Arand gives presentation at Washington conference
Last updated 4/19/2007 at Noon
Fallbrook resident Tony Arand recently gave a presentation at a Washington, DC, conference on bioenergy.
Arand’s March 28 talk was titled “Dealing with Financing and Contractual Arrangements of a Municipal Waste Project” at the Biomass and Biorefinery Fuels 2007 conference. Arand is the owner of Envirepel, which converts biomass and trash into energy.
“I was talking about the challenge of permitting a landfill,” Arand said.
“We came up with a way to do this kind of stuff that works almost any place,” Arand said. “That was a big part of what I was trying to present.”
Envirepel’s is headquartered in Vista, where a facility has been built, and Arand is also planning a facility in Fallbrook. The landfill which was the subject of his presentation is the Ramona Landfill; Envirepel is in negotiations with utility companies for a five megawatt generation facility on the Ramona Landfill. As part of the permitting process Arand has dealt with the County of San Diego (which includes both the Department of Planning and Land Use and the Department of Environmental Health) and the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
“I was invited to talk on the topic,” Arand said. “It was an opportunity to go back and talk to the industry.”
Arand notes that the permitting processes for land use and pollution issues will be the same regardless of the location of a facility. “The challenges are all the same; the rules are all the same,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where the project is. The process is the same.”
The attendees at the conference included US Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and US Department of Energy assistant secretary Andy Karsner. “They’re all looking for solutions. They’re looking for people who can help them produce the solutions,” Arand said.
“And they’re also looking for what the solution is,” Arand said. “We’re a solution partner, we’re trying to be, and the solution is energy independence for the country.”
Arand noted that too often a specific technology is forced upon a specific project. “It doesn’t matter what your technology is,” he said. “It matters how you go about trying to permit your facility.”
Arand’s facility is considered a waste energy facility. “Waste energy, biomass, and biofuels are all in it together,” he said of renewable energy. “The basic purpose of that conference was a forum to exchange information.”
Information at conferences is exchanged not only through presentations but also through contact between attendees. “We got to rub elbows with some cool guys,” Arand said.
Arand expects to brief government agencies and elected officials on related matters in the future. “I suspect we will be making more trips back to Washington,” he said.
He also expects additional presentations at future conferences. “It’s going to be the first of many,” he said of his March 28 presentation. “We’re going to do more.”