Ethanol Safety Seminars Scheduled Across California

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) will co-host several Ethanol Safety Seminars in California throughout July, all under a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) grant that the RFA received last fall.

The first seminar will be held July 8 & 9 at the California Fire & Rescue Training Authority in Sacramento, co-hosted by Central California Traction.

The next seminar will be held July 10 & 11 at the Elihu M. Harris State of California office building in Oakland, co-hosted by Richmond Pacific Railroad.

The following seminar after that will be held July 12 & 13 at the Modesto Junior College Fire Training Center in Modesto, co-hosted by Modesto & Empire Traction Company.

Another seminar will be held July 15 & 16 at the Olive Drive Fire Training Facility in Bakersfield, co-hosted by San Joaquin Valley Railroad.

In the greater Los Angeles area, two seminars will be co-hosted by Fillmore & Western Railroad and Pacific Harbor Line. The first will take place July 17 & 18 at the Del Valle Regional Training Center in Castaic. The second will be held July 19 & 20 at the UP Intermodal Container Transfer Facility in Long Beach.

The final seminar will be held July 22 & 23 in the auditorium of the War Memorial Building in San Diego, co-hosted by San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad.

Additional sponsors for the tour include Kinder Morgan and Pacific Ethanol.

All seminars are free and feature sessions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The seminars are designed for individuals who respond to ethanol-related emergencies as well as those who work at fixed-facilities and transport fuel.

The goal of these seminars is for attendees to gain full ethanol emergency response training experience that they can put to use immediately in the field as well as pass along to other first response teams. A majority of this training is based on the”Complete Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response,” a training package created by the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition (EERC) that has been distributed throughout the United States and to several countries worldwide.

“Ethanol shipments in railcars are the most effective and safe way of moving the product,” said Barbara O’Neill, director of marketing for Richmond Pacific Railroad.”It is the goal of all railroads to handle ethanol in a safe manner but there are situations that arise and necessitate the aid of first responders. The Safety Seminars provide the essential training that will enable first responders to handle any emergency situation during the transportation of ethanol.”

Attendees will receive in-depth information on proper training techniques that first responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. While primarily targeting first responders, hazmat teams, safety managers, and local emergency planning committees, it is also open to the general public.

“Safety is the top priority of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad, and we are pleased to work with the Renewable Fuels Association to fully train people to safely and effectively handle any situation involving ethanol,” said Randy Perry, general manager of the SJVR. “We encourage any emergency responders with an interest in ethanol safety to take advantage of this free opportunity.”

The Ethanol Safety Seminar focuses on numerous important areas of ethanol safety including an introduction to ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels, chemical and physical characteristics of ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels, transportation and transfer of ethanol-blended fuels, storage and dispensing locations, firefighting foam principles and ethanol-blended fuel, health and safety considerations for ethanol-blended fuel emergencies and tank farm and bulk storage fire incidents. Certificates will be awarded at the completion of the course.

To register for this seminar, go to

RFA has been co-hosting Ethanol Safety Seminars across the country throughout 2013. Scheduled Seminar locations for the remainder of the year include: Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 8, 9 & 10; Albuquerque, N.M., on Oct. 29; Pipestone, Minn., on Nov. 14; and Tacoma, Wash.

For more information on ethanol emergency response, visit the EERC website at


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