Green Apple Renewable Fuels, LLC (Green Apple) is proposing to build a renewable fuels facility to be co-located at the Phillips 66 refinery near Ferndale. The facility would process animal fats, cooking and vegetable oils, and grease into renewable fuels.
We’re at the start of the environmental review process. This occurs before any decisions are made on permits Green Apple will need to build and operate the plant. This review is done under SEPA, the State Environmental Policy Act.
We are working with Whatcom County as co-lead agencies on the environmental review for this proposed project.
The first step in the SEPA process is called the threshold determination. The threshold determination is an evaluation of a proposal to determine whether it is likely to have any significant adverse environmental impacts. This determination is made by the co-leads and is documented in either a Determination of Non-significance or a Determination of Significance. If there is a determination of significance, then the co-leads would develop an environmental impact statement for the proposed project.
As part of the threshold determination process, the co-leads held a two-week consultation period to ask other agencies, tribes, and stakeholders for information about environmental concerns, possible impacts, and ideas for mitigating those impacts. This consultation period ran from Oct. 23 – Nov. 6, 2019. The co-leads will consider the feedback received during the comment period when making the threshold determination.
Green Apple submitted a SEPA checklist — a standard form that requests information about several categories of environmental impacts — and several other draft project documents. The co-leads will use information from the checklist, project documents, and comments received during the consultation period to objectively and thoroughly evaluate the likely environmental impacts and make the threshold determination.
Please see our SEPA FAQ to learn more about the environmental review process.
Threshhold determination process
Draft project documents
According to Green Apple’s checklist, the plant would cover about 18 acres of developed and undeveloped land within the Phillips 66 property and would include:
- A new renewable fuel production facility
- A new on-site hydrogen plant, adjacent to the renewable diesel production facility
- Additions and modifications to the Phillip 66 Ferndale Refinery’s existing rail and truck facilities to support handling of animal fats, cooking and vegetable oils, and grease and renewable product logistics
- New, separate storage tanks for the fats, oils, grease, and renewable product
- New internal pipelines or tie-ins between existing pipelines to carry feedstock and production materials (renewable diesel, renewable propane, renewable jet fuel, and renewable naphtha)
- Whatcom County Public Utility District No. 1 electrical substation upgrades
- Cascade Natural Gas pipeline upgrade to natural gas supply (approximately seven miles of new pipeline co-located with current pipeline)
Potential project impacts described in Green Apple’s submittals include:
- Increased vessel traffic
- Filled and modified wetland habitat
- Greenhouse gas emissions
The plant could produce about 250 million gallons of renewable fuel products per year, including renewable diesel, with minor products of renewable naphtha and renewable propane. It would use existing ship, rail, and truck facilities at Phillips 66 to receive feedstock and ship out the finished product.