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Anhydrous ammonia

A 1,500-pound anhydrous ammonia tank floats on the Missouri River near the state Capitol. Photo courtesy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

JEFFERSON CITY — You’d hate to cast a line and get hooked on a 1,500-pound tank of anhydrous ammonia. 

But that’s what was bobbing on the surface of the Missouri River near the state Capitol last week.

Because authorities consider such floating tanks “dangerous,” the state Department of Natural Resources requested the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s help removing the tank of anhydrous ammonia, a colorless gas that in agriculture is used for fertilizer.

According to a news release, river conditions were at flood stage on Friday, so the federal and state team planned to pull the tank from the water on Saturday.

On Friday, meanwhile, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Jefferson City Fire Department’s Boat Division secured the tank in the river and didn’t find any leaks, the release said.

“Working with MoDNR, we determined it was best to secure the tank overnight and wait for safer river conditions on Saturday,” said Joe Davis, the EPA’s on-scene coordinator.

The team was able to tow the tank, which included wheeled chassis, back to land on Saturday.

The Missouri Farmers Association was storing the tank at its Jefferson City facility while the state and farmers association attempt to find the tank owner, the release said.

After flooding in 2019, Missouri officials dealt with hundreds of “orphaned containers” that were washed away, with many holding hazardous materials, St. Louis Public Radio reported at the time.

Jack Suntrup • 573-556-6186

@JackSuntrup on Twitter

jsuntrup@post-dispatch.com

This article originally ran on stltoday.com.

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