06.10 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

BIODIESEL ACCESS TASK FORCE REGULAR MEETING

 

APPROVED MINUTES

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2009, 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), Eric Smith (Vice-Chair), Joe Burgard, Kevin Clark, Shannon Devine, Benjamin Jordan, 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).

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force meeting convened at 10:05 a.m.  Present:  Chair Bowen, Vice-Chair Smith, Members Clark, Devine, Jordan and Swiggers.  Absent:  Member Burgard.  Advisory Members Present:  Members St. Jean and Ving; Excused:  Members Augustine, Bali, Berman, Dennis, and Kornfield; Absent:  Members Ferry and Mellera

 

2.      Approval of the April 8, 2009 Biodiesel Access Task Force Regular Meeting Draft Minutes. (Discussion and Action). (Explanatory Document: April 8, 2009 Draft Minutes.) Tabled/continued to the August 12, 2009 Meeting.

 

3.      Master Fuel Contract and City Biodiesel Program Update. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Discussion) Speaker: Members Bali and Mellera.  Continued to the August 12, 2009 Meeting. Public Comment:  Mr. David Delgrande, Central Shops, reported that they have decided who to award the contract to and are working through compliance issues.

 

4.      State Water Resources Control Board Underground Storage Tank (UST) Update. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKER: Member Bowen.  Chair Bowen reported that State Water Resources Control Board staff is now working on drafting revised guidance to the CUPA’s based on emergency regulations passed by the Water Board.  Member St. Jean reported that San Francisco’s Local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA) will be the enforcing regulatory agency assuring San Francisco sites have met requirements set forth in the State Water Resources Control Board Emergency Regulations. Vice-Chair Smith stated that B20 will continue to be used and work would continue with the Water Board.

 

5.      Hazardous Material Classification of Biodiesel. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Discussion) SPEAKER:  Member St. Jean.  Member St. Jean provided a regulatory update stating that biodiesel is still regulated as a hazardous material by the Fire Department, HAZMAT programs (CUPAs), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Water Boards.  The only recent update was clarification on who will be implementing and enforcing new California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) in San Francisco and how biodiesel is viewed.  San Francisco’s local CUPA will be enforcing APSA in Jan 2010.  B100 is not regulated by APSA in California, but would be regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans (SPCCs).  All other blends of biodiesel will be regulated under APSA and enforced by San Francisco Local CUPA. 

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Wesley Caddell asked Member St. Jean if there were any other changes to secondary containment regulations.  Member St. Jean said no there were no other changes, and that the new regulations were regarding underground storage and do not apply to above ground storage.

 

6.      Proposal to Create a B20 Mandate in San Francisco. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Discussion)  Vice-Chair Smith reported that there has not been much movement in creating a B20 mandate for San Francisco because of preoccupation with the City’s budget.  Chair Bowen and Vice-Chair Smith would continue discussions with Mr. Wade Crowfoot of the Mayor’s Office and several members of the Board of Supervisors to determine feasibility of a mandate.

 

7.      Green Depot Program Report. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKER:  Vice-Chair Smith. Vice-Chair Smith reported that he is working on submitting proposals for the new Green Academy working with the Public Utilities Commission and Member Jordan.

 

8.      Dogpatch Biofuels Update.  (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) Speaker:  Member Swiggers reported that business is increasing and going well. 

 

9.      Fat Free Biofuel LLC Refinery Update. (Informational Report and Discussion) Speaker:  Member Devine  (Explanatory Document:  Presentation to Task Force (PDF) )

 

Member Devine’s presentation emphasis was on building small-footprint, easy and fast to build biodiesel processing plants and retail sales locations for fueling trucks. The facility is called a Green Transportation Hub. The idea is to build refineries recycling yellow grease collected locally and then process it locally. Ideally, the prototype is to be located in San Francisco to leverage the experience with local customs and practices, but alternative Bay Area communities are also being pursued.

 

Member St. Jean stated that she supported the Fat Free Biofuel Green Transportation Hub in part because its location is near existing auto repair shops that have won green awards working with her and is in an industrial area, making it an excellent addition to the green fueling grid. 

 

Vice-Chair Smith recommended that Member Devine continue with their community outreach activities, as has been done since the inception of the project in 2004. From his work with Darling International, he cautioned against leaving any one group out of the process as even one community group can make or break a project.  Vice-Chair Smith stated that the difficulty of undergoing this project on Bayshore Boulevard should not be underestimated.

 

Member Swiggers from Dog Patch Fueling cautioned that it took her about one year longer to be online than expected and at double the cost and provided suggestions based on what she had learned trying to open Dogpatch Biofuels.  It was suggested that Member Devine attend neighborhood meetings and solicit the support of the neighborhood associations in addition to talking with her district Fire Department inspector (who is different than the Fire Department inspector who is reviewing her plans).  Member Swiggers explained that Member Devine may be in the same district as Dogpatch Biofuels, in which case her inspector would be Ms. Mary Tse.  A discussion with Ms. Tse would help avoid any potential problems when getting final inspections.  Member Swiggers inquired whether Member Devine had been granted a categorical exemption from environmental review from the Planning Department.  Member Devine reported that she had been granted a categorical exemption.

 

Member Ving noted that Darling International had also been granted a categorical exemption and that it was revoked.  Members Ving and Chair Bowen each pointed out that Darling has an established facility with an existing permit scope, which Fat Free Biofuel does not have.  Chair Bowen suggested the timeline would likely be eighteen months to three years for a full CEQA review.  Member Ving said she will look into identifying the right person to talk to about discharge of water into sewer charges and also water costs as this information is needed to estimate costs. 

 

Member Jordan wished Member Devine well in her venture and requested continuing reports so that the Task Force can understand how they can help.  Chair Bowen stated that he did not feel comfortable supporting Member Devine’s proposal until a business plan had been presented, but was supportive of the spirit of the project.    

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Martin Wahl, Whole Energy Fuels, in response to a question concerning the cost of constructing the biodiesel facility said that Whole Energy estimated the construction of the biodiesel plant portion of the project at around $500,000. This excludes site work, containment construction, and any other structures and facilities. It does not include oil pre-treatment facilities.

 

In response to a question concerning Whole Energy’s experience in plant implementation, indicated that they have commissioned numerous plants using varieties of feedstocks, built a pilot plant to develop and refine production techniques and assisted in the construction and commissioning of a plant in Canada. Mr. Wahl stated that the Whole Energy engineering  team’s experience includes petroleum refinery process engineering, biodiesel production chemistry, and alternative fuels platform design, engineering and implementation.

 

10.  Update on the Greasecycle Program and SFPUC Pilot Plant. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion) SPEAKERS: Members Jordan and Ving.  Member Jordan and Ving reported that the program is going well.  A new residential program has started which is a new grease drop off location at the Haight Ashbury Neigborhood Council (HANC), and a new one would be starting soon at the Dogpatch Biofuels location.

 

11.  Update on the Status of Darling’s Proposed Biodiesel Manufacturing Plant in San Francisco. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) SPEAKER:  Vice-Chair Smith.  Vice-Chair Smith reported that there will be an upcoming community meeting hosting the EPA and other regulatory agencies.  These agencies will present on the regulatory considerations associated with building a biodiesel plant in San Francisco, on PORT property.  A subsequent meeting would be scheduled to address Darling’s proposed future activities. It was explained that the Port and City Planning are still supportive of the Darling Plant, and Member Berman is the main Port liaison.

 

12.  Diesel Engine - Post Combustion Injection Diesel Particulate Filter Regeneration Technique Discussion. (Continued Discussion from the April 8, 2009 Meeting) (Informational Report and Discussion) Speaker:  Member Jordan.  Members Jordan and Swiggers reported that they would be putting together a presentation for the August 12 meeting to discuss the technical aspect, the actual problems that have been observed, and what the Task Force can do to help influence the problem with the design flaw in some 2007-2009 diesel vehicles that are experiencing problems using biodiesel.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Wesley Caddell asked Chair Bowen whether there was an update from the state of Minnesota in regards to their fleet experience and malfunctions of engines.  Chair Bowen stated that there was no update. 

 

13.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion).  Ms. Fish distributed a letter received from the San Francisco Fire Department regarding request for waiver of permit fees for biodiesel filling stations in San Francisco in order to encourage their installation of biodiesel (Explanatory Document:  May 27, 2009 Letter).  It was explained that the Fire Department does not have the authority to waive fees. Member Jordan requested that the August 12 agenda include a discussion on creation of a Biodiesel Task Force permitting work group to review and identify any necessary changes to permitting and code review and remove barriers for biodiesel implementation.    

 

14.  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. Robert Kirsten, Sirona Fuels, introduced himself and reported that Sirona Fuels is the new operator of the previous Blue Sky biodiesel facility in Oakland and provided a status update on facility operations.    

 

15.  Adjournment.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.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.   

 

*Approved:  October 14, 2009

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