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TRANSCAER® 2011 Anhydrous Ammonia Awareness Training Tour Announced

TRANSCAER® Rolling Out Nationwide Anhydrous Ammonia  Awareness Training Tour in 2011

With Anhydrous Ammonia being a large part of American agricultural, manufacturing, commercial, and transportation industries and incidents occurring in the past across the United States, there is a possibility that at some point a large ammonia incident may occur. A high quality hands on training that would help prevent and or mitigate such an incident would be a great advantage to emergency responders in communities where anhydrous ammonia is manufactured, stored, shipped, transported, or used in high volume quantities.

With that in mind, the TRANSCAER in conjunction with a number of national, regional, state and local partners (see partial list below) is planning a nationwide TRANSCAER Awareness Training program targeting Anhydrous Ammonia and Ammonia safety beginning February 2011.

Dubbed the 2011 TRANSCAERAnhydrous Ammonia Awareness Training Tour, the program is intended to focus on safety training topics including:
• Transportation of ammonia (modes, routes, volume identifiers)
• Nomenclature of transport equipment (such as nurse tanks, tank trucks, and rail tank cars)
• Hands on training with transport equipment (valves, hoses, gauges, fittings, and response measures)
• First aid for ammonia releases/ Who to call for help
• Opportunities for emergency response exercises to reinforce concepts and practice use of information covered

The target audience for tour events includes: emergency responders, agricultural businesses, emergency management officials, public safety representatives, law enforcement agencies, consultants, etc.

Curriculum Committee Planning:  

 There is a lot of excitement and anticipation with the TRANSCAER 2011 Anhydrous Ammonia (AA) awareness program. The curriculum for this program is being developed by a talented, dedicated, and experienced committee of personnel with a vast and varied expertise in dealing with anhydrous ammonia and response issues.

The curriculum committee is working on generating a terrific program that will enhance the safety and knowledge of public sector and industry response personnel in dealing with an anhydrous ammonia incident as well as addressing both defensive and offensive tactics in controlling and containing a release.

Members of the TRANSCAER AA Curriculum Committee include: David Binder, Tanner Industries, Inc., Chair; Brock Lowman, BNSF Railway, Vice Chair; Charlie Wright, Retired (formerly of Union Pacific Railroad), Vice Chair; William Burke, DuPont; Mike Callan, Callan & Associates; Paul Baute, Grammer Industries. Inc.; Michael Chapman, Tysons Foods; Gary Smith, Ammonia Safety Training Institute; Emile Bourdet, New Mexico State Coordinator; Pam Guffain, The Fertilizer Institute; Mike Harris, Battelle St. Roberts Ops; Kristy Moore, Renewable Fuels Association; Lane Sekavec, Union Pacific Railroad; Rodney Tucker, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Patrick Brady, BNSF Railway; Tom Robinson, Union Pacific Rail and Bill Oertly, Norfolk Southern Corporation.

In keeping with TRANSCAER excellence in training tradition, the program will include both classroom and hands on elements, but specifically addressing anhydrous ammonia and emphasizing real life applicability in dealing with the product.

The curriculum will involve four training blocks including sessions on:  

      • ammonia properties
      • ammonia response issues (both defensive and offensive)
      • ammonia cargo trailers
      • ammonia rail cars

The properties block will cover both the physical and chemical properties of anhydrous ammonia as well as basic health effects and initial first aid for treating exposures. Understanding how and why anhydrous ammonia is used and relating the properties of the chemical to real life response issues will be covered.

The response training block will target both defensive and offensive approaches to ammonia incidents. This session will cover types of ammonia releases that could be encountered and how real life clouds can model based on conditions such as weather impacts and type of release such as invisible vapor or a dense gas cloud.

Topics in this training block will address indoor and outdoor release scenarios, flammability concerns, where and when to use water in dealing with an ammonia release, and control/containment measures such as “tarp and cover”. Sizing up, recognizing, identification, life safety, environmental concerns are also included in all training sessions.

The cargo trailer and rail car training blocks will get into detail on these common transportation containers including markings, labels, placards, configurations, valving, safety devices and much more. The hands-on review of these containers is an invaluable experience for response and emergency management personnel whether it is from a first on the scene defensive approach to an offensive approach from a hazmat technician perspective.

The properties block will cover both the physical and chemical properties of anhydrous ammonia as well as basic health effects and initial first aid for treating exposures. Understanding how and why anhydrous ammonia is used and relating the properties of the chemical to real life response issues will be covered.

This 2011 TRANSCAER program is trail blazing the way to ensure all response personnel, both from the public sector and industry, are better prepared with the knowledge and resources to respond safely, efficiently and consistently if there is an incident.

Current State Tour Status:

There are 27 states that have planning underway to host Anhydrous Ammonia Training Tours: 

New Mexico 
New Jersey 
North Carolina 
South Carolina 
Others to be announced.

Here are some of our key Tour participants and sponsors:

• The Fertilizer Institute
• Tanner Industries, Inc.
• Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF)
• Central California Traction Company - 
• The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) 
• DuPont
• PotashCorp
• Renewable Fuels Association
• The J. R. Simplot Company (Simplot)
• Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR)
• Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS)
• CSX Transportation (CSX)
• Kansas City Southern
• Canadian National Railroad (CN)
• Canadian Pacific
• New Century Transportation 
• Groendyke Transport
• National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)
• National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.
• GATX Corporation
• Grammer Industries, Inc.,
• Tyson Foods
• Ineos-Nova Chemicals
• Usher Transport Inc
• Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc.
• Ammonia Safety and Training Institute (ASTI)
And Many More…

If you would like to become engaged in the 2011 Anhydrous Ammonia Tour or to receive more information, please contact Donna Lepik, Staff Executive, TRANSCAER® - or, or 202-249-6723.

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