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CBA's 2014 Conference
CBA's successful third annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference was held on January 20th, 2014 at the SanDiego Convention Center and was co-located with the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo.
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Chico, Calif.-based small-scale biodiesel equipment provider broadens business with up to 350,000 gallons of biodiesel production, sales
diversifies with launch of local fuel sales
By Ron Kotrba | March 05, 2014
Known for its small-scale biodiesel processing systems (the BioPro), sales of which approach 1,000 units over the past six years, Chico, Calif.-based Springboard Biodiesel announced its launch of a local biodiesel buyers club for individuals and companies in the Butte County area. Springboard recently received a grant from the California Energy Commission that gave the company the opportunity to design and build a new, larger biodiesel production facility in Chico.
"With the help of the CEC and countless organizations in and around Butte County, Springboard is ready to produce ASTM-grade biodiesel in its new, state-of-the-art facility and enable businesses and individuals to enjoy the many benefits of burning biodiesel," said Springboard CEO Mark Roberts. "While our target market will remain primarily local, corporate and municipal consumers of diesel, who want to incorporate biodiesel into their fleets, we wanted to compliment that with a local buyers club."
Springboard won't follow the filling station model of pump-and-go, though; rather, club members can buy prepared volumes of 10, 55 and 275 gallons.
"We believe that producing locally and consuming locally is a sustainable and profitable energy model that will benefit the local communities where our systems are located," Roberts said. "Ultimately, we plan to build a broad network of these 'micro facilities,' all of which are designed to provide competitively priced, cleaner burning biodiesel to local communities that have a natural and more easily accessible feedstock."
Working with Smart Alternative Fuels, a Redding, Calif.-based used cooking oil collector, Springboard will be processing up to 350,000 of biodiesel annually in its first facility in Chico.
"It's exciting to bring this alternative to Butte County," Roberts said. "We have a relatively large diesel fleet, and by replacing some of that diesel, we can create a viable new market with new green collar jobs, as well as contribute to the reduction of the area's carbon footprint."
CARB Takes More Time to Develop ADF Proposal
This month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) posted an advisory announcing the withdrawal of the proposed Alternative Diesel Fuel (ADF) regulation and its removal from consideration at the March Board hearing agenda. While there was no official explanation for this action, a CARB spokesman said last week that the rulemaking had been suspended "to allow more time to develop the regulatory provisions on biodiesel use" within the proposal, according to an article in the California Energy & Climate Report on March 23rd.
The article also included this statement from CARB: "Since we are now involving more regulated parties (i.e., downstream biodiesel/ARB diesel blenders, fuel distributors and retailers) we needed more time to vet the updated proposals by these newly affected groups."
The biodiesel industry continues its very active engagement with CARB on this issue, with the National Biodiesel Board and CBA working in tandem. As mentioned in this newsletter last month, our positive relationship with CARB has been noted in public statements by agency staff as has their belief that increasing biodiesel volumes are necessary for the success of the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
For more information on this issue, as it develops, view the agency's webpage here:
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: LOW CARBON FUEL STANDARD (LCFS)
PUBLIC WORKSHOPS ON LCFS CHANGES: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) held two public workshops regarding the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) on March 11. In the first workshop, CARB staff discussed general updates to the LCFS regulation; in the second, staff discussed updates to the indirect land use change (ILUC) values. For ILUC in particular, CARB discussed a proposal to update values for a variety of feedstocks, including corn, sugarcane and soy, as well as new values for canola and sorghum for ethanol. Our industry is working with the agency to clarify details and provide comments on several changes affecting biodiesel directly. Comments are due April 11th. For more information: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs_meetings/lcfs_meetings.htm.
LEGAL ISSUES: This month the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy asked the U.S. Supreme Court to determine if the LCFS violates the commerce clause of the Constitution, a matter largely settled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey in September of 2013. It is not yet known if the court will decide to rule in the case..
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: AB 32
CAP AND TRADE AUCTION PROCEEDS: The Governor's 2014-15 budget proposes that $850 million be allocated from Cap and Trade auction proceeds to a range of programs targeted at sustainable communities, energy efficiency, and clean transportation, but none to biofuels production or infrastructure. Referring to the California Energy Commission's (CEC) Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) Program, the Legislative Analyst's Office, in its 2014-15 Budget: Cap-and-Trade Auction Revenue Expenditure Plan stated that .."in order to encourage further development of these fuels and technologies, the Legislature could consider providing additional funding for these types of investments." CBA plans to work with the biofuels industry to pursue this and other options for securing funds from auction proceeds. For more information: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/auctionproceeds.htm..
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC): AB 118 FUNDING
PROGRAM OPPORTUNITY NOTICE (PON): On January 15th, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced $24 million in grants for pilot and commercial-scale advanced biofuels production facilities for new, low-carbon biofuel production facilities, projects at existing biofuel production facilities that expand or modify facilities to increase production capacity or projects that lower the carbon intensity of fuels produced at existing biorefineries. More information on the solicitation, which allocates $9 million each for biomass diesel and ethanol and $6 million for biomethane can be found here: http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts. Interested parties are encouraged to subscribe to the CEC's Alt Fuels Listserv on that page to stay informed of upcoming solicitations. The CEC is expected to issue a Notice of Proposed Awards (NOPA) in April or May.
STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD: UST REGULATIONS
The new permanent UST law that took effect in June of 2012 was discussed at CBA's January 20th conference by Laura S. Fisher, Chief, UST Technical Unit, State Water Resources Control Board. She explained that when UL does not include a specific approval for a substance to be stored, the owner or operator may submit an affirmative statement of compatibility from the manufacturer. Detailing that the new regulation applies only to double-walled components with an existing UL listing for petroleum and that statements may only come from the manufacturer of the component (and that If there are later conflicting statements, UL prevails), she clarified that the Water Board gathers these statements, reviews them, then posts them on their website (CBA did this prior to the new law).
The agency also posts Leak Detection Equipment information for diesel, all of which is approved for B6 through B20 meeting ASTMD7467 and biodiesel B100 meeting ASTM D6751 whether or not these alternative fuels are included on individual data sheet (check their site for the few exceptions). She also let the group know that NBB has proposed to work with the National Leak Detection Workgroup on listing or testing equipment with blends B21 - B99 and to work with UL on testing and/or listing of biodiesel blends above B20.
The new Affirmative Statement of Compatibility by Manufacturer forms can be found at the Water Board website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ust/alt_comp_opt/soc.shtml.
NOTE: The Water Board webpage is constantly being updated as new and revised forms come in, but revised forms are not labeled as such. Also, please be advised that your CUPA may require engineering approvals for non-integral secondary containment (sumps and UDCs).