CAAR and Fertilizer Canada are working together to address regulatory challenges on behalf of the industry.
Just days after Mitch Rezansoff joined CAAR as executive director in January, new requirements for ammonia nurse, applicator and highway tanks came into effect under CSA B620-14/B622-14. Rezansoff met these updates head-on and went to work on behalf of membership, attempting to secure an extension for compliance. Rezansoff describes the experience as a steep learning curve, but a necessary one, given the timeliness of the issue.
“It was critical to quickly understand the issues associated with anhydrous ammonia and the regulation changes that came into effect with B620-14, and identify the areas we needed to work on to get some reprieve for the spring of 2018,” he says.
A Collaborative Approach
The “we” Rezansoff refers to is the collective effort of CAAR and Fertilizer Canada. CAAR’s ammonia committee works closely with Fertilizer Canada’s internal committees to represent industry stakeholders. The two groups aim to represent every link of the supply chain with a strong voice in discussions with Transport Canada.
“Drawing on the expertise of Fertilizer Canada and CAAR committee members, we’re capturing the input of all stakeholders, from the regulatory standpoint,” says Rezansoff. “It’s critical we work in conjunction with Fertilizer Canada to represent the entire industry, to be accurate and thorough in our recommendations, and understand their impact across the board.”
It’s critical we work in conjunction with Fertilizer Canada to represent the entire industry, to be accurate and thorough in our recommendations, and understand their impact across the board.
A long-standing, positive working relationship between the two organizations makes this collaboration possible. It’s a partnership that Clyde Graham, senior vice president at Fertilizer Canada, describes as “highly valued.”
“It’s really important that we have this close working relationship with CAAR,” says Graham. “CAAR has direct communication with retailers and is a trusted source of information. For us, it’s been imperative that CAAR communicates these issues out to its membership and the ammonia retailers.”
In 2018, CAAR’s ammonia committee will continue to focus on the recently implemented B620-14/B622-14 Standards. B620-14 has increased the level of testing required for pressurized tanks, and as a result, the time-frame has narrowed for both hydrostatic testing and visual inspections. For retailers selling anhydrous ammonia, seasonal challenges drastically limit the opportunities to test tanks, which must be empty and the temperature must be above 15 degrees Celsius.
CAAR and Fertilizer Canada have been working with Transport Canada to demonstrate that while the industry wants to comply with the Standards, the time frame to meet compliance requirements is too brief for the volume of testing required.
“With the nature of how the product is handled, ambient temperature requirements and how we utilize the equipment for product storage during the winter, it is not possible to test throughout the year,” says Rezansoff. “We’re working with Transport Canada to find a solution to ensure that anhydrous application plans are completed for this spring. As soon as that’s done, the testing will start.”
Lessening the Impact
Reaching this point in discussions has taken many hours of committee meetings, industry consultations and lobbying, something Rezansoff says a retailer simply wouldn't have the time or resources for on their own.
“We want to keep CAAR members informed and represent the anhydrous ammonia value chain as one voice, versus every retail location or company negotiating with Transport Canada individually,” he says.
Before he came to CAAR, Rezansoff says he did not fully appreciate the volume of compliance requirements retailers manage on a daily basis. “It’s almost a full-time job. There is always a cost associated. These issues are not going away, so how do we manage this so there’s less impact on the industry?”
For both CAAR and Fertilizer Canada, a big part of the solution is the ongoing collaboration between their two associations.
“We only see our partnership with CAAR growing over time. There’s going to be opportunities and challenges facing the fertilizer industry and agri-retailers, and the best way to address those is to work collaboratively,” says Graham. “There’s a bright future for the agri-retail sector, which is critical to the future of the fertilizer business in Canada.”
Click here for up-to-date information on compliance requirements.
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