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PHMSA proposes E-85 placarding amendments to hazmat rules

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is proposing amendments to hazmat regulations to address proper shipping name and United Nation identification number for fuel mixtures composed of ethanol and gasoline, according to the Federal Register.

This issue arose with some fire and safety officials about placarding E-85 (85% ethanol mixed with 15% gasoline), and how to battle a fire should an incident occur with the product, according to the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA). Responders have voiced concern about the types of foam used in battling certain product fires, including those involving ethanol, an alcohol-based product.

”We understand that if we adopt this new shipping description, fuel suppliers and cargo tank operators may incur additional costs associate with revisions to the hazard communication requirements,” PHMSA said in the publication. “Therefore, we are interested in identifying measures to minimize costs while effectively communicating the hazards to the emergency response community.”

PHMSA said that if the proposal is adopted, a two-year transition period would be included.

Meanwhile, PHMSA said it has issued a safety alert to the emergency responder community to provide it with guidance on appropriate procedures for responding to incidents involving fuel mixtures composed of ethanol. In addition, PHMSA is providing hazmat emergency preparedness grants to emergency responders for planning and training that includes training for responses to incidents involving gasoline and ethanol mixtures.

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