Terrorist Activities are a New Threat to Agricultural Producers

            As we prepare for a new cropping season, we are reminded of a new threat to the peace and tranquility of rural Nebraska.  Many of the pesticide we routinely use can be used by terrorize the public.

The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing this Alert to all pesticide industry organizations, facilities, and handlers as a precaution during this heightened state of security awareness. It is important that all pesticide establishments review this information and take appropriate steps to minimize risk.

            For the pesticide user community, safety efforts have focused on strictly reading and following all label directions. Today, these efforts aren't necessarily enough. While many of the steps to ensure an effective security program seem routine, they are critical to the health and safety of our businesses, facilities, and communities. Without effective security procedures, our businesses may be vulnerable to both internal and external threats, posing risks to ourselves and employees, our buildings, machinery, stored pesticides, and even sensitive business information. If you have mobile pest application equipment, particularly aerial application equipment, special precautions should be taken to protect both your equipment and the surrounding community.

            One of the most fundamental security needs is the prevention of intrusion to areas used to manufacture or store pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Elements of an effective security plan can range from basic fencing, lighting, and locks, to intrusion detection systems, cameras, and trained guards.

            The EPA and FBI encourage the Pesticide Industry to know and understand potential security threats in several areas.  They encourage us to particularly watch the security around pesticide storage buildings and application equipment.  It is important that we have storage facilities designed for security and develop procedures to support security needs.

            Steps that producers can take to reduce the risk of pesticide theft include:

  1. Limit purchases to smaller amounts as much as is practical and keep an accurate inventory of the chemical products.
  2. Limit access to keys and keep track of them.
  3. Restrict access to storage area.
  4. Inspect the storage area regularly for tampering.
  5. Keep application equipment in a secure location and remove the keys.
  6. Keep the storage areas well lit and locked.
  7. Be aware of suspicious visitors or inquiries.
  8. Keep an updated list of authorities and contact them promptly if you see suspicious activities.  If you need help locating authorities, contact Ward Laboratories Inc. at 1-800-887-7645