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December 2017
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RFA releases vital information on rail transportation safety

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released the “Guidelines for Hinged and Bolted Manway Assembly” in conjunction with the start of the 2013 Fuel Ethanol Workshop. The publication is a powerful resource for ethanol shippers to ensure the safe transport of ethanol through the rail system.

The guidelines explain in detail the correct assembly of a manway, the proper steps for inspection, the most efficient way to spot imperfections, and the steps needed to create and maintain a consistent process to secure manways in order to end the occurrence of non-accident releases. This illustration-filled guideline was produced in response to an increased need for an engineering standard addressing the inspection, maintenance, and securement of hinged and bolted manways.

The RFA guidelines are an indispensable resource for both manway manufacturers and rail shippers. Nearly 70 percent of ethanol is transported to the marketplace using the U.S. railroad system, with roughly 330,000 shipments of ethanol taking place annually.

RFA representatives will be attending the 2013 Fuel Ethanol Workshop this week and will have a manway on hand to show the correct way to seal and tighten the bolts. We encourage manufacturers and shippers to stop by the exhibit and pick up a copy of the “Guidelines for Hinged and Bolted Manway Assembly.”

“Rail safety is vitally important to the RFA and something as simple as under tightening or over tightening a bolt on the manway can lead to an accidental release of ethanol. We lead an extensive research program looking at the production process for manways and ways to improve their proper securement. Our ultimate goal is zero non-accident releases and the guidelines are a significant first step toward reaching that goal,” said Kristy Moore, RFA’s vice president of technical services.

The publication was made possible with a grant from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration. Additionally, RFA partnered with Watco Compliance Services, VSP Technologies, and Salco Products, Inc. to collect the necessary information on manways and their proper installment.
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