03.06 Approved Minutes





THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2008, 10:00 A.M.





TASK FORCE MEMBERS:  VOTING:  Eric Bowen, Joe Burgard, Kevin Clark, Adam Hagen, Benjamin Jordan, Eric Smith and Michele Swiggers. NON-VOTING: David Augustine (Treasurer/Tax Collector), Vandana Bali (Department of the Environment), Richard Berman (Port), Sarah Dennis (Planning Department), Mike Ferry (Fire Department), Laurence Kornfield (DBI), Vacant (MOCD), Marty Mellera (MTA), Virginia St. Jean (DPH), Karri Ving (PUC). 



1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force meeting convened at 10:05 a.m.  Present:  Members Bowen, Burgard (10:07), Clark, Hagen, Jordan (10:17), Smith, Swiggers, Bali (10:35), Berman, Ferry, Mellera (10:27) and St. Jean.  Excused:  Members Augustine, Kornfield and Ving; Absent:  Member Dennis.


2.      Nomination and Election of Officers (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Member Swiggers and second by Member Smith, Member Bowen was reelected as Chair and Member Hagen was reelected as Vice-Chair without objection (AYES: Members Bowen, Burgard, Clark, Hagen, Smith, and Swiggers; Absent:  Member Jordan). 


3.      Selection of Meeting Dates for Biodiesel Access Task Force and Marine Committee (Discussion and Action).  Task Force members discussed subsequent agenda items and returned to this item at the end of the meeting.  Upon Motion by Chair Bowen and second by Vice-Chair Hagen, Task Force members voted for (1) the Task Force regular meeting date of the second Wednesday every other month beginning in April from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Room 278, City Hall based on availability of the meeting room; and (2) the Marine Committee regular meeting date of the second Tuesday quarterly starting in May from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the Port of San Francisco, Conference Room Bayside 3 (AYES:  Members Bowen, Burgard, Clark, Hagen, Jordan, Smith, and Swiggers). 


4.      Marine Committee Membership Composition and Appointment of Members (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Chair Bowen and second by Vice-Chair Hagen, the Task Force voted to maintain the current membership composition of the Marine Committee as “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.” (AYES:  Members Bowen, Burgard, Clark, Hagen, Jordan, Smith, and Swiggers.)


Items 6 – 18 were heard before Item 5. 

5.      Amendment to Biodiesel Access Task Force Bylaws.  Vote to approve amendments to the Bylaws (1) to reflect the extension of the Task Force sunset date to December 31, 2009, revision in number of members to seven, and quorum requirements to four; (2) select regular meeting dates and times for both the Task Force and Marine Committee; (3) reflect member and officer terms until December 31, 2009, and (4) select Biodiesel Marine Committee mission and member composition (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document: Notice of Proposed Amendment to Bylaws and Draft Resolution File 2008-01-BDTF Amending Bylaws).


Upon Motion by Chair Bowen and second by Member Smith, Resolution File 2008-01-BDTF to amend the bylaws was approved to reflect Items 1 - 4 above and to amend the Marine Committee’s focus to “The Marine Committee shall focus on providing biodiesel access in the marine environment.” (AYES:  Members Bowen, Burgard, Clark, Hagen, Jordan, Smith, and Swiggers.)


(Explanatory Documents: Approved Bylaws and Approved Resolution 001-08-BDTF). 


6.      Approval of the November 15, 2007 Biodiesel Access Task Force Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (Explanatory Document:  November 15, 2007 Approved Minutes (Discussion and Action).  Member Jordan joined the meeting at this time.  Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Hagen and second by Member Swiggers, the November 15, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Members Bowen, Burgard, Clark, Hagen, Jordan, Smith, and Swiggers). 


7.      Approval Status of Dogpatch Biofuels and request for help in expediting and waiving fees for plans submitted to City and County offices (Discussion).  Member Swiggers reported that there had been a delay in submitting their plans because of last minute changes to their site layout to accommodate a larger 8,000 gallon above ground storage tank.  A final packet is scheduled for submission to the Planning and Building Departments in the next week or two.  Member Swiggers requested Task Force support to expedite the plans and explained that both the Planning and Building Departments have strict policies regarding whose plans get expedited in order to make sure that ethics rules and policies are not violated. Chair Bowen indicated that the Task Force’s mission is about promoting access and would help in the permitting process.  Member Swiggers was asked to abstain from future votes on this issue as she has a personal interest in the outcome and was advised to work with agencies as a private sector individual rather than a Task Force member.  It was explained that other Committee members would be representing the Task Force when working with agencies in this process. 


Member Jordan stated that there is a good tracking system for the permitting process and explained that it would start at Planning, and then go to Building, Fire, and Health Departments for review.  It was explained that two Biodiesel Access Task Force members representing the Health Department (Member St. Jean) and Fire Department (Member Ferry) are in attendance today and two other members from Planning (Member Dennis) and Department of Building Inspection (DBI) should be contacted to work with their department to help comment and track the permit.  Member Jordan recommended that the Task Force ensure that each of the Department representatives and person assigned to review the plans has adequate information to approve the permit.    Chair Bowen recommended that the Task Force send a letter to the four Department heads, copying the Department Task Force members (Planning, DBI, Fire and Health), to expect the application and that approving the permit is an important priority for the City and should be processed expeditiously.  Member Jordan was assigned to draft the letter on Task Force letterhead that Chair Bowen would sign.


8.      Biodiesel Access Task Force Major Goals and Initiatives for 2008 (Discussion).  


Chair Bowen reported that the Board of Supervisors renewed the Task Force until December 31, 2009 and asked members to consider a work plan.  Members provided work plan recommendations that included:


·        Work on a definition of sustainability for incorporation into the City’s next fuel contract, getting engaged with the Purchasing office, and keeping a focus on quality and reliability of supply.  Purchasing staff would be invited to start participating in meetings.  An effort would be made to ensure that the most sustainable and locally produced fuel will be incorporated into the purchasing contract. 

·        Tank compatibility issues.

·        Develop fuel sources for the City.

·        Permitting Regulations.

·        Coordination activities for the National Biodiesel Conference in February 2009.

·        Influence policies regarding school buses.

·        Reach out to trucker community especially in the Bayview Hunters Point community.

·        Biodiesel Production facility.

·        Recommend mandate for all gas stations to offer some form of alternative fuel for public access as a future policy statement.

·        Scale the residential parking permits on the carbon impact of a vehicle, to make it revenue neutral to the Parking Department and allocate additional fees into a fund for development of a City renewable fuel infrastructure in the City and to promote all of the activities around making clean renewable fuel more accessible.


Public Comment:  Mr. Randall von Wedell reported that the National Biodiesel Conference is scheduled for February 3 – 6, 2009 and indicated that sustainability would be one of the main topics discussed. 


This agenda item was continued to the next meeting to discuss prioritization of items and recommendations for action steps.  


9.      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 continue their discussion on developing letters to send to the Fire Department and other City agencies recommending fee waivers. (Informational Report and Discussion) (Continued discussion from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).

SPEAKERS: Members Bowen and Jordan


Chair Bowen reported that the Task Force had previously sent a letter to the Health Department requesting discretionary fee waivers and was considering issuing similar requests to the Fire Department, Department of Building Inspection, and Planning Department.  Member Jordan stated that he would work with the agency representatives on details for the letters and present drafts for review at the next Task Force meeting.


10.  Status Report on Discussions with Gas Stations on the Prospect of Selling Biodiesel to Individual Consumers and Green Depot Program Report (Informational Report and Discussion) (Continued discussion from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).   

SPEAKERS:  Members Bowen and Smith


Member Smith reported that Green Depot has built a database alongside the San Francisco Biofuels Cooperative which is up and running.  They have over 100 fleet cards from SF Petroleum and more than half of those have gone to biodiesel users so if you joined the Coop, you can go to Green Depot, get your fleet card and fuel 24-7 at SF Petroleum.  Member Smith reported that there were two impediments to additional gas stations selling biodiesel (1) the high cost of biodiesel; and (2) influencing more users and trucks without providing incentives.  Green Depot is aggressively pursuing the trucking industry to make them aware of green ordinances and grants.  Member Smith reported that in the Bayview neighborhood, there are only Dogpatch Fuels, the Olympian and San Francisco Petroleum that will be or are currently offering biofuels.  Of the dozen stations that were contacted, four expressed interest, three had no room or space to put an above ground tank or below ground, and the franchise owners won’t allow them to do it. The owner that is able to offer biofuels at the corner of 17th and Potrero is still constrained by cost and getting through the permitting process.  Member Hagen asked that the Shell at the corner of Fell and Divisadero that had expressed interest be contacted.  Member Smith reported that this station was out of his purview as it is not located in the Bayview district, but would route them to people that can help them. 


Member Smith stated that he is compiling a database of fleet users from SF Petroleum and the Environmental Justice. Program manager’s list of users and would provide the list to the Task Force at a future date.  Member Smith also reported on his discussions with LB Railco on the possibility of bringing biodiesel railcars into the city. 


11.  Update on Permitting Regulations for Biodiesel (Informational Report and Discussion) (Continued Discussion from the November 15, 2007 Meeting). 

SPEAKER:  Member Jordan


Member Jordan reported that they would be waiting for Dogpatch Fuels to enter the permitting phase and reevaluate permitting regulations at that time. 


12.  Hazardous Material Classification of Biodiesel (Discussion and Action) (Continued from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).

SPEAKER:  Member St. Jean


Member St. Jean reported that no entity in her research is calling biodiesel non-hazardous.  A primary stumbling block that remains is that ASTM biodiesel specifications allows 0.2%v/v methanol, which is considered a hazardous substance by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). A letter from the SWRCB on “Clarification of regulations applying to biodiesel-E stored in underground storage tank (UST) Systems” was distributed at the meeting. Member St. Jean indicated she would be working with Members Jordan and Ferry to discuss how best to assist City Facilities to meet SWRCB compliance requirements based on this guidance letter from SWRCB.
Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedel discussed the small percentage of methanol content in biodiesel and suggested proceeding as always and treating biodiesel as diesel.


13.  Informational Report to the Board of Supervisors Update. Review and approval of Final Report to the Board of Supervisors (Discussion and Action) (Explanatory Document:  Final Report) (Continued from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).

SPEAKER: Member Jordan


Chair Bowen asked that approval of the draft report be presented at the next Task Force meeting for approval before it is sent to the Board of Supervisors.  Member Jordan stated that he would produce a draft report for the next meeting and that the Marine Committee had submitted their section of the report and comments had been received from Member Augustine. Task Force Secretary Monica Fish suggested sending her the report a week before so she could add it as an explanatory document to the agenda so that members would have an opportunity for review.


14.  Citywide Fleet Biodiesel Implementation Update (Informational Report and Discussion) (Continued Discussion from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).

SPEAKER: Member Bali


Member Bali indicated that there is no new information to report and requested that this item be listed as an “operational” update with the speaker as “Task Force members at large.”  Chair Bowen reported that Member Mellera had expressed problems with Purchasing, a back-up fuel contract, and deliveries of biodiesel.  Member Mellera reported that the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) was not able to get B20 and had to take a regular delivery of diesel fuel because not having fuel is not an option. Member Mellera reported that he is meeting with SF Petroleum to go through each MTA fuel delivery and match it with the paperwork.  It was explained that the primary vendor is not contacting MTA when they cannot deliver biodiesel and are simply making the decision on their own to deliver conventional diesel.  It was stated that there are contractor and internal operations issues to work on, and he is the only one working on this effort in the City and does not have adequate time to spend on these problems, as it is a full time job.  Member Bali asked if the Task Force felt it was necessary to turn the monthly implementation group into an operations group and would see whether she could take on the role. Chair Bowen recommended that the implementation group reconvene as an operating group, and set up protocol so there is a decision-making tree.  Member St. Jean asked that the Health Department be part of any pre-planning.  Member Mellera recommended that a manager of alternative fuels or biodiesel position be established in the City to work on a technical and vendor level. Member Jordan asked if there were City resources available to create new positions or expand existing positions.  Chair Bowen recommended that the Task Force provide a recommendation letter to the Board of Supervisors and/or Mayor requesting that additional help from the City be directed towards alternative fuel.  Member Jordan recommended that the issue of underground storage tanks and the State Water Board be added to that same venue.


15.  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 (Discussion and Possible Action) (Continued Discussion from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).

SPEAKER:  Member Jordan


Chair Bowen reported that this topic had been discussed in the previous agenda item other than the Task Force’s consideration of when it would be appropriate to ask the City to start exploring the use of biodiesel blends above B20.  Chair Bowen felt it may not be any time soon after today’s discussion.  Member Bali reported that she had attended the Clean Heavy Duty Vehicle Conference in San Diego where all of the engine manufacturers from around the world were in attendance as well as people representing other countries who were developing the next generation of biofuel from different feedstock.  The consensus was not to go above B20 at this time and to focus on continuing the research and look towards sustainability. Member Jordan requested that this topic be addressed in the monthly operational meetings.


Member Swiggers asked if it would be possible for a small pilot fleet to start using B100.  Member Bali stated that she would not provide that recommendation at this time. Chair Bowen stated that he would not make that recommendation with a brand new engine, but would recommend a pilot program similar to Portland’s Water Board that has been running a limited number of vehicles on B100 for an older vehicle.  Chair Bowen stated that looking at a pilot to begin to get experience with B100 is something to consider in the future once the more important issues around supply and quality are fixed.  Member Jordan stated that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has two 2007 International 4300 diesel engines that are running B100 and Portland has 63 water trucks running B100.


Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedel discussed the City of Berkeley’s experience with B100 vehicle usage.


This agenda item will not be listed for future agendas.


16.  Update on the Biofuel Recycling Waste Cooking Oil Program (Informational Report and Discussion (Continued discussion from the November 15, 2007 Meeting).

SPEAKERS: Members Jordan and Ving


Member Jordan reported that the SFPUC’s program called SFRecycle has over 200 restaurants on board and is focused on restaurant management and waste cooking oil collection.  About 1500 gallons of vegetable oil a week is collected and sold to biodiesel producers and that fuel is available in the open market.  It was reported that the program is doing very well and would hopefully continue to expand.  Member Burgard asked whether letters had been sent out to solicit additional restaurants.  Member Jordan stated that it is a pilot program and the intent is to make sure everything is in place before recruiting more restaurants.  Member Bali inquired about enforcement procedures.  Member Jordan stated that the PUC has a permitting program and inspectors that issue fines, and are in the process of updating their enforcement regulations. It was explained that the City spends from 3 to 30 million dollars a year because of non-compliance, so enforcement is an important component of what they are trying to achieve particularly with the SF Recycle program.  SFPUC’s program is to help make sure that not a single drop enters the sewer system.  Member Smith indicated that there was an educational component to the program as well.


17.  New Business/Future Agenda Items (Information and Discussion).  Member Bali requested that the biofuel production facility be added back to the agenda and to list her and David Pascal as speakers.  Chair Bowen reported that David Pascal may be the new appointee to the Task Force representing the Mayor’s Office.  Chair Bowen reported that Agenda Item 8 for the Work Plan would be on the agenda to discuss prioritization of goals and individual subtopics.     


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 12:00 noon.


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.   


Approved: April 9, 2008  


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