Ohio bulk fertilizer regs require on-farm containment pads

COLUMBUS – Farmers storing large amounts of fertilizer have five years to comply with new bulk fertilizer regulations set by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The regulation says that farmers owning existing tanks with a storage capacity over 5,000 gallons and storage for more than 30 days will have until Jan. 1, 2007, to install secondary containment – cement, polyliner or clay liners – around their tanks.

The five-year deadline gives farmers time to meet the regulation, which nonfarm facilities already follow.

“We allowed the industry a five-year phasing period in 1991 (when the first set of fertilizer regulations was instituted),” said Bob Goodman, specialist in the Ohio Department of Agriculture feed and fertilizer section. “It’s the same idea here.”

Goodman said the new regulation is a “common sense step toward more environmental protection.”

The regulations also apply to farmers who add to existing tanks of over 5,000 gallons and store for more than 30 days.

The regulations also define when department inspectors conduct inspections and the standards that must be met.

Depending on how elaborate the system, installation of secondary containment can cost $2,000 or more, Goodman said.

“I encourage any farmer to meet the guidelines by 2007 for their own protection,” Goodman said.

Farmers who have questions about the new regulations can call 1-614-728-6397.

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