05.08 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

BIODIESEL MARINE COMMITTEE

REGULAR MEETING

 

APPROVED MINUTES

TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2007, 11:00 A.M.

 

PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO, PIER ONE

CONFERENCE ROOM BAYSIDE 3

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

 

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

 

TASK FORCE SECRETARY:  Monica Fish

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS 

 

1.      CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL.  The Biodiesel Marine Committee meeting convened at 11:12 a.m.  Present:  Members Bowen, Berman, Burgard and Ving; Excused:  Member Shore.   

 

2.      DISCUSSION AND ACTION:  Approval of the April 10, 2007 Marine Committee Draft Regular Meeting Minutes.  Upon Motion by Chair Bowen and second by Member Ving, the April 10, 2007 Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Chair Bowen, Members Berman, Burgard and Ving) (Explanatory Document:  April 10, 2007 Approved Meeting Minutes.)

 

3.      INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION:  Environmental Protection Agency Biodiesel Activities as it Relates to Marine Applications (Explanatory Document:  Presentation to Biodiesel Marine Committee).

SPEAKER:  Mr. Olof Hansen, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

 

Mr. Olof Hansen, Environmental Protection Specialist, Waste Management Division, EPA, reported that EPA has approximately 800 employees in San Francisco’s regional office that is responsible for California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and all of the Pacific Islands as it relates to federal statutes.  Mr. Hansen stated that the statute that he is most familiar with is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act which has to do with programs geared towards trash and waste.  The presentation focused on three topics that included: 

 

·         Why waste-derived biodiesel?  (pages 3-20)

 

As reported by the latest statistic from the National Biodiesel Board, 10 to 15% of biodiesel nationwide is derived from waste.  Benefits of waste derived biodiesel include:  reduces waste, protects our environment, creates a local community based sustainable market, saves costs, protects workers, and promotes renewable energy (page 5). 

 

What the EPA Administrator said about biodiesel during the keynote address to the National Biodiesel Board meeting in San Diego last year:  e.g. biodiesel will help end dependency on foreign oil, foreign oil will be phased out, restaurant grease which would normally be thrown away will be turned into fuel, and diesel smoke would be a thing of the past (page 6).

 

Chair Bowen stated that homeowners and small restaurants tend to not comply with regulations for proper disposal of grease.  Grease usually ends up down the drain and ultimately in the waste water treatment facility or in the garbage and then to the dump. However, most big users have to dispose of the grease properly because the volume is so large.

 

Ms. Lisa McClain-Vanderpool, EPA stated that grease is a commodity.  Member Ving requested statistics on how much of the grease is picked up by renderers, recycled, and ends up on the commodity market. Mr. Hansen stated that the United States Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau is doing a national inventory on the tallow and grease industries, and he is surprised how much is actually wasted.  Ms. McClain-Vanderpool stated that how much grease the renderers are disposing of opposed to using is not accounted for in the high number of the inventory.

 

Mr. Michael Gersick stated that the Marine Committee at a previous meeting heard recently about the volumes of waste, greases and fats that are being train- transported across the continent for shipment to the Far East.  Mr. Gersick inquired whether there was any information on the volumes that would be in that transport stream and whether those volumes are calculated as being turned into fuel or thrown away.  Whether off shore shipped grease volumes are considered used or disposed of?  Ms. McClain-Vanderpool stated that the inventory contains an export figure.  Mr. Hansen stated that the USEPA is not keeping track of those numbers, but the Department of Commerce is.  Figures are available as to how much tallow and yellow grease are produced in the US, how much is consumed (picked up by renderers for multiple usage), and how much is exported. 

 

How biodiesel can solve waste and water pollution problems: Waste water treatment plants deal with problems with grease clogging up the system. Converting waste grease to a higher value commodity diverts the large waste stream and prevents spills and sewer blockages (page 8).

Air Quality:  The number one source of particulates comes from transportation/trucks running on diesel fuel.  A discussion was held on testing conducted by various sources (CARB, Navy, and MUNI) on the emission change between biodiesel and petrodiesel and biodiesel’s effects on NOx emissions.  See graphs on pages 10-11 of the presentation. 

 

What are the Economic Benefits:  Waste cooking oil may reduce biodiesel production costs by 75% when compared to virgin oil (page 13).

Can Biodiesel Replace Petro-Diesel?  Biodiesel will never replace the overall consumption of diesel (see chart on page 14).

 

Federal Environmental and Energy Conservation Requirements/Incentives.  There are federal incentives for biodiesel. President Bush has a new Executive Order requiring federal government agencies to look at sustainability and putting all requirements into one environmental management system (page 17)

 

Benefits of Biodiesel.  Benefits include environmental, energy independence, economic cost, quality/standards, energy policy compliance and safety/emergency response (pages 18-19).

 

Obstacles to Biodiesel Acceptance:  The number one obstacle that the National Biodiesel Board emphasizes is the quality of the fuel. Fleet managers are uncertain about the supply and the vendors who would like to supply this new alternative fuel are nervous because there is no demand.  Other obstacles include potential increase of NOx emissions and lack of familiarity (page 20).

 

·         EPA Past Successes and Learning Lessons (pages 21-28)

 

A web-based biodiesel technical guide for federal facilities including a biodiesel wizard for everything you want to know about biodiesel has been created.  Information is also being collected from users (page 22).

 

EPA managed a grant with the University of Nevada in Reno to conduct biodiesel research mainly to research lowering the NOx emissions before production of the fuel and decrease costs by continuous production unit vs. batch process.  The grantee produced several promising results—biodiesel production takes far less time and energy than found in previous studies and the nitrogen content of biodiesel is over 40% lower than previous research has shown.  The university is In the process of implementing a device to provide fuel for the entire campus.  An inquiry was made as to how the university is able to reduce the nitrogen content.  Mr. Hansen stated that feedstock testing has been done and research has shown that some of the nitrogen content is 40% lower than previous literature had indicated.  It was also concluded that you can actually produce the biodiesel in faster and less energy intensive settings than are currently being done.  Mr. Hansen offered to share reports with the Marine Committee. (page 23).

 

Community biodiesel business model in Santa Cruz, California.  EPA has a competitive grant program with Ecology Action that is working with unique partners to divert 100,000 gallons of waste cooking oil from landfills to fuel public fleets. Santa Cruz ran into issues because there were too many smaller restaurants and not enough waste oil (page 24).

 

Collaboration with San Francisco started with the Mayor’s momentum of converting the City fleet to biodiesel by the end of 2007.  In 2005, EPA responded to a request from the San Francisco Department of the Environment on a waste-derived biodiesel project.  EPA assisted San Francisco in development of a biodiesel plan by working with stakeholders such as the Department of the Environment, SFPUC, City College, MUNI, etc.  It was stated that EPA funds demonstration projects only and would require grantees to involve additional partners. (page 25).

 

West Coast Collaborative (WCC) Biodiesel Grant Proposals.  City College of San Francisco—teaching car mechanics to fix cars or trucks that run on biodiesel setting up a curriculum, and moving it from a boutique fuel to a mainstream fuel.

A project in Hawaii got funded to research biodiesel production to make it sustainable and local for Hawaii.  They are looking for local plants. (see page 27 for additional grant proposals).

                                               

Parnership with Casinos on Biodiesel.  Public Comment:  Mr. Gersick asked why casinos were selected.  Mr. Hansen stated that because within that same location there is supply and demand.  There are eight to ten restaurants per casino normally and there is a lot of consumption of fried food.  There is demand for fuel for vans picking up guests from the airport or for grounds maintenance (page 28).

 

·         Ongoing Projects and Future Goals pages (pages 29-36). 

 

Biodiesel FY07 Goals:  Launch Region 9 biodiesel webpage.  Target institutions with existing drivers, where supply and demand are co-located, where large supplies of used cooking oil exist, and where the project can be scaled up or replicated, e.g. wastewater treatment plants, universities/colleges, tribal or commercial casinos and the food processing industry. EPA is also exploring biodiesel projects for marine applications. 

 

Chair Bowen discussed the principle objectives for the Biodiesel Access Task Force and the Marine Committee.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force is involved in helping the City and with production, but the real focus of the Task Force is to make biodiesel access available for diesel fuel users.  The focus of the Marine Committee is on access to biodiesel for marine diesel users.  Three main fueling methods have been identified:  trucks fueling from land to boats, dockside fueling for commercial and small vessels, and over the water fueling.  The Marine Committee is in the early stages of trying to implement initiatives on each of these particular types of fueling and making sure that there is information available.  The particular focus is on getting dockside fueling on this side of the bay as there is no current dockside fueling with a focus on commercial fuel.  General Petroleum has the only diesel fuel open to the public and has expressed some willingness to work with the Committee, but does not want to spend money. There has been conversation about grants.

 

Chair Bowen stated that the Committee has also discussed raising awareness on the negative impact in San Francisco from the particulate emissions from the shipping and Port operations in Oakland.  Chair Bowen stated that they believe that neither the federal government nor EPA nor state government has any authority under international treaties to allow regulation, but additional information is pending.

 

Member Ving stated that there is not an access point in San Francisco.  In Sausalito, there is a fueling dock in place, but there has been another minor permitting setback.  The actual containers have to be moved 50 feet from the water.  As a result, its establishment has been moved to mid-season instead of the initial target of “Opening Day on the Bay.”   There have been numerous attempts to establish biodiesel access points but issues raised were always around fuel quality, fuel handling, clogged fuel filters, and confusion as to what biodiesel is.  The Committee is trying to establish access points and outreach to explain the proper use of biodiesel and its considerations.

 

Member Ving left the meeting at this time.

 

Chair Bowen reported that Member Shore had been contacted by a commercial fisherman who volunteered to run his boat on biodiesel and help promote biodiesel to other fishermen if his experience is positive; however he does not want to pay extra for volunteering for this effort.  Chair Bowen asked if there might be EPA grants available for this effort. Ms. Lisa McClain-Vanderpool suggested doing a cooperative collaborative effort similar to what the Clean Cities Coalition did and to apply for a West Coast Collaborative grant or piggy-back on existing grants.  Member Burgard stated that biodiesel models seem to be more effective in small communities, such as Fisherman’s Wharf where it is a small community and there would be supply and demand.  Ms. McClain-Vanderpool suggested working with a group in Region 10 that is also part of the West Coast Collaborative. 

 

Chair Bowen stated that there will be a Port meeting on backlands at the end of the month where the Port will be officially consulting with the community about what the City wants to do with development in that area.  Following that meeting, there will be a better sense of whether the Port will be comfortable with being approached with either an RFP or by a private party on development of a biodiesel plant.  It was stated that outside of the Port area, getting the amount of land you need at a reasonable price may not be possible.  Mr. Hansen stated that in the waste program, there have been models done for mobile units. 

 

Chair Bowen asked what ways the Committee could collaborate with the EPA on helping to achieve goals.  Mr. Hansen stated that research could be shared with the Task Force or Committee.  Access to fuel requires a lot more local issues where USEPA does not play a role as access deals with citing and permitting that could be handled by the Planning Department and the Department of the Environment.  Ms. Lisa McClain-Vanderpool stated that she sees a link to the West Coast Collaborative (WCC) Ports sector.  Mr. Hansen stated that the Collaborative is a combination of industry, government, local, and federal groups and is geared towards Port and marine activities focusing on reducing emissions from diesel engines.  Ms. McClain Vanderpool stated that Mr. Hansen has played an important role in getting biodiesel into the WCC.  It was stated that this year there were 5 out of 12 grants funded for biodiesel as a result of Mr. Hansen’s leadership.  Another suggestion was to apply for smaller EPA grants that were mentioned in the presentation. 

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Gersick asked if funding opportunities that are being referred to are Region 9 specific or agency-wide, and if the other continental regions are as aware as Region 9 is.  Ms. McClain-Vanderpool stated that WCC involves Regions 9 and 10 so grants cover both of those regions.  Mr. Gersick inquired irrespective of the Port collaborative, but generally to biodiesel grants. Mr. Hansen stated that most grants are national competitions, and that there are distributions to each region.  Mr. Gersick asked about potential initiatives that were trans-regional, not all in Region 9, but on a national issue dealing with waste, greases, and fats and transportation across the country.  It was asked where someone would go to develop discussion on these topics?  Ms. McClain-Vanderpool stated that the WCC is just for a Region 9 and 10 application process, but there is an Information Working Group that holds discussions on proposals for national purposes.  Mr. Hansen stated that you can search for grant announcements on http://www.grants.gov.  Mr. Gersick asked if the EPA has developed any joint programs with the Department of Agriculture or World Development focusing on biofuels.  Mr. Hansen stated there was a big conference with national leaders of biofuels in Sacramento recently.   

 

4.      DISCUSSION:  Status of Marine Committee Goals and Milestones (Continued discussion from the April 10, 2007 Meeting).  Member Burgard stated that he sent a number of contacts to Member Ving regarding Gas House Cove and other information on outreach.  Chair Bowen continued the discussion on dock, truck and barge fueling to a future meeting.    Member Burgard discussed a list of providers from the San Francisco Marine Exchange for barge fueling and their handbook that he can provide.  Member Burgard stated that previously, the Red and White Fleet was buying their fuel from Golden Gate Petroleum, but now Ramos is going to be the biodiesel supplier, and they are in the process of getting their BQ9000 qualifications.    

 

Outreach: Member Berman stated the Port has a program to give environmental quality awards to individual cruise ships.  There is a series of criteria that has to be met and the first and foremost criteria is adherence to air quality. More information will be available at a future meeting.    

 

5.      DISCUSSION:   The Marine Committee will discuss incremental steps and set future agenda items in order to achieve Marine Committee milestones and goals.  This item was continued to the June 12 meeting.

 

6.      DISCUSSION:  Assembly Bill 1007 Full Fuel Cycle Analysis Report. Chair Bowen explained that AB 1007 was a bill that he had worked on a couple of years ago to get the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Air Resources Board (ARB) to study alternative fuels, in particular looking at how alternative fuels can displace petroleum and reduce greenhouse gases.  It required the agencies to prepare a report analyzing the fuels on those criteria and others.  CEC is hiring a consultant to put together that report and there is a process of compiling the data that they have on the existing alternative fuels and how they would measure up on those various metrics.  Some controversy came up as to how biodiesel was being evaluated by the consultants because they were using old data and looking only at soy and palm biodiesel, and not looking at biodiesel from waste materials and or biodiesel from California government feedstocks, both of which are in the works in California and would be a good portion of the California biodiesel fuel supply.  There was a lot of lobbying going on that that got into the initial draft and that there would be a mechanism for biodiesel from different feedstocks to get into the overall table on the metrics on these items.  Once sufficient information was available, they could make a judgment on its petroleum displacement which is an energy balance.   

 

This item was tabled as there was no update.

 

7.      INFORMATION:  New Business/Future Agenda Items.  (1) incremental steps and set future agenda items in order to achieve Marine Committee milestones and goals; (2) discussion on marine access and outreach objectives; (3) discussion on the pilot program for the potential marine fisherman project; and (4) Mr. Burgard to contact Mr. Paul Bishop to report on the status of the Alcatraz project.   

 

8.      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.

 

9.      ADJOURNMENT.  The Marine Committee Meeting adjourned at 12:40 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 Monica.Fish@sfgov.org, or (3) on the meeting website as attachments to the agendas or meeting minutes.

 

Approved:  June 12, 2007

 

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