11.16 Approved Minutes









THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2006, 10:00 A.M.






TASK FORCE MEMBERS:  VOTING:  Eric Bowen (Chair), Adam Hagen (Vice-Chair), Melissa Hardy, Benjamin Jordan, Karri Ving. NON-VOTING: David Augustine (Treasurer/Tax Collector), Richard Berman (Port), Sarah Dennis (Planning Department), Vandana Bali (Department of the Environment), Mike Ferry (Fire Department), Tom Franza (SFPUC), Laurence Kornfield (DBI), Dina Mackin (MOCD), Marty Mellera (MTA), Virginia St. Jean (DPH).






1.      CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL.  The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m.  Present:  Voting:  Chair Bowen, Vice-Chair Hagen, Members Hardy, Jordan, and Ving; Non-Voting:  Members Bali, Berman, Dennis, Ferry, Franza, and Mackin. Excused:  Members Augustine and Mellera; Absent:  Member Kornfield.


2.      ACTION:  Approval of the October 19, 2006 Regular Meeting Draft Minutes.  Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Hagen and second by Member Ving, the October 19, 2006 Biodiesel Access Task Force Regular Meeting Minutes were approved with no objection (Explanatory Document: October 19, 2006 Approved Minutes).


Item 7 was heard before Item 3. 


3.      DISCUSSION and ACTION:  The Task Force discussed creating and adopting a policy regarding members’ attendance at Task Force Meetings pursuant to Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 502-06 (Continued from the October 19, 2006 Meeting) (Explanatory Documents:  Approved Attendance Policy to Board of Supervisors and Mayor, Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 502-06, Mayor’s Correspondence of September 18, 2006, October 30, 2006 and Sample Attendance Policy.)

SPEAKER: Monica Fish, Task Force Secretary


Ms. Fish referenced the Board of Supervisors’ Resolution, Mayor’s Request Letter, and City Attorney’s sample attendance policy and indicated that draft cover letters and a Task Force attendance policy had been created based on the template to forward to the Board and Mayor’s Office.


Upon Motion by Chair Bowen and second by Vice-Chair Hagen the Attendance Policy was approved with no objection.


4.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT.  Update on Expression of Interest from Gas Stations on the Installation of Biodiesel Pumps (Continued from the October 19, 2006 Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Gas Station and Task Force Draft Letter). 

SPEAKER:  Vice-Chair Adam Hagen


Vice Chair Hagen reported that a letter had been drafted that would be sent out through the California Gas Station Association to their San Francisco members as a joint communiqué through the Task Force and Association soliciting gas stations that sell both gasoline and diesel to switch over one of their tanks to B20.  It was decided that all gas stations would be included, not just the ones that sell diesel. 


Chair Bowen recommended that private company information not be included in the letter, but as people express interest, that it would be acceptable to give referrals at that point.  Member Mackin recommended that a City official that may have a level of influence with gas station owners include their recommendation and would discuss this issue with the Mayor’s Office Directors to see if it would be appropriate for the Mayor’s signature.  Member Dennis recommended including a communication about the Task Force exploring incentives and Member St. Jean recommended adding the incentives to the beginning of the letter.  Chair Bowen stated that these recommendations would be part of next steps along with deciding whether it is appropriate to use the City’s logo.  Member Mackin recommended editing the letter to be brief.  Chair Bowen recommended that the letter be sent after referenced edits are made.


5.      DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION:  Continued Discussion on Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on Incentives for Gas Stations to Include Biodiesel Pumps (Continued from the October 19, 2006 Meeting).  Vice-Chair Hagen stated that Member Augustine would be checking with the local banks to see if they could provide incentive money and suggested including in the recommendation to the Board of Supervisors payroll tax and fees even if it is minimal.  Continued to the December 21 Task Force Meeting. 


Item 6 was discussed as part of Item 7.


6.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT.  Update on Permitting Regulations for Biodiesel (Continued from the October 19, 2006 Meeting). 

SPEAKERS:  Members Benjamin Jordan and Sarah Dennis


7.      INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Biodiesel Dispensing Installations Examples (Explanatory Document: Pure (100%) Biodiesel Dispensing Storage Site Permitting Summary, November 7, 2006)  

SPEAKER:  Member Benjamin Jordan


Member Jordan discussed the objective of trying to increase biodiesel access through traditional gas stations and to remove barriers.  The desire to move the municipal fleet towards biodiesel thereby increasing public access was discussed. The stated purpose of the slide show presentation was to identify the existing and differing physical characteristics of biodiesel, diesel, and vegetable oil and how to begin the process of researching and working through our existing codes to clearly articulate how biodiesel needs to look in our City with the idea that it is an alternative fuel and we want to increase its access. 


Presentation topics included:


·         Pure biodiesel and blended biodiesel world and how it works, e.g. production, delivery, dispensing, storage, vehicle use, and differing characteristics.

·         Physical characteristics of diesel, biodiesel and vegetable oil and health effects, flammability, and reactivity.

·         Current storage and dispensing practices for existing access to pure biodiesel compared with diesel dispensing practices.

·         Identifying the scope of permitting and oversight that should be implemented and what activities are to be registered and not permitted for biodiesel for sale and non-sale for residential and commercial applications. 

·         Four pilot permitting projects of pure biodiesel for sale and not for sale dispensing and storage to present to the Fire Department and City agencies.

·         Next steps: (1) identifying permit application forms and where applications can be submitted; (2) work with permitting agencies to gather all pure biodiesel and site characteristics needed for the analysis; (3) identify what components of the existing codes apply to pure biodiesel; (4) begin discussion for each permitting pilot, (5) outline review, approval, and appeal process; and (6) identify all rail handling and storage permits in San Francisco.


Public Comment:  Fire Department staff discussed (1) flammability issues as it relates to the vapor produced; (2) concerns with the Rainbow Grocery site due to traffic congestion; (3) concern with Auto Service Center site because of its indoor location and possible spills, combustion, and containment; and (4) approved the Building Resources site.  Member Hardy indicated that she would report on the BioFuels Oasis protocol for containing spills and Berkeley Fire Department requirements at the next meeting.


Chair Bowen stated that San Francisco Petroleum Company currently supplies the City with its biodiesel.  It was stated that railcars are unable to bring biodiesel into San Francisco and that San Francisco Petroleum has to pick it up from a railcar in Fremont and truck it back into San Francisco causing loss of profits and more of an expense to the City. Member Jordan stated that rail cars cannot bring gasoline, diesel, ethanol, etc. into San Francisco due to lack of permitting and Fire Marshall-approvals.  Existing alternative methods of transporting biodiesel were discussed. 


Public Comment:  Mr. Nick Weber, San Francisco Petroleum discussed the pick-up, production, and distribution process that the organization uses for supplying biodiesel to the City. 


Member Berman discussed the Port approval procedure and the requirement for community input that would include environmental justice and air quality concerns.  It was recommended anticipating impacts on congestion and air quality, and to come prepared with mitigation information or procedures that can be implemented to alleviate the concerns as they will be part of the procedural review.


Member Jordan stated that he would be meeting with Fire Department staff and would present a report at a future meeting.


8.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT.  Citywide Fleet Implementation of Biodiesel.

SPONSOR:  Mr. Kevin Drew, Department of the Environment

SPEAKER:  Member Vandana Bali


Member Bali highlighted her work with citywide implementation to B20 conversion per the Mayor’s Directive.  Ms. Bali explained that she would be the point person for all City departments and is working to master a project plan for implementation.  First steps include: (1) meeting with departments that already have a pilot project, e.g. the Fire Department, on performance, fuel, and vehicle issues and (2) meeting with major contacts from each of the non-centralized departments in the City that have their own fueling and tank infrastructures in place and how the conversion would be implemented given the issues such as fuel blending with the tanks.  The projected timeline for meeting with the corporate entities would be after Thanksgiving and the larger citywide meeting would be held in December or January.  Ms. Bali discussed meeting with the San Francisco Public Utilities (PUC) staff and presented highlights of their pilot program that may start in December.  Additional information would be reported in December.


Vice Chair Hagen asked if the Zoo and MUNI were part of the core group.  Member Bali stated that the core group would include the Zoo, MUNI, SFO, Police Department, Port Authority, Fire Department, DPW, Department of the Environment, and PUC were the core groups.  Ms. Bali stated that the initial small meeting would include the core group and a Navy and City of Berkeley representative to talk about their experiences and agree what the key issue areas are going to be.  Ms. Bali indicated that she would be developing a document on the background, policy, implementation, timeline and key areas for department concern so for the citywide meeting, a draft plan can be presented for a guiding conversation.  It was advised that there are consultants that would be providing guidance on this effort.


Mr. Kevin Drew, Department of the Environment stated that one of the concerns is the transition cost for each individual department and discussed the need to come up with funding for a mandate either through grants or other methods.


9.      DISCUSSION:  Application Form for Payroll Tax Exclusion Form (Explanatory Document:  Application Form for Payroll Tax Exclusion Form).

SPEAKER:  Mr. Kevin Drew


This agenda item was not discussed at this time and would be heard as part of the payroll tax incentives agenda item at a future meeting.


11.  INFORMATION:  New Business


Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedell discussed developing a new method in the city to monitor the quality of fuel and explained that concerned people could get rapid electronic and paper access to biodiesel as it comes in.  The focus is to set up a catalog of every sample fuel that has ever arrived in the city.  


Public Comment:  Ms. Ana Halpern-Lande discussed two stations (one on 3rd Street and the other on 23rd Street) that are now offering B20 for commercial fleets in order to reduce emissions in key environmental justice and industrial areas.  The only way to have access at those stations is with a commercial fueling network card and work is being done to enable people who do not have the card to have access to the pump. It was stated that four or five more stations are being reviewed to transition to a B20 blend.


Members discussed creating a press release/press event on the two stations on 23rd and 3rd Streets.  Mr. von Wedel advised that a press release was held at that same site on B100 with then Supervisor Newsom’s involvement approximately five years ago and recommended referencing the previous event.


Member St. Jean stated that above ground tanks would require more approval on the specs and Fire and Health Department involvement.  It was advised that the Environmental Protection Agency is now the reviewing implementing agency. 


Member Jordan discussed a conversation with Member Ferry on the Fire Department’s pilot program that consists of five ladder trucks running on biodiesel.  It was stated that four of the trucks are running, and one that they were having trouble on was a result of the ladder truck itself, not the biodiesel fuel.  It was stated that the Fire Department would be discussing implementation of Phase 2 of the program in the near future.


12.  DISCUSSION:  Future Agenda Items.  Future agenda items that were discussed during this agenda item include (1) Member Bali’s update on the working group citywide; (2) Member Mackin on the Planning Department’s permitting process for above ground tanks and fast tracking possibilities. 


13.  PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Task Force on matters that are within the Task Force’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. 


Mr. von Wedell stated that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving along with establishing its formal policy on biodiesel statewide.  It was advised that the Air Resources Board is having a hearing today on presenting their revised biodiesel policy.  It was recommended that members present credible reasons for incorporating biodiesel into the mainstream.  An official Department of Energy statement was issued that the biodiesel NOX emissions are below diesel and CARB should address this fact.  CARB should receive input by December 5, and a possible meeting may be held on approximately December 16.


Public Comment:  Ms. Ana Halpern-Lande, Mr. Kevin Drew, and Mr. von Wedel discussed the process for using the card lock system, advantages and disadvantages.


14.  ADJOURNMENT.  The Task Force meeting adjourned at 11:58 a.m.


Respectfully submitted by,


Monica Fish, Task Force Secretary


** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Task Force office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) upon request to the Task Force Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at [email protected], or (3) on the meeting website as attachments to the agendas or meeting minutes.


Adopted:  December 21, 2006 


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