The State Senate approved a resolution this week to bypass the review period of recent rules proposed by the Agriculture Department to restrict the sale of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
House Concurrent Resolution 1001, authored by Sen. Ron Justice (R-Chickasha) and Rep. John Wright (R-Broken Arrow) waives the 30-day legislative review period that is usually required for proposed rules.
"This was an important issue that affects all Oklahomans and quick action was imperative," said Sen. Justice. "Ammonium nitrate was one of the key ingredients in the bombing of the Murray Federal Building, and we wanted to ensure that no Oklahomans, nor anyone else, has to suffer through another tragedy like that again. These are small steps to help prevent large consequences."
The rules were approved by the Governor last week and the resolution will put those restrictions into place immediately instead of going through the normal 30-day review period.
The new rules require retailers to keep records of ammonium nitrate fertilizer sales for at least two years, which would include the purchaser's name, address, telephone and drivers' license number along with the date and amount of the sale. Retailers will also be authorized to refuse to sell the product out of season, in unusual quantities or under any suspicious circumstances.
"Agriculture plays such a vital role in Oklahoma's economy. These new rules should help our state's agriculture industry by protecting ammonium nitrate to be used for its intended purpose," said Justice. "This is only a safeguard, but hopefully the new restrictions will help retailers as well as agriculture producers and growers protect their products."
The measure was sent to the House for engrossment and was then filed with the Secretary of State.