10.18 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

BIODIESEL ACCESS TASK FORCE  

REGULAR MEETING

 

APPROVED MINUTES

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2007, 10:00 A.M.

 

CITY HALL, ROOM 278

ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102


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

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS 


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m.  Present Voting:  Vice-Chair Hagen, Members Hardy and Jordan.  Excused:  Chair Bowen and Member Augustine.  Non-Voting Present:  Members Bali (10:17), Berman, Ferry, St. Jean, and Ving; Absent: Members Dennis, Kornfield and Mellera.  

 

2.      Approval of the September 20, 2007 Biodiesel Access Task Force Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (Discussion and Action). Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Hagen and second by Member Hardy, the September 20, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved with an amendment to correct the spelling of Jorge Billet’s name to Jorge Villet (AYES:  Vice-Chair Hagen, Members Hardy and Jordan; Absent:  Chair Bowen) (Explanatory Document:  September 20, 2007 Approved Minutes).

 

3.      State Water Resources Control Board Report on Legalities of Biodiesel in Underground Storage Tanks (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPEAKER: Mr. Robert Hodam, State Water Resources Control Board

 

Mr. Hodam presented an informational report stating that:

 

Several state agencies directly "regulate" fuels and hazardous substances: California Air Resources Board (CARB), Water Board, Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC), Weights & Measures, etc.

 

·         CARB – must meet ASTM D975--quality control is critical to preserving air emission standards (biodiesel containing trace metals such as copper from biodiesel corrosion of brass or bronze components commonly found in UST systems may create air quality problems such as increased dioxin emissions catalyzed by trace copper in fuel from storage systems.)

 

·         State Water Board – all UST facilities must satisfy HSC 6.7 requirements in order to protect drinking water supplies from a release of petroleum diesel:  UST system components must be "compatible" with the fuel stored (i.e., not lose their physical properties), and owner/operators of UST facilities must obtain a Permit to Operate and an amendment to the Permit if the owner/operators chooses to change the fuels stored, i.e., diesel to biodiesel.

 

·         There are currently no Water Board regulations for biodiesel per se, it must meet the same HSC requirements as all other vehicle fuels because diesel fuel is defined as a hazardous substance under HSC, and by DTSC, blends of diesel with biodiesel are defined by the HSC 6.7 as hazardous substances.

 

·         Biodiesel (B100) is considered a hazardous substance too because the US DOE reports that 95% of biodiesel samples taken nationwide contain methanol as an artifact of poor quality control in production.  The HSC defines methanol as a hazardous substance, thus B100 is regulated.

 

·         Additionally B100 is clearly a "motor vehicle fuel", which the HSC authorizes the Water Boards to regulate.

 

4.      Department of Food and Agriculture Weights and Measures Division Informational Report on Approved Dispensers for Biodiesel (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPEAKER:  Mr. Jorge Villet, Department of Food and Agriculture

 

Mr. Villet presented a summary as follows: 

 

Any liquid measuring device approved for use with diesel may be used with diesel blended with up to 20 volume percent “biodiesel” (B20). Some devices may have weights and measures approval for 100 percent biodiesel (B100).

 

Note: Conformance with ASTM D 975 is required before a Compression Ignition Engine fuel can be distributed or sold. Generally B20 and below have been found to conform. At present, biodiesel blends that do not conform to ASTM D 975 require a variance to be distributed or sold but cannot be sold to the public. Please notify Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) if a location plans to sell blends greater than B20.

 

Please consult with device manufacturers regarding use with “biodiesel” and specific “biodiesel” blends greater than B20. We also recommend confirming the selection with DMS staff before installing the devices.

 

There have also been concerns raised about Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) not yet certifying dispensers for use with “biodiesel” fuels. Lack of UL and National Fire Prevention Association certification is a concern of local fire prevention officials, separate from weights and measures issues. This may or may not cause problems with local fire protection officials. More information is available at: http://www.ul.com/regulators/e85.cfm. 

 

Device users may contact local fire protection agencies if they have questions.

 

5.      Status Report on Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on Incentives and Other Measures that the Task Force should take to Promote Biodiesel.  The Task Force will also continue their discussion on developing letters to send to the Fire Department and other City agencies recommending fee waivers. (Continued discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPEAKER: Member Karri Ving for Chair Eric Bowen and Member Benjamin Jordan

 

Member Jordan reported that the Task Force had submitted a fee waiver request letter to the Department of Public Health, and fees are being waived at the Health Department’s discretion for biodiesel B99+ storage and dispensing. It was explained that the amount of the fee waiver depends on the volume of biodiesel that is being stored.  It was explained that the Fire Department and Department of Building Inspection could implement additional fee waivers. Member Jordan reported that inquiries of both departments had been made, but a contact person to send a request letter to has not yet been identified.

 

Items 6 and 15 were heard together.

 

6.      Status Report on Discussions with Gas Stations on the Prospect of Selling Biodiesel to Individual Consumers (Continued discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion). 

SPEAKERS:  Member Karri Ving for Chair Eric Bowen and Mr. Eric Smith, Green Depot Program

 

Mr. Smith reported that San Francisco Petroleum, which supplies the City with their biodiesel has added B100 to their station at 18th and Indiana Streets.  It was stated that the San Francisco Cooperative negotiated turning the Coop into a fleet.  Coop members will be issued fleet cards and will be able to fuel 24-7 at the SF Petroleum location.  Members will be able to join the coop, fuel at SF Petroleum, and receive a bill from their credit card company.  SF Petroleum also will have a marketing campaign to promote B100. It was explained that Green Depot has absorbed the Coop and the Biofuels Recycling program. Member Ving reported that the San Francisco Biodiesel Cooperative had a fleet of around 200 members.  SF Petroleum sells biodiesel to the City and had a side pump for biodiesel access and has their own variance fleet.  What this is doing is combining the fleet improving the ease of buying biodiesel.  Mr. Smith discussed the Environmental Justice grant to promote biodiesel in the Bayview Hunters Point and Potrero communities and stated there are other entities that are working on educating fleet owners and researching ways to mitigate air quality emissions in those two neighborhoods.

 

Vice-Chair Hagen inquired about the Shell gas stations that were interested in installing biodiesel pumps at their locations. Mr. Smith reported that he is compiling a database of diesel stations and fleets in the Bayview Hunters Point and Potrero neighborhoods and found many stations, mostly Shell, interested in using biodiesel.  It was explained that Shell will not allow them to install biodiesel in any of their underground tanks, and it can only be done aboveground.  One of the Shell stations on the corner of 17th and Potrero has a franchise, owns the land, and is willing to be a test case for Shell to use biodiesel, but does not want to spend too much money on the apparatus.  Mr. Smith stated that the Shell on Divisadero that is interested in biodiesel is outside his area of focus, and explained that they are waiting to find out more about tanks and variances before they commit. 

 

Vice-Chair Hagen inquired about the cost for an aboveground tank system. Member Jordan reported that it would cost approximately $5000 if you put it together yourself, and could cost as high as $20,000 or 30,000 for a system that is purchased off the shelf depending on the point-of-sale machine, size and type of tank, etc.  Vice-Chair Hagen asked that Member Jordan or someone else contact the Shell station at 17th and Potrero to discuss costs.  Mr. Smith was asked to contact SF Petroleum and interested station owners to invite them to the next meeting to speak before the Committee. Continued to the November 15, 2007 Meeting.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Michelle Swiggers reported that she and Ms. Robin Gold have found a viable location at 22nd and Potrero to start up a B100 biofuel station and asked for input from the Committee on how it would interact with San Francisco Petroleum and the SF Biofuels Cooperative.  Member Ving stated that the Cooperative’s mission in the City is to promote biodiesel in San Francisco and would be happy to provide support.  Member Hardy discussed opportunities for sharing a fleet and Committee members provided supportive comments.  Mr. Smith stated that his task with Green Depot is to promote biodiesel in the Potrero and Hunter’s Point neighborhoods and offered his support.

 

7.      Update on Permitting Regulations for Biodiesel (Continued Discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion). 

SPEAKER:  Member Benjamin Jordan

 

Member Jordan reported that he has not been successful in connecting with the Fire Department plan checker who would be reviewing permits.  It was stated that the two permits for the B100 permanent fueling locations were submitted in May, approved in July, and have since disappeared and no one has been able to find them.  Member Jordan stated that he was assured that when they could coordinate a time to walk in with a plan, the permits would be hand-walked to each department.  However, a time has not been coordinated as of yet to submit the plans, so there is no resolution at this time. Vice-Chair Hagen offered his assistance with moving this issue forward.  Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting.

 

8.      Hazardous Material Classification of Biodiesel (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPEAKER:  Member Virginia St. Jean

 

Member St. Jean reported that the State Fire Department has not issued a declaration on whether biodiesel would be de-regulated or less regulated as a hazardous material.  It was stated that most local Fire Departments are considering biodiesel B100 petroleum diesel, and that no one at State Toxics has exempted B100 specifically from reporting requirements.  If the state decides to call biodiesel a hazardous liquid, then the San Francisco Department of Public Health has to abide by that definition.  Right now the federal Environmental Protection Agency is regulating above ground vessels that contain oil, veggie oil, petroleum, biodiesel, and waste oil. SF DPH is waiting for EPA to make a determination as to any Federal exemptions of biodiesel from this program.  Member St. Jean stated that biodiesel in aboveground tanks is still regulated by the EPA AST Program and SPCCs will be required for storage above 1320 gallons.  Enforcement now lies at the Local Hazmat level and mandatory additional AST inspections will be required for tank sites storing over 10,000 gallons.   It was reported that there would be a statewide round table in January and there could be a consensus of hazardous materials definition reached then.  Member St. Jean suggested that the Task Force send a letter to the State Fire Marshall asking for a determination and would present a draft letter to the Task Force for their review and approval at the November 15, 2007 meeting.  Member Jordan asked why the State Fire Marshall has to issue a declaration if the National Code defines biodiesel and how it performs.  Member Jordan requested that a separate letter be sent to the local Fire Department regulators to address this topic. Continued to the November 15, 2007 Meeting.

 

9.      Amendment to Biodiesel Access Task Force Bylaws.  The Task Force will consider and vote to approve an amendment to their Bylaws to change the composition of the Marine Subcommittee (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document:  Notice of Proposed Amendment to Bylaws and Draft Resolution File 2007-01-BDTF Amending Bylaws).

SPEAKER:  Monica Fish, Task Force Secretary

 

Upon Motion by Member Jordan and second by Member Hardy, the Marine Subcommittee Bylaws, Article 6, Committees; Section 6. Standing Committees were amended to read as follows: The Task Force shall have one standing committee called the Marine Committee. The Committee shall have five (5) voting members comprised of three Biodiesel Access Task Force members and two at large (non-Task Force) members. The three Task Force members shall include the Task Force member by the Port of San Francisco and at least one Task Force member who was appointed by the Board of Supervisors.

 

10.  Informational Report to the Board of Supervisors Update.  Review of final outline and members’ assignments to sections. (Continued Discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion).  (Explanatory Document:  Biodiesel Task Force Outline Version 4)   

SPEAKER: Member Benjamin Jordan

 

Task Force members would receive the Outline describing sections they are assigned to produce before the next meeting.  Member Jordan asked that members assigned to sections of the report produce draft outlines to review at the November 15, 2007 meeting.  A discussion will also be held on how the report would be coordinated for production and distribution to the Board of Supervisors. Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting.

 

11.  Citywide Fleet Biodiesel Implementation Update (Continued Discussion from the August 16, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion). 

SPEAKER: Member Vandana Bali

 

Member Jordan reported that citywide biodiesel fleet implementation is up to 54% at this time.  There was no additional report made at this time.  Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting.

 

12.  Status Update on Building a Biodiesel Manufacturing Facility in San Francisco and Gonzales Biodiesel Manufacturing Facility Visit (Continued discussion from the August 16, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion). 

SPEAKER: Member Vandana Bali

 

There was no report made at this time.  Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting.

 

13.  Report on Extending the Task Force Sunset Date.  The Task Force will discuss the Biodiesel Access Task Force sunset date of December 31, 2007 and consider and approve draft legislation for its extension. (Continued discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Discussion). 

SPEAKER: Member Karri Ving for Chair Eric Bowen

 

Vice-Chair Hagen reported that he would request that Chair Bowen draft a document outlining the work that the Task Force has completed from their original mandate, what work has yet to be completed, and any new initiatives the Task Force is considering to be submitted to Supervisor McGoldrick to sponsor.  Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting for discussion and approval of a draft document.

 

14.  Next Steps for Biodiesel in San Francisco.  The Task Force will discuss recommendations for how biodiesel and alternative fuels can be integrated into the City in the future (Continued Discussion from the September 20, 2007) (Discussion).

SPEAKER:  Member Benjamin Jordan

 

Member Jordan requested that this agenda item be continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting to discuss new Task Force initiatives and/or a possible B20 mandate throughout the entire city or integrating the City with other alternative fuels.

 

15.  Update on the Green Depot Environmental Justice Program (Continued discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPEAKER: Mr. Eric Smith, Green Depot Program

 

This agenda item was heard with Item 4. Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting.

 

16.  Update on the Biofuel Recycling Waste Cooking Oil Program (Continued discussion from the September 20, 2007 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion).

SPEAKERS: Members Benjamin Jordan and Karri Ving

 

Member Ving announced that there would be a press conference held next week officially launching a pilot program with approximately 40 restaurants.  Continued to the November 15, 2007 meeting for a presentation slideshow.

 

Mr. David Levensen, Sales Manager, Got Grease, a grease recycling company in San Francisco, stated that his company’s goal is to work with the City to recycle all of the grease picked up in San Francisco and use it to fuel the City’s buses/fleets and clean up the City’s sewers. 

 

 

17.  New Business/Future Agenda Items (Information and Discussion).  Future agenda items were discussed throughout the meeting.  Member Hardy asked Ms. Swiggers to discuss her experience with the permitting process for starting up a biodiesel station.

 

18.  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.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

19.  Adjournment.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force Meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m.

 

The next meeting of the Biodiesel Access Task Force will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.

 

** 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 Monica.Fish@sfgov.org, or (3) on the meeting website as attachments to the agendas or meeting minutes.    

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Monica Fish, Task Force Secretary

 

Approved: November 15, 2007

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