Anhydrous ammonia accident prompts need for grower training requirement in Illinois
An accident involving an anhydrous ammonia leak in April of 2019 has Illinois legislators reviewing requirements for growers handling the product.
Jeff Squibb, Bureau Chief of Agricultural Products Inspection with the Illinois Department of Agriculture tells Brownfield the leak from a nurse tank being transported by a grower in Beach Park, Illinois sent 96 people to the hospital and urged the Illinois General Assembly to introduce HB 5172 which would mandate grower training.
“Currently in Illinois training is required for employees at retail ag facilities, but it is voluntary for growers. That legislation would make growers undergo the same training as retail ag employees.”
Squibb says over the years there have been an increase in anhydrous ammonia release accidents where the grower is responsible, so the department is also discussing solutions to the problem with ag groups.
“We are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that incidents like that don’t occur again. Our hope is that it will be done within the rule-making process and not due to the enactment of a bill.”
Squibb says there were 28 agricultural related anhydrous ammonia releases reported in Illinois in 2019.
Brownfield interviewed Squibb at the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference in Springfield.
Interview with Jeff Squibb
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