06.12 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

BIODIESEL MARINE COMMITTEE

REGULAR MEETING

 

APPROVED MINUTES

 TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2007, 11:00 A.M.

 

PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO, PIER ONE

CONFERENCE ROOM BAYSIDE 3

SAN FRANCISCO, CA  

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 11:05 a.m.  Present:  Members Berman, Burgard, Shore and Ving; Excused: Chair Bowen. Member Ving acted as Chair for this meeting.   

 

Item 2 was heard after Item 7.

 

2.      DISCUSSION AND ACTION:  Approval of the May 8, 2007 Marine Committee Draft Regular Meeting Minutes.  Upon Motion by Member Ving and second by Member Burgard, the May 8, 2007 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Members Berman, Burgard, Shore, and Ving; Absent:  Chair Bowen) (Explanatory Document:  May 8, 2007 Approved Meeting Minutes).

 

Item 4 was heard before Item 3.

 

3.      DISCUSSION:   The Marine Committee will discuss incremental steps and set future agenda items in order to achieve Marine Committee milestones and goals.

 

Ms. Shore suggested developing specific timelines to reach goals in order to be effective.  Acting Chair Ving indicated that previous meetings were fact gathering and future meetings would contain more specific timelines and priorities.  Member Ving stated that she is unclear on how to meet the goal of setting up a fuel access point when it is dependent on other agencies.  Member Berman stated that he could not give a Port timeline on establishing a fuel dock for biodiesel at this time.  Member Burgard stated that general goals should be solidified and prioritized with action items.  It was suggested that the focus should be on existing fuel docks as they already have permits. Member Ving stated that she would provide a draft of specific goals based on previous meeting minutes for the next meeting so that the Committee can develop timelines and action items.  Member Shore requested that the Port staff member who is working on biodiesel attend the next Committee meeting.

 

4.      DISCUSSION:  The Marine Committee will discuss marine access and outreach objectives.

 

Acting Chair Ving reported that at the March and April meetings, discussions were held on moving forward with marine access and outreach objectives.  The intent is to provide fueling to the marine community and education to the marine community and San Francisco as a whole.   Member Berman stated that a colleague at the Port has been doing work on biodiesel, and that he would collaborate with him or her on identifying piers in order to establish an access point for fueling.   Member Berman reported on the Port’s June 9 backlands workshop stating that the Port will move forward with developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to establish a biodiesel production plant on Port property. It was explained that the Port would identify the land where the facility would be located and set parameters or preferences on the production process.  The RFP should be completed by this summer and is subject to Port Commission approval.

 

Acting Chair Ving discussed access options such as truck and barge fueling and reported that Chair Bowen is working on this effort. Member Burgard stated that he has provided information to Chair Bowen on barge fueling and indicated that there are only a few truck-fueling companies that are licensed to fuel over the water. 

 

Acting Chair Ving reported that she had a discussion with the Department of Public Health who is in the process of helping the Gas House Cove Harbormaster re-design some of the docks, which may present an opportunity for dock fueling at that location. It was stated that there are multiple agencies that either own or separately operate the space.  Mr. von Wedel at a previous meeting discussed the possibility of establishing a facility at Gas House Cove that would be comparable to Sausalito’s, be used strictly for recreational vehicles, and would provide a combination of not just fueling, but public education.  It was stated that Sausalito is in the process of establishing a fuel access point at their dock, but has been delayed because it has to be moved back 50 feet from the water and put in a secondary containment facility.  As a result, Opening Day on the Bay came and went without the Sausalito dock opening. 

 

Member Burgard discussed Mr. von Wedel’s comments at a previous meeting about an unsuccessful biodiesel pilot project that was located at Gas House Cove ten years ago.  Member Ving stated that there was a pilot program in 1998 and there had been complaints about clogged fuel filters, lack of technical support and education, and that cost ineffectiveness had shut the program down.  Member Ving stated that there was experience to be learned from the pilot project, that it would be challenging logistically especially working with all of the different agencies, but the action is worth exhausting because it is an ideal location and that particular cove has an interest in becoming more of a community cove.

 

Member Burgard reported that the Red and White Fleet had been using B20 on their boats since August, but after installation of new Cummins engines, they have been running on B5 since May.  It was stated that the Red and White Fleet would be working with Cummins on warranting new engines to run on B20 instead of B5. 

 

Acting Chair Ving stated that once an access point has been identified, she would be willing to work on setting up, designing, and sponsoring workshops, and getting the knowledgeable biodiesel community paired with small boat owners and fleet managers.  It was stated that one of the objectives is to provide public access and public outreach to small boat owners.  Member Ving is working with Mr. von Wedel on updating the biodiesel handbook for boat owners which would then be published on the website.  The handbook would be useful in handling problems with clogged fuel filters and to provide technical support and education.  Boat owners would be provided with information on why biodiesel is different, how it is handled differently, and what steps to take while using biodiesel.  The handbook would assure boaters that biodiesel is an established fuel now and no longer experimental.

 

Item 5 was heard after Item 3.

 

5.      DISCUSSION:  Potential Pilot Program for the Marine Fisherman Project. 

 

Member Shore reported that she had received an email from Mr. Mike Hudson, who is on the Board of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Association, and is a fisherman as well.  Member Shore read Mr. Hudson’s email that is offering his boat as a pilot project for biodiesel in order to influence other fisherman to participate.  The email read that fisherman are currently opposed to using biodiesel because of unfamiliarity with the product, and the fear that it may ruin their engines. Mr. Hudson is requesting a subsidy for the difference in the cost of diesel and biodiesel fuel in order to do so.  Member Shore indicated that the organization she is associated with does not have funding for this project, but suggested other alternatives, e.g. grants, the fishing industry possibly providing funding.  Member Burgard stated that costs would depend on how frequently Mr. Hudson is fueling and that as diesel prices come up, the differences are a lot less. Member Burgard stated that if the frequency is right, he could have a fuel truck go out and sell the biodiesel to Mr. Hudson for the same price.    

 

Member Shore stated that Mr. von Wedel responded to Mr. Hudson’s inquiry and offered to provide a technical consultation.  Next steps would be to set up a phone call with Mr. Hudson and Member Burgard to talk about pricing, quantity used, how much he pays, where he fuels and Member Burgard could share his experiences.  Mr. von Wedel could then provide a technical consultation to address engine issues.
 

Acting Chair Ving suggested creating a handbook for fishing vessels in order for them to move towards using biodiesel.  Member Shore recommended seeing if there is any real interest and commitment before creating a separate handbook and putting a page on the website.  Member Burgard suggested that Mr. Hudson start by using B5, then B10, then B15 to make sure there are no engine problems.  Member Shore indicated that she would report back at the next meeting on the status after discussing the issue further with Mr. Hudson. 

 

Member Burgard stated that every different group of the marine industry has different motivations for using biodiesel.  It was stated that the fishing fleets are owner operated, using their own funding, are motivated by EPA regulations, and are looking for in-tank technology that will solve regulatory and compliance issues.  Member Shore suggested listing the different marine elements in the goal list and to prioritize the ones that are highly motivated.  

 

Item 6 was heard after Item 4.

 

6.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Status report on the Alcatraz Cruises’ Biodiesel Project.

SPEAKER:  Mr. Paul Bishop, Alcatraz Cruises

 

Mr. Bishop reported that Alcatraz Island Services has a contract with Alcatraz to service the generators and all systems on Alcatraz Island, and part of that contract starting on July 1st is to proceed with the biodiesel program for the auxiliary generators on the Island.  On July 1, the objective is to install new tanks just for biodiesel for which permits have been received and to start with a B20 blend.  On July 1, Alcatraz Island Services will apply for a permit from the Bay Area Air Quality Board to run biodiesel in the generators and within three months of receipt of the permit, biodiesel will be used on four boats, the Respect, the Islander, the Escape and the Solitary plus the generators.  Mr. Bishop stated that in two-year steps, the objective is to go to 40% biodiesel, then 80%, then100%.  Evaluations have to be done on environmental conditions on Alcatraz, the fuel storage, the temperatures, and how biodiesel progresses over the next couple of years as far as the stability of the fuel and the cold weather environment. It was stated that a lot would depend on the availability of biodiesel and the cost.  After the pilot project and evaluation has been done, the hybrid vessel would be considered for biodiesel.  It was explained that the hybrid vessel is in the design stage and designs are in the process of being revised, as the estimate for the current design was not cost effective. 

 

Mr. Bishop reported that right now they are using the General Petroleum fuel dock at Fisherman’s Wharf to take fuel to the Island and are hoping that by the start of the program, that one of the fuel docks will have biodiesel.  It was stated that currently, Alcatraz Island Services is using about 1500 gallons a week, 20,000 gallons a year, and are going to start with a 250-gallon tank to be used for biodiesel. There is now a 3000-gallon tank on the Island and when biodiesel will be used more often, the 250-gallon tank would be switched to diesel and the 3000-gallon tank would be switched to biodiesel.

 

7.      INFORMATION:  New Business/Future Agenda Items. Member Shore reported that Senators Boxer and Feinstein introduced in the Senate and House new federal legislation related to fuels and engines for large ocean going vessels and would provide an update at a future meeting.  Member Shore suggested that the Committee consider drafting an ordinance to forward to the Commission on the Environment and then to the Board of Supervisors that would require vessels that call on the Port of San Francisco to use B5 by a certain date or explain why they are not using it.  The Ordinance may be able to push the market in the right direction.  Member Shore indicated that she could draft language for discussion either at the July or August meeting.

 

Item 2 was heard after Item 7.

 

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 12:05 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:  August 14, 2007

 

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