contains 1,000 gallons. If you have on site or store this amount or more at any time during the year, you are required to report it to the Michigan SARA Title III Program and your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). Your Local Emergency Planning Committee is required to maintain an off-site emergency response plan for each farm that must report. There is no exemption for short-term storage. You must report the ammonia even if it is on the site only during application, including application by a custom applicator.
Fulfill your reporting requirements by returning the postcards on the back cover of MSU Extension bulletin E-2575, Emergency Planning for the Farm. Only one notification is required even if the ammonia is located on different parcels of land, as long as these locations are under your ownership or control. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can obtain a copy of this bulletin by contacting your local MSU Extension office or Conservation District office.
If you do not know how to contact your Local Emergency Planning Committee, go to www.michigan.gov/sara and select “SARA Title III Emergency Planning & Notification,” or call the Michigan SARA Title III Program at 517-373-8481 for assistance.
In the event of a spill or release, the reportable quantity (RQ) for anhydrous ammonia is 100 pounds or approximately 18 gallons. If 18 gallons or more is accidentally released, such as the nurse tank malfunctions or the hose disconnects and the contents of the tank are released, you must immediately – within 15 minutes – contact 911, the Agriculture Pollution Emergency Hotline at 1-800-405-0101, and the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. Using the Spill or Release Report, page 19 of Extension bulletin E-2575, a follow-up written report must be submitted within 30 days to your Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Michigan SARA Title III Program.
Since it is difficult to determine the amount of a release quickly, it is recommended that every release be reported. There is no penalty for over reporting! Routine agricultural application of anhydrous ammonia is not considered a spill or release.