DHS eases chemical registration rule

Department stretches farmers' deadline for compliance

"Herd" the news? The Homeland Security Department has tweaked its online chemical registration rules so most farmers now will receive an indefinite extension of the requirement.

Under the previous regulation, farmers had been required use a DHS online tool to register the chemicals they use in their day-to-day operations, including propane fuel and the fertilizer anhydrous ammonia.

The department's online tool, the Chemical Security Anti-Terrorism (CSAT) Top Screen, is designed to assist farmers in complying with the CSAT Final Rule, a 41-page mandate that the department imposed Nov. 7.

DHS furnished farmers with a CSAT Top Screen user's manual to help them register for and use the online tool.

That document, issued Dec. 4, runs to a punchy 82 pages. On Page 81, the extremely complex manual ' which assumes detailed knowledge of various aspects of chemistry, among other topics ' states:

'Thank you for your time and effort in completing the screening process. If you have any questions about the results of the CSAT Top-Screen please contact [insert contact information].'

Detailed information on the department's decision to delay the online registration requirement for farmers is available via the Michigan Farm Bureau.

The department's Jan. 9 Federal Register notice that announced the indefinite delay in the online registration requirements stated that it applies to facilities such as crop, fruit, nut, and vegetable farms; ranches and rangeland; poultry, dairy and equine facilities; turfgrass growers; golf courses; nurseries; floricultural operations; and public and private parks.

The department added that the 'extension does not apply to chemical distribution facilities or commercial chemical application services.'

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