Why Ammonium Nitrate, Should be Added to EPA list of EHS

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For example, Canada added ammonium nitrate to Schedule 1 of the Environmental Emergency Regulations (E2) in 2011. We can do the same here in the USA, adding A-N to the list of extremely hazardous substances (EHS) defined in Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11002). Appendix 40 C.F.R. 355.

2005 presentation by Jean-Paul Lacoursiere, Eng., Associate Professor, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada. Excellent insight on the explosion hazards of ammonium nitrate resulting in the need for facility and community emergency planning, prevention, preparedness, and mitigation. This information assisted immensely with A-N added to Schedule 1 of the Canada Environmental Emergency Regulations (E2) six years later.

NOTE: NFPA 490 Code for the Storage of Ammonium Nitrate was withdrawn in Annual 2009 and incorporated into NFPA 400 Hazardous Materials Code.

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Why Ammonium Nitrate, Should be Added to EPA list of EHS

  1. 1. 1Ammonium Nitrate, FertilizerGradeWhy Ammonium Nitrate, fertilizer grade,Should be Added to the Canada EnvironmentalProtection Act (CEPA) EnvironmentalEmergency Regulations (E2)Jean-Paul Lacoursiere, Eng.Associate ProfessorUniversité de Sherbrooke2005
  2. 2. 2OutlinePart 1: Ammonium Nitrate AccidentsPart 2: Risks of Ammonium Nitrate,Fertilizer GradePart 3: Other Countries ThresholdQuantitiesPart 4: 2002 NFPA Code 490 for thestorage of Ammonium NitratePart 5: Conclusion
  3. 3. 3Part 1: Ammonium Nitrate Accidents
  4. 4. 4AZFToulouse, 2001-09-21 400 t offspec AN 40 to 80 t involved inexplosion 30 fatalities 2500 injured 15000 damagedappartments Loss €2.3 billion
  5. 5. 5Fire in a Farm Supply StoreSt-Romain, France, 2003/10/02View of building of origin before the accident
  6. 6. 62003 - Fire in a Farm Supply StoreView of building ruins after the explosion
  7. 7. 72003 - Fire in a Farm Supply StoreDamages•3-5 t AN•Fire involvingplastic containerand AN•26 casualtiesincluding 18firemen (3 of whichsuffering injuriescompromising life),3 policemen et 5civilians•82 housessuffering structuraldamage of varyingseveritygreenhousesMetallic Beam elementmissiles found up to 500mCrisis managementControl room installed in townhouse 4 helicoptersusedAdvanced medicalteamsFire hydrantEvacuationmeans(12 vehicles)Fire enginedestroyed
  8. 8. 8Part 1: Ammonium Nitrate Accidents 2004 Sainte-Catherine, Quebec: person exposed totoxic fumes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and washospitalized and released 2004 Mihailesti, Romania: 18 deaths and 10critically wounded during a road accident involving50 kg sacks resulting in a fire and explosion Many others
  9. 9. 9Part 1: More AN AccidentsDate Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse1904/04/29 TessebderlooBelgia150 x •Use of explosive to break pile X1920/04/14 New YorkUSA900 x •Nitrate that caught fire•No explosionx1921/09/21 OppauGermany450 x •Use of explosive to break pile x x1922/09/10 PennsylvaniaUSA2 x •Organic coating•No explosionx1925/05/03 AlabamaUSA50 x •Friction of AN impregnatedcontainersx1916 –1944x •6 major accidents involvingAN melted•Overheatingx x1940/04 New JerseyUSA67 x •Fire•No explosionx1946/09/01 ToulouseFrance200 x •Fire of a wooden structure•No explosionx x• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  10. 10. 10Part 1: More AN Accidents (contd)Date Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse1947/01/01 Canada 400 x •No details x x1947/04/15 Texas CityUSA800 x •Nitrate caught in ship fire•Explosionx x x x1947/07/28 Brest 450 x •Contact of melted AN withorganic materialx x x1949/10/14 KansasUSA1400 x •No details x x x1925/05/03 AlabamaUSA50 x •Friction of AN impregnatedcontainersx1954 Red SeaTirrenia4000 x •Fire on confinement ofammonium nitratex x1960 TraskwoodUSA80 x •Train derailment•Explosion of AN carX1960 USA 20 x •Fire of a wooden structure•No explosionx x• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  11. 11. 11Part 1: More AN Accidents (contd)Date Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse1961 France 8000 x •No details x x1962/02/25 JoplinUSAN.A. x •No details x1963 ArkansasUSAN.A, x •Train derailment•Firex1963 Finland N.A. x •Overheating x x x1966/04/07 AmboyUSA4.5 x •TNT explosion nearby x1967 USA N.A. X •Fire in railcar X x1968/07/05 El CayoSpainN.A. x •Explosion in process x1969/01 Switzerland N.A. x •Overheating x x x• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  12. 12. 12Part 1: More AN Accidents (contd)Date Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse1970/10 France N.A. x •No details x1972/05 France N.A. x •Contamination of tankinsulation with organic materialand ANx1972/08/30 TaroomAustralia18.5 x •Truck fire•Explosionx x1973/01/01 CherokeeUSA3 – 6 x •Failure of belt carrier x1976/12 Norway N.A. x •Decomposition in reactor x1978/01/01 USA 500 x •Fire no detail x1978/04/01 Canada N.A. x •Contamination with organicmaterialx1978/07/07 La ManoubaTunesia60 x •Contamination with wood dust•Spontaneous fireX x• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  13. 13. 13Part 1: More AN Accidents (contd)Date Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse1978/08 UK N.A. x •No details x x1979 UK N.A. x •AN in bearing x1979 Norway N.A. x x •Use of organic lubricant x1979/06 UK N.A. x •Evaporator upset x1979/07 Canada N.A. x •Contamination with organicsubstancex1982/10 UK N.A. x •Contamination with coal x1984/11 Canada N.A. x •Use of steam to unplug a line x1985 Canada N.A. x •Spill of melted AN X• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  14. 14. 14Part 1: More AN Accidents (contd)Date Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse1988 South Africa N.A. x x Use of steam to unplug a line x1990/11/17 France 400 x •400 t AN in plastic bags in astore•Molten ANx x1990/11/17 France 400 x •400 t AN in plastic bags in astore•Molten ANx x1994/12/13 IowaUSAN.A. x •Explosion during maintenance x1997 Brazil N.A. x •Fire•Explosion of a truckx1998/01/04 MaysvilleUSA420 x •Explosion x1999/07/28 France 10 x •10 t in bags in a farm x x199/08/29 Fort PierceUSAN.A. x •No details x• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  15. 15. 15Part 1: More AN Accidents (contd)Date Location QuantityTonsP S T Information Fire Decomp Explosion BuildingCollapse2000 FloridaUSAN.A. x Road accident x x2000/03/22 France N.A. x •Fire in belt conveyor X x2001/09/21 ToulouseFrance350 x •Explosion of offspec AN x2004 MihailestiRomaniaN.A. x •Explosion during maintenance X2004 MihailestiRomaniaN.A. x •Explosion during maintenance X• P Production•S Storage•T Transport
  16. 16. 16Part 2: Risks of Ammonium Nitrate, FertilizerGrade
  17. 17. 17Part 2: Risks of Ammonium Nitrate, Fertilizer Grade1) Ammonium nitrate is capable of detonatingwith the blast effect of about half the quantityof explosives if heated under confinement thatpermits high-pressure build-up or if subjectedto strong shocks, such as those from anexplosive (NFPA Code 490, A.4.1.4)2) The sensitivity of ammonium nitrate todetonation is increased by elevatedtemperatures or by contamination (NFPACode 490, A.4.1.4)3) Capable of releasing toxic fumes duringstorage fire
  18. 18. 18Part 2: National Fire Code of Canada 19951) This subsection of the code apply to thestorage of class 5.1 ammonium nitrate mixturesthat contains 60% or more by weight ofammonium nitrate in quantities exceeding 100kg inside buildings2) Buildings shall not be more than on story,shall not have basement and shall not haveopen floor drains3) Building and bins where ammonium nitrateis stored shall not cause contamination
  19. 19. 19Part 2: National Fire Code of Canada 1995 (contd)4) Building shall be equiped with ventilation todissipate gas generated by ammonium nitrate5) There are dimensions for storing bags in pile6) Storing of bagged ammonium nitrate inexcess of 600,000 kg requires sprinklers7) Fuelling of industrial trucks shall not becarried out in buildings in which ammoniumnitrate is stored.
  20. 20. 20Part 2: National Fire Code of Canada 1995 (contd)8) When industrial trucks powered by internalcombustion engines are parked in buildings inwhich ammonium nitrate is stored, they shallbe separated from the storage area by fireseparations having a fire-resistance rating notless than 1 h9) Industrial trucks transporting ammoniumnitrate shall be cleared of remaining materialfollowing use.
  21. 21. 21Part 3: Other Countries Threshold Quantities
  22. 22. 22Part 3: Other Countries ThresholdQuantities Switzerland: 20 tonnes due to substance capacity todetonate Sweden: -forbidden to store more than 50 tonnes in thesame storage area-must obtain a permit if quantities are equal toor greater than 10 tonnes
  23. 23. 23Part 3: Other Countries ThresholdQuantities France: 24.5% to 28% « N » with less 0.4% combustible material, or more 28% « N » with less 0.2% combustible material ≥ 2500 t, Safety Case (Risk Assessment) ≥ 350 t to 2500 t, Autorisation ≥ 100 t to 350 t, Declaration Offspec AN ≥ 50 t, Safety Case (Risk Assessment) ≥ 10 t, Autorisation
  24. 24. 24Part 3: Other Countries ThresholdQuantities United States: - NFPA 490 applied by authority havingjuridiction Fertilizer grade, technical grade (explosive), etc 454 kg, permit for storage 54.4 t, location and storage facility must be approved byauthorities taking into account Proximity of residential occupencies Places of public assemblies Railroad, highways Limitation of quantities may be required function ofneighborhood
  25. 25. 25Part 3: Other Countries ThresholdQuantities United States: - NFPA 490 applied byauthorities having juridiction Approval by authorities having juridiction
  26. 26. 26Part 5: Conclusion
  27. 27. 27Part 5: Conclusion It is prudent to include ammonium nitrate fertilizerinto the CEPA E2 regulations due to the recentaccidents, and its inherent potential to detonate. Most countries have created regulations onammonium nitrate, and subsequently dropped theirthreshold quantities due to the recent accidents. At present, in Canada, there is a need raise awarenessand require emergency plans for ammonium nitrate. It is recommended to create an E2 plan for 20tonnes storage, excluding Transportation ofDangerous Goods, which will not include spreaders.

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