The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending its hazard categories in the regulations (40 CFR part 370) for reporting under Sections 311 and 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) due to the changes in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).  OSHA's HCS was revised in 2012 to conform to the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  Under the revised HCS, chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate their chemicals according to the new criteria adopted from GHS to ensure that they are classified and labeled appropriately.  Manufacturers and importers are also required to develop standardized Safety Data Sheets (formerly known as "Material Safety Data Sheets/MSDS") and distribute them to downstream users of their chemicals.  These changes to OSHA's HCS affect the reporting requirements under sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA.

On October 31, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. while anhydrous ammonia (ammonia) field application assembly was making a turn at the end of the field, the hitch connection between the application/toolbar unit and the nurse tank failed. The break-away coupling device failed to disengage, causing the threaded fitting at one end of the withdrawal hose to fail resulting in the air release of ammonia. The video illustrates the ammonia release.

  1. HAZMAT Guys discuss two major Ammonia Releases

  2. IL has another TOTAL LOSS of NH3 from MC331 during loading/unloading @ fertilizer facility

  3. Callaway, MN MC331 Tanker vs. Train incident does NOT appear to have been a BLEVE

  4. FREE ACCESS to the 2015 International Fire Code (IFC)

  5. 2nd BLEVE in as many days??? (MC331 - Propane)

  6. IL Fire Marshal explains state codes and NFPA Life Safety Code

  7. Ohio is revising the State Fire Code for 2017

  8. Another WRONG material to WRONG tank incident 

  9. Metallurgical Evaluation of a Nurse Tank Cracked Head (Failure was SCC)


  11. 2015 Lessons Learned with HAZMAT UNLOADING accidents

  12. Cryogenic tank for liquefied carbon dioxide ruptured (Lack of Car-Seal Program)

  13. PHMSA to Hold Advisory Committee Vote on Rulemaking Proposal for Excess Flow Valves

  14. Dramatic Explosion @ Natural Gas Processing Plant (Video)

  15. Chlorine Institute offers HCl DVD Now Available for FREE

  16. Chlorine Institute offers New HYPO DVD Now Available for FREE

  17. SAFETY NOTICE: Welding on Cargo Tanks

  18. DOT issues warning about some nurse tanks (SP-16239)

  19. FAMOUS Cargo Tank Failure (Safety Alert)

  20. Forearmed is Forewarned, REVISING the NFPA 704 may make sense!

  21. New Edition of CI PPE Pamphlet 65 Available

  22. Review of HAZMAT Unloading/Loading risks (PHMSA)

  23. Unloading HAZMAT accident - WRONG TANK (NTSB DCA99MZ006)
  24. Unloading HAZMAT accident - WRONG TANK (NTSB DCA99MZ003)
  25. Receiving and unloading bulk hazardous liquids in Kentucky
  26. Hazardous Materials: Flame Arrestors (USFA)
  27. Cargo Tank Motor Vehicle (CTMV) Loading/UnLoading operations: Recommended Best Practices Guide
  28. Recommended Non-Destructive Testing to Improve Nurse Tank Safety, Phases I and II
  29. Nitrogen Cylinder Failure Incident (TX FM Report)
  30. States and US Territories that have adopted International Codes (IMC, IFC, IBC, etc.)
  31. Industrial Commission of North Dakota Adopts New Standards to Improve Oil Transportation Safety
  32. Sulfuric Acid into Hydrochloric Acid tank (Unloading Incident)
  33. Is your propane cylinder SAFE? (PHMSA)
  34. Hazardous Materials: Harmonization With International Standards (RRR)
  35. Detonation or Deflagration? (USFA)
  36. Did you know... Ammonia (and Propane) gas is NOT white?
  37. HAZMAT Awareness - PLACARDS (video)
  38. How NOT to haul an industrial LPG tank! (Video)
  39. Ammonia Explosion 30 years ago this week
  40. 2013 HAZMAT Loading/Unloading Incidents
  41. NIOSH launches the NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies (NCDRST)
  42. U.S. DOT Announces Comprehensive Proposed Rulemaking for the Safe Transportation of Crude Oil, Flammable Materials (Releases new data on Bakken crude oil to support increased safety measures)
  43. BLEVE or Diesel Tank Exploding??
  44. OSHA’s TECHNICAL MANUAL on the LIMITATIONS of Explosibility (combustible gas) Sensors
  45. Commissioning of a LNG Storage Tank (Video)
  46. 2014 Video of the Week #16 (The power of NH3 inside a pressure vessel)
  47. Nurse Tank Safety and Compliance Advisory letter (2008 Reminder)
  48. Hazardous Materials: Cryogenic Fluids (USFA)
  49. Why ice accumulates on cryogenic system vaporizers (USFA)
  50. Hazardous Materials: Cargo Tank Motor Vehicle Loading and Unloading Operations
  51. PHMSA issues Safety Alert regarding crude oil being transported from the Bakken region
  52. Adoption of ASME Code Section XII and the National Board Inspection Code
  53. Company failed to report CL2 release in timely manner ($42K - truck unloaded to WRONG tank - reaction)
  54. CFATS FAQ: What is a thermal radiation zone?
  55. Safety and Security Plans for Class 3 Hazardous Materials Transported by Rail
  56. Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security: Listening Sessions
  57. Vehicle impact protection for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exchange cages
  58. Natural Gas Line Excavation ignition caught on camera
  59. Pipeline Safety: Notice to Operators of Hazardous Liquid and Natural Gas Pipelines of a Recall on Leak Repair Clamps Due to Defective Seal
  60. Ammonia Engine/Machinery Rooms and Hazardous Locations is NOT driven by PSM/RMP alone
  61. Reading Codes and Standards: Part 3
  62. Federal Railroad Administration Issues Emergency Order to Prevent Unintended Hazardous Materials Train Movement
  63. Reading Codes and Standards: Part 2
  64. Safety Alert: Risks Associated With Liquid Petroleum (LP) Gas Odor Fade (PHMSA)
  65. Pipeline Safety: Reminder of Requirements for Utility LP-Gas and LPG Pipeline Systems
  66. Fire Code Permits (USFA)
  67. Liquefied natural gas road tanker explosion (BLEVE incident)
  68. Preliminary Findings of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board from its Investigation of the West Fertilizer Explosion and Fire
  69. Method of Measuring Nanoparticle Penetration through Protective Glove Materials under Conditions Simulating Workplace Use
  70. Guide for Safe Use of Isocyanates - An Industrial Hygiene Approach
  71. The mistakes made in West (Not OSHA's or EPA's)
  72. FREE Resources for Ammonium Nitrate Safety (NO EXCUSES!)
  73. Bulk Liquid Oxygen Separation (USFA)
  74. House Dems Ask GAO to Examine Oversight Gaps at West, TX & Similar Facilities Nationwide
  75. Has your state adopted the International Fire Code (IFC)?
  76. Storing Ammonium Nitrate in Ohio
  77. Ammonium Nitrate Sensitization (explaining one West, TX scenario)
  78. Increased Civil Penalties Take Effect for Those Who Knowingly Violate Federal Hazmat Laws and Regulations
  79. 2012 HAZMAT Loading/Unloading Incidents
  80. BLEVE - Cause and Effect
  81. UNLOADING HAZMAT to the wrong tank (CL2 Incident)
  82. Pipeline Safety: Reporting of Exceedences of Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure
  83. NEW DOT Shipping Papers REQUIREMENT EFFECTIVE 1/1/13
  84. The DOT 25' Attendant Rule
  85. FRA Safety Advisory - 2003-02 (Excess Flow Valves)
  86. Update on CL2 release @ Poultry Plant
  87. New Reports Recommend Improvements for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Documentation     
  88. NH3 Fertilizer Compliance info from State of MI
  89. Revisions to the Tier I and II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms
  90. Compressed Gas Cylinder Color Coding
  91. Odorant Fade in Railroad Tank Cars (Safety Advisory 2012–01)
  92. Ammonia kills woman driving thru cloud (Video - News Account)
  93. Albert City, Iowa Chicken Farm BLEVE (NFPA)
  94. MAJOR Bromine Rail Car Release (Video)
  95. ANOTHER Acetylene cylinder stored in a car
  96. Cylinder Transport
  98. Morris missile: Anhydrous ammonia nurse tank explosion
  99. FREE Training Resources for Responding to Ethanol Incidents
  100. Chlorine Institute offers FIVE more FREE Technical Publications
  101. Chemical Reactivity Worksheet
  102. DOT Revises the Requirements for Emergency Response Telephone Numbers
  103. DOT final rule sets design standards for PIH-carrying tank cars
  104. DOT issues a Nurse Tank Safety and Compliance Advisory letter
  105. Chemical Plant Security
  106. BLEVE Response and Prevention (Mechanical Engineering Queen’s University)
  107. House subcommittee sends chemical security bill, H.R.2868, to full committee
  108. PHMSA is amending the HAZMAT Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards
  109. DOT to Improve Safety Around Hazardous Material Loading and Unloading Operations
  110. Does the fuel inside generators being transported from one site to the next have to meet DOT HAZMAT requirements?
  111. DOT CHANGES the Security Plan Requirements (Revised List of Materials)
  112. HAZMAT UPDATE on Railroad Tankcar Designs
  113. Propane Cylinders - Important Pressure Relief Valve Information
  114. Storing forklift propane cylinders PROPERLY
  115. Acetylene Cylinder Safety

This video is the best source of details we have at this time regarding the fatal NH3 accident at a Boston, MA Seafood Warehouse, as well as a major NH3 release during an oil draining incident at an ice rink.  The boston incident involved a liquid pipe on the bottom of the receiver.  

These guys provide us the FIRST-HAND perspective of responding to uncontrolled releases of NH3.  The ice rink incident also involved FF's using Turnout Gear as their initial response PPE and this resulted in two having to be transported for injuries.  We also get insight into how professional FF's view NH3 hazards (Toxic and Flammability).  WORTH your time to watch!

UPDATE 4/9/2016

Shelby County Emergency Management Agency Director Jared Rowcliffe described in an email Wednesday afternoon that the driver connected the truck’s tank to the storage tank to offload, but the truck rolled. Instead of the hose breaking, causing an automatic shut-off, the fitting on the truck failed and the product was released.  Fire Chief Troy Agney said the cause of the spill was due to “fractured plumbing” on the transport truck.

Official release is stated to have been 19 tons (38,000 pounds).  CLICK HERE for the news story

On April 24, 2007, the town of Seward, IL was slammed with a catastrophic release of 40,000 pounds of NH3 at a fertilizer facility.  That release covered most of the small rural town and it too was caused when the UNLOADING HOSE failed.  Flash forward to April 5, 2016 and we have yet another TOTAL LOSS of a MC331 carrying NH3 which occurred during the UNLOADING process in Stewardson, IL.  The Coast Guard's NRC Reports does not yet include April 5th so I am unsure of the amount lost, but from photographs we can see that it was a substantial release and the Shelby County Emergency Management administrator stated it was a 20 Ton (40,000 pounds) container being unloaded.  One news account states the release was 19 Tons (38,000 pounds).  According to the safety and regulatory director for the facility, "a contractor was hauling ammonia to the facility and off-loading product before the spill. The vehicle moved, causing the hose to stretch and then the break happened."  News accounts state 200 were evacuated, with 20-25 injuries transported to a hospital and one admitted for further treatment/observation.

This week (3/20/16) we saw yet another serious incident involving a DOT propane container (MC331). And although there is NO doubt in my mind that the incident in Alabama last was clearly and unmistakably a BLEVE (most likely a COLD BLEVE from impact damage), this most recent incident in Callaway, MN was NOT a BLEVE. Here’s the evidence leading me to these suspicions…

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