Interactive Map Details Anhydrous Ammonia Facilities, Accidents Nationwide

-For Immediate Release-
May 7, 2013

Contact: Brian Gumm,, 202-683-4812

Interactive Map Details Anhydrous Ammonia Facilities, Accidents Nationwide

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2013—The Center for Effective Government has released an interactive map, data table, and analysis detailing anhydrous ammonia facilities and accidents nationwide, following up on concerns about the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Anhydrous ammonia was one of two chemicals stored in large quantities at the West plant and can pose serious risks to human life and health if explosions, fires, or other accidents release it into surrounding communities.

An analysis of the map found that over the past 15 years, almost 1,000 accidents have occurred at 678 of the facilities storing large quantities of anhydrous ammonia, and 133 of those facilities had multiple accidents. These accidents resulted in 19 deaths, 1,651 injuries, and almost $350 million in property damage. Moreover, 63,676 people in the facilities and surrounding communities had to be evacuated when accidents occurred.

Louisiana had the highest accident rate in the country, even though the state has relatively few facilities. Between 1996 and 2011, 30 percent of the state's 83 anhydrous ammonia facilities had at least one accident, and more than 13 percent had multiple accidents. Iowa, with the largest number of facilities of any state, had a much lower accident rate at 5.8 percent, and only one percent of the state's anhydrous ammonia facilities had multiple accidents during the 15-year period.

"Americans have the right to know about these accidents and the potential risks from chemicals stored or produced in their communities,” said Sean Moulton, Director of Open Government Policy. "We hope people will use our new interactive map to find out what’s around them and then ask their local public officials if they’ve seen risk management plans and related reports for their areas. We all need to make sure our communities and emergency service providers are prepared."

The Center for Effective Government's new map allows people to find facilities in their communities and examine summaries of the risk management plans for facilities near their homes. It is available online at, and the related data table is located online at For a more in-depth analysis, see

# # #

The Center for Effective Government is dedicated to building an open, accountable government that advances the priorities defined by an informed citizenry. Find the Center for Effective Government on Facebook and Twitter.

back to Blog