The agricultural industry has been called to action to ensure the safe storage and handling of fertilizer products.
In response to this call to action, a nonprofit organization was founded in 2014 to promote public welfare by assisting agribusinesses as they seek to comply with federal environmental, health, safety and security rules regarding the safe handling and storage of fertilizer
The organization, named ResponsibleAg, provides participating businesses a federal regulatory compliance audit relating to the safe storage and handling of fertilizers, recommendations for corrective action where needed and a robust suite of resources.
ResponsibleAg has compiled a checklist of federal regulatory requirements applicable to the storage and handling of fertilizer products. The checklist, developed by a technical committee comprised of industry regulatory professionals, contains more than 320 questions. Auditors credentialed under the ResponsibleAg Certification Program will use this checklist to audit the level of compliance at each
Participating facilities will receive an audit by a credentialed ResponsibleAg auditor once every three years. The auditor will enter their findings into the secure portal on the ResponsibleAg website within 24 hours of completing the audit. After it is entered, the facility will receive (if applicable), a corrective action plan listing any issues that were discovered by the auditor.
Along with participating in this program, Premier Ag Safety and Risk Manager Jerry Boger is a certified ResponsibleAg auditor. As an auditor, Boger will be able to audit all Premier Ag locations, as well as other locations when called upon.
“Our goal is to improve safety and security associated with storage and handling of fertilizer products, supporting compliance with federal regulations, demonstrating accountability and transparency and providing for the safety of employees, customers and communities-while continuing to serve the vital need of the agricultural community for crop nutrients,” Boger said.
ResponsibleAg is well-respected nationally and recently hosted officials from EPA, DOT and DHS. For the fourth consecutive year, agency officials toured the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. The tour detailed the industry-led initiative, showcased the facility audit process and ResponsibleAg Certification Program and demonstrated special aspects of the auditor training program.
Key guests included Jim Belke, EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management, who oversees the Risk Management Program in the U.S.; John Heneghan, DOT Regional Director and David Wulf, Director for the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division of DHS. This year’s agency tour was held in conjunction with the ResponsibleAg Board of Directors meeting and Technical Committee meeting.
For more information about the Responsible Ag program, visit www.responsibleag.org.