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Home > Licensing, Inspections, Certifications & Testing > Licensing > Anhydrous Ammonia - Permit to Install Storage Application Instructions

Information and Instructions for Compiling/Submitting Permit Application to Install and Substantially Alter Anhydrous Ammonia Storage

All new facilities and substantial alterations must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) prior to construction.

There is a permit fee of $50.00 for substantially altering a facility, and a permit fee of $100.00 for a new facility pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 18B.305, subdivision 2.


  1. changing the capacity of a safeguard;
  2. adding storage containers in excess of the capacity of a safeguard as required by rule;
  3. increasing the size of the largest storage container in a safeguard as approved or permitted by the commissioner of agriculture; or
  4. adding or changing anhydrous ammonia storage containers or adding ammonia loading or unloading stations. This does not include routine maintenance of safeguards, storage containers, appurtenances, piping, or existing mixing, blending, weighing, or handling equipment.

Recommend contacting the MDA to determine if a change/update to an existing anhydrous ammonia facility constitutes a substantial alteration.

In order for the department to determine if your facility meets the requirements, it is necessary that the permit application must contain certain essential information. The following is a list of items that must be provided/submitted in the permit application.

Page 1 of permit application

IDENTIFICATION: List the legal name, mailing address, telephone, and fax.

SIZE OF LOT OWNED OR LEASED: List the dimension of the property at which the added/new storage tank(s) will be installed or substantial alteration will be performed.

LOCATION OF FACILITY SITE: List the 911 Address and legal description of facility site.

LOCAL PERMIT: Indicate if the construction of your facility requires a permit from the local zoning authority, a copy of that permit is required to must be submitted with the permit application.

NUMBER & CAPACITY OF STORAGE CONTAINERS: State the capacity, in gallons, of each storage container.

STORAGE CONTAINER NAMEPLATE INFORMATION: List the information requested on application.


  • $100.00 FOR:
    • NEW anhydrous ammonia facility; and
    • Change in Ownership of EXISTING anhydrous ammonia facility.
  • $50.00 FOR:
    • Adding anhydrous ammonia storage tank to EXISTING facility; and
    • Other substantial alterations at EXISTING facility: Adding/moving loading and unloading stations, adding a pump where a compressor was in use, for other alterations contact MDA to determine if a permit is required.


Page 2 of permit application

STORAGE CONTAINER NAMEPLATE INFORMATION: List information requested on application. If the nameplate has a National Board (NB) number obtain and submit a U1A data report. A U1A data report may not be submitted if the National Board (NB) number is not listed on tank nameplate and the U1A data report is not available.

U1A data report can be obtained from the National Board at (614) 888-8320. You must provide the National Board the following tank nameplate information when ordering a U1A data report for each specific tank: (1) Manufacturer’s name; (2) Manufacturer’s Serial Number; (3) National Board Number; and (4) Year the tank was built. The National Board will assess a fee for providing the U1A data report.


As requested on the application, list distances from ammonia storage tank(s) to occupied dwelling(s) or dwelling(s) intended to be occupied, place(s) of public assembly, confined resident institution(s), potable (drinking) water sources (i.e. wells), adjoining property lines, near side of public roadways and mainline of railroad, between ammonia storage tanks, and materials that not required for the operation of the ammonia storage facility (system). Here are the setback distance requirements from ammonia storage tank(s) to the following:

(1) Permanent storage must not be less than 400 feet from any residence, school, hospital, or other place of public assembly if the total storage capacity is 100,000 gallons or less and 1000 feet if more than 100,000 gallons. Other distances that must be adhere to are:

(2) 50 feet from a well or other source of potable (drinking) water; (2) 50 feet from the line of adjoining property, from the near side of a public roadway or mainline of railroad;

(3) Distance between storage tank at the outer curvature of each storage tank must not be LESS than five (5) feet. Area within ten (10) feet of/around storage tank(s) must be free of weeds and materials not exclusively used for the operation of the anhydrous ammonia facility – this includes structures/impediments within ten (10) feet of storage tank(s) owned by the facility. Area around storage tank(s) must be accessible to emergency vehicles and personnel.


(1) List name of welding contractor and name of certified welder that will be installing welded piping/fittings where noted on the permit application.

(2) Check all applicable appurtenance/piping specifications, hydrostatic relief, excess/back check flow valve, and pressure relief specifications noted on the permit application.


(1) WELDING PROCEDURES AND WELDERS QUALIFICATION DOCUMENTS – unless already submitted by welding contractor.

(2) VICINITY MAP – Submit a scale drawing or aerial map of the entire facility showing other storage containers and buildings. This drawing or aerial map must show the property boundaries, the location/distance of added/new storage tanks to lakes, streams, drainage ditches, storm drains, wells, the right-away of roads, the right-away of railroad mainline tracks, dwellings (places where people reside), places of public assembly (parks, manned utilities, businesses, places of worship, etc.) confined resident institutions, and other structures. Note the function of other structures.

(3) PLUMBING – Submit a COMPLETE and DETAILED diagram showing location and type of pumps, valves, piping specs, fittings specs, truck unloading bulkhead protection, nurse tank risers and riser pull-away provision, traffic protection provision, etc. Provide DETAILED dimensions, distances, and specifications.

(4) LOCAL PERMIT – Submit a copy of the local permit and or other local approval if a local permit is required.

(5) STORAGE TANK U1A DATA REPORT – See information in the storage tank nameplate area of the instructions.


Incident Response Plan for Agricultural Chemicals (PDF: 70 KB / 16 pages)  - A plan which describes storage, handling and incident handling practices must be available at facility for review. Do NOT submit with permit application.

In addition to the above mentioned items the entire application must be completed. Contact the MDA prior to making updates to your firm's anhydrous ammonia storage facility, to determine if an approval/permit is required.

Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Equipment, Safety & Training Requirements


  • Two full face gas masks, each with one spare, currently dated, ammonia canister (for a total of four [4] canisters) in a readily accessible location for use in ammonia concentrations less than those that pose an IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health). 
  • One pair of protective gauntlet-style gloves of sufficient length to allow for cuffing that are impervious to ammonia;
  • Ammonia-rated chemical splash goggles or chemical splash goggles with full face shield to be worn over the goggles.
  • One pair of protective boots, impervious to ammonia;
  • One protective slicker or rain suit, impervious to ammonia; and
  • An easily accessible emergency shower and plumbed eye wash unit or in lieu of these, at least 150 gallons of CLEAN water in an open top container.


  • A person making, breaking, or testing an ammonia connection, transferring ammonia, or performing maintenance or repair on an ammonia system under pressure, must wear protective gloves and chemical splash goggles rated for ammonia use. A full face shield may be worn over the goggles. However, a face shield may NOT be worn as a substitute for goggles.


  • A person required to store, handle transfer, transport, or otherwise work with ammonia must be trained in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations, title 29, parts 1900-1910, to understand the properties of ammonia, to become competent in safe operating practices, and to take appropriate actions in the event of a leak or an emergency. Documentation must be available at the anhydrous ammonia facility site that certifies that employees handling ammonia received the required ammonia safety training.

Storage Facility Requirements - To check the compliance of your facility:

Refer to the Anhydrous Ammonia Storage Facility Inspection Checklist available on the MDA anhydrous ammonia program web page 

General Conditions for Fertilizer Storage Site Approval/Permits

  1. This approval/permit shall not release the permittee from any liability or obligation imposed by Minnesota or federal statutes or local ordinances and shall remain in force subject to all conditions and limitations now or hereafter imposed by law. The approval/permit shall be permissive only and shall not be construed as estopping or limiting any claims against the permittee for damage or injury to persons or property, or any waters of the state resulting from any acts, operations, or omission of the permittee, its agent, contractors or assigners, nor as estopping or limiting any legal claim of the state against the permittee, its agent, contractors or assigners for damage to state property, or for any violations of the terms or conditions of this permit.
  2. No transfer of ownership and no major alterations or additions to the storage site shall be made without the written approval of the Department.
  3. The use of the site shall be limited to the storage of the materials or substances described in the approval/permit application and associated material filed with the Department.
  4. The Department's review of plans which provide the basis for this approval/permit is solely for the limited purpose of determining whether there is reasonable assurance that the facilities constructed thereby will comply with the rules and criteria of the Department.
  5. The permittee is responsible for the integrity of structures, physical features, or the reliability, durability and efficiency of specific items or proprietary equipment or material. All applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations or ordinances must be followed in the design, location, and construction of proposed containment areas.
  6. The approval/permit is based upon the assumption that the information provided by the applicant is correct, and that all other necessary legal requirements have been or will be satisfied.
  7. Certification of completion of the project shall be made immediately after construction is finished and reports on operational practices shall be submitted as may be required by the Department.
  8. This approval/permit authorizes the holder to perform the activities described herein under the conditions set forth. In issuing this approval/permit, the State/Department assumes no responsibility for any damage to persons, property or the environment caused by the activities of the holder in the conduct of its actions, including these activities authorized, directed or undertaken pursuant to this approval/permit. To the extent the State/Department may have any liability for the activities of its employees, that liability is explicitly limited to that provided in the Torts Claim Act, Minnesota Statute 3.736.

MDA Contact

Ed Kaiser, Consultant
Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division