Post Number: 59
|Posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 12:08 pm: ||
Department of Homeland Security to Regulate Ammonium Nitrate-based Fertilizer Under Legislation Introduced by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA)
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the House Committee on Homeland Security today voted unanimously to help block terrorists' access to ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which when combined with various fuels has been used to create improvised explosive devices that have claimed many victims.
This deadly combination was found in the device used by domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P.Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. These devices also have been used internationally in several terrorist incidents.
The Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack today heard testimony on the importance of regulating this potentially dangerous substance. The Subcommittee also marked up legislation introduced by the Committee's Ranking Member, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), and Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), the Committee's Vice Chairman.
The 'Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act' gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to regulate entities and individuals that produce, sell, or distribute ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer. This bill would allow the Department, working with the Department of Agriculture, to develop regulations to create a registry of those who handle ammonium nitrate- based fertilizer.
Only facilities and people registered with the Department would be able to legally access ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer. Anyone purchasing ammonium nitrate would be required to have a registration number.
Retailers would be required to keep records of ammonium nitrate sales for at least three years. The records must include the purchaser's name, address, telephone number, registration number, and other valid State-issued identification, the date of sale and quantity sold. Violators are subject to civil penalties of up to $50,000.
Rep. Thompson stressed the importance of the Department of Homeland Security leading the effort to protect our nation's agricultural sector.
'Historically, agriculture has been the mainstay of the Mississippi economy, and farmers swear by ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer,' said Rep. Thompson.'This substance must continue to be available for farming, and we also must make sure terrorists cannot easily acquire it and use it as a lethal weapon against the American people.'
'I applaud Chairman Linder, Committee Vice-Chairman Weldon, and Ranking Member Thompson, and Rep. Langevin for their leadership on this issue,' said Peter T. King, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.'They clearly understand the importance of our committee's mission, helping safeguard America against another terrorist attack; and this bill takes positive steps in that direction.'
'This is a highly unusual situation, in that an industry has voluntarily approached Congress and asked to be regulated,' said Weldon. 'I applaud the fertilizer industry for their responsible approach to safeguarding the use of their product. Ammonium nitrate was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, and today's bill would help prevent another tragedy like this from
'The risk that ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer, so critical to the agricultural operation of many of our nation's farmers, will be used by a terrorist in an improvised explosive device must be confronted and reduced,'said Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI). 'While some states should be commended for taking the initiative, I cannot help but think that the job of securing ammonium nitrate should be a federal concern.'
The Fertilizer Institute believes the legislation, as introduced by Reps.Curt Weldon and Bennie Thompson, will effectively enhance the security measures the fertilizer industry has undertaken to help keep ammonium nitrate out of the hands of those who wish to harm our nation,' said TFI President Ford B. West. 'TFI thanks Chairman Linder for scheduling this important hearing on legislation to provide uniform, common sense security measures for agricultural professionals and farmers who use ammonium
SOURCE House Committee on Homeland Security - Democratic Office
Post Number: 800
|Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 03:12 am: ||
I guess the next step will be to make it illegal to possess the fuel oil that is the other half of the mixture.
Post Number: 63
|Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 01:04 pm: ||
Now let's just rely on farmers never deciding to become terrorists, or terrorists becoming farmers to get their hands on ammonium nitrate, or terrorists discovering the _other_ nitrate fertilizers! And then the next step will be that the farmers will have to store their AN fertilizer in an approved explosive storage magazine, surrounded by two perimeter barriers capable of stopping a vehicle, and the outer
barrier topped by razor coil, with only one point of entry. . .
The terrorists will just steal the AN from honest farmers, just like the meth cookers do now.
BUT HEY, we all have the satisfaction of seeing our tax dollars working so efficiently!
Post Number: 1252
|Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 02:03 pm: ||
Why doesn't the NSA just spy on the American fertilizer and farming industries, and skip the new regulations?
Post Number: 159
|Posted on Friday, January 20, 2006 - 01:47 pm: ||
The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration's demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet's leading search engine a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools for government surveillance.
Mountain View-based Google has refused to comply with a White House subpoena first issued last summer, prompting U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order to hand over the requested records.
The government wants a list all requests entered into Google's search engine during an unspecified single week a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.
In court papers that the San Jose Mercury News reported on after seeing them Wednesday, the Bush administration depicts the information as vital in its effort to restore online child protection laws that have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yahoo Inc., which runs the Internet's second-most used search engine behind Google, confirmed Thursday that it had complied with a similar government subpoena.
Although the government says it isn't seeking any data that ties personal information to search requests, the subpoena still raises serious privacy concerns, experts said. Those worries have been magnified by recent revelations that the White House authorized eavesdropping on civilian communications after the Sept. 11 attacks without obtaining court approval.