Nearly 200 residents packed the Point Loma Library on the evening of September 9 to discuss a city-approved methane-gas-recycling project that has elicited concern, anger, and fear among those living in the coastal community.

The project, slated to begin in 2010, involves the trucking of compressed natural gas from the Point Loma Wastewater Facility to two other sites, where it would be utilized to supply renewable energy. The 45-foot, 38-ton trucks would travel along residential surface streets (Catalina and Chatsworth boulevards, as well as Rosecrans Street) six times per night, seven days a week, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

District two councilman Kevin Faulconer, who hosted the meeting, began by announcing a new development: SDG&E and Biofuels Energy, the private company heading the project, have agreed to examine the possibility of injecting the gas directly into SDG&E’s existing fuel lines instead of transporting the gas.

Faulconer credited Point Loma residents for the recent turn of events. “We wouldn’t have gotten there without community support — a lot of pressure, a lot of pushing,” he said.

John Pedersen, a resident who went door to door for weeks to raise awareness of the trucking issue, stood before the crowd and voiced his concerns. “If there is an accident that explodes the truck, it has the potential to take out a square mile of homes and the people sleeping in them at night,” he said. He explained that residents are in favor of the utilization of the excess methane gas for renewable energy and only opposed to the trucking of the gas.

During the question-and-answer portion of the meeting, Ahmad Solomon from SDG&E and Frank Mazanec from BioFuels Energy answered 19 questions from the audience. “How long will it take to determine whether or not the plan to inject the gas directly into the lines is feasible, and will trucks be trucking in the interim?” asked one resident. “No!” shouted a number of residents. “No trucking!”

Before the meeting was adjourned, Pedersen praised Councilman Faulconer. “Thank you to Kevin for putting this together. Kevin was under a lot of pressure not to hold this meeting at this point, so he took a very brave leadership position, and for that I will be eternally grateful, and I think you will be as well,” he told the crowd.

The analysis to determine the impact of injecting the methane gas directly into SDG&E’s fuel lines is expected to take about two months, upon which a proposal will be sent to the city.

Although optimistic, Pedersen believes that residents need to remain alert. “Trucking is not off the table here. I just want everybody to understand that we have to be vigilant with the whole process, and that we demand that trucking be taken off this project,” said Pedersen, whose comment was met by loud cheers and applause.

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Comments

jerome Sept. 13, 2009 @ 9:05 a.m.

reply to pete hey bud i appreaciate your passion, BUT, do you eat with that nasty mouth? civility can be persuading..............

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PistolPete Sept. 13, 2009 @ 12:39 a.m.

What a waste of humans. Fin' NIMBY motherfers.

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blmudshark Sept. 13, 2009 @ 3:36 p.m.

pistolpete-I also wish there was no purpose for police oficers, but until greed, hate, violence, and drunken/drugged-up idiots are erased from our society, they will always have a job, and will be who civilized society will call to clean up the messes. Peace officers are not the ones that want to start trouble, they are the ones that have to deal with the trouble that someone else has started. Who else is going to be out there at 3 AM when drunks are beating up their spouses or driving their cars into trees at 80 mph. Picking up body parts when PSA flight 182 crashed over North Park, digging through tons of garbage looking for the body of little Jahi Turner, rushing to the McDonalds massacre or Brenda Spencer's Monday shooting of an elementary school instead of running away like most sane people would be more inclined to do, or how about jumping on top of the tank on 163 and having to kill the drug-crazed nut when he wouldn't give it up after flattening numerous cars in Linda Vista and was working his way downtown-all jobs that the police have taken care of in the past. Jobs that police officers willingly do for the better of society, and I for one appreciate all that they do. Dan Bessant was worth 10,000 of you.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 13, 2009 @ 4:32 p.m.

Mudshark (BTW-great handle-we know a great deal about your attitudes towards race just by your handle)-please spare us the "hero" worshipping.

The police have a job to do, and they do it and get paid much more than they should for what they bring to the table.

It is very easy to run down a list of high profile crimes from the last 30 years. Heck, I am surprised you didn't go back to the turn of the century and talk about Wyatt Earp when he was living in San Diego and hero worship him.

The funny thing is you didn't mention a word about the dirty cops that set up Micheal Crowe in the killing of his sister Stephanie, dirty cops who tried to frame up an innocent 15-year-old kid (where taxpayers paid millions in damages to cover the dirty cops). You didn't mention the dirty cops that set up Dale Akiki, who was found innocent of many, many trumped up charges (and again, the taxpayers picked up the $3 million in dirty cop damages). You didn't mention a word about the dirty cops that set up Jim Wade or the dirty cops in the Cynthia Sommer's murder case.

Everyone knows the police have a job to do, and that is what they are paid to do. They are no better or worse than any other segment of society. Anyone can cherry pick a handful of cases to worship the police, or point out their flaws.

The point is the PD are just like everyone else. So relax, sit back and have a coke.

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PB92109 Sept. 13, 2009 @ 7:14 p.m.

where did this one square mile explosion info come from? sounds exaggerated. The roadways mentioned are major feeder streets by the way; besides having residences on there there is commercial development as well. Perhaps the methane can be put onto a barge and transported that way if it is that inherently dangerous to transport. There must be examples of what other cities are doing-- did the NIMBY's look into this to help solve the problem?

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Visduh Sept. 13, 2009 @ 9:51 p.m.

My neighborhood has no natural gas, so most of us depend upon propane (more technically referred to as LP gas, which stands for liquified petroleum gas.) That's a mainstay of rural areas all around the US. I can't think of a single instance of a propane delivery truck exploding while in use.

There have been some instances of larger quantities of LP gas exploding, usually involving rail cars and derailments. Those are rare. If you do not want trucks of compressed methane passing through your neighborhood, I can understand that, but safety and the potential for explosion are not much of an issue.

Another matter is the fact that this compressed methane (natural gas) is contaminated with odiferous byproducts of garbage or sludge decay makes even small leaks into unpleasant events. While those may not render the methane useless, I'd prefer that the mix not pass through my neighborhood at all.

Focus on the real issues. The traffic, the noise, and the odors. Apocalyptic events such as an explosion that could take out thousands of homes are fanciful and overkill as a debating tool. No, fight on the basis of efficiency, noise and added traffic, and then build yourself a protective screen of sympathetic pols on the city council. (That's how things get done and undone in the city of SD.)

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antigeekess Sept. 13, 2009 @ 10:06 p.m.

Visduh observed:

"My neighborhood has no natural gas..."

Your neighborhood should eat more frijoles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9h71R0P-jM

:)

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Visduh Sept. 13, 2009 @ 10:31 p.m.

antigeekness, that really adds to the debate. These Point Loma residents do have a "point." You don't.

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JF Sept. 13, 2009 @ 10:32 p.m.

92109, the DOT Emergency Response guidebook calls for a 1 mile radius for evacuation in the event of a fire involving compressed natural gas.

Visduh, there have been several catastrophic accidents involving transportation of CNG or LP. There are many more truck accidents than train accidents every day.

That doesn't mean that I don't think this operations is pretty darn safe. The likelihood of a major accident is very small. But it only takes one.

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antigeekess Sept. 13, 2009 @ 10:46 p.m.

Visduh chided:

"antigeek[n]ess, that really adds to the debate. These Point Loma residents do have a "point." You don't."

It was Beavis's dad that had the point. Farts are comprised of methane.

So basically, what we're talking about here is a giant rolling fart. Highly flammable, as Beavis's dad so aptly demonstrated.

Most worrying, indeed.

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antigeekess Sept. 13, 2009 @ 11:22 p.m.

How many times did you watch the video, Pete? :)

Ya know, I showed 'such' restraint here. I mean, with gems like..

“We wouldn’t have gotten there without community support — a lot of pressure, a lot of pushing,”

And...

"Kevin was under a lot of pressure not to hold this..."

And I STILL got in twubble.

:)

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Josh Board Sept. 14, 2009 @ 1:45 a.m.

mudshark...awesome post. I couldn't agree more. And, to add something to all the things you listed, when the cop shot the guy in the tank, there were idiots that said "why did they shoot him? the tank was stuck and no longer moving." So, they can't win even when they put their lives on the line by opening a tank with a madman inside of it.

Surf...dude, you're so wrong about cops.

Explain to me why in the Stefanie Crowe case...the police DID NOT charge the family with the drugs they had in their house. Or, why the 15-year-old boy was just sitting there playing video games, as cops were investigating his sister murdered in the room next to his? Doesn't that lead to suspicion on the cops part? Or, the fact that no locks were broken, because "supposedly" they left the back door unlocked.

When cops THINK someone did it, there are usually reasons. NOT because they're just a bunch of dirty cops on the take, or whatever Hollywood movie you've imagined. Besides...one of the boys ADMITTED to the crime (and don't say that it's because the cops were "abusing" him...he asked for a Sprite and to go to the bathroom, and they let him. Then he admitted all that! SUre, he didn't have a lawyer present so it wasn't used in court, but...explain what dinkus of a 15-year-old would admit to something HE DID NOT DO.

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Visduh Sept. 14, 2009 @ 9:04 a.m.

Josh, these posts can get discursive, as Don has pointed out. How the topic of transporting methane on Point Loma drifted to the Crowe case is a real study.

You raise points about that investigation. Yes, the police were correct to look closely at the family. Most murders are committed by people close to the victim. But in this case, they had another suspect, and breezily dismissed him. Michael Crowe's statement wasn't a confession. The judge ruled that it was coerced, and the best you could say about it was that it was vaguely incriminating. The EPD then went after his best buddy, and coerced another vaguely incriminating statement from him. But even with those statements, they had no physical evidence, and no murder weapon, and never did. Finally, they went after a third kid who made up a wildly improbable tale that kept himself on the periphery of the deed. He described getting up in the middle of the night without awakening his brother who slept in the same room, and walking miles across Escondido to the victim's house, where he acted as a "lookout". This from a kid who seldom walked anywhere and got lost easily. That was ruled as not coerced, and was a confession.

Escondido is full of people who still don't think Tuite "dunnit", in spite of the physical evidence, and his record of slipping into places he was not supposed to be in, and out of places where he was supposed to be. (Remember that he escaped the court house during his trial?) No, they got the right guy, finally. And Paul Pfingst lost an election largely because he would not face facts.

Josh, you ask why a 15 year old would admit do doing something he didn't do. Well, why do police get confessions from innocent adults? Happens constantly, and one occupational hazard for criminal investigators is basing a case on a bogus confession. Michael Crowe may have behaved strangely in the immediate aftermath of his sister's death, but if you work with kids that age, as I do, you would know strange behavior is the norm with adolescents.

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Josh Board Sept. 14, 2009 @ 10:44 a.m.

Good points, Visduh. I guess my point is...you can't "blame" cops for going in this direction. Tuite, as they said, was loud where ever he went. They couldn't see him "quietly" slipping into a house.

Also very suspicious that this happened, on the night that this boy had his friend spending the night. So, an ADDED PERSON in the house, wasn't allerted to Tuitte slipping in the backdoor (and who doesn't lock their doors? someone please explain that to me).

And as weird as you say 15-year-olds act, why would one act weird (who has a knife collection and is into Dungeons & Dragons, and who was jealous of his sister and her good grades) and another make up an elaborate story about being the "look out"? It makes no sense. Sure, one kid doing something weird. But one kid giving details about how he was the look-out.

In regards to posts going in other directions...isn't that the fun of it all? Kind of like being at a party, and conversations are about all kinds of things, not just one topic the entire night.

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Visduh Sept. 14, 2009 @ 11:14 a.m.

Yep, they sure do take off in different directions. They take on a life of their own.

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elevenagain Oct. 7, 2009 @ 10:13 p.m.

Another thing to consider is how many accidents happen on Catalina Blvd. I lived in this area for many years, and plenty of accidents happen on Catalina Blvd. Just the ones I personally saw the aftermath of, if any of those three had happened with one of those trucks, I and many of my friends and neighbors would have been gone. I like the new proposal idea and would like to know more about it.

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