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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 39, September 30, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Ahhhhh … Fall. The weather starts to stutter toward winter, leaves shudder with each new breeze, and Legislators get ready to go home. Governors are busy signing and vetoing, signing and vetoing. Bills survive, bills Fall away. With this flux, the whole flow of waste management and resource recovery changes, yet everything tends to stay the same.

Out here in the Golden State, we're watching as two botched scrambles of Waste Conversion language work their way toward Governor Brown's desk. Senate Bill 804 Solid Waste: Energy, and Assembly Bill 1126 Solid Waste: Engineered Municipal Solid Waste Conversion have now passed the both Senate and Assembly, after being gutted and rebuild repeatedly. The result? Bad Sausage. So far, they have not been shuffled under the Gov's sharp pen.

What part of "Technology Neutral" escapes the bill authors? If we have tools that can convert crud to goods, do it cleanly and within existing laws, why start all over slicing and dicing buzz-words for processing systems? California legislators have a serious tendency for layering new jargon on old errors, attempting to resolve problems by obfuscation.

Take these definitions right out of 804: "Biomass" means nonrecyclable organic waste materials as specified in ..." The point of Waste Conversion is to complete the Recycling and Resource Recovery cycle, so … Here's another one: "Biomass conversion technology facility” means a facility that uses a conversion technology capable of converting biomass into marketable products and fuels through noncombustion thermal, chemical, or biological process. “Biomass conversion technology facility” does not include composting or biomass controlled combustion." Last time I hit the science books, "combustion" was defined as chopping one or more carbon molecules off the end of a long chain molecule, releasing energy in the process. Given that scientific angle, what is OK, and what is not? Science? We don' need no stinkin' Science.

AB 1126 can't possibly be as garbled, right? Let's just take a peek: the bill would define something called Engineered Municipal Solid Waste, and places that do that would be permitted (or not) as EMSW Conversion Facilities. Well, OK, I guess. But what is this thing they call EMSW, and how do you concoct it? Right off the bat the bill stumbles, and badly: "The waste to be converted, the resulting ash, and any other products of conversion do not meet the criteria or guidelines for the identification of a hazardous waste..." Name just ONE "engineered" anything that absolutely is forbidden from generating hazardous waste. Here's another one: "The conversion is efficient and maximizes the net calorific value and burn rate of the waste." But, but - what if I just wanna convert that waste into Goods, and don't intend to Burn it?

Let us clasp our hands and stand in awe of the mighty machine that makes this Legislative Sausage, year after year, after year … and trust the Governor to trust in Science, or at the very least, rely on good old Common Sense.

Hey Rube!

Check out the CASA news item, especially if you have an interest in saving water, energy and money. The Association has helped release a new report, and is asking for public input.

The Week's Extra Reading

Presentations from the California Bioresources Alliance Symposium held earlier this month are now available online .

This Week's Top Story

Solazyme Provides 1st Commercial Supply of Tailored Algal Oil to Unilever

California based Solazyme and Unilever have announced execution of a commercial supply agreement for Tailored™ Algal Oil, resulting from the two companies' collaboration over five years on multiple projects with increasing levels of success. 09/26/2013

The Week's News

NOTE: If you are using IE10 and our website isn't loading as smoothly as you would like or the page jumps when you click on a link to go to a certain news item, just change to "compatibility view" and all will be fine.


Anaergia Plans Organic Waste to Renewable Energy Project in Anaheim

Anaheim Energy LLC,  a subsidiary of Canada based Anaergia, Inc, in partnership with waste management company Republic Services, plans to build an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in the City of Anaheim, California. 09/18/2013

EERE Schedules Webinar on Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework

The US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) will present a live webinar sponsored by its Bioenergy Technologies Office entitled “Using the New Bioenergy KDF for Data Discovery and Research” on Thursday, October 3, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. 09/28/2013

Enerkem and Greenfield Receive SDTC Support for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

The Government of Canada is investing in VANERCO, the joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem and GreenField to build and operate a cellulosic ethanol facility that will be integrated with GreenField’s existing ethanol plant in Varennes, Quebec. 09/28/2013

Concord Energy and Cool Planet Will Establish Asia Pacific Joint Venture

Singapore headquartered Concord Energy has announced that it has signed an agreement with California based Cool Planet Energy Systems to establish a joint venture (JV) in the Asia Pacific Region to develop commercial production facilities for conversion of non-food biomass into biofuels and biochar. 09/26/2013

Global Clean Energy Signs LOI with Seneca BioEnergy for NY Renewable Park

Texas based Global Clean Energy, Inc (GCE) has announced signing a comprehensive Letter of Intent (LOI) with Seneca BioEnergy LLC (SBE) for development in a renewable energy park at the former Seneca Army Depot in New York. 09/26/2013

Idaho Offers Residential Woodstove Changeout Program to Improve Air Quality

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) has announced that residents of Franklin County, the Greater Pinehurst area, and the City of Salmon can obtain a rebate and discount on the purchase and installation of a new, EPA-certified woodstove, insert, or natural gas or propane unit. 09/24/2013

Forest Service Authorizes Work on Another 8,571 Acres Under 4RFI Contract

The US Forest Service (USFS) has issued five more task orders totaling 8,571 acres to the new Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) contractor, Good Earth Power AZ LLC. 09/24/2013

CleanWorld Breaks Ground On Anaerobic Digestion Plant at UCD Landfill

California based CleanWorld Partners has announced that it has begun construction on theUniversity of California, Davis (UCD) Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester facility located at the former UCD landfill in Davis, California. 09/24/2013

CASA Seeks Public Comment to WEF Report on Biogas Production at POTWs

The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) is requesting public comment on the Phase 1 data report entitled Biogas Production and Use at Water Resource Recovery Facilities in the United States. 09/23/2013

SEaB Energy Secures US and UK Patents for Mobile AD Power Plant Solution

SEaB Energy has announced the receipt of patents from the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) for its anaerobic digestion (AD) portable power plants that use microbial technology to turn food and other bio-wastes into energy. 09/23/2013

CalRecycle to Consider Draft Compost and AD Regulations for Rulemaking

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has released a final draft of revisions to existing Title 14 and Title 27 regulations addressing compostable materials, transfer/processing, the permit application form, and permit exemptions. 09/23/2013

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Teru Talk is an online publication of JDMT, Inc with the goal of opening the dialogue and providing current news and commentary on issues and successes associated with waste conversion to renewable energy, biofuels and other bio-based products for resource recovery.

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The Teru Talk Newsletter is published weekly or more or less frequently, primarily depending on what is going on in the world of waste conversion or ours.