Biodiesel project in Pacifica hit a funding snag
By Jane Northrop
Posted: 06/04/2009 05:55:44 AM PDT
The downturn in the economy is making it difficult for Whole Energy Fuels to move as quickly as expected on the new proposed biodiesel facility at the Calera Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Pacifica City Manager Stephen Rhodes said the proposed project, which would convert used vegetable oil to fuel, is on hold pending funding issues. "Whole Energy has had problems lning up investors in the project due to the decrease in gas prices and the downturn in the economy," he said. Nevertheless, the grant Whole Energy received from the Clean Air Resource Board remains available, if Whole Energy can meet certain milestones, Rhodes said. The ptoject is also on hold until Whole Energy lines up the proper permits from the city of Pacifica's building department to proceed. Last month, Whole Energy workers began digging a trench on the site, but was told by Jason Lo, city of Pacifica's code enforcement officer, to stop. "I received a complaint. I responded and researched if there had a permit, but they did not. They were directed to stop until the requisite permit from the building department was obtained," Lo said. Cal-OSHA also investigated, as a permit is required from Cal-OSHA, as well. Numerous phone calls and emails from the Tribune to Whole Energy over the last few weeks were left unanswered. According to the city of Pacifica's building inspector, Whole Energy has not taken any steps toward acquiring city permits to build.
[forwarded by Mark Stechbart]