08.12 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

BIODIESEL MARINE COMMITTEE

REGULAR MEETING

 

APPROVED MINUTES

TUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2008, 11:00 A.M.

 

PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO, PIER ONE

CONFERENCE ROOM BAYSIDE 3 (Moved to Embarcadero Room)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

  


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Eric Bowen (Chair), Richard Berman, Joe Burgard, Kate Horner, Karri Ving

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Biodiesel Marine Committee meeting convened at 11:15 a.m.  Present:  Chair Bowen, Members Berman, Burgard and Ving. Absent: Member Horner.   

 

2.      Approval of the May 13, 2008 Biodiesel Marine Committee Regular Meeting Draft Minutes (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Member Ving and second by Chair Bowen, without objection, the May 13, 2008 Meeting Minutes were approved as written (Absent: Member Horner) (Explanatory Document). 

 

3.      Biodiesel Marine Committee Membership Requirements.  (Discussion and Potential Action).  Ms. Fish reported that she had called Member Horner’s contact number to check on quorum for today’s meeting and was told that she was now working in the Washington D.C. office.  Chair Bowen confirmed that Member Horner had three unexcused absences so pursuant to the attendance policy would no longer be a member of the Committee.  Ms. Fish reported that according to the Task Force’s Bylaws, the Task Force Chair is charged with making appointments to Committees.  Member Ving reported that she had invited Dr. Randall von Wedel and Mr. Mike Ayres, Golden Gate Petroleum, to the meeting to see if they would be interested in Committee membership and in representing the industrial sector.  Chair Bowen reported that he would consider Committee membership possibilities and report back at a future meeting.  This item was continued to the Call of the Chair. 

 

4.      Discussion of EPA Region 9 Marine Carbon Cap-and-Trade Model with Possible Application to the Port of San Francisco. (Discussion)

 

Member Ving discussed the passage of Assembly Bill 32 that would create a California-wide cap and trade model and could provide opportunities for marine applications to generate legitimate credits for reduction of green house gas emissions.  Member Ving asked if the Committee would consider playing a role in providing information to fleet managers on the process for getting independently audited by a cap and trade program to see if they qualify for credits based on additionalities.  It was explained that additionalities are efforts by an entity to go above and beyond normal business practices; e.g., if a fleet decides on its own accord to run on B20 versus regular diesel, an independent audit would assign so many credits based on the reduction of carbon emissions resulting from that action.  Member Ving reported that the cap and trade program would provide opportunities to reward and encourage change of behavior.  Member Ving explained that she has specified fleet managers because it is her understanding that the only entities that can cash in or own these credits are the end users responsible for displacing traditional diesel with B20 or another blend. 

 

Chair Bowen reported that AB32 was the landmark greenhouse gas bill that California passed last year and targets certain sectors such as transportation, local government, heavy industry, and additional categories. It was explained that it would be worthwhile to review the AB32 roadmap of goals and target areas to see if the marine environment and shipping are identified as target areas. Member Ving explained that AB32 adopts a European model of carbon cap and trade and has “brokers” in California working on determining carbon cap and carbon assets.  Member Berman asked if auditors are certified.  Member Ving reported that she is not sure how certification works and what the AB32 standards are at this time.  It was explained that if these auditors at carbon trading companies were going by the European model, which California adopted, then they would probably be certified.  Member Ving reported on reference documents that Committee members may be interested in reviewing (1) European Commission Directorate; (2) Executive Summary Emissions Trading Marine Sector; and (3) White Paper Emissions Trading Marine Sector.

 

Member Ving suggested that the Committee serve as a clearinghouse of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) information for fleet managers to download   Member Burgard stated that the Marine Exchange and other avenues could also serve as a clearinghouse.  Member Burgard asked if the Port could add program information on their website as an advocacy to their users and tenants. Member Berman reported that there may be a stipulation about government agency websites serving an advocacy role that he would check on, but the Port website could potentially serve as a clearinghouse for information. 

 

Member Ving asked Member Burgard whether the Red and White Fleet could help shepherd and navigate the program and as a result could benefit from the program and eliminate the guesswork for other fleet managers.  Member Ving reported that she would be meeting and consulting with an independent auditor in September on the program she is working on and suggested setting up a meeting with Member Burgard. 

Member Ving reported that next steps would be to forward reference documents to Committee members to review and the second action would be to set up a three-way phone meeting with Member Burgard, herself, and one of the carbon trading companies. 

 

Member Burgard stated that larger organizations such as the Port should review this bill for potential benefits and to see if a Port-wide audit could be done.  Member Berman reported that Ms. Capria who previously worked at the Department of the Environment had advised that a citywide audit had been completed that included the Port and would report back on Port-specific pieces.  Member Ving requested a copy of the audit.  Chair Bowen stated that it would be worthwhile to review the AB32 scoping document to see how it applies to marine applications.     

 

5.      Golden Gate Petroleum’s Survey to its Marine Vessel Customers of its B5 Biodiesel Use.  SPEAKER: Mike Ayres, Golden Gate Petroleum (Discussion)

 

Chair Bowen reported that the last update he had received from Mr. Ayres was that General Petroleum was going to use B5 but that there were tank problems, and at this time he does not have an additional update.  Member Ving reported that she would be extending another invitation to Mr. Ayres to attend the next meeting in order to provide a report.  Continued to the November 11, 2008 meeting.

 

6.      Letter from Tom Escher of Red & White Fleet to Mayor Newsom requesting a Biodiesel Marine Access Point at Pier 47. (Explanatory Document: Letter) (Discussion) 

 

Member Burgard explained that the letter to Mayor Newsom requests that a bio fueling station be added to the existing General Petroleum Pier 47 fuel dock, but that a response has not been received to date.  Chair Bowen stated that he would send a copy of the letter to Mr. Ayres of General Petroleum.  Chair Bowen inquired about what the demand could be for B20 if it were to be added in addition to B5.  Member Burgard stated that the Red and White Fleet used to purchase fuel at that fuel dock and that it would depend on pricing. It was stated that since a lot of fishermen fuel there, there would have to be more education and regulatory compliance that would have to be considered. 

 

Chair Bowen stated that the Committee should consider potential projects in San Francisco that could apply for AB118 funds and recommended that a discussion be held with Mr. Ayres about requesting grant funding for installation of the Pier 47 fuel dock.  Member Burgard explained that Pier 47 is a desirable location because of its convenience and that it is an existing waterfront dock.  Chair Bowen asked whether the Port would support a potential General Petroleum grant application.  Member Berman explained that consideration should be given to who is served by the fuel dock and in providing education to those users.  It was explained that the positive aspects would include not having to install additional infrastructure, not dealing with underground tanks, and not dealing with tank compatibility issues raised by the State Water Resources Control Board.  It was explained that the main concern for the Port would be the reliability or the demand by the people currently using the fuel, which can be resolved through surveys. 

 

Member Berman recommended asking GP Petroleum to start a formal survey of their users that would be systematic in assessing data that would include usage, how frequently, whether it would be for commercial or recreational purposes, assessing the size and age of the vessel, the amount fueled, whether the user is familiar with biodiesel, and what blend they would consider.  Member Burgard reported that GP Petroleum knows who is buying and how much, but they won’t know what opinions are until a survey is completed.  Chair Bowen stated that a survey was discussed with Mr. Ayres but does not know whether it was issued and would hold a discussion with Mr. Ayres to see whether he would be interested in applying for a grant, and explain that next steps would include issuing a survey.  Member Berman reported that most of the Port’s newer leases require that the Port review any application for a regulatory permit and that requirement would probably apply to grants as well.   

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Shannon Devine, Fat Free Biofuel, discussed her plans for increasing fueling access along the waterfront at the new recreational boating ramp.

 

Item 8 was heard before Item 7.

    

7.      Biodiesel B20 Option for in Port Cruise Vessels. (Discussion)  Member Berman reported that the Port’s Maritime Division staff indicated that there are about 60 cruise ship calls to San Francisco per year; half of those are made by Princess Cruises.  It was explained that Princess Cruises looked into using biodiesel about a year and a half ago, but their environmental manager reported that they ran into what they believed to be contamination problems and as a result would not be pursuing biodiesel at this time.  It was explained that the cruise ships have different types of calls to ports, one of which is a turnaround where they completely unload and take on new passengers, and they have homeports. Usually the turnaround occurs at a homeport, and it is at that activity where they typically take on fuel.  Most of the ships don’t call San Francisco a homeport or turnaround point so that reduces the number of opportunities for fueling cruise ships in San Francisco.  Princess Cruises has two ships that do turnarounds and call San Francisco a homeport, but they are not fueling.  Of the sixty calls to San Francisco, Princess would not be an option.  Royal Caribbean has about 14 and they are one of the bigger biodiesel users, but Member Berman reported that he does not know how many of their calls to San Francisco are called turnaround homeports.  These are the kinds of issues that would give a sense of demand and opportunity. There are other lines that are tied in through corporate lines; e.g., Princess and Holland America are owned by Carnival Corporation, and they have a master fuel policy that is being reviewed at this time. 

 

8.      Port plans for or obstacles to increasing fueling access along the waterfront. (Discussion)  Member Berman reported that he had met with the Assistant Deputy Director for the Port’s Maritime Division and others to discuss Piers 47, 54 and other potential sites located on the southern waterfront, and the impression was that somewhere farther down the southern waterfront would be a better location to provide fueling access.  It was explained that there is currently more movement on this effort than there has been previously.  Member Berman stated that the Port has decided informally that an additional fueling location on the waterfront would be a good idea, that biodiesel would be a good component of that, but that an exact location has not been decided.  Other considerations would be who would actually operate and construct the fueling station and take on the indemnity issues for building and operation.  It was explained that it could be that the Port builds and has someone else run the facility, or someone would build and run it directly.  Member Berman stated that there are still reasons to recommend Pier 54 and asked Ms. Devine to send him an email restating reasons for reconsidering that site.

 

Member Ving inquired about other potential sites along the southern waterfront.  Member Berman reported that some of the sites that make sense would include the expansion of Pier 47, and Piers 54, 32, 80 (a probable candidate), and Pier 96.  Member Burgard stated that there does not seem to be as many users on Pier 80.  Member Berman stated that he does not have the formal analysis to answer why Pier 80 was determined to be a probable candidate, but one of the observations that the Deputy Director made was that it was next to a fire station and would provide general site security and oversight.  Member Berman stated that he would report on the issue of proximity to likely users.  Member Ving inquired about existing fueling docks along the waterfront.  Member Berman reported that the only fueling dock on the waterfront at this time is the Hyde Street Harbor, and any other fueling along the waterfront is done by barge or truck.

 

9.      Recreational Boater Outreach and Education--condensed Boaters Guide to Biodiesel.  (Continued from the May 13, 2008 Meeting) (Discussion)  Member Ving reported that she had contacted Mr. von Wedel, who stated that he would be interested in working with the Marine Committee in updating and publishing the Boater Handbook, but is very busy at this time and would like to work on the handbook in the near future.  Member Ving requested that this item be kept on the Marine Committee’s goals and asked that this item be kept on the agenda.  Member Burgard reported that he would work on editing an older version that he has to a more manageable size.  Chair Bowen reported on how AB118 grant opportunities toward alternative fuel education could apply toward this effort.

 

10.  Reference Document on Capturing the Current State of Biodiesel in the Marine Market. (Discussion)  Member Burgard reported that this item was intended to create a reference document that would provide information to the marine industry of who is using biodiesel in order to establish points of contact.  It was explained that it would be interesting to create a profile of how many West Coast marine operators are using biodiesel in 2008 to be used for comparison of past and future use. Chair Bowen stated that he would contact the California Energy Commission’s biodiesel contact to start the effort.  Member Burgard stated that the document could be placed on the Department of the Environment’s Biodiesel Access Task Force website and could include contact data for all of California so people who are interested in acquiring more information from the end user would have a point of contact.  Member Burgard reported on his conversation with Darling International on the possibility of their producing biodiesel in San Francisco.  Member Berman reported that the Port is in negotiation with Darling International on their request and identifying potential locations.  Member Burgard and Chair Bowen discussed Alcatraz Cruise’s contract agreement to supply biodiesel (B5, then B20, and eventually B100) to the island.  Member Burgard reported that they had explained they were working on permitting issues. 

 

11. Review of the Cruise Ship Environmental Award (CSEA) to Consider Addition of a Renewability Component to the Award Criteria (Continued from the November 13, 2007 Meeting) (Discussion) Member Berman reported that he had talked to Mr. Nerney who had previously presented to the Marine Committee on the CSEA program and who was part of the Cruise Terminal Environmental Advisory Committee (CTEAC) that decided on the award criteria.  It was explained that Mr. Nerney indicated that the group had disbanded about a year ago and that he was not inclined to unilaterally modify the criteria; but if the group were to reconvene he would be happy to raise these issues at that time.

  

12.  Gas House Cove Potential Fueling Site Location. Determination on the feasibility of Gas House Cove as a potential fueling site location (Continued from the November 13, 2007 Meeting) (Information and Discussion).  Member Ving reported that she had not received additional information on Gas House Cove and stated that it may be more feasible to pursue other fueling options along the marina as discussed at today’s meeting.  Member Berman reported that Gas House Cove is not on Port property and discussed the release that occurred at that site from the underground system.  It was explained that the State Water Resources Control Board requires that underground storage tanks be deemed compatible with the material that is stored, which has not yet been done with the tanks and biodiesel.  Member Berman explained that because of this issue, getting further permit approvals from the Department of Public Health for fueling or modifying the fueling system might be troublesome.  This agenda item was filed and would not be brought back for future discussion at this time.

 

13. Sausalito Fuel Dock Location.  Summary of what steps were taken for installation of a fuel dock, the agencies involved, and their requirements. (Continued from the November 13, 2007 Meeting) (Information and Discussion)  Member Ving reported that it would be valuable to put together the lessons that Mr. von Wedel learned on his effort to establish a fuel dock in Sausalito. Member Ving explained that it would be a matter of interviewing him and writing a summary of his experience, to explain how government works, what agencies were involved, and the process.  This item was continued to the November 11, 2008 meeting.

 

14. New Business/Future Agenda Items (Discussion).  Chair Bowen stated that a future agenda item would be to discuss the possibility of a B5 mandate in San Francisco in order to demonstrate leadership in reducing carbon emissions across the City.  It was explained that the timing seems to be good as ASTM has incorporated up to 5% biodiesel in their standard diesel specification, and there are no material compatibility issues with the State Water Resources Control Board.  Chair Bowen reported that Supervisor McGoldrick is considering whether to sponsor this legislation.  If a decision were made to proceed, a decision would have to be made whether to include marine usage in the mandate.   Member Berman requested that an education component be added to the legislation and steps be taken to make sure that technical problems are minimal.  Member Berman stated that this would fall under the purview of Chapter 1 of the City’s Environmental Code, the Precautionary Principle, which has five basic tenets, one of which is community participation in development of a proposal.  Member Berman asked Chair Bowen to think about this process for discussion of a mandate.  Member Burgard asked that information be provided on what a mandate would produce in terms of an emissions reduction. 

 

Chair Bowen asked that appointment to the Marine Committee be added as an agenda item for the November 11 meeting. 

 

15. Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

16. Adjournment.  The Biodiesel Access Task Force Marine Committee adjourned at 12:32 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 11, 2009  

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