Posts Tagged ‘biodiesel’

Question: What Actually Powers This New “ELECTRIC POWERED” MUNI Bus? One Simple Trick!

Friday, August 15th, 2014

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Answer: Diesel!

But the people at MUNI think you’re stupid, and they want you to like them more, so that’s why they lie.

BONUS ROUND: 

Hey, what did the SFMTA MUNI dump into San Francisco Bay that resulted in a petroleum spill that rivalled the Cosco Busan’s?

Answer: Diesel!

Short Bus – The Smallest Diesel You’ll Ever See from MUNI

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

This bus says, “ELECTRIC POWERED” on the side.

In fact, it’s diesel powered.

But MUNI wants you to like MUNI more, so there you go:

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Hey, speaking of diesel, guess which incompetent local government agency has put more petroleum into the bay than the world-famous Cosco Busan oil spill ship? That’s right, it’s the SFMTA.

Oh look, the feds have a new webpage for the 2009 settlement agreement.

Enjoy:

“City and County of San Francisco Clean Water Act Settlement

Settlement Resources

SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking action against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency following federal violations of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

On the page:

Overview and Location of Facilities

The City and County of San Francisco is a municipality organized under the laws of California that operates the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“SFMTA”) and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (“SFPUC”). The SFMTA operates a diverse fleet of trolley cars, street cars, light rail, alternative fuel vehicles and 495 diesel buses that are serviced and re-fueled at facilities owned and operated by the SFMTA. The SFPUC provides water, wastewater and municipal power services.

Between November and December 2005, approximately 940 barrels (39,488 gallons) of red dye diesel fuel were discharged from one of the Municipality’s underground storage tanks (USTs) at the John M. Woods Motor Coach Facility (Woods Motor Coach Facility). The diesel spread through a piping system into a storm drain, through wastewater collection piping to a pump station, into Islais Creek and eventually San Francisco Bay.

The discharge was caused by a ruptured hose. The leak continued for several days, as sensors, flashers and alarm reports and other leak indicators were ignored. This failure by SFMTA to comply with federal requirements for the management of USTs resulted in the release of diesel fuel and Clean Water Act discharge and pretreatment violations.

After this spill, EPA conducted inspections at several of SFMTA’s facilities and identified violations of EPA’s spill prevention regulations at three of them: Flynn, Kirkland, and Marin.

The five facilities covered by this settlement are in the City and County of San Francisco:

  • Woods Motor Coach Facility – 1095 Indiana Street
  • Flynn Motor Coach Facility – 15th and Harrison Street
  • Kirkland Motor Coach Facility – 151 Beach Street
  • Marin Fuel Stand – 1399 Main Street
  • Southeast Water Collection System Pump Station

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Violations

  • Clean Water Act (CWA) Sections 311(b), 301(a), 307(d)
  • Oil Pollution Prevention regulations issued pursuant to CWA Section 311(j )(the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations)
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Section 9003(a)

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Injunctive Relief

  • The Consent Decree requires San Francisco to implement an Incident Command System (ICS) Exittraining program.
  • San Francisco must appoint an ICS training coordinator to implement the program.
  • San Francisco employees in certain position categories must complete and renew at least every 2 years, ICS level 100 and 200 training.
  • Other identified employee positions must complete and renew at least every 2 years, ICS level 300 and 400 level training, if they are reasonably expected to coordinate with any Incident Response Management Team.
  • San Francisco must maintain training certification documents and provide them to EPA upon request.
  • San Francisco must also ensure that any contractor, including contractor employees who engage in any aspect of incident response on behalf of San Francisco, have completed the corresponding level of ICS training prior to performing any incident response activity.
  • San Francisco must include language to this effect in any contract regarding incident response.
  • San Francisco must submit an annual report to EPA with information addressing the ICS training program requirements.

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Pollutants Addressed

  • The oil spill of red dye diesel fuel addressed by this settlement discharged at least 940 barrels of oil (39,488 gallons).
  • The oil storage capacity of the facilities addressed by this settlement is a total of 137,500 gallons that are subject to SPCC requirements.
  • For more information about Oil Pollution Prevention rule requirements

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Environmental Effects

The oil spill of red dye diesel fuel addressed by this settlement discharged at least 940 barrels of oil (39,488 gallons). Oil spills are known to cause both immediate and long-term harm to human health and ecosystems. Oil prevents oxygen in water and can suffocate wildlife.

Oil emulsions may stick to the gills of fish or coat and destroy algae or other plankton. Floating oil may reduce water exposure to the circulation of oxygen and, in conjunction with emulsified oil, interfere with photosynthesis.

Oil slicks can kill birds, contaminate food sources, reduce animal and plant reproduction and contaminate nesting habitats. Oil spills can cause long-term effects years later even if the oil remains in the environment for a relatively short period of time.

Petroleum oils can also undergo oxidation and polymerization reactions and can form tars that persist in the environment for years. These harms will be prevented by EPA’s Section 311 enforcement efforts and this settlement agreement. Please see EPA’s Emergency Management pages for more information about the effects of chemicals, hazardous substances and oils on the environment.

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Civil Penalty

San Francisco will pay a total penalty of $250,000 to resolve its alleged liability for CWA and RCRA violations, of which $227,000 will be paid to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for CWA Section 311 discharge and SPCC violations. The remaining $23,000 will be paid to the U.S. Treasury for CWA pretreatment and RCRA violations.


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Comment Period

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comment is available at the Department of Justice website.

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For additional information, contact:

Cheryl Rose
Senior Attorney
Water Enforcement Division
Office of Civil Enforcement – OECA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2242A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
(202) 564-4136
rose.cheryl@epa.gov

Why Does SFMTA MUNI DPT Put “ELECTRIC POWERED” Stickers on Its Diesel-Powered Buses?

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

It’s a simple question.

Now actually, the SFMTA does have electric buses.

But those vehicles don’t have “ELECTRIC POWERED” stickers.

The only MUNI vehicles with “ELECTRIC POWERED” on the side are diesels

Thusly:

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Isn’t it ironic?

Dont’cha think?

Hey! Speaking of MUNI and diesel, the term “Biodiesel” is a lie the way the SFMTA uses it.

How about that?

Hey! Speaking of MUNI and petroleum products, which has spilled more into San Francisco Bay – the famous oil-spilling Cosco Busan or MUNI? 

Can you guess? It’s MUNI.

In closing, MUNI sucks.

The Secret of the N-Judah Express “Success” – Three Drivers and Two Starters Just Waiting to Serve You

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

So, I know passengers like and appreciate the N Judah Express, but why is MUNI putting so much effort into this new line?

See? There’s the 5:00 PM bus, and the 5:10 PM, and the 5:20PM, and guess what’ll be coming around the corner soon? That’s right, it must be the 5:30 PM:

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Camera right shows one of the two starters used by MUNI to make sure the 5:00 PM leaves at exactly 5:00 PM. (Count how many MUNI workers are hanging out at your bus stop today – I’ll bet it’s less than five. Probably it’s zero.)

OK.

I mean, is MUNI going to start following timetables religiously, like Japanese-style, for all its lines now?

The SFMTA has been itching to charge $3 for express rides, right? Does that mean that MUNI loses more on this line than others?

So, yes MUNI, you are trying hard here, but I don’t think you can afford it.

I think, for some reason, you are taking resources from other lines and putting them right here.

For some reason.

The Riding Public Has Discovered the Nx Judah Express – It’s Like a Bus Bridge Shuttle that Runs All the Time

Friday, June 17th, 2011

These days, there’s no need to wonder when the next Nx Judah Express is coming, as you can see them queuing up betwixt First and Second streets on Market.

Anyway, MUNI has a starter directing bus traffic on the evening drive starting at 4:00 PM, so the drivers are keeping schedule down to the minute.

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Yesterday’s Nx’es appeared to be rather full with riders, so that means that this program is more successful than the CultureBus already.

That’s the update for now…

Know Your Nx Judah Express Bus – Photos of the Debut – But Mostly Empty, By Design – Getting a CultureBus Vibe

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Well here it is, the debut of the Nx Judah Express, designed to whisk people to the fog-enshrouded West Bay, you know, to give a little more elbow room for the denizens of San Francisco Proper – the Inner Sunset and Cole Valley.

All right, Chapter I: Know Your Nx.

Anterior. Rather a bright bleu, non? Redolent of the bright orange-wrapped CultureBus one might think:

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Lateral. Rather patriotic, redolent of the 1976-era bicentennial scheme:

Posterior. Rather less blue, but that solid-colored rectangle is your visual cue to start running for the Nx before the driver takes off.

I don’t see a bunch of people clamoring to get into these things just yet. We’ll see.

All right Chapter II: Empty by Design.

After the drivers drop off passengers way out there near La Playa or 47th Aveneue or whatever, they turn around and head back to the Financh empty.

What? Really. The plan is for the drivers to “dead-head” on back downtown sans passengers.

(Wonder if you could get on at the last stop outbound with the intent of coming into the Financial without any stops at all? That would be the Nx Judah Express to the Second Power, or something. But, they’d probably kick you off, so oh well.)

Like I say, this program reminds me of the failed CultureBus, which Nat Ford still hails as a success.

Obviously, you can’t have an N Judah streetcar run an express route on the same tracks as regular N Judah service. And obviously, the SFMTA just can’t add more N’s, for whatever reason. Oh well.

And in mitigation, MUNI’s not out there cheerleading for this saying how great an idea it is, you know, the way it happened with Gavin Newsom’s CultureBus. And, when I checked the Next MUNI today, those Nx’es looked verily like rabbits, easily outpacing the N Judahs that started at about the same time.

On Time Will Tell how bad this latest SFMTA program is…

MUNI 44 O’Shaughnessy Hybrid Bus #8456 vs. Cyclist Derek Allen – Fatal – 6th Ave. Bet. Geary, Clement – 10/7/2010

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

[UPDATE: Joe Eskenazi has just spoken with the Medical Examiner’s Office. The cyclist has been ID’ed: Derek Allen, 22. The driver was Tommie Barnett, who started with MUNI in 2008.]

Andrea Koskey has the details of the fatal collision between a cyclist on a white road-style bike and northbound 44 O’Shaughnessy #8456 just before 4:59 PM on October 7, 2010.

From the Inner Richmond Smart and Final parking lot:

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A tow truck had to be called to lift up the front of the hybrid bus so the coroner could remove the cyclist’s body. This process can take hours. Investigators appeared to be focusing upon the front right corner of the bus:

A road bike with a white frame and white handlebar tape. The rear wheel was taco’ed, suggesting it came into contact with the bus first:

The SFPD held up white plastic sheets on both sides of the bus so that the gathered crowd couldn’t see the body as easily:

Investigators seemed interested in an area south of where 8456 was parked. It’s possible the cyclist was dragged something like 50 feet. This is just south of 326 6th Avenue:

Looking northward from Geary at #8456  and the Other Bus (#8420?), another #44 on the right. Not sure how it might have been involved:

(People working on a ghost bike might want to coordinate with the managers of the nearby Smart and Final store to see if space could be made on their land - DPW removes ghost bikes placed on public property fairly quickly these days it seems….)

Veggie Tales: It’s Tough Keeping a Biodiesel Car Running, Even in Sunny San Francisco

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Here’s the thing about converting your gone-to-hell hipster Mercedes Benz diesel car from the 1970′s or 1980′s to biodiesel- it aint easy. Or rather, the easier the conversion, the harder it is for you the driver to deal with.

So you end up having to get people to help you push your car around, as here, just like Herb Caen and his various Jaguar cars. And if there’s no place to park, well then you block traffic on Battery for a while, as here.

That’s O.K. – this kind of ordeal makes you stronger.

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It’s the same with MUNI’s operation of biodiesel buses – they’re finding a need to replace fuel filters on almost a weekly basis, per a report I saw from earlier this year.  

Nobody said being a pioneer would be easy.

Does Mayor Newsom’s SUV Have an Engine Larger than Those in the Old CultureBuses?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Yes. Mayor Gavin Newsom‘s official vehicle (or one of the official vehicles, anyway) has an engine with a larger displacement and more power than those in the Culturebuses that used to roam the City.

Here’s the famous SUV, recently seen parked in a bike lane near Golden Gate Park. Note the T.V. antenna (maybe it’s used for other things, but fundamentally, it’s a TV antenna) on top:

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And here’s one of the huge CultureBuses, from a time before the whole program got cancelled:

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Does the mayor of San Jose, a nearby town with (unlike S.F.) more than a million people, have a “Mobile Command Vehicle” too? Mmmm.

Oh well.

San Francisco Leads the Way Turning Grease-Trap Grease into Biofuels

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

It was a veritable love-fest down at  five-star rated (sort of) RōE Boutique Nightclub and Lounge on 651 Howard in the SOMA this afternoon. Why? Grease. Brown grease. The City has a plan in operation to raid grease traps in order to make BioDiesel down by the San Francisco Zoo.

We’re not talking about fryer grease here. We’re talking messy, water-drenched brown grease.  

Who’s paying for all this? The state of California – it’s a done deal. Does that make it two non-ridiculous new ideas in San Francisco over two consecutive days? Possibly. Read all about it below.

Forget plastics, the future is grease. Click to expand

All different kinds of gross stuff. Can you use trap grease to make B100 biodiesel, the hard stuff? Yes you can.

What restauranteur wouldn’t welcome this green truck, coming for some grease.

A grease trap, as big as you’re going to see here. This is waste, so it’s unlike America’s wasteful corn ethanol program that turns food into fuel, just the way Big Corn likes it.

And lastly, for City Hall’s youthful gay mafia, a “funny picture,” per their request. Normally, you don’t see this kind of thing on this particular website, but all three of them wanted it, so anything for the clique. Click.

San Francisco’s famous Gold Club. And look, all four of this car’s tires are the same size and brand, unlike the previous car. That’s progress. 

Anyway, think grease! 

Read on:

Biodiesel Honors Awarded at National Conference
“Eye on Biodiesel” awards recognize industry champions
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Two seafaring captains and musician Melissa Etheridge were among the fuel advocates for environmentally friendly biodiesel recognized at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, which wrapped up today. The National Biodiesel Board’s 2009 “Eye on Biodiesel Award” winners are:
Influence – Melissa Etheridge. Grammy and Academy Award winner Etheridge often powers her worldwide tours with biodiesel. Etheridge said she liked using biodiesel in her tour vehicles so much that she sold her personal cars to buy a diesel SUV, which she calls the “Bio-Beast.”
Inspiration – Bryan Peterson and Pete Bethune.  Fourteen years ago Peterson made his way around the world in a biodiesel powered boat. Peterson’s adventure generated some of the earliest news on biodiesel.  New Zealander Bethune’s Earthrace boat, fueled by biodiesel, broke the speed record for circumnavigating the world in 60 days.
Initiative – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. In 2006, Newsom issued an Executive Directive to increase biodiesel use in San Francisco. Today, virtually all of the city’s 1,500 diesel vehicles run on B20.
Industry Partnership – Ronald Hayes/State of Missouri and Randy Jennings/State of Tennessee.  Both worked in conjunction with state and national regulatory agencies to create and enforce standards for biodiesel fuel.  They also helped develop test methods and labeling requirements.
Impact – Randall von Wedel.  Von Wedel helped bring biodiesel to the West Coast.  Since the early ’90s, he opened California’s first retail pump, implemented biodiesel in major fleets, introduced fleet quality control programs, and helped pioneer biodiesel marine uses.
The NBB also presented the Pioneer Award to Kenlon Johannes, the first Executive Director of the National SoyDiesel Development Board, which later became the NBB.
“To mirror the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Leading Change Now,’ each of these leaders is furthering our mission of public education on biodiesel’s societal benefits, and opening doors for the growth of the fuel. They have helped to bring positive change in the U.S.,” said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. “Honorees have either brought a public face to the fuel’s effectiveness, or have eliminated barriers for greater acceptance of the fuel.”

More deets after the jump.

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