Court rules anhydrous ammonia tank on Ohio farm is legal


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SHARON CENTER, Ohio — A Medina County farmer can now operate the anhydrous ammonia tank he installed on his grain farm last year.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a permit to operate April 15 to Bruce Simmons, of Beach Road, for his 12,000-gallon anhydrous ammonia tank.

The decision follows multiple reviews and inspections by ODA, and a court ruling April 13 to dismiss a suit filed by Sharon Township trustees that called for an injunction against using the tank, and tougher regulations on such tanks.

According to Judge David Branstool of Licking County Common Pleas Court, “there is nothing in the statute to suggest that the current regulations are insufficient or unreasonable.”

The tank had been the center of controversy after some township residents cited potential safety and health concerns in the event of a leak, theft or an explosion.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Communications Director Andy Ware said additional locks were installed on the tank, to prevent unauthorized access.

“The department has thoroughly reviewed the standards for this,” Ware said. “We believe the tank is properly installed and can be operated in a safe manner.”

Updates available here.

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