About ResponsibleAg
ResponsibleAg Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 to promote the public welfare by assisting agribusinesses as they seek to comply with federal environmental, health, safety and security rules regarding the safe handling and storage of fertilizer products. The organization provides participating businesses a federal regulatory compliance audit relating to the safe storage and handling of fertilizers, recommendations for corrective action where needed and a robust suite of resources to assist in this regard.
The fertilizer industry is building upon its corporate social responsibility by promoting safe storage and handling practices. Our goal: Improving safety and security associated with storage and handling of fertilizer products, supporting compliance with federal regulations, demonstrating accountability and transparency and providing for the safety of employees, customers and communities-while continuing to serve the vital need of the agricultural community for crop nutrients.
Any business that stores or handles fertilizer products is eligible to participate in the ResponsibleAg Certification Program. The focus of the program for the first three years will be on companies that store and handle ammonium nitrate fertilizer and/or anhydrous ammonia fertilizer. Approximately 9,000 facilities are estimated to be eligible to participate in ResponsibleAg in the U.S. Of these, approximately 3,000 handle ammonium nitrate fertilizers and/or anhydrous ammonia fertilizer. These 3,000 facilities are the initial focus for the ResponsibleAg audit program.
ResponsibleAg has compiled a checklist of federal regulatory requirements applicable to the storage and handling of fertilizer products. The checklist, developed by a technical committee comprised of industry regulatory professionals, contains more than 320 questions. Auditors credentialed under the ResponsibleAg Certification Program will use this checklist to audit the level of compliance at each participating facility.
The scope of the audit is determined by the participating facility. All participants are required to have a base audit for the storage and handling of fertilizer products. A participating facility can choose to add supplemental areas. For example, if a facility also handles agricultural chemicals, it can add a supplement to the base audit that would cover the storage and handling of these products as well.
Participating facilities will receive an audit by a credentialed ResponsibleAg auditor once every three years. Up to seventeen areas of a facility are assessed by the auditor. (Examples of these areas are dry fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, shop, office and grounds, etc.) The auditor will enter their findings into the secure portal on the ResponsibleAg website within 24 hours of completing the audit. After it is entered, the facility will receive (if applicable), a corrective action plan listing any issues that were discovered by the auditor.
Compliance education is a key component of ResponsibleAg's mission. If the auditor identifies compliance issues, the facility will receive a corrective action plan listing those issues, information on how to correct them and a recommended time frame for corrections. Certification may not be obtained until all outstanding issues are addressed.