Free ethanol safety seminars to be held in Iowa

By Renewable Fuels Association | July 24, 2012

The Renewable Fuels Association, CN Railway and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association will co-host two Ethanol Safety Seminars in Iowa next week. The first seminar will be in Sioux City, Iowa on July 30 at the Western Iowa Tech Community College in the Cargill Auditorium, also co-sponsored by Siouxland Ethanol. The second seminar will be in Fort Dodge, Iowa on Aug. 1 at the Iowa Central Community College in the Career Education Building, also co-sponsored by Little Sioux Corn Processors.

Both seminars are free and feature a morning session from 9:00am to 2:00pm and an evening session from 5:30-10:00pm. Lunch and dinner will be provided.

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 of utmost importance to the ethanol industry and these seminars provide training for not only plant employees but the entire community, including first responders and fuel retailers,” said Lucy Norton, managing director of the IRFA.“We’re pleased to offer this valuable training to help serve and protect the public.” 

“Training and continued education on the safe handling and transportation of ethanol is imperative toward the continued success of our industry,” said Steve Roe, general manager of Little Sioux Corn Processors. “Not only must we provide a high quality product, the industry as a whole must strive to continue to deliver products to our end-users in a safe and responsible manner. Educational seminars such as the Ethanol Safety Seminar help us reach this goal.”

“Siouxland Ethanol greatly appreciates the efforts that our local emergency response teams provide not only for [our company] but also the greater Siouxland area,” said Chuck Hofland, general manager of Siouxland Ethanol. “Ethanol production is a large part of the Midwest ag-based economy.  To that extent we are pleased to support this Ethanol Safety Seminar to ensure preparedness for our first responders in the event of an incident.”

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 that has been distributed throughout the United States and to several countries worldwide.

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 of ethanol blended fuels, storage and dispensing locations, firefighting foam principles and ethanol, ethanol blended fuel emergencies, and incidents at tank farm and bulk storage locations.  Certificates of attendance will be distributed following the completion of the seminar that can be credited toward the 24 hours of continuing training hours required for Iowa firefighters each year.

To register for this seminar, go to

The RFA and CN Railway will co-host an Ethanol Safety Seminar in Decatur, IL on August 22nd, with Norfolk Southern and ADM; and in Elgin, IL on October 2nd. RFA has additionally partnered with Norfolk Southern Railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and TRANSCAER for several Ethanol Safety seminars in 2012.

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