On-Farm Bulk Storage
Regulation 642: On Farm Fertilizer Bulk Storage became effective on August 13, 2003. These rules establish a statewide standard for the storage and handling of liquid fertilizer on the farm. Similar rules have been in place since October 1999 for commercial facilities. Uniform standards for both the commercial and private sectors of agriculture help ensure the protection of surface and groundwater and safe product storage.
The new rules apply to farms storing liquid fertilizer for over 30 days in mobile containers and for all tanks greater than 2,500 gallons or a combined total greater than 7,500 gallons. These regulatory requirements will be phased in over a five-year period and allow for farm-specific designs that will meet requirements in a cost-effective manner.
In the event of a tank or valve failure, the cost of containment can pay for itself, since producers are able to recover the fertilizer, prevent environmental contamination and avoid the expensive clean-up costs associated with losing thousands of gallons of liquid fertilizer.
Regulation No. 642: On-Farm Fertilizer Bulk Storage "Summary Sheet"
For more information, please contact April Hunt, Bulk Storage Coordinator, Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division at 517-284-5644.
On-Farm Secondary Containment Demonstration Program
During 2001, MDARD provided cost-share and technical support to assist 21 farms across the state construct secondary containment facilities around already existing on-farm bulk liquid fertilizer tanks. The demonstration sites are being used for educational purposes to illustrate a variety of fertilizer containment operations for sound on-farm storage.
Fertilizer Containment Does Work
In December 2001, a 19,000-gallon fertilizer tank ruptured at one of the farms participating in the demonstration program. The spilled fertilizer stayed entirely within an earthen berm lined with a synthetic rubber liner, which serves as secondary containment for the farm's fertilizer tanks. No release to the environment occurred and the product was recovered and placed into another container. Because secondary containment was in place during this accidental loss, the farm was able to prevent contamination and avoid expensive clean-up costs.