04.10 Approved Minutes







TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007, 11:00 A.M.







TASK FORCE MEMBERS:  VOTING:  Eric Bowen (Chair), Karri Ving, Richard Berman, Teri Shore and Joe Burgard







1.      CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL.  The Biodiesel Marine Committee meeting convened at 11:07 a.m.  Present:  Members Bowen, Berman, and Shore; Excused:  Member Ving.  Absent:  Member Burgard.  


2.      DISCUSSION AND ACTION:  Approval of the March 13, 2007 Marine Committee Draft Regular Meeting Minutes. Member Shore stated that at the previous meeting there was discussion of cruise ship use of biodiesel and that Member Berman was going to potentially contact the cruise ship industry about speaking to the Committee.  Chair Bowen stated that this issue would be addressed as part of today’s agenda and that it wasn’t a requirement to include this excerpt in the March minutes.  There was no motion made to amend the minutes.   


Upon Motion by Member Berman and second by Member Shore, the March 13 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Chair Bowen, Members Berman and Shore) (Absent:  Members Burgard and Ving).  (Explanatory Document:  March 13, 2007 Approved Meeting Minutes) 


3.      DISCUSSION.   San Francisco Port Use of the Precautionary Principle in Negotiating Port Leases.

 SPEAKER:  Member Berman


Member Berman reported that the Precautionary Principle is part of the Environment Code and is a novel approach to environmental policy and decision making.  It was stated that incorporating the Precautionary Principle into Port leases would require educating Port staff as to what the Precautionary Principle is, what is involved, and what the benefit is.  It was stated that Port leases comply with all laws and regulations. Member Berman indicated that the Port Commission may consider exploring whether to call out the Precautionary Principle separately on Port leases.


Chair Bowen indicated that no formal action was required on this item by the Marine Committee at this time.


4.      DISCUSSION:  Status of Marine Committee Goals and Milestones (Continued discussion from the March 13, 2007 Meeting).


-Dock, truck, and barge fueling.

Next steps included Member Berman continuing to examine Piers 47, 80, 92 and 96 regarding land use policies and lease renewals.  Member Berman reported that Piers 80, 92 and 96 are part of a backlands/homeland area and upcoming development that the Port will be addressing in the next couple of months.  There will be an effort to try to identify a range of land use options which would include dock, truck, and barge fueling as well as other industrial uses.  Member Berman indicated that it would be premature to assess the probability of developments for dock, truck and barge fueling before that meeting happens in June. 


Discussion of Pier 47 access was postponed until further information is available.

Chair Bowen stated that Pier 47 is General Petroleum’s current filling station, and Pier 80 is a private company’s current filling station that is going under a lease renegotiation with a new party potentially taking it over. 


Chair Bowen stated that there was a previous discussion of pursuing grant funding sources for dockside fueling that was not specific to a particular pier.  Member Shore explained that if you do not have a location, you cannot apply for a grant unless you apply for a research grant.

Chair Bowen requested public comment from Mr. von Wedel on the opening of the Sausalito fuel dock scheduled to open on April 22nd: 

Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedel reported that the Sausalito dock had to be relocated from its original temporary location, is small, and contains a 1000 gallon tank.  It was explained that the dock had been resurveyed, and a double containment structure has been ordered and is expected to be installed in about two weeks in time for the April 29 deadline for “Opening Day on the Bay.”  The infrastructure for connecting the new location of the tank to the dock and the dispenser is already in place.  It was stated that customers are lined up—The Empress, a local Sausalito tour boat is ready to take on fuel.  The intent is to provide small volumes of fuel to recreational boats and the occasional tour boat such as the Empress that would take on the B20 blend.  Mr. von Wedel indicated that there has been a lot of interest from boating groups, and that he has been asked to put on a display at the “In the Water Sail and Boat Show” on April 18. 


Public Comment:  Mr. Michael Gersick inquired as to how many locations there are currently on the San Francisco side of the bay where a palm oil tanker or a tanker bringing biodiesel feedstock from another location could dock and offload.  Chair Bowen stated that there are no current permits and infrastructure in place today in San Francisco. It was stated that with Port approval, Pier 92 would be equipped to handle this effort.  Chair Bowen stated that his understanding is that the only unloading and loading of cargo in San Francisco has been Saltons with the exception of Darlings moving finished products from their tank farm onto ships for export to Asia.   Chair Bowen stated that his experience with the Port has been that if the activity is not currently ongoing with leases and infrastructure in place other than through Darling’s existing permits, it would not be possible.  Member Berman stated that he would research the question.


Mr. Gersick stated that marine access means the ability not only for small vessels and recreational vessels to find fuel opportunities on the wharf, but also for the opportunity to offload.  Chair Bowen stated that traditionally, bulk fuel that is moved by sea is offloaded directly into a terminal and is done in Richmond.  It was stated that there is no bulk petroleum infrastructure with water access on the west bay.  The closest would be Brisbane and is landlocked and pipeline fed.  Chair Bowen explained that everything that comes here is by truck, and is not considered economic to offload large vessels by truck.  There is no fueling infrastructure in place in San Francisco that would lead to offloading finished fuel.  It was stated that in conjunction with a biodiesel manufacturing facility, that activity could be appropriate, allowed and encouraged in San Francisco. Given that there is no analogous fuel activity going on, the infrastructure, equipment, permits and leases are not in place to allow that activity. 


Mr. Gersick stated that the opportunity to access international sources in the bay region is presently limited to a jurisdiction beyond the authority or claim of authority of the San Francisco Biodiesel Task Force.  Chair Bowen explained that where the infrastructure currently exists in the East Bay, that would be correct.  


Mr. Gersick asked (1) if there is an initiative to make that kind of offloading opportunity a reality in San Francisco; and (2) if there were a proposal to develop a production facility or some other venue where large volumes could be economically converted, would a permit to offload be appropriate and welcomed by the Port.  Chair Bowen stated that it is all private-sector driven and that the Port will respond to requests by tenants, but would not actively go out and try to create private sector activity.  Member Berman stated that the private sector triggers are critical but the Port also answers to the Board of Supervisors, the Port Commission, community members, etc.


Mr. Gersick asked if a study of the backlands could become part of a Port initiative to designate hotspots for biodiesel support and biodiesel fuel access.  Chair Bowen stated that anything is possible as part of the overall planning process. 


Next steps discussed at the March meeting:  Member Ving would follow up with Mr. von Wedel and Member Burgard to research the possibility of a biodiesel pump at Gas House Cove.  Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedel explained that Gas House Cove located near Green’s Restaurant at Fort Mason with a fuel dock directly in front of Marina Safeway is a small recreational boater area and does not service anything of substance.  Member Berman indicated that Gas House Cove is not Port property.  Mr. von Wedel explained that it is private sector property.  Mr. von Wedel reported that the dock is a location where biodiesel was distributed in the mid 1990’s in five gallon totes.  In 1998, it became a trial two-year pilot program for distributing biodiesel fuel in 250-gallon dispenser tanks that were mounted on the dock.  It was explained that complaints about clogged fuel filters, a lack of technical support and education, and its cost ineffectiveness shut the program down. 


Mr. von Wedel explained that the model in Sausalito is different because it is on more of a commercial scale and has a potential to be more economically viable by using existing dispensers and infrastructure.  Second, the storage is not on the water, it is double contained on the land which makes it available to a truck which makes it cheaper and easier.  Third, it is going to be involved in a full education program with handouts, leaflets, and websites.  The marine biodiesel program in Sausalito is more of a program rather than just dispensing of fuel. 


Mr. von Wedel stated that future programs can be considered and implemented after reviewing the success of the program in Sausalito.  Gas House Cove was identified as a possibility because there are a lot of sailboats/raceboats there that are good candidates for biodiesel.  It was explained that it would be expensive to set up a small facility at that location and would be dependent on grant funding after concepts are proved.  Other marinas considered are the Grand Marina in Alameda, the Channel Marina in Richmond, and another in Berkeley.


Public Comment:  Mr. Gersick asked if there are active permits at the Gas House Cove.  Mr. von Wedel stated that Gas House Cove is a normal fuel dock so it has all of its regular permits in place, but that the issues are economic and trouble with implementation.  It is one thing to dispense fuel and another to educate the public.  It was stated that there is another fuel dock operating in Ventura Harbor that is the first dedicated to biodiesel in the state thanks to the purchase by the Channel Islands National Park.

-Public information on marine use of biodiesel via website – Member Ving is working on this effort.
-Updated Boater's Handbook. Member Ving is working on this effort.
-Information on fuel access. Information will be added to the website.
-Sponsoring workshops.  Member Ving is working on this effort.
-Highlighting examples of current biodiesel use on the Bay.  Chair Bowen explained that the Red and White is the first example.  Another effort would be to publicize if some of the cruise ships stopping in San Francisco are using biodiesel.
-Utilize Opening Day on the Bay.  Member Ving is working on this effort,
-Marine engine manufacturers.  Chair Bowen and Member Burgard are working on this issue with Cummings.

Outreach efforts:


·         Posting the smaller updated version of the Boater’s Handbook on the Marine website.  Member Ving is working on this effort.


·         Posting any press releases or information regarding the Sausalito fuel dock on the Marine website. Mr. von Wedel stated that Ms. Ving is part of their team on this effort and that publicity will begin after final installation of the fuel dock.


·         Promote the Sausalito fuel dock and acknowledge the work of Alcatraz and Red and White Fleets by opening day on the Bay for boaters.  Chair Bowen stated from his last point of contact approximately two months ago, Alcatraz had made a decision that they do want to use biodiesel on vessels going out to Alcatraz on the generators and are researching what they would need to do from a handling and maintenance perspective as well as source and supply.  It was stated that the Alcatraz contact person had reached out to Biofuels Oasis for assistance.  Mr. von Wedel stated that Mr. Dave Williamson from the Sausalito Fuel Dock may be of assistance to Alcatraz in this effort.  


·         Table sponsoring workshops until we first have a public marine biodiesel pump within the San Francisco shore. 


·         Cruise Ships Outreach.  Member Berman discussed the Port’s issuance of environmental awards to cruise ships that reduce water and air pollution while operating in San Francisco Bay.   


Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedel discussed a large quantity of palm oil biodiesel that is imported into Southern California for a variety of purposes including export to other parts of the United States and a large part which is used for cruise ships that go all the way up to Alaska.   


Items 5 and 6 were heard together.


5.      INFORMATION:  New Business. 


6.      DISCUSSION:  Future Agenda Items


Future agenda items discussed included (1) status updates on various milestones and goals and setting agenda items on incremental steps to achieve milestones and goals. (2) Mr. Olof Hansen agreed to give a presentation at the May 8 meeting on Environmental Protection Agency Biodiesel Activities as it Relates to Marine Applications. 


Member Shore discussed comments submitted by Friends of the Earth to the State of California regarding the joint workshop on the AB 1007 Full Fuel Cycle Analysis (Explanatory Document: FOE Fuel Cycle Analysis).  It was stated that a life cycle analysis is being done in order to determine the full assessment in terms of air pollution emissions, greenhouse gases, and environmental impacts in order to decide which would be the better direction to go.  Ms. Shore indicated that feedstock for biodiesel would be the main consideration, so Friends of the Earth urged the Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission to expand their scope of work to include sustainability criteria in policy recommendations and transparency and capacity building for continued assessments. Ms. Shore indicated that the State of California process could impact the future actions of the Marine Committee.


Public Comment:  Mr. von Wedel discussed comments made on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board and members of the local community submitted to the Energy Commission on the TIAX AB 1007 Full Fuel Cycle Analysis Report.  It was stated that TIAX’s report discusses greenhouse gases and energy considerations for a variety of fuels including biodiesel.  Mr. von Wedel indicated that comments focused entirely on biodiesel and a request was made for more transparency and better understanding of assumptions that were made by the TIAX consultants as they evaluated the scenario for large scale use of biodiesel and production in California.  It was stated that TIAX consultants took the program approach that most if not all of the biodiesel currently and in the future would be either soy derived or palm.  They emphasized palm because their scale that they are envisioning for a statewide program would be so large that local resources would be insufficient therefore it would rely on soy and palm.  That resulted in a penalty of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption for transportation as well as the pollution generated by the locomotives coming from the Midwest or the ships coming from Malaysia or South America.  As one example, they argued that the ships’ air pollution impacts on California begin 100 miles offshore.  As a result, the TIAX report became discouraging from a standpoint of air quality, energy and greenhouse gas considerations for biodiesel. The biodiesel scenario looks less and less attractive to the point where they decided that the original federal estimate for using B20 (estimated by the Department of Energy that biodiesel should have a 15% benefit to society in reducing greenhouse gases) was changed back to 10%.  The net conclusions TIAX made at the end of the report is biodiesel is essentially a diesel fuel.


Chair Bowen stated that TIAX would probably maintain their position on the soy and palm, but recommended contacting the California Energy Commission (CEC) or TIAX to include an analysis of California recycled waste biodiesel and California virgin crop biodiesel as fuels that should be promoted.  Mr. von Wedel stated that a TIAX senior consultant had been identified that would be open to discussion as well as CEC contacts, but indicated that CEC usually listens to big industry and tends not to listen to comments about growing feedstock in California.  Chair Bowen and Mr. von Wedel discussed negative aspects and inaccuracies of the TIAX report that would pose a large detriment to biodiesel in California and concluded that they would work together to generate additional reports and data in favor of biodiesel to submit to TIAX and the CEC.


Public Comment:  Mr. Gersick asked if there was an activity that the Biodiesel Access Task Force and or the Marine Committee would have an interest in pursuing with the Bay Area Council or other similar organizations.  Chair Bowen stated that when the Task Force has a specific proposal that it needed support on, it would then be beneficial to bring it to the Bay Area Council.  Mr. Gersick recommended using the Council to help find the appropriate counterparts in the Bay Area and beyond San Francisco.


7.      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 Wedel reported on Earthrace, which is a living legacy of marine biodiesel use on a worldwide basis.  It is a 78-foot powerboat that is going around the world on a demonstration tour initiated officially on March 9 in a little island of Barbados.  Mr. von Wedel gave details of their progress and discussed a collision with a fishing vessel and problems with propellers and fuel along the way.  All problems have been corrected, and the boat is now scheduled to arrive in Hawaii in a few days.  Earthrace will refuel in Hawaii with B99 and continue across the Pacific around the world.  www.Earthrace.net is the website where a daily blog is posted of their experiences around the world.


8.      ADJOURNMENT.  The Biodiesel Marine Committee adjourned at 12:23 p.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.


Approved:  May 8, 2007


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Jun 18, 2010, 3:09 PM
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