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 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're working with Whatcom County as co-lead agencies on the environmental review for this proposed project. The co-leads are responsible for completing a fair, thorough, and transparent environmental review of this project.
Determination of Significance and start of scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement
The co-leads reviewed all the project information and issued a determination of significance. This means the project is likely to have adverse significant environmental impacts and an environmental impact statement (EIS) is required. The co-leads will study the impacts and determine how they can be reduced or eliminated through mitigation. The results of this study and proposed mitigation will be outlined in the EIS.
The first step in this process is called scoping. The co-leads are asking the community, tribes, and stakeholders for input on what should be studied and how.
Public comment period and meetings
The co-leads are holding a public comment period from Jan 16 – Feb 18, 2020 in order to get community, tribal and stakeholder input on:
- The scope of the EIS. The co-leads are looking for comments about what should be studied, what methods should be used and what mitigation should be considered. Review SEPA and project documents under the "Project documents" tab below.
The notice of application (NOA)
is for the Whatcom County major project permit. Permit decisions won’t be made until after the EIS is completed but comments will be accepted on the application. Review master project permit documents.
Ecology and Whatcom County will host three meetings in early February to share basic information about the project. Ecology and Whatcom County staff will be available to answer questions and speak one-on-one with the public and gather input on the EIS scope. The meetings will be an informal open house format. Ecology and Whatcom County staff will give a short presentation at 6:15 p.m. Following the presentation, staff will be available at discussion tables to take comments and answer questions until 8 p.m.
Please see our SEPA FAQ webpage to learn more about the environmental review process.
According to Green Apple’s checklist, the plant would occur within approximately 40 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 eight 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, renewable propane, and potentially future renewable jet fuel. It would use existing ship, rail, and truck facilities at Phillips 66 to receive feedstock and ship out the finished product.