Currently, ethanol is transported via railcar and truck tanker as existing pipeline infrastructure is not in place to allow for the transport of ethanol. Numerous studies are underway to develop this capability. Is Ethanol Safe? Like gasoline, ethanol is flammable and must be handled as a flammable substance. However, unlike gasoline, ethanol is water soluble and readily degrades in the environment. Thus, in the unlikely event of an ethanol spill, ethanol breaks down rapidly, minimizing any negative environmental impact. Ethanol is non-toxic at moderate levels as evidenced by its long term use as a beverage. Reference: Ethanol: Briefing Report on its Use in Gasoline, Sarah Armstrong, Cambridge Environmental Inc.