Transport Canada releases NH3 carts

Rules that ensure that NH3 tanks are able to roll through the 2018 seeding season are in place after negotiations last week.  |  File photo

An estimated 40 to 50 percent of the prairie anhydrous ammonia fleet had been potentially tied up in Transport Canada red tape as of Jan. 12, meaning they would not have seen service this spring.

It was a tense week as the players negotiated a path to allow existing NH3 tanks to temporarily circumvent the Transport Canada rule that would have required nearly half the tanks to undergo hydrostatic pressure testing this winter.

On Jan. 12, all concerned parties reached a compromise that would see most of the fleet in action this spring. Mitch Rezansoff, the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers’ new executive director, said the CSA B620 Technical Committee agreed to adjust the pressure testing frequency back to five years for nurse tanks that meet the following criteria:

  • are post-weld heat-treated
  • have a maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) of 265 pounds per sq. inch or a 250 p.s.i. if it can be demonstrated that the tank was purposefully built for ammonia

“The decision will be reflected in the next version of the CSA B620 Standard,” he said.

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“CAAR has received an equivalency certificate through Transport Canada to implement this amended requirement and revert the pressure testing frequency back to five years for nurse tanks that meet the criteria above. Annual visual inspection will be mandatory as of Jan. 12, 2018.

“Recognizing the increased number of nurse tanks that will require pressure testing in the first five years of compliance, CAAR and Fertilizer Canada are working with Transport Canada towards a solution to extend the implementation for nurse tanks which do not meet the above criteria and must be switched to a three-year testing frequency.”

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