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Home > Ag Chemicals & Fertilizers > Fertilizers > Anhydrous Ammonia Program > 2014 Anhydrous Ammonia Tips from the Field

2014 Tips from the Field

MDA’s Anhydrous Ammonia Inspection and Permitting Program

In 2013 the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) completed 105 routine anhydrous ammonia (NH3) equipment/storage facility inspections. The MDA hopes the information in this document and on the Anhydrous Ammonia Program webpage will continue to encourage greater compliance in the future. We hope that you have a safe and productive field season and please contact us at the phone numbers/e-mail addresses listed at the bottom of this page.

  Common Violations Found in 2013 Remedies
1. Facility has cartridges instead of canisters. Maintain 4 currently dated, NH3 rated CANISTERS at the storage installation.
2. Incorrect 250 or 450 psi rated hydrostatic relief valve installed instead of 350 psi to 400 psi rated hydrostatic relief valve. Install a hydrostatic relief valve or equivalent, with a rating of 350-400 psi between each positive shut off valve.  (Includes storage and equipment).
3. Pressure relief devices (hydrostatic relief valves, and pop offs) missing raincaps. Inspect periodically and install when needed.  Do not use tape or clamps to hold raincaps in place.
4. Main & Riser hose end valves not closed and locked when the facility is unattended. Close and lockout main tank & riser hose end valves or lock gates at facilities secured by fencing when facility is unattended.
5. Inadequate traffic protection for NH3 storage tanks, piping, and nurse tank riser areas from moving vehicles/equipment. Install suitable traffic protection around storage tanks, piping, and nurse tank riser areas.  Review MDA traffic protection guidance fact sheet.  Contact the MDA if you have questions.
6. Each storage tank not labeled with the Guaranteed Grade analysis. Label each storage tank with the Guaranteed Grade analysis.
7. Pressure relief valve (PRV) installation records PRV installation records must be accurate and current.
8. Incorrectly installed break-away coupling devices - not installed per manufacturer’s instructions Review and follow manufacturer’s instructions.  Operation of break-away coupling devices must not be impeded in any manner.  This includes hose supports, jumper hose too short, making sure the third bar is installed correctly, installed over vertical pivot bolt.
9. Incorrect/illegible break-away coupling device connection/disconnection instructions Make sure that connection/disconnection instructions match the brand/model of break-away coupling device, fully legible near the break-away coupling device.
10. Inadequate bleeder valves on both sides of the break-away coupling device. Install bleeder valves as close as possible on both the male and female sections of the break-away coupling device.
11. Nurse tanks not properly anchored. Bolt/washer/nut assembly must be tight (does not move), securely anchoring nurse tank to running gear. Maintain the running gear frame free of defects.
12. Illegible or missing nurse tank (tank) nameplate. Tank nameplate must be present and legible.  Remove all paint, tape, etc.  If unable to make legible, or is missing immediately empty and pressure relieve the tank and follow the requirements in federal regulation 49 CFR, Part 173.315(m)(2)
13. Excess Flow Valves (EFV) not installed in shared shut-off valve for dual nurse tank assemblies. On dual nurse tanks where either the liquid or vapor phases have shared shut-off valves, install an additional EFV at the intake side of each shared shut-off valve.
14. Missing/Faded Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem. The SMV emblem must consist of a fluorescent red-orange for the “inner” triangle with a red reflective “outer” border and be mounted so as to be visible from a distance of 100 to 1000 feet.

The MDA strongly recommends that self-inspections be conducted and non-compliance corrected.

MDA Contacts

Ed Kaiser

Bob Rialson - Southwest Minnesota

Jeff Lorentz - Central Minnesota

Jim Freilinger - West Central, Southeast Minnesota