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Emergency Plans Not Required For Indiana Fertilizer Plants

The agency supervising fertilizer manufacturing in Indiana encourages but does not require producers to maintain an emergency plan.

fertilizer plant

Photo: Tom Haymes (flickr)

States have varying regulations for fertilizer plants.

The explosion which killed several people at a fertilizer plant in Texas has prompted public concern about the safety of fertilizer manufacturing.

The agency supervising fertilizer manufacturing in Indiana encourages but does not require producers to maintain an emergency plan.

Indiana farms and lawns consume their fair share of chemical enrichment. But officials in the Office of the State Chemist say manufacturing in the state is done at only about twelve dozen factories, which make a single kind of liquid agricultural fertilizer.

Those plants sit idle some of the time because they produce the chemicals only as needed.

Administrator Matt Pearson says many problems would have to collide for any fertilizer to explode, but adds it is impossible to guarantee accidents will never happen. In the mid-1990s the state stopped requiring facilities storing fertilizer to have a safety plan.

Some counties might have plans for fertilizer manufacturers in place as part of efforts from the Department of Homeland Security. And some emergency districts might have plans on file as well.

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