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EPA Region 7 Responders Participate in Ethanol Training

Release Date: 04/15/2008
Contact Information: Dianna Whitaker, (913) 551-7598,

(Kansas City, Kan., April 15, 2008) - A group of emergency response coordinators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will take part in several ethanol emergency response training sessions scheduled in six Iowa cities through May 10.

Ethanol production is a fast-growing industry in the Midwest. First responders, including EPA on-scene coordinators, need to be prepared to respond to ethanol releases and fires. Fires involving ethanol or ethanol gasoline mixtures pose different hazards than traditional petroleum-based fires. Ethanol is water soluble and can burn with a flame so clear that it can be difficult to see.

The training, to be offered in Red Oak, Sioux City, Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Waterloo and Dubuque, covers the characteristics of ethanol tank cars, so that responders can quickly identify this equipment. Responders also are given information to help them interpret railway manifests.

The training is offered by Transportation Community Awareness Emergency Response, a partnership of chemical and transportation industries that helps communities with hazardous materials transportation and emergency preparedness.

EPA Region 7 employees taking the training include seven on-scene coordinators. The Region 7 Mobile Command Post has also been deployed to the training. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Transportation and local fire and police departments are also participating. Several railroad companies are providing classroom instruction and hands-on training with railcars, including ethanol tank cars.