Hoeven: Bill prohibits OSHA from imposing fertilizer restriction | TSLN.com

Hoeven: Bill prohibits OSHA from imposing fertilizer restriction

Sen. John Hoeven, D-N.D., announced Thursday that the fiscal year Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill passed out of committee, including a provision that prohibits the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from imposing new restrictions on fertilizer sales and forcing agriculture retailers to comply with the same chemical storage requirements as wholesale facilities.

The language in the Labor HHS bill requires OSHA to go through the rule-making process to give retailers and farmers a voice in the decision before it can implement the new rule.

"Before it's even been implemented, this regulation has already caused nine facilities to close in North Dakota, and several more have indicated they intend to shut down after this spring planting season," Hoeven said. "Many companies are currently on the fence with their decision to continue selling anhydrous."

Last year, OSHA proposed new restrictions on fertilizer sales that would force agriculture retail facilities to comply with the same chemical storage requirements as a wholesale facility. The rule would cause many retailers to stop selling to farmers at rural locations and threatened to limit the supply of anhydrous ammonia, a nitrogen fertilizer that is critically important to producers, Hoeven said.

Hoeven noted that he worked successfully to prevent the rule from being implemented during the 2016 fiscal year and that he has pressed Labor Secretary Tom Perez to go through the formal rule-making process. F

–The Hagstrom Repor