Ammonium nitrate to be federally regulated

Ammonium nitrate, a major component in the explosives used in the 1995 Oklahoma City and the July attack on a government building in Norway, will now fall under the eyes of federal regulators.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano recently announced how the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program will come into being and how buyers and sellers of the compound will be affected, according to

Ammonium nitrate, primarily used in fertilizer, becomes highly explosive when properly mixed with certain other compounds.

The new legislation will require anyone who purchases more than 25 pounds of ammonium nitrate to be checked against a known terrorist suspect list. All thefts of the compound are now required to be reported within 24 hours.

The regulation expands upon existing legislation that is already in effect, but will be the first to specifically target ammonium nitrate sales in particular.

"In today's ever-evolving threat environment, we must continually reinforce the security of substances, such as ammonium nitrate, which can be used for legitimate purposes or exploited by terrorists," Secretary Napolitano said, reports. "Creating the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program is a critical step forward in our continued efforts to ensure the security of potentially dangerous amounts of ammonium nitrate, while still facilitating legitimate everyday use."