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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  

March 2013    

In This Issue
Biodiesel Industry to Make Strong Showing at First Public Meeting on Alternative Diesel Fuels Rulemaking Process
CDFA Issues New Tough Regulations on Inedible Kitchen Grease Collection
Environmentalists Help Western States Oil Celebrate Opening of New Biodiesel Terminal
Buster Biofuels and Eslinger Biodiesel to Receive California Energy Commission Funding
CBA WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS: Endicott Biofuels, Blue Sky Biofuels, and Springboard Biodiesel
WHO'S WHO IN CALIFORNIA BIODIESEL: Benjamin P. Jordan, Biofuel Recycling



We begin this issue by welcoming this month's new CBA's members -- Silver business member Endicott Biofuels and Bronze business members Blue Sky Biofuels and Springboard Biodiesel. 


This month's lead article gives details and invites you to join us for the much anticipated public meeting of the California Air Resources Board on their first ever rulemaking process for alternative diesel fuels. Also featured is great news on new CDFA regulations to address the serious problem of grease theft and important updates on industry members and policy issues.


The original architect of the SFGreasecycle program, Benjamin Jordan of Biofuel Recycling, is featured in this month's Who's Who article.   


NOTE: The Resources page of our website has posted new documents under the header Technical Update. 



To view back issues of this newsletter and CBA Email Alerts 

click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on our Home page.  


Biodiesel Industry to Make Strong Showing at First Public Meeting

on Alternative Diesel Fuels Rulemaking Process



On April 23rd in Sacramento, California's biodiesel industry, and the national technical experts who have participated with us on an emissions working group for the past year, will present our case at the California Air Resources Board's much awaited first public meeting to discuss their agency's recent white paper, emissions studies, and concepts for establishing fuel regulations for biodiesel, renewable diesel, and other emerging diesel fuel substitutes.


The biodiesel industry will stress our overarching concern that new regulations must be carefully devised to safeguard our ability to continue to put biodiesel's environmental, economic, and energy security benefits to work on behalf of our state's ambitious goals, especially those related to carbon reduction. Experience outside of California at the state level has shown that an improperly conceived and executed mitigation plan can destroy wide-scale biodiesel consumption.


Our industry's primary argument is that NOx mitigation and further testing are not needed for B20 and lower blends. This is based on the fact that de minimus and temporary increases in NOx emissions when using biodiesel in older vehicles are small in the aggregate and disappear as the diesel fleet turns-over to New Technology Diesel Engines (2010 and newer), which eliminate any increase in NOx emissions.


CBA is committed to working with the Air Resources Board, and propose a joint working group to include members of the petroleum and the biodiesel industries that would determine the least disruptive implementation strategies, should mitigation be required.


In such a case, and in response to the Agency's recently released white paper, which outlined several potential mitigation strategies, our industry will make four points at the April 23rd meeting. We support a continuation of the agency's current stance of no mitigation for B5 and below; that if mitigation is required for B6-B20 it should be implemented without disruption per the above paragraph; that blends above B20 be handled through an exemption program requiring no mitigation; and that an alternative compliance pathway be available with biodiesel as an Agency-funded test cert.




Tuesday, April 23, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Conference Room 550, Cal/EPA Headquarters Building, 1001 "I" Street, 5th Floor, Sacramento.


CARB's meeting notice (with draft agenda and webinar instructions) and the white paper Discussion of Conceptual Approach to Regulation of Alternative Diesel Fuels at:


CARB's Biodiesel/Renewable Diesel website can be found at: 


CDFA Issues New Tough Regulations  

on Inedible Kitchen Grease Collection

French fries 

This month the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) sent a letter to registered transporters of inedible kitchen grease (IKG) detailing new regulations requiring them to create and maintain a manifest for each collection, transport, and delivery of IKG beginning April 1, 2013. The letter provided information about what is required on the IKG manifests and listed times and locations for CDFA trainings on the new manifest requirements, which were held around the state in March.


The letter stated that "Failure to complete and maintain a manifest for each load of inedible kitchen grease transported can result in serious penalties, including civil penalties, suspension or revocation of your registration, and/or prosecution. Transporters and receiving facilities must maintain their parts of manifests for two years and make them available, upon demand, to representatives of the Department and law enforcement agencies."


CBA Secretary Doug Smith of Baker Commodities was involved in the yearlong process of creating the new regulations, which included three public comment periods and a public hearing. "The problem of grease theft, stolen containers, and vandalized equipment costs our industry millions of dollars per year and has been a very difficult issue to regulate," he said. "CDFA has been a great partner in developing these new regulations, and our industry looks forward to collaborating with them in successful enforcement going forward," he added.


The California Department of Food and Agriculture has posted the text for the new manifest regulations on its website at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/regulations.html.



Environmentalists Help Western States Oil

Celebrate Opening of New Biodiesel Terminal in Redwood City


WS Terminal Opening 2013
Dave Williamson of Orange Diesel, Steve Lopes, President of Western States Oil and Jim Webb, President of Seaport Refining and Environmental

Breathe California, the Silicon Valley Clean Cities Coalition, and Western States Oil invited people to celebrate the March 23rd opening of the company's new biodiesel distribution terminal located at the Seaport Refining and Environmental facility at 679 Seaport Boulevard in Redwood City.  The 40,000-gallon terminal stores and dispenses biodiesel made by California production facilities from used restaurant grease collected in the Bay Area and serves the same region, including MUNI (San Francisco) buses, providing a closed-loop sustainable model.


Funding for the terminal, secured through the National Biodiesel Foundation, came from the Department of Energy and included the involvement of the Silicon Valley Clean Cities Coalition.


"Our biodiesel, which is made from restaurant grease, has one sixth the carbon footprint of diesel fuel and is the quickest and often the least expensive option for a community to reduce greenhouse gases and comply with AB 32. Our new terminal in Redwood City is well positioned to provide recycled biodiesel to all communities of Silicon Valley and San Francisco," said Steve Lopes, President and owner of Western States Oil.


Western States Oil, a family-owned petroleum distributor, has been servicing the Santa Clara valley since 1956. The company was an early adopter of biodiesel and has distributed biodiesel to the cities of San Francisco, San Leandro, Berkeley, San Jose, and Santa Cruz.


Buster Biofuels and Eslinger Biodiesel

to Receive California Energy Commission Funding


The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently announced its approval of funding for the construction of two new biodiesel production facilities through its AB 118 Program.  According to the CEC, the awardees are:

"Buster Biofuels, LLC, based in the San Diego area, will receive $2,641,723 to convert a 7,300 square foot industrial warehouse building into a biodiesel manufacturing and fueling facility. The facility will create biodiesel from renewable waste-based materials such as used cooking oil from restaurants.


Eslinger Biodiesel, Inc., will receive $6 million to build a commercial biodiesel production facility in Fresno. The first phase of this $32 million refinery is slated to be operating within a year of funding, producing 5 million gallons a year of biodiesel made from waste vegetable oils obtained from restaurants and commercial food producers, and animal fats obtained from rendering operations. Eventual production of biodiesel is expected to be 45 million gallons a year."



Grease containersGrease containersGrease containers  



The CEC is expected to issue a biofuels solicitation for its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) very soon. To receive the solicitation as soon as it comes out, subscribe to the CEC's Alternative Fuels Listserv near the bottom of the right column at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012-ALT-2/background.html. All details of the 2013-2014 ARFVTP are posted at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012-ALT-2/.


CBA is actively engaged in Information gathering toward the goal of providing current, accurate data on our industry for inclusion in the Transportation Energy Staff Report, expected to be finalized in August. All IEPR workshop information and documents are posted at:  



CBA continues its participation in the fuels working group of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) consortium, which is designed to find solutions to fiscal challenges facing the program due to mandatory General Fund reductions. DMS is involved with biodiesel standards, testing, and labeling.   



See lead article above.
See lead article above. 



CBA urges compliance with the new 2012 permanent regulations governing UST storage of biodiesel. See our Regulatory Matters webpage for more information and links to the State Water Board website that posts the new compatibility forms from equipment manufacturers. The Water Board list is constantly being updated and revised forms may not be labeled as such. 


NOTE: Your CUPA may require engineering approvals for non-integral secondary containment (sumps and UDCs).     



This month, as part of her work on the NBB's RIN Integrity Task Force, Jennifer Case of New Leaf Biofuel testified in Washington, DC, at an EPA hearing on their proposed Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) rulemaking, along with NBB CEO Joe Jobe and three fellow NBB Governing Board Members. Additional public comment on this very important issue for the biodiesel industry must be submitted before the April 18th deadline. For more details visit:  http://www.epa.gov/oms/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm. 



Endicott Biofuels

Endicott Biofuels is a second generation biodiesel company possessing proven exclusive differentiating technology.

Blue Sky Logo

Blue Sky Biofuels produces sustainable, high-quality, low-emissions biodiesel fuel and helps local businesses improve their environmental impacts by collecting their used cooking oil for use as a feedstock.

Springboard Biodiesel

Springboard Biodiesel: Save money making a clean-burning, renewable fuel from a waste stream, locally!



If you are reading this and are not yet a member, please join us.  CBA offers membership levels with the following annual dues: $25 for students; $100 for individuals and nonprofit organizations; $500 for small businesses; and $2000 (Silver). Full voting memberships are available by application at $3000 (Gold) or $5000 (Platinum).  Our Join Us webpage has details and an easy online membership fee payment process. 


Membership benefits include:   

  • CBA's Email Newsletter with important industry updates and features about Who's Who in biodiesel in California and Action Alerts when your help can really make a difference.
  • Participation in policy discussions and legislative/regulatory visits. 
  • Discount on CBA's annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference.
  • Your company's logo and link on our Members webpage ($500 level and up).  
  • Special recognition at events and in publications (Platinum members).    

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Anyone can sign up to get CBA's special Alert emails, which we send out when we need biodiesel stakeholders and enthusiasts to take action on important issues facing our industry. Visit our Home page and add your email address.  




Just click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on ouHome page.

Benjamin Jordan

Benjamin P. Jordan


Biofuel Recycling



In response to his growing interest in facilitating a movement "from gray to green infrastructure," civil engineer Ben Jordan left his job designing municipal utility infrastructure at a private consulting firm in downtown San Francisco and started his own ecological design firm in the spring of 2004. Ben didn't just transition to green design such as sustainable grading and drainage, rainwater harvesting, grey and black water systems, and living roofs in his professional life, he also made some big personal changes. He sold his car, bought a small diesel truck, began oil collection, started making biodiesel, and became a member of the San Francisco Biofuels Cooperative.


In 2005, taking the access directive of the group's biodiesel education, access, and advocacy mission very seriously, Ben started the worker-owned small business Peoples Fuel Cooperative, an SF-based distribution and consulting company. Peoples Fuel provided sustainably sourced, locally produced, ASTM certified biodiesel delivery to homes and businesses and provided fleet implementation services to private clients, including Pacific Gas and Electric and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. With an EPA grant, Peoples Fuel was part of a team that developed biodiesel education training materials for fleet operators and fuel distributors. Peoples Fuel served an important local market until 2012 when it wound down due mainly to the incompatibility of 2007 and newer light duty vehicles with nearly all biodiesel blends.


Early on, Ben also had a vision of how biodiesel could provide sustainable solutions to the serious environmental and financial costs faced by cities as a result of the improper disposal of fats, oils, and grease (FOG), something he had learned about first-hand while inspecting sewers at his previous job. Ben reached out to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and with the early involvement of Randall von Wedel's BioSolar, executed this vision and earned recognition as the architect of what in 2007 became SFGreasecycle, an innovative SFPUC program that diverts FOG from the sewers and turns it into biodiesel for use in San Francisco's fleets.


"For environmental and infrastructure protection, the City has to ensure that all waste products, including used cooking oil (UCO), are managed. The private rendering industry does the best job for about two-thirds of the need depending on commodity prices," Ben says. "There is much less of a profit motive for the service of the bottom one-third of restaurants, so SFGreasecycle was started and operates for the purpose of collecting from smaller restaurants, food carts, and entities traditionally missed, which is certainly more cost effective than dealing with the pollution once it enters the sewer system, " he added.


Biofuel Recycling, a public-benefit corporation with a mission focusing on converting waste to energy, was created to provide technical and engineering assistance services to the SFPUC. Today Biofuel Recycling is involved in waste resource sourcing and identifying opportunities to leverage municipal infrastructure to provide feedstock to the biofuel industry. Because the SFPUC produces yellow grease, brown grease, and biosolids, and the City uses 5.5 million gallons per year of B20 to power its entire diesel fleet, San Francisco serves as a model to other municipalities of how they can offer the biofuel industry feedstock, waste disposal options,and a long-term stable customer.


The used cooking oil collected by the SFGreasecycle program is gathered at the SFPUC's Southeast wastewater treatment plant before being sold to industry, then purchased back for use in the City's diesel fleets. At the SFPUC's Oceanside wastewater treatment plant, grease trap waste collection trucks can drop off waste for a reduced tipping (disposal) fee. This waste is heated and separates out as 97% high-strength wastewater and 3% brown grease. The brown grease is then sold. The water, which is highly fortified with organics, is used to boost both the quality and quantity of anaerobic digestion. Biomethane, a byproduct of digestion, is used to generate electricity, which reduces the plant's energy use. Biosolids, the final product of the digestion process, are currently all disposed of as alternative daily cover at landfills or applied to land as a soil amendment, a practice that continually struggles with public acceptance.


Ben shares a vision with many forward thinking people in his field of how the City can move from using biosolids to make low quality soil amendments to using them to make low-carbon fuel. Karri Ving, who has been the head of SFGreasecycle since its inception, is working on that front by representing the SFPUC on the Bay Area Biosolids to Energy Project, a regional coalition consisting of nineteen local agencies working toward the goal of converting biosolids to electricity and drop-in road fuels.


In addition to his work with the SFPUC, Ben served on San Francisco's Biodiesel Access Task Force, which reported to city officials and the mayor on local efforts to facilitate the use of biodiesel. Ben has consulted for various cities around the country and for the government of El Salvador on their biodiesel projects focused on purchasing oil from farms, doing local conversions, and running local trash trucks. He continues to work for Design Ecology, a sustainable engineering and architecture firm, as well.


On its website, the SFPUC calls Biofuel Recycling its "Behind-the-Scenes Partners" and posts bios of SFGreasecycle program staff, including Ben and his colleagues Trevitt Schultz, Joshua Burbridge, and Wesley Caddell. With Ben at the helm, these four men are a beloved Bay Area biodiesel institution and some of the hardest working folks in our industry. They deserve special thanks for their years of commitment to the biodiesel cause!



Thank you for your time and efforts on behalf of biodiesel. I look forward to working with you.   



Celia DuBose
Executive Director
California Biodiesel Alliance