Occupational Health & Safety

Al-Corn, an ethanol plant in Claremont, Minn., that is owned by local farmers and investors, uses this logo.

Ethanol Emergency Response Training Seminars Announced

Free seminars presented by Renewable Fuels Association and Clean Cities Coalitions are taking place around the country this year, including Feb. 10 in the Boston area, to help emergency responders be better prepared.

The Renewable Fuels Association and numerous Clean Cities Coalitions are hosting free Ethanol Safety Seminars in several cities this year. The sessions are mainly for responders, hazmat teams, safety managers, and local emergency planning committees, but they are open to the general public. A $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy awarded to them as members of the Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance made this possible.

The goal of the seminars is for attendees to gain a full ethanol emergency response training experience they can use immediately in the field and pass on to other first response teams. Most of the training is based on the Complete Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response, a training package created by the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition. RFA's map of ethanol biorefineries shows how widely these sites are spread across the United States.

"America is nearing a 100 percent saturation point with E10 in our nation's fuel supply," said RFA Market Development Director Robert White. "As ethanol continues to flow across the country through railways and trucks into fuel retail stations, it is important for first responders in these areas to be well prepared and trained for ethanol-related emergencies."

A seminar already has been held in Harrisburg, Pa., and one will take place Feb. 10 in the Boston area. Other locations on the schedule are Charlotte, N.C.; Houston and Beaumont, Texas; Portland, Ore.; Stockton, Calif.; Indianapolis; and northeastern Ohio. Because more than half of all U.S. fire departments are volunteer-based, each location will have morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate schedules and reach as many participants as possible. According to RFA, each seminar is conducted with the local Clean Cities Coordinator and taught by a professional trainer with a background in firefighter/hazmat response. To sign up for the seminars, visit www.rfa.traincaster.com.

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